Friday, March 06, 2015

5th March (Thursday) ,2015), 2015 DailyGlobal Rice Digital Newsletter by Riceplus Magazine


www.riceplusmagazine.blogspot.com/
Australasian bittern known as the Bunyip bird
MARCH 05, 2015
The bittern is one of the only figures to cross over from Aborignal Australian mythology to that of the early European settlers



Becky Crew is a Sydney-based science communicator with a love for weird and wonderful animals. From strange behaviours and special adaptations to newly discovered species and the researchers who find them, her topics celebrate how alien yet relatable so many of the creatures that live amongst us can be.IT DOESN'T LOOK particularly fierce, but this little bird's ancestors just might be the root of one of the most eerie and lingering characters in Australian legend.The Bunyip - our very own Yeti, the "spirit of darkness and the punisher of all wrong-doers", a character to scare children into doing what they're told - has for centuries been said to wander the swamps, billabongs, riverbeds and waterholes of the Australian bush to chow down on whomever stumbles across its path.
The Bunyip is a particularly special part of Australian culture, because it's one of the only figures to cross over from Aboriginal Australian mythology to that of the early European settlers. Presumably the cacophony of strange and foreign noises made by our native animals convinced the Europeans that there was something ominous lurking nearby - an angry, supernatural beast with sharp teeth and soggy paws, perhaps.
And it's those noises - those low, booming calls that echo through the night - that historians have used to link the Australasian bittern (Botaurus poiciloptilus) to the many tales of the fearsome and mighty Bunyip.
With a range that spans southeastern Australia, Tasmania, New Zealand, New Caledonia and its little island province, Ouvea, the Australasian bittern - or 'Bunyip bird' - is a large member of the heron family.
Keeping close to the water's edge in search of frogs, eels and freshwater crustaceans, it creates well-hidden nests among the thick wetland vegetation. During the breeding season, the males will call loudly to the females, earning its species the reputation of being more likely to be heard than seen.
Good news for the Bunyip bird
The Australasian bittern's reliance on our dwindling wetland environments has seen its numbers fall so low, there are said to be fewer than 1000 mature individuals left in Australia, and a total of 2500 in existence worldwide. But last year, a significant number began turning up in the waterlogged rice paddies of Riverina in southwestern New South Wales - a move that has absolutely thrilled the scientists who are trying to conserve them.
"We've got this really interesting situation where an endangered species is very closely associated with farming," Wildlife ecologist Matt Herring told Nick Fogarty at the ABC. "What we're doing out there in...(the) Riverina by growing rice is basically creating artificial wetlands that are very much like those ones that they would've occurred in naturally."
Having spearheaded a crowd-funding campaign that raised $65,000, Herring has set up the Bitterns in Rice Project, in which scientists and rice farmers can work together to provide a new habitat for the birds, and also carry out a long-term surveillance of their movements. For example, right now where the paddy-dwelling bitterns go after the rice is harvested remains a complete and utter mystery.
"It's just awesome that they're here, really awesome," Coleambally region rice paddy owner Ian Payne told the ABC. "I just think it's great that we can grow a food, a high quality food, and support an endangered species, it's just fantastic."
Malthusian doomsters foiled again.
Ronald Bailey|Mar. 4, 2015 12:03 pm
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·         Email

·         Spritz

·          
IRRIResearchers associated with the International Rice Research Institute are reporting C4 photosynthesis success on the way toward dramatically boosting the productivity of grains like rice and wheat that use less efficient C3 photosynthesis. According to Technology Review:
In December, geneticists announced that they’d made a major advance in engineering rice plants to carry out photosynthesis in a more efficient way—much as corn and many fast-growing weeds do. The advance, by a consortium of 12 laboratories in eight countries, removes a big obstacle from scientists’ efforts to dramatically increase the production of rice and, potentially, wheat. It comes at a time when yields of those two crops, which together feed nearly 40 percent of the world, are dangerously leveling off, making it increasingly difficult to meet rapidly growing food demand.
The supercharged process, called C4 photosynthesis, boosts plants’ growth by capturing carbon dioxide and concentrating it in specialized cells in the leaves. That allows the photosynthetic process to operate much more efficiently. It’s the reason corn and sugarcane grow so productively; if C4 rice ever comes about, it will tower over conventional rice within a few weeks of planting. Researchers calculate that engineering C4 photosynthesis into rice and wheat could increase yields per hectare by roughly 50 percent; alternatively, it would be possible to use far less water and fertilizer to produce the same amount of food.
Getting the C4 pathway to work at all in rice and wheat is just the first step. However, the fantastic new CRISPR gene-editing technology should speed the process of developing more efficient grain crops up substantially. The researchers believe that the first upgraded rice and wheat varieties could be available to farmers in a decade. The spectre of famine recedes ever further. Take that Paul Ehrlich!


Consumer Market Research Reports Annoucements

Global and Chinese rice cooker industry, 2009-2019 market research report just published

Published on Thursday, 05 March 2015 01:53
Read: 31 times
The ‘Global and Chinese Rice cooker Industry, 2009-2019 Market Research Report’ is a professional and in-depth study on the current state of the global Rice cooker industry with a focus on the Chinese market. The report provides key statistics on the market status of the Rice cooker manufacturers and is a valuable source of guidance and direction for companies and individuals interested in the industry.
Firstly, the report provides a basic overview of the industry including its definition, applications and manufacturing technology. Then, the report explores the international and Chinese major industry players in detail. 
In this part, the report presents the company profile, product specifications, capacity, production value, and 2009-2014 market shares for each company. Through the statistical analysis, the report depicts the global and Chinese total market of Rice cooker industry including capacity, production, production value, cost/profit, supply/demand and Chinese import/export. 

The total market is further divided by company, by country, and by application/type for the competitive landscape analysis. The report then estimates 2014-2019 market development trends of Rice cooker industry. 

Analysis of upstream raw materials, downstream demand, and current market dynamics is also carried out. In the end, the report makes some important proposals for a new project of Rice cooker Industry before evaluating its feasibility. 

Overall, the report provides an in-depth insight of 2009-2019 global and Chinese Rice cooker industry covering all important parameters.
Table of Contents
Chapter One Introduction of Rice cooker Industry
Chapter Two Manufacturing Technology of Rice cooker
Chapter Three Analysis of Global Key Manufacturers
Chapter Four 2009-2014 Global and Chinese Market of Rice cooker
Chapter Five Market Status of Rice cooker Industry
5.1 Market Competition of Rice cooker Industry by Company
5.2 Market Competition of Rice cooker Industry by Country (USA, EU, Japan, Chinese etc.)
5.3 Market Analysis of Rice cooker Consumption by Application/Type
Chapter Six 2014-2019 Market Forecast of Global and Chinese Rice cooker Industry
Chapter Seven Analysis of Rice cooker Industry Chain
Chapter Eight Global and Chinese Economic Impact on Rice cooker Industry
Chapter Nine Market Dynamics and Policy
For more information:





Wild rice stirring debate at state Capitol

A battle regarding how water quality may affect the state grain is heating up in St. Paul.
By
·         Moira Blodgett
By
·         Allison Kronberg
March 05, 2015
Wild rice is a delicate plant, valuable to those who harvest it, and a habitat for much wildlife, but Minnesota’s state grain is stirring up debate at the state Capitol.
Though water quality standards to protect wild rice were established almost half a century ago, the Minnesota Pollution Control Agency only began consistently enforcing them six years ago. Now, those regulations are frustrating iron and copper-nickel mining operations that have to filter their wastewater, which could cost billions of dollars.
In response, some state leaders, like Sen. David Tomassoni, DFL–Chisholm, have introduced bills to the state Legislature to address the issue.
“All of the sudden we’re endangering peoples’ jobs and asking tax payers to pay billions of dollars to enforce this,” said Tomassoni, who introduced a bill last month to suspend the standard. “It doesn’t make sense.”
He said the MPCA needs to identify exactly what waters in the state are wild rice waters, clarify the process to add new waters to that list and further confirm the relationship between water quality and wild rice growth before it can enforce a standard.
But MPCA assistant commissioner for water policy Rebecca Flood said that could take years.
The agency’s first priority is meeting the federal Environmental Protection Agency’s Clean Water Act rules, she said, but she understands the financial concern.
“It’s not the Pollution Control Agency’s objective to make municipalities go bankrupt because of the need to meet permit requirements,” Flood said. “We really are working hard with permittees to not have them be financially stressed to the point that it would drive them out of business.”
But many people, like University of Minnesota-Duluth American Indian studies professor Erik Redix, say protecting wild rice from endangerment is worth the cost.
Redix has harvested wild rice since he was a teenager, he said, and the grain remains a primary food source for his family.
While harvesting, he said he’s noticed that some rice beds will fluctuate from year to year in their productivity.
“I assume that that’s just due to the natural cycle of the plant, but you don’t know if it’s something else [like water quality],” Redix said.
Minnesota Department of Natural Resources records reported that there were nearly eight times less harvesting licenses issued from the 1960s to the 2000s, which could mean there’s less wild rice in the state, but it can’t be confirmed. State wild rice waters weren’t identified, recorded or studied until 2008.
After the waters were identified, the 1854 Treaty Authority, an inter-tribal resource management agency, alerted the MPCA that several of them were downstream from mines.
Only after that did the agency start enforcing the standard consistently through permits.
State legislation in 2011 required the agency to validate the standard through research. So it commissioned the University of Minnesota to study the correlation between sulfate levels and wild rice.
Since then, research has been mounting to show the relationship between sulfate — which is the component of wastewater regulated by the standard — and wild rice survival.
But the relationship is complicated, said UMD adjunct biology professor John Pastor, who researched sulfate and wild rice for the MPCA.
Sulfate is released when oxygen hits rocks in mines during the mining process, he said, and then it travels into nearby water. When sulfate eventually settles in the sediment at the bottom of lakes, bacterial decomposers sometimes convert the sulfate to a new form called sulfide, Pastor said.
While researchers like Pastor have found that sulfate alone doesn’t impact wild rice growth even at concentrations much higher than the state standard, he said it’s harmful to wild rice when converted to sulfide, even at very low concentrations.
Research in state lakes and control tanks found that the more sulfides are in water, the less wild rice is produced.
“You really can’t, from our data, raise the concentration of sulfate all that much before the sulfide starts to become toxic,” Pastor said.
Sulfate content in mining wastewater can be up to hundreds or thousands of parts per million, but the standard requires the operations to reduce the content to just 10 parts per million, which is expensive.
Iron, however, can keep sulfate from turning to sulfide, Pastor said. But more research needs to be done to tell where iron is stopping that conversion in lakes and how that affects wild rice growth.
The MPCA will present all the research it has gathered up until now that validates the standard to the state Legislature at the end of the month. But Tomassoni’s and other bills could still suspend the standard.
If the standard were suspended, it would save mining companies and taxpayers’ money, but it would interfere with federal EPA standards — which still have the final say.
Redix said he worries that the more society industrializes, the less protection there will be for wild rice.
“It’s something that’s really important,” he said. “It should be studied, and these rules should remain in place to protect this resource by any means necessary.”


A bittern chick. (CREDIT: Matt Herring/Bitterns in Rice)

Australasian bittern known as the Bunyip bird

·      MARCH 05, 2015

The bittern is one of the only figures to cross over from Aborignal Australian mythology to that of the early European settlers

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Becky Crew

Becky Crew is a Sydney-based science communicator with a love for weird and wonderful animals. From strange behaviours and special adaptations to newly discovered species and the researchers who find them, her topics celebrate how alien yet relatable so many of the creatures that live amongst us can be.
IT DOESN'T LOOK particularly fierce, but this little bird's ancestors just might be the root of one of the most eerie and lingering characters in Australian legend.
The Bunyip - our very own Yeti, the "spirit of darkness and the punisher of all wrong-doers", a character to scare children into doing what they're told - has for centuries been said to wander the swamps, billabongs, riverbeds and waterholes of the Australian bush to chow down on whomever stumbles across its path.
The Bunyip is a particularly special part of Australian culture, because it's one of the only figures to cross over from Aboriginal Australian mythology to that of the early European settlers. Presumably the cacophony of strange and foreign noises made by our native animals convinced the Europeans that there was something ominous lurking nearby - an angry, supernatural beast with sharp teeth and soggy paws, perhaps.
And it's those noises - those low, booming calls that echo through the night - that historians have used to link the Australasian bittern (Botaurus poiciloptilus) to the many tales of the fearsome and mighty Bunyip.
With a range that spans southeastern Australia, Tasmania, New Zealand, New Caledonia and its little island province, Ouvea, the Australasian bittern - or 'Bunyip bird' - is a large member of the heron family.
Keeping close to the water's edge in search of frogs, eels and freshwater crustaceans, it creates well-hidden nests among the thick wetland vegetation. During the breeding season, the males will call loudly to the females, earning its species the reputation of being more likely to be heard than seen.

Good news for the Bunyip bird

The Australasian bittern's reliance on our dwindling wetland environments has seen its numbers fall so low, there are said to be fewer than 1000 mature individuals left in Australia, and a total of 2500 in existence worldwide. But last year, a significant number began turning up in the waterlogged rice paddies of Riverina in southwestern New South Wales - a move that has absolutely thrilled the scientists who are trying to conserve them.
"We've got this really interesting situation where an endangered species is very closely associated with farming," Wildlife ecologist Matt Herring told Nick Fogarty at the ABC. "What we're doing out there in...(the) Riverina by growing rice is basically creating artificial wetlands that are very much like those ones that they would've occurred in naturally."
Having spearheaded a crowd-funding campaign that raised $65,000, Herring has set up the Bitterns in Rice Project, in which scientists and rice farmers can work together to provide a new habitat for the birds, and also carry out a long-term surveillance of their movements. For example, right now where the paddy-dwelling bitterns go after the rice is harvested remains a complete and utter mystery.
"It's just awesome that they're here, really awesome," Coleambally region rice paddy owner Ian Payne told the ABC. "I just think it's great that we can grow a food, a high quality food, and support an endangered species, it's just fantastic."




Climate factor causes rice price hikes: Observer

Antara News Wednesday 4 March 2015
Agriculture observer Khudori said recent hikes in rice prices were mostly triggered by climate changes that caused a delay in harvesting.
“We should have experienced grand harvests beginning this February until next May. However, because of the late arrival of the rainy season, rice planting and harvesting were delayed by about 1.5 months. This has resulted in a longer period of rice scarcity,” Khudori told a press conference here on Saturday.
He noted that as a result of rice scarcity caused by delayed harvest season, the price of the commodity has inevitably increased.
“What is regrettable is the governments slow action. It has not taken anticipatory steps to avoid price rise,” he remarked.
Following monitoring, it was known that the volume of rice entering Jakartas Cipinang wholesale rice market was only 1,500 tons per day; the normal volume was 3,000 tons per day.
“The decline in the production is extraordinary. So, based the principle of supply and demand, the rice price automatically increases,” he noted.

RELATED NEWS & OPINION

Furthermore, the governments statement on the replacement of the rice for poor (Raskin) program with an e-money scheme will also have an impact on rice prices.
“The Raskin program supports some 15.5 million poor people. If the program is no longer available, they will look for rice in markets. This will lead to an escalation in rice prices,” Khudori noted.
Earlier, Herman Khaeron, the deputy chairman of Commission IV on agriculture affairs of the House of Representatives said the plan to drop the rice for poor (Raskin) program will affect rice price stability.
“Withdrawing the Raskin incentive will have negative impacts because rice is a sensitive commodity in Indonesia,” he remarked.
Khaeron pointed out that in response to the governments statement on its plan to drop the Raskin program, businesses will withhold their rice stocks until Raskin rice, which is relatively cheaper, completely disappears from the market. Businesses will then release their stocks for higher prices. 
Therefore, the legislator advised, the government should make public this policy matter because it will have implications on many sectors. And it will be the people who will mostly bear its effects



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'Expo Pakistan 2015' opens new avenues for rice export: REAP chief

March 04, 2015
RECORDER REPORT
'Expo Pakistan 2015' has opened new avenues for the rice export as buyers of several countries were gathered under a roof, said Rafique Suleman Chairman Rice Exporters Association of Pakistan (REAP). Addressing a reception in honour of foreign delegations of Kenya, Indonesia, Malaysia and Kuwait, he expressed hearted congratulations to S M Munir, Chief Executive and Rabiya Javeri, Secretary Trade Development Authority of Pakistan (TDAP) for organising successful event of Expo Pakistan 2015 at Expo Centre Karachi. 

Although Pakistani rice was already popular in the world market, however that exhibition had provided another platform to explore new markets, he said. "Expo Pakistan 2015 provided good opportunity to introduce Pakistani rice to foreign delegates and we will get very positive results of this event," he added.
 

Chairman REAP said rice had not been included in the Preferential Trade Agreement (PTA) between Pakistan and Indonesia, which was a big hurdle in increasing exports to Indonesia, hoping that after inclusion of Pakistani rice in PTA bilateral trade among two countries could be enhanced.
 

Talking about the trade with Kenya, he said rice and tea were two major commodities being traded between Kenya and Pakistan. He urged TDAP to continue those types of efforts to increase the country's exports. Senior Vice President, FPCCI, Abdul Rahim Janoo said Pakistan enjoyed very friendly relationship with GCC countries and Pakistan was importing huge quantity of oil products.
 

He said for first time a huge number of foreign delegations attended Expo Pakistan which showed the confidence of foreign investors on government and its policies. Local business community was also satisfied with the steps taken by government towards the improvement of trade and business in Pakistan, he added.
 

On the occasion, High Commissioner of Pakistan to Kenya Rafiuzzaman Siddiqi, Consul General of Indonesia in Karachi Hadi Santoso, Honarary Consul of Kenya in Karachi Hanif Janoo, Senior Vice President, FPCCI Abdul Rahim Janoo, Commercial Secretary of Pakistan Embassy in Indonesia Maria Kazi, Commercial Secretary of Pakistan in Malaysia Wajihullah Kundi and others were also present.
 


European Union lifts ban on import of mangoes from India
Ban had been imposed in April 2014; India's exports of the fruit to EU in 2013 stood at $11 mn
Press Trust of India  |  New Delhi  
March 4, 2015 Last Updated at 15:02 IST
Connect with suppliers & exporters   from China & Asia. Free Service. www.hktdc.com
3
RELATED NEWS
·         Basmati exports set to decline
·         Basmati exports to fall 10%
The European Union (EU) has lifted the ban on import of Indian mangoes that it had imposed in April last year, Parliament was informed today.

"The EU has notified lifting of the ban on mango through commission implementing number... Of February 12, 2015," Commerce and Industry Minister 
Nirmala Sitharaman said in a written reply to the Rajya Sabha.

In April last year, the 28-member European Union had temporarily banned import of 
Alphonso mangoes. It also banned import of four vegetables -- taro, bitter gourd, snake gourd and eggplant -- from India from May 1, 2014.

Export of Indian mangoes to the EU during 2012 and 2013 were valued at $6.73 million and $10.09 million, respectively.

"Ban on import of vegetables from India has not been notified," she said.

"Standard operating procedure has been developed by the government for pest-free export of fresh vegetables to the EU, wherein the vegetables are processed in pack houses approved by Agriculture and Processed Food Products Export Development Authority (APEDA), under the supervision of plant quarantine before export to the EU, she added.

In a separate question on 
basmati rice exports, the Minister said that exports of the commodity has declined by 3 per cent year-on-year to $3.37 billion during April-December 2014-15.

The decline in quantity terms is about 6 per cent. India exported 25.72 lakh tonnes of basmati rice during the period as against 27.41 lakh tonnes.

Sluggish demand from Iran is one of the main reason for dip in exports.

"In Iran, import of rice is monitored through a system of issue of import permits. Due to excessive carry-over stocks from imports in the previous year and domestic production in the current year, Iran has put a temporary ban on issue of permits for import of rice from all origins with effect from October 19, 2014," she added.

The other major export destinations for basmati rice include Saudi Arab, Iraq, UAE, Yemen, USA, UK, Jordan and Oman.

Replying to a separate question on tea, the Minister said 
tea exports too have declined in value and volume terms during January-November 2014 as compared to the corresponding period a year ago.

She said that the decline in exports is "attributable to the loss of Assam Orthodox tea production to the tune of almost 20 million kg during May-July 2014 caused by delayed rains, lower demand in high value markets such as the US, Iran and Russia and lower prices of tea from Africa at $2 per kg".

India ranks second in world production of tea and fourth in exports.

Courtesy: Business Standard



Market Commentators Criticize Vietnam's Win of Philippines Rice Import Tender

Mar 04, 2015
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Oryza.com - 
Market commentators are criticizing the recent Philippines rice import tender where Vietnam later lowered their bid to match that of Thailand and the Philippines accepted this modified bid.
The Philippines invited bids to purchase 250,000 tons of 25% broken rice and 250,000 tons of 15% broken rice seeking delivery of half the volume by March 31, 2015 and the remaining half by April 30, 2015.
While Thailand offered to supply 100,000 tons of 15% broken rice at about $441 per tons and 100,000 tons of 25% broken rice at about $421 per ton, Vietnam originally offered to supply 250,000 tons of 15% broken rice at $442 per ton and 250,000 tons of 25% broken rice at $424.5 per ton.  The NFA reportedly accepted Vietnam's later proposal to lower its bids by about $1 per ton for 15% broken rice and about $3.5 per ton for 25% broken rice to match the Thai bids. Since Thailand offered to supply only 200,000 tons and the Philippines needed 500,000 tons, the NFA granted the contract to Vietnam to supply the remaining 300,000 tons at the Thai-quoted prices of about $441 per ton for 15% broken rice and about $421 per ton for 25% broken rice.
Market commentators noted that a similar instance happened last year when the Philippines invited bids to supply 500,000 tons. Vietnam lowered its bid to match Thailand's bid and won the contract to supply 200,000 tons of rice to the Philippines. They are expressing concern that such actions by the government would affect the export prices of Vietnamese rice in the international market.
 
While, the Philippines is reportedly planning to choose suppliers and sign contracts before March 10, 2015 for the current contract, experts opine that many exporters may not be interested in joining the Philippines contract due to stiff price competition. They are reminded  of last year's case when many exporters had refused to supply rice to fulfil the Philippine contract, under which Vietnam won to supply 800,000 tons of rice to the Philippines.
The Vietnam Food Authority (VFA) also lowered the floor price (minimum export price) of the lower quality 25% broken rice exports to around $350 per ton, down about 3% from around $360 per ton due to increasing supplies from the ongoing harvest and subdued demand for Vietnamese rice.
Vietnam is expected to export around 900,000 tons of rice the first three months of 2015, down about 25%-40% from the same period last year, according to the VFA Secretary. They cite lower rice import demand from China and African countries and excess rice supplies in Thailand.

Vietnam exported about 356,012 tons of rice in January 1 - February 25, 2015, down about 44% from about 637,756 tons of rice exported in first two months of 2014, according to data from the VFA.


newsbrief

March 04, 2015
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Uganda wants to enhance trade relations with Pakistan
ISLAMABAD (INP): Pakistan and Uganda enjoyed historic political relations, which should be transformed into growing trade and economic relations as bilateral trade between the two countries was far less than the available potential, observed Dr Asuman Kiyingi, Minister of State for Foreign Affairs and In-charge of Regional Cooperation of the Republic of Uganda while addressing business community at ICCI. The Minister was accompanied by Dr Mohammad Ahmed Kissule, Ambassador of Uganda accredited to Pakistan, Dennis Tumukunde Personal Assistant to the Minister, Mawanika Brian Phenox Second Secretary Embassy of Uganda in Iran and K.K. Ahsan Wagan Director (Africa), Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Pakistan.
He said Uganda was an agricultural country with 90 percent arable land and both countries could share experiences & expertise in irrigation, mechanised farming and value addition of agro products to achieve mutually beneficial results. He said Uganda offered best investment opportunities with easy access to big market of 200 million people of East African community and Pakistani investors should explore Uganda for investment and joint ventures in areas including energy, food processing,
TWEPL gets LoI for 30MW wind power project in Jhimpir
ISLAMABAD(INP): Tapal Wind Energy (Pvt) Limited (TWEPL) has secured Letter of Intent (LOI) from AEDB for the development of 30MW wind power project in Jhimpir, district Thatta, Sindh.  TWEPL has completed the project feasibility study and received the generation licence and tariff from Nepra under upfront tariff regime. TWEPL has finalised the Energy Purchase Agreement (EPA) with Central Power Purchasing Agency (CPPA). The Implementation Agreement (IA), to be signed between AEDB and TWEPL has also been finalised. The IA document is ready for the signing with TWEPL. The project is expected to achieve Financial Close by 31 March, 2015 and Commercial Operation by September 2016.
The estimated project cost of 30MW TWEPL project is $80 million The required debt of the project is financed by a Consortium of local banks.  The company has been allocated an area of 197.34 acres and the turbnes will be purchased from Gold Wind China.  
SECP strengthens enforcement, 
adjudication, litigation functions
ISLAMABAD (Staff Reporter): The Securities and Exchange Commission of Pakistan (SECP), for greater transparency and efficiency, has implemented new manuals for its enforcement, adjudication and litigation functions. The new manuals for offsite surveillance and monitoring, inspection, enquiry and investigation adjudication and litigation have been made effective from March 1, 2015. The SECP in 2012 initiated the task for development of new working manuals to strengthen its working. The Chairman SECP, Zafar Hijazi is of the view that standardisation of this function across the board is important first step towards improving the standards of all internal processes and procedures.
 
As per previous practices, SECP functions of inspection, investigation and adjudication were performed by the same employees in the Department.  Through implementation of these Manuals, the inspection and investigation functions have been separated from adjudication.  This would enable to minimise biases, if any, in these functions.
In these manuals, the inspection and investigation functions would be made more effective, eliminate duplication of effort and introduce checks and balances. The SECP officers who will perform these functions would be formally trained as financial investigators, as is the norm in many developed international jurisdictions.
Pak rice has good potential in int’l markets: Reap
KARACHI (Staff Reporter): Rice Exporters Association of Pakistan (REAP) Chairman Rafique Suleman said that there is a good potential of Pakistani rice in international markets and with the help of Expo Pakistan 2015, we had a good opportunity to introduce Pakistani rice to foreign delegates and soon get very positive results of this event. While speaking to the reception given by REAP to the foreign delegations of Kenya, Indonesia and Malaysia and Kuwait Rafique Suleman added that Pakistani rice is not included in the PTA between Pakistan and Indonesia, he hopes that after inclusion of Pakistani rice, it can play a pivotal role to increase the bilateral trade.
Regarding trade with Kenya, he commented that main items of trade are rice and tea. He recommended to add few more products, so that bilateral trade between Pakistan and Kenya will cross $ 516 million.
Abdul Rahim Janoo, Senior Vice Presient, FPCCI expressed that Pakistan enjoys very friendly relationship with GCC countries and Pakistan is importing huge quantity of oil products. He added that after the successful event of Expo Pakistan, first time a huge number of foreign delegations attended the event which shows the confidence of foreign investors on Government of Pakistan and local business community is also satisfied with the steps of government towards the improvement of trade and business in Pakistan.
On the occasion, Rafiuzzaman Siddiqi, High Commissioner of Pakistan to Kenya, Hadi Santoso, Consul General of Indonesia in Karachi, Hanif Janoo, Honarary Consul of Kenya in Karachi, Abdul Rahim Janoo, Senior Vice President, FPCCI, Maria Kazi, Commercial Secretary of Pakistan Embassy in Indonesia, Wajihullah Kundi, Commercial Secretary of Pakistan in Malaysia and others were also present.
PHDA’s int’l halal conference

LAHORE (Staff Reporter): Punjab Halal Development Agency (PHDA) is conducting two-day 4th International Halal Conference and Exhibition on March 10 and 11 in Lahore with objectives to showcase the livestock and allied industries potential of Pakistan among international community visiting the country for this event. Justice Khalil-ur-Rehman Khan, PHDA Chairman, while addressing a press conference at Lahore Press Club on Tuesday, said that Pakistan was a natural hub of Halal trade as more than 97 per cent of the country’s population was Muslim and they produced and consumed Halal products. PHDA is educating the stakeholders about potential of Halal business available in Pakistan, he said, adding the country could play a vital role in the promotion of Halal industry.

On the occasion, he raised the question about quality and brand management of Pakistani products and said that they were not up to required international standards. He expressed that Pakistan has all required resources to be the Halal product’s center in the world but to tap the lion’s share; we need to develop international standards products. He said that PHDA conducted the annual Halal event to boost-up Halal trade volume of Pakistan on every year. He also discussed about upcoming Event and said that this year in collaboration with USAID- Punjab Enabling Environment Project (PEEP), PHDA had planned the event.







SHAREHOLDER ALERT: Brower Piven Encourages Investors Who Have Losses in Excess of $100,000 From Investment in Amira Nature Foods, Ltd. to Contact Brower Piven Before the Lead Plaintiff Deadline in Class Action Lawsuit -- ANFI







03/04/2015 | 09:21pm US/Eastern
STEVENSON, Md., March 4, 2015 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- The securities litigation law firm of Brower Piven, A Professional Corporation, announces that a class action lawsuit has been commenced in the United States District Court for the Central District of California on behalf of purchasers of Amira Nature Foods, Ltd. ("Amira" or the "Company") (NYSE:ANFI) securities during the period between September 27, 2012 and February 9, 2015, inclusive (the "Class Period"). Investors who wish to become proactively involved in the litigation have until April 13, 2015 to seek appointment as lead plaintiff.
If you have suffered a loss from investment in Amira securities purchased on or after September 27, 2012 and held through the revelation of negative information during and/or at the end of the Class Period, as described below, and would like to learn more about this lawsuit and your ability to participate as a lead plaintiff, without cost or obligation to you, please visit our website at http://www.browerpiven.com/currentsecuritiescases.html. You may also request more information by contacting Brower Piven either by email at hoffman@browerpiven.com or by telephone at (410) 415-6616. No class has yet been certified in the above action. Members of the Class will be represented by the lead plaintiff and counsel chosen by the lead plaintiff.
If you wish to choose counsel to represent you and the Class, you must apply to be appointed lead plaintiff and be selected by the Court. The lead plaintiff will direct the litigation and participate in important decisions including whether to accept a settlement and how much of a settlement to accept for the Class in the action. The lead plaintiff will be selected from among applicants claiming the largest loss from investment in Company securities during the Class Period. Brower Piven also encourages anyone with information regarding the Company's conduct during the period in question to contact the firm, including whistleblowers, former employees, shareholders and others.
The complaint accuses the defendants of violations of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934 and the Securities Act of 1933 for failure to disclose material information during the Class Period, including that Amira fraudulently overstated its Indian-produced basmati rice exports, thereby overstating revenues by at least 24% and 18.7% in FY 2013 and 2014, respectively, and concealing that many of its counterparties are related parties, including its largest customer, one of its largest suppliers, a potential counterparty to a $30 million transaction, and over a dozen others. Additionally, the complaint alleges that Amira's CEO used company money to pay his own personal household expenses, including salaries for a personal house manager and a chef for his farmhouse.
The lawsuit alleges that the truth was partially disclosed on two occasions, on April 2, 2013, after the market closed, causing its stock price to fall to $1.10 by April 5, or almost 20%, and on February 9, 2015, causing Amira's stock price to fall $3.45, or almost 26% from its previous close. As a result of the April 2, 2013 and February 9, 2015 disclosures, the value of Amira shares declined significantly.
Attorneys at Brower Piven have extensive experience in litigating securities and other class action cases and have been advocating for the rights of shareholders since the 1980s. If you choose to retain counsel, you may retain Brower Piven without financial obligation or cost to you, or you may retain other counsel of your choice. You need take no action at this time to be a member of the class.
CONTACT: Charles J. Piven
         Brower Piven, A Professional Corporation
         1925 Old Valley Road
         Stevenson, Maryland 21153
         Telephone: 410-415-6616
         hoffman@browerpiven.com

Rigrodsky & Long, P.A. Announces A Securities Fraud Class Action Lawsuit Has Been Filed Against Amira Nature Foods Ltd.
PR Newswire
WILMINGTON, Del., March 4, 2015
WILMINGTON, Del., March 4, 2015 /PRNewswire/ -- Rigrodsky & Long, P.A.:
o    Do you, or did you, own shares of Amira Nature Foods Ltd. (NYSE: ANFI)?
o    Did you purchase your shares between September 27, 2012 and February 9, 2015, inclusive?
o    Did you lose money in your investment in Amira Nature Foods Ltd.?
o    Do you want to discuss your rights?
Rigrodsky & Long, P.A., including former Special Assistant United States Attorney, Timothy J. MacFall, announces that a complaint has been filed in the United States District Court for the Central District of California on behalf of all persons or entities that purchased the common stock of Amira Nature Foods Ltd. ("Amira" or the "Company") (NYSE: ANFI) between September 27, 2012 and February 9, 2015, inclusive, including those investors who acquired Amira shares pursuant or traceable to its initial public offering ("IPO") commenced on October 11, 2012 (collectively, the "Class Period"), alleging violations of the Securities Act of 1933 and the Securities Exchange Act of 1934 against the Company and certain of its officers (the "Complaint").
If you purchased shares of Amira during the Class Period and wish to discuss this action or have any questions concerning this notice or your rights or interests, please contact Timothy J. MacFall, Esquire or Peter Allocco of Rigrodsky & Long, P.A., 2 Righter Parkway, Suite 120, Wilmington, DE 19803 at (888) 969-4242; by e-mail to info@rl-legal.com; or at:http://www.rigrodskylong.com/investigations/amira-nature-foods-ltd-anfi.        
Amira is a major international producer of packaged Indian specialty rice, with sales in over 60 countries.  The Complaint alleges that throughout the Class Period, defendants made materially false and misleading statements, and omitted materially adverse facts, about the Company's business, operations and prospects.  Specifically, the Complaint alleges that the defendants failed to disclose related party transactions and overstated revenues making the financial statements false.  As a result of defendants' false and misleading statements, the Company's stock traded at artificially inflated prices during the Class Period. 
According to the Complaint, on February 9, 2015, a third-party analyst firm issued a report highlighting the overstatement of revenues and the material related party transactions.  The report indicated that the Agricultural and Processed Food Products Export Development Authority ("APEDA"), a governing body overseeing agricultural exports in India, listed Amira as the fourteenth largest exporter of basmati rice in India.  However, according to the report, "Had Amira truly generated the revenue from Basmati exports it reported to US investors, it would have been the 4th and 5th largest exporter of basmati rice in FY'13 and FY'14, respectively[.] . . ."
On this news, shares in Amira plummeted almost 26%, closing at $9.95 per share onFebruary 9, 2015, on heavy trading volume of over 3.6 million shares.      
If you wish to serve as lead plaintiff, you must move the Court no later than April 13, 2014.  A lead plaintiff is a representative party acting on behalf of other class members in directing the litigation.  In order to be appointed lead plaintiff, the Court must determine that the class member's claim is typical of the claims of other class members, and that the class member will adequately represent the class.  Your ability to share in any recovery is not, however, affected by the decision whether or not to serve as a lead plaintiff.  Any member of the proposed class may move the court to serve as lead plaintiff through counsel of their choice, or may choose to do nothing and remain an absent class member.
While Rigrodsky & Long, P.A. did not file the Complaint in this matter, the firm, with offices in Wilmington, Delaware and Garden City, New York, regularly litigates securities class, derivative and direct actions, shareholder rights litigation and corporate governance litigation, including claims for breach of fiduciary duty and proxy violations in the DelawareCourt of Chancery and in state and federal courts throughout the United States.
Attorney advertising.  Prior results do not guarantee a similar outcome.
CONTACT: 
Rigrodsky & Long, P.A.
Timothy J. MacFall, Esquire
Peter Allocco
(888) 969-4242
(516) 683-3516
Fax: (302) 654-7530
info@rl-legal.com
http://www.rigrodskylong.com





Hain Celestial Announces Accretive Strategic Acquisition Of Empire Kosher Foods

Wed Mar 4, 2015 2:45pm EST
* Reuters is not responsible for the content in this press release.

Expands Antibiotic-Free and Organic Deli and Other Fresh Foods Offerings with the The Leading Kosher Poultry Company in the United States

PR Newswire
LAKE SUCCESS, N.Y., March 4, 2015 /PRNewswire/ -- The Hain Celestial Group, Inc. (NASDAQ: HAIN), a leading organic and natural products company with operations inNorth America, Europe and India providing consumers with A Healthier Way of Life™, today announced the acquisition of the remaining approximately 80% that it did not already own of EK Holdings, Inc. and its wholly-owned subsidiary, Empire Kosher Poultry, Inc. ("Empire") based in Mifflintown, Pennsylvania.  The purchase price for the remaining approximately 80% of Empire was $57.6 million, which includes net debt that was repaid at closing.  In May 2010 Empire purchased Kosher Valley®, the first brand of certified kosher antibiotic-free, vegetarian fed and humanely raised all natural branded chicken and turkey products, from Hain Pure Protein Corporation ("HPPC") at which time HPPC received a 19% interest in Empire. 
Empire offers a full range of kosher antibiotic- and hormone-free chicken and turkey products including fresh tray pack, frozen, deli, fully cooked, gluten-free and organic products in the United States as well as the Kosher Valley brand sold exclusively in Whole Foods Market.  Empire generated over $100 million in net sales in calendar year 2014 and is expected to be accretive to Hain Celestial's earnings in fiscal year 2016. 
"We are excited with our strategic acquisition of Empire, the leading kosher, antibiotic-free poultry brand in the United States and welcome Jeff Brown and the Empire team to Hain Celestial.  Empire expands our Farm to Table product offerings, a growing category that appeals to those seeking 'the pure foods trend,' including our core natural and organic consumers.  We plan to expand the product offerings into deli, fresh prepared foods and other grocery categories. Additionally, we expect to leverage our infrastructure to create revenue and procurement synergies, and we paid an attractive price considering the multiples being paid for antibiotic-free protein companies today," said Irwin D. Simon, Founder, President and Chief Executive Officer of Hain Celestial. 
Jeffrey N. Brown, Chief Executive Officer, will continue to be responsible for the day-to-day operations of Empire, reporting to Irwin Simon.  Empire practices sustainable farming, promotes social justice and strictly observes Jewish dietary laws to produce among the best tasting and highest quality all-natural poultry products.  Empire chicken and turkey products are not only for those who keep kosher for religious reasons but for those who want to eat healthfully and safely as well as responsibly by promoting worker and animal rights, protecting the environment and supporting local farmers and their communities.   
"Empire products appeal to a broad market of consumers, not just those seeking our brand and products to observe dietary customs. As the No. 1 kosher producer of humanely raised hormone-free and antibiotic-free poultry, I'm pleased to be able to continue the heritage of Empire under the stewardship of Hain Celestial, where we feel we can leverage opportunities to expand our distribution," said Jeffrey N. Brown, Chief Executive Officer of Empire. 
"Empire is a strong brand in a growing category with a lot of experience, which provides us with the opportunity to broaden our existing portfolio of organic and natural brands into healthier kosher products.  Empire should leverage Hain Celestial's knowhow and infrastructure to pursue new categories and kosher product offerings," concluded Irwin Simon.
Hain Celestial has over 2,000 products that are kosher certified in its branded portfolio of natural and organic products.  According to a December 2011 Mintel Group Ltd. Report, kosher foods have an aura of purity and healthfulness, which should continue to fuel growth in the category.  With the acquisition of Tilda® basmati rice in January 2014, the Company has expanded its ethnic footprint and product offerings including geographically into India and the Middle East, where the Company believes it may have opportunities to expand its organic and natural kosher product offerings.   
The Hain Celestial Group, Inc. 
The Hain Celestial Group (NASDAQ: HAIN), headquartered in Lake Success, NY, is a leading organic and natural products company with operations in North America, Europeand India.  Hain Celestial participates in many natural categories with well-known brands that include Celestial Seasonings®, Earth's Best®, Ella's Kitchen®, Terra®, Garden of Eatin'®, Sensible Portions®, Health Valley®, Arrowhead Mills®, MaraNatha®, SunSpire®, DeBoles®, Casbah®, Rudi's Organic Bakery®, Gluten Free CafĂ©™, Hain Pure Foods®, Spectrum®, Spectrum Essentials®, Walnut Acres Organic®, Imagine®, Almond Dream®, Rice Dream®, Soy Dream®, WestSoy®, The Greek Gods®, BluePrint®, FreeBird®, Plainville Farms®, Empire Kosher®, Kosher Valley®, Yves Veggie Cuisine®,Europe's Best®, Cully & Sully®, New Covent Garden Soup Co.®, Johnson's Juice Co.®, Farmhouse Fare®, Hartley's®, Sun-Pat®, Gale's®, Robertson's®, Frank Cooper's®, Linda McCartney®, Lima®, Danival®, Natumi®, GG UniqueFiber®, Tilda®, JASON®, Avalon Organics®, Alba Botanica®, Live Clean® and Queen Helene®.  Hain Celestial has been providing A Healthier Way of Life™ since 1993.  For more information, visit www.hain.com.
Safe Harbor Statement 
Certain statements contained in this press release constitute "forward-looking statements" under the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995.  Words such as "plan," "continue," "expect," "expected," "anticipate," "intend", "estimate," "believe," "seek", "may," "potential," "can," "positioned," "should," "future," and similar expressions, or the negative of those expressions, may identify forward-looking statements.  These forward-looking statements include the Company's beliefs or expectations relating to (i) accretion and (ii) growth trends and distribution opportunities.  Such forward-looking statements involve known and unknown risks, uncertainties, and other factors which may cause the Company's actual results, levels of activity, performance or achievements of the Company, or industry results, to be materially different from any future results, levels of activity, performance or achievements expressed or implied by such forward-looking statements.  Such factors include, among others, the Company's ability to achieve its guidance for net sales and earnings per diluted share in fiscal year 2015 given the economic environment in the U.S. and other markets that it sells products as well as economic, political and business conditions generally and their effect on the Company's customers and consumers' product preferences, and the Company's business, financial condition and results of operations; changes in estimates or judgments related to the Company's impairment analysis of goodwill and other intangible assets, as well as with respect to the Company's valuation allowances of its deferred tax assets; the Company's ability to implement its business and acquisition strategy; the ability of the Company's joint venture investment to successfully execute its business plan; the Company's ability to realize sustainable growth generally and from investments in core brands, offering new products and its focus on cost containment, productivity, cash flow and margin enhancement in particular; the Company's ability to effectively integrate its acquisitions; the Company's ability to successfully consummate its proposed divestitures; the effects on the Company's results of operations from the impacts of foreign exchange; competition; the success and cost of introducing new products as well as the Company's ability to increase prices on existing products; availability and retention of key personnel; the Company's reliance on third party distributors, manufacturers and suppliers; the Company's ability to maintain existing customers and secure and integrate new customers; the Company's ability to respond to changes and trends in customer and consumer demand, preferences and consumption; international sales and operations; changes in fuel, raw material and commodity costs; changes in, or the failure to comply with, government regulations; the availability of organic and natural ingredients; the loss of one or more of the Company's manufacturing facilities; the ability to use the Company's trademarks; reputational damage; product liability; product recall or market withdrawal; seasonality; litigation; the Company's reliance on its information technology systems; and the other risks detailed from time-to-time in the Company's reports filed with the  SEC, including the annual report on Form 10-K for the fiscal year ended June 30, 2014.  As a result of the foregoing and other factors, no assurance can be given as to future results, levels of activity and achievements and neither the Company nor any person assumes responsibility for the accuracy and completeness of these statements.
SOURCE The Hain Celestial Group, Inc.














RiceBran Technologies and Medicus Research Release Claims Substantiation Analysis of the Health Benefits of RBT's Patented Rice Bran DerivativesIndependent clinical studies and research demonstrate benefits across numerous health and wellness categories including lowering cholesterol, reducing hyperglycemia and improving insulin levels and insulin sensitivity


SCOTTSDALE, Ariz., March 2, 2015 /PRNewswire/ -- RiceBran Technologies (NASDAQ: RIBT and RIBTW) ("RBT"), a global leader in the production and marketing of value added products derived from rice bran, today announced the release of a claims substantiation analysis of the health benefits of RBT's proprietary rice bran based ingredients conducted by Medicus Research.
RBT contracted Medicus Research, the premier contract research organization for the Dietary Supplement, Functional Foods and Botanical Drug industries, to perform a comprehensive analysis of independent studies conducted on behalf of RBT to substantiate numerous important health claims for its proprietary and process patented rice bran derivatives and products. 
The research from Medicus substantiates that RBT's RiBran™ and RiSolubles® products reduce hyperglycemia; improves insulin levels and insulin sensitivity; and increases adiponectin levels.  The research also cites scientific evidence indicating that the Company's RiFiber™ product reduces total cholesterol, LDL cholesterol and triglycerides; reduces absorption of cholesterol; and reduces plasma lipid and lipoprotein cholesterol.
The full report as well as links to clinical study findings can be found on RBT's home page at www.ricebrantech.com .
W. John Short, CEO & President of RBT commented, "As the consumer package goods industry focuses billions of dollars on healthy whole food nutrition, the ability to provide ingredients that can result in important front of label claims for these new products differentiates RBT from our competitors.  Medicus Research is widely considered to be the leading provider of research and clinical trials for healthy, natural products and functional foods. We are excited that the team at Medicus has substantiated the health benefits of our rice bran based products. We plan to pursue additional studies with Medicus going forward."
Dr. Jay Udani, co-founder and CEO of Medicus Research noted, "RiceBran Technologies proprietary ingredients and the active components of these ingredients have been the subject of numerous studies which, when the evidence is combined, appear to be able to substantiate claims related to the management of healthy lipids, glucose, and insulin.  We look forward to working with RBT on additional projects in the future."
About Medicus Research
Medicus Research is the internationally renowned contract research organization specializing in the study of dietary supplements, functional foods, medical foods, botanical drugs and cosmeceuticals. The California-based CRO was founded 15 years ago by Dr. Jay Udani. As a board-certified internist at Cedars-Sinai Medical Center in Beverly Hills, Dr. Udani was among the first physicians in America to become a certified physician investigator for clinical trials. He was passionate about the study of natural health products as an alternative to traditional pharmaceuticals. Today, Dr. Udani's company is considered the leader in this industry. Medicus Research has designed, executed and analyzed more than 200 Phase I - IV clinical trials. The company designs its clinical trials to guarantee that its studies are structure/function compliant and follow strict guidelines issued by FTC, FDA, and EFSA for subject population and endpoint selection. Medicus Research has established GCP and FDA compliant SOPs, internal QA processes, and proprietary management technology systems which ensure the highest quality for all aspects of the study process.
About RiceBran Technologies
RiceBran Technologies is a human food ingredient and functional food company focused on the procurement, bio-refining and marketing of numerous products derived from rice bran. RiceBran Technologies has proprietary and patented intellectual property that allows us to convert rice bran, one of the world's most underutilized food sources, into a number of highly nutritious human food ingredient and animal nutrition products. Our target markets are human food ingredients and animal nutrition manufacturers and retailers, as well as natural food, functional food and nutraceutical supplement manufacturers and retailers, both domestically and internationally. More information can be found in our filings with the SEC and by visiting our website at www.ricebrantech.com .
Forward-Looking Statements
This release contains forward-looking statements, including, but not limited to, statements about RiceBran Technologies' expectations regarding introduction of new products for the craft brewing industry. These statements are made based upon current expectations that are subject to known and unknown risks and uncertainties.  RiceBran Technologies does not undertake to update forward-looking statements in this news release to reflect actual results, changes in assumptions or changes in other factors affecting such forward-looking information.  Assumptions and other information that could cause results to differ from those set forth in the forward-looking information can be found in RiceBran Technologies' filings with the Securities and Exchange Commission, including its most recent periodic reports. 
Investor Contact:
Ascendant Partners, LLC
Fred Sommer
+(732)410-9810
fred@ascendantpartnersllc.com
SOURCE RiceBran Technologies

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