Monday, March 09, 2015

9th March ,2015 Daily Exclusive ORYZA Rice E_Newsletter by Riceplus Magazine

Description: Description: May Reconsider Provincial Stock Allocations as Businesses Oppose Current Plan

Mar 06, 2015
Vietnam businesses in the Mekong River Delta (MRD) region but are opposing the government's stock allotment to various provinces in the region, according to local sources. They have started purchasing for the 2015 rice stockpiling plan, which the government approved to prevent prices from falling during the harvest of the winter-spring crop.The Vietnam Food Association (VFA) has allotted stock collection quotas to various provinces based on the storage capacities of businesses in a particular province, their capacity to export as well as their participation in large-scale rice fields, according to the VFA Vice-Chairman.
He noted that the VFA allocated 251,433 tons for An Giang Province, 175,696 tons for Can Tho City, 155,474 tons for Dong Thap Province, 118,757 tons for Long An Province, over 83,000 tons for Tien Giang Province, 79,000 tons for Kien Giang Province, 2,400 tons for Ca Mau Province and 8,000 tons for Bac Lieu. He added that the allocations for only two provinces had increased compared to that in last year and allocations of others have considerably declined.Businesses have been expressing concern over reducing allocations for local firms in many provinces. For instance, in An Giang province, of the total allotted stocks of about 251,433 tons, local firms are allowed to buy only 137,000 tons and the remaining is allotted to outside enterprises.  The same is the case with many other provinces, they said.Firms also noted that the VFA has allotted smaller volumes to firms with considerably big storage capacities while it allotted reasonably big volumes to new firms which had not participated in last year's stockpiling program. Exporters have therefore urged the VFA to reconsider increasing stock allocations to provinces as well as local firms. The VFA Vice-Chairman hinted that the VFA may reconsider increasing stock allocations for provinces.

Vietnam Rice Exports to Asian Destinations Decline Sharply in January 2015

Mar 06, 2015
Vietnam has exported around 320,750 tons of rice in January 2015, down about 12% from around 366,130 tons exported in December 2014, and down about 3% from around 331,480 tons exported in January 2014, according to USDA. While share of Vietnam's rice exports to Asia and Australia declined m/m in January 2015, its share of exports to , Africa, Europe and Americas increased.
Asia accounted for around 132,097 tons (about 41% of total rice exports by Vietnam in January 2015), down about 47% from around 247,999 tons exported in December 2014, and down about 54% from around 286,135 tons exported in January 2014.
Vietnam exported around 114,912 tons of rice to Africa (about 36% of total January 2015 exports), up about 49% from around 76,888 tons exported in December 2014, and about 7 times higher from around 16,022 tons exported in January 2014.
Vietnam exported around 62,625 tons of rice to American destinations (about 20% of January 2015 exports), up about 98% from around 31,684tons exported in December 2014, and about 2.5 times more from around 25,148 tons exported in January 2014.Vietnam's exports to Australia (about 0.4% of January 2015 exports) declined about 77% to around 1,429 tons in January 2015
Description: Description:
from around 6,375 tons exported in December 2014 and increased about 77% from around 804 tons exported in January 2014.Vietnam's exports to Europe and CIS countries (about 3% of total January 2015 exports) accounted for around 9,687 tons, about 3 times higher than around 3,164 tons exported in December 2014 and about 2.8 times higher than around 3,371 tons exported in January 2014.In terms of grade, 5% broken rice exports accounted for around 127,905 tons (or, about 40% of total January 2015 exports); Jasmine rice exports accounted for around 100,052 tons (or, about 31% of total January 2015 exports); 15% broken rice exports accounted for around 34,709 tons (or, about 11% of total exports in January 2015); 25% broken rice exports accounted for around 14,091 tons (or, about 4% of total exports in January 2015); glutinous rice exports accounted for around 13,116 tons (or, about 4% of total January 2015 exports); and 10%, 100% and other varieties accounted for around 30,877 tons (or, about 10% of total exports in January 2015).

Description: Description:'s Fashion City to Catch A Glimpse of Rice Fields

Mar 06, 2015
Rice is all set to steal the show during the International Expo Fair in Italy's fashion city Milan from May 1 to October 31, 2015. Italian artist Michelangelo Pistoletto is designing a rice field on the roof top of Superstudio Più located in Milan under a project called "Terzo paradiso - vivere la città" (Third paradise - living the city).The project seeks to transform a town vegetable garden into a real rice field. A rice straw hut is also being planned, which will be used for hosting cultural events as well as serve as a meeting and training place for artists and creatives, architects and designers, and social community workers.

Oryza Overnight Recap – Chicago Rough Rice Futures Continue to Sell Off as US Dollar Rallies

Mar 06, 2015
Chicago rough rice futures for May delivery are currently listed 8 cents per cwt (about $2 per ton) lower at $10.490 per cwt (about $231 per ton) during early floor trading in Chicago. The other grains are seen trading mixed this morning: soybeans are currently seen about 0.4% lower, wheat is listed about 0.5% higher and corn is currently noted about 1.2% lower.U.S. stocks traded lower on Friday amid corporate news, as investors digested February's jobs report that indicated an interest rate hike could come sooner rather than later. The jobs report showed a gain of 295,000, above expectations of 240,000 in February, down from 257,000 in January.
 The unemployment rate fell to 5.5 percent, while hourly wages ticked up 0.1 percent, below consensus and off the surprise 0.5 percent gain in January. Bond yields rose, with the U.S. 10-year Treasury note yield at 2.20 percent, on increased anticipation of an interest rate hike sooner rather than later. The U.S. dollar rose 1% against major world currencies. The Dow briefly fell more than 100 points in the open, down 0.54% at 18,039. The S&P 500 opened down 9 points, or 0.43%, at 2,091, with utilities leading all sectors except financials lower. The Nasdaq opened down 10 points, or 0.22%, at 4,972. Gold is currently trading about 1.9% lower, crude oil is seen trading about 0.7% lower,  and the U.S. dollar is currently trading about 1.2% higher at 9:30am Chicago time.

Oryza U.S. Rough Rice Recap - Slightly Weaker Market as Export Bids Drop on Firming USD

Mar 06, 2015
The U.S. cash market was slightly weaker today as bids continue to fall, especially bids on the river as the dollar firms, however sellers show little interest in letting go at these prices.Analysts note that most farmers are still hoping to net around $11.11 per cwt fob farm (about $245 per ton) and there are some domestic buyers paying close to that for small quantities for prompt shipment however most of the buy interest is about $1.00 per cwt (about $22 per ton) below that level.

Eating Rice With Chopsticks Holds Health Benefits

Mar 06, 2015

Description: Description: A study carried out by the Singapore Institute for Clinical Sciences, the National University of Singapore and the Clinical Nutrition Research Centre (CNRC) found that eating rice with chopsticks rather than with spoons or hands can control blood sugar level. The a team of local nutrition experts investigated the eating habits of 11 people to analyze the differences between those who use chopsticks, spoons and hands to eat rice. They observed significantly lower glucose response in those who used chopsticks to eat rice compared to those who ate rice with spoons or their hands.  The CNRC Director explained that when one uses chopsticks, they pick up less amount of rice compared to that when they use spoons or hands and as a result of that they tend to eat less in a mouthful and take more time to eat the food. This tendency helps in better digestion of carbohydrate particles leading to a lower increase in blood sugar after eating. He added that a slower rate of glucose response was more effective in reducing the risk of Type 2 diabetes.He advised people who do not have a habit of using chopsticks to eat less in each mouthful and enjoy their food slowly to avoid the risk of diabetes.He also noted that basmati rice is low in glycemic index (GI), the extent to which a carbohydrate rich food increases level of blood glucose, and it can be considered to lower glucose response. Other ways to lower glucose response is to eat rice with vegetables or meat and not eating very hot rice, he said.

Indonesia Plans Rice Planting and Harvesting Cycle to Ensure Continuous Stocks and Curb Imports

Description: 06, 2015

The government of Indonesia is planning to design a cycle of rice plant of harvesting covering the entire nation to maintain continuous stocks in the country, according to Reuters.The President was quoted as saying that simultaneous harvesting across the country has been leading to excessive stocks during the harvesting season leading to price falls. A cycle of rice planting and harvesting will help to increase farmers' yields, maintain continuous stocks throughout the year thus stabilize rice prices. Such as system will also help to curb rice imports, he said.He also urged the farmers to increase the paddy yields from the current 5 tons per hectare to 9-10 tons per hectare. He noted that the government would support the farmers by providing the adequate infrastructure, including irrigation systems, seeds and rice machinery.The President also noted that the government would announce the paddy price next week and it would be in line with market conditions and farmers' expectations.USDA estimates Indonesia to produce around 36.5 million tons of rice, basis milled (around 57.4 million tons, basis paddy), and import around 1.3 million tons of rice in MY 2014-15 (October - September).

Weekly Recap: Index Steadies as Quotes Firm

Mar 06, 2015
The Oryza White Rice Index (WRI), a weighted average of global white rice export quotes, ended the week at about $422 per ton, up about $3 per ton from a week ago, up about $2 per ton from a month ago and down about $35 per ton from a year ago.The UN’s FAO has forecasted 2014-15 global rice production to be about 495.9 million tons, down slightly from both last year and previous forecasts for this year.  The FAO estimates global rice utilization at around 500 million tons, up about 1.7% from 2013-14, and global rice stocks at about 176.2 million tons, down about 2% from last year.  The FAO expects 2014-15 global rice trade to reach around 41.4 million tons, down about 1.4% from last year but up about 1% from earlier forecasts for this year.The FAO All Rice Price Index continued its six-month decline, reaching about 220 points in February, down about 1% from January due to declines in the Higher and Lower Quality Indica and Japonica sub-indices.
Thailand 5% broken rice is today shown at about $405 per ton, unchanged from a week and a month ago and down about $15 per ton from a year ago.
Thailand has received 45 bids for the one million tons of rice it plans to auction on March 6.
Thailand may sell poor quality rice after August 2015, as local and overseas buyers are looking to buy it for use in the non-food sector.
A delegation of Thai rice exporters met with Namibia’s President to discuss ways the country can help the South West African nation start and sustain rice production.
Vietnam 5% broken rice is today shown at about $370 per ton, up about $5 per ton from a week ago, up about $20 per ton from a month ago and down about $15 per ton from a year ago.
The Deputy Head of the Department of Cultivation stated that dry weather and crop diseases are expected to reduce the rice output in Vietnam’s northern provinces, and salt water intrusion is likely to impact rice production in the southern Mekong River Delta.
The Vietnam Food Association has cut the floor price (minimum export price) of lower quality 25% broken rice exports to around $350 per ton. Description: oryza white rice index
Businesses in the country have started purchasing and stockpiling one million tons of winter-spring crop in Vietnam’s Mekong Delta during March 1 to April 15, in line with the government’s directions to control price falls during the harvest season.
In January, Vietnam exported about 320,750 tons of rice, a decrease of about 12% from December and about 3% from January 2014.  The decline is due to decreased exports to Asia and Australia; exports to Africa, Europe and the Americas increased.
India 5% broken rice is today shown at about $395 per ton, unchanged from a week ago, down about $5 per ton from a month ago and down about $25 per ton from a year ago.
The USDA Post estimates India’s MY 2014-15 (October-September) rice exports at about 9 million tons (about 5.8 million tons of basmati and 3.2 million tons of non-basmati), a decrease of about 13% from last year, due to anticipated decline in supplies from low production and competition from other countries.
Planting for the 2014-15 rabi (secondary) rice crop (November-May) has reached 3.2 million hectares as of March 5, down about 14% from the same period last year.  The decrease is mostly due to untimely rains in rabi rice growing regions.
The government is working hard to ensure that rice and wheat farmers are paid the minimum support price as specified by the government, according to the Minister of State and Consumer Affairs, Food and Public Distribution.
Indian rice exporters expect 2015 rice exports to decline by about 20% from last year to 8 million tons (about 5 million tons of non-basmati and about 3 million tons of basmati), due to cheaper supplies from Thailand.
During the period from July 1, 2014 to March 3, 2015, Bangladesh imported 875,350 tons of rice, more than double the amount imported in all of 2013-14 fiscal year. Meanwhile, the government of Bangladesh plans to procure one million tons of 2015 Boro (January-May) paddy and 100,000 tons of Boro rice between May 1 and August 31.
Pakistan 5% broken rice is today shown at about $350 per ton, up about $10 per ton from a week ago, unchanged 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 $550 per ton, unchanged from a week ago, up about $10 per ton from a month ago and down about $115 per ton from a year ago.
The Brazilian paddy rice index maintained by the Center for Advanced Studies on Applied Economics (CEPEA) reached around 36.13 real per 50 kilograms as of March 02, 2015, down about 2% from around 36.78 real per 50 kilograms recorded on February 23, 2015.  In terms of USD per ton, the index reached around $252 per ton on March 02, 2015, down about 1.23% from around $255.4 per ton recorded on February 23, 2015.
The USDA Post forecasts Peru’s MY 2014-15 (April-March) rice imports at around 220,000 tons, up about 22% from 2013-14, but down about 8% from USDA’s official estimates.
U.S. 4% broken rice is today shown at about $485 per ton, up about $5 per ton from a week ago, down about $15 per ton from a month ago and down about $100 per ton from a year ago.
The U.S. cash market was mostly unchanged this week with buyers and sellers still failing to come to an agreement on prices.
Chicago rough rice futures for May delivery were mostly sideways this week, finding underlying support at $10.600 per cwt (about $234 per ton) and overhead resistance around $10.800 per cwt (about $238 per ton).  They hit a high on Monday, reaching $10.910 per cwt (about $241 per ton), before hitting the weekly low of $10.395 per cwt (about $229 per ton) on Friday and closing just up from that at $10.515 per cwt (about $232 per ton).
Other Markets
Cambodia 5% broken rice is today shown at about $435 per ton, unchanged from a week ago and a month ago and down about $20 per ton from a year ago. Separately, the Cambodia Rice Federation (CRF) has asked the government to strictly implement the Code of Conduct, devised in February 2014, in order to prohibit local trading firms from exporting cheap rice from neighboring countries under the Cambodian brand.
Total rice acreage in Italy for crop year 2015 (September-August) is expected to increase slightly to about 220,150 hectares in CY 2014, according to the Ente Nazionale Risi. Separately, Italy’s rice exports to EU countries in the first three months of the crop year 2014-15 (September-August) are up about 8.6% from the same period last year, reaching about 143,861 tons.
The government of Ghana has received a grant of about $145 million (with $100 million of it coming from World Bank and $45 million coming from the United States Agency for International Development) for the development and commercialization of the country’s rice sector.
The Philippines plans to increase hybrid rice acreage in efforts to achieve self-sufficiency in rice production, according to the Department of Agriculture.

Description: Receives Bids for 780,000 Tons of Rice

Mar 06, 2015
The government of Thailand received bids for around 780,000 tons from 40 firms for the one million tons it auctioned today, Reuters quoted the Commerce Ministry as saying.The Deputy Director of Foreign Trade Department was quoted as saying that all the bids were above the floor price set by the government and that the Department is expecting to raise more than 8 billion baht (around $247 million) from today's auction.She noted that the response to today’s tender signifies a strong demand for stockpiled rice and that the result of the auction would be finalized next week.
The military government sold about 1.18 million tons of rice from five auctions raising around 17.21 billion baht (around $528 million) since it seized power in May 2014.The government currently holds 17.8 million tons and is planning to sell around 10 million tons this year and around 7 million tons next year.Meanwhile, the government is planning to sell the degenerated rice after August 2015 when the investigation against those involved in the sales of low-grade rice is expected to be over. Local and foreign companies are reportedly interested in buying the low grade rice for use in non-food industries.

Oryza Afternoon Recap - Chicago Rough Rice Futures End the Week on a Bearish Note as Market Breaks Below Technical Support

Mar 06, 2015

Chicago rough rice futures for May delivery settled 12 cents per cwt (about $3 per ton) lower at $10.475 per cwt (about $231 per ton). The other grains finished the day with mixed results; Soybeans closed about 0.1% lower at $9.8500 per bushel; wheat finished about 0.4% higher at $4.8250 per bushel, and corn finished the day about 1.2% lower at $3.8600 per bushel.U.S. stocks traded lower on Friday as investors digested February's jobs report that indicated an interest rate hike could come sooner rather than later. The jobs report showed a gain of 295,000, above expectations of 240,000 in February, down from 257,000 in January.
The unemployment rate fell to 5.5%, while hourly wages ticked up 0.1%, below consensus and off the surprise 0.5% gain in January. The Dow briefly fell more than 275 points, down more than 1.5% to below 18,000. The Dow Utilities fell below its 200-day moving average for the first time since January 2014. In the S&P 500, utilities fell more than 3% as the greatest laggard. The U.S. dollar rose more than 1 percent against major world currencies. On the other hand, the euro breached $1.09 after the report, extending Thursday's decline from quantitative easing news in the euro zone. The S&P 500 traded down 23 points, or 1.12%, at 2,077, with utilities falling more than 3% to lead all sectors lower.
The Nasdaq traded down 42 points, or 0.86%, to 4,939. Gold is trading about 2.5% lower, crude oil is seen trading about 2.2% lower, and the U.S. dollar is seen trading about 1.2% higher at about  1:00pm Chicago time.Thursday, there were 598 contracts traded, up from 517 contracts traded on Wednesday. Open interest – the number of contracts outstanding – on Thursday increased by 31 contracts to 9,099.

Description: Description: Farmer Unions Seek More Clarity in New Common Agricultural Policy

Mar 06, 2015
In response to the European Commission's (EC) call to European Union's (EU) producers and other key stake holders to provide suggestions for improving and simplifying the new Common Agricultural Policy (CAP), the COPA-COGECA, the federation of farmers unions and of agri cooperatives has sent a letter to the EU Farm Commissioner highlighting the areas that need simplification.The COPA-COGECA Secretary-General noted that they have specifically sought clarity in implementing the new CAP, especially the greening rules, and to address some gaps in the existing rules. He noted that due to lack of clarity in certain rules, some unintentional errors may crop up in their implementation during the first three years and may consequently lead to lesser payments to farmers. A tolerance is needed both for the farmers during the initial years of implementation, he added.
The farmers union also stressed for the revision of the whole sanctioning system. The existing rules seek a lot of information from farmers when they apply for aid from the EC and the farmers may face difficulty in this regard. Therefore, the COPA-COGECA requested the EC to provide opportunities for famers to correct errors in such cases, said its Secretary-General.He also noted that in the long-term producers need to analyze how the new CAP affects the EU's production potential as well as the associated environmental benefits. This is important in the light of rising food demand and limited resources, he said.

Asia Quotes Unchanged Today

Mar 06, 2015
Asia rice sellers kept their quotes unchanged today.
5% Broken Rice
Thailand 5% rice is quoted at around $405 - $415 per ton, about $35 per ton premium on Vietnam 5% rice  shown at around $370 - $380 per ton. India 5% rice is quoted at around $390 - $400 per ton, about $45 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 $20 per ton premium on Vietnam 25% rice shown at around $345- $355 per ton. India 25% rice is quoted at around $355 - $365, about $50 per ton premium on Pakistan 25% rice quoted at around $305 - $315 per ton.
Parboiled Rice
Thailand parboiled rice is quoted at around $400 - $410 per ton. India parboiled rice is quoted at around $385 - $395 per ton, about $5 per ton discount to Pakistan parboiled rice quoted at around $390 - $400 per ton.
100% Broken Rice
Thailand broken rice, A1 Super, is quoted at around $320 - $330 per ton, about $5 per ton premium on Vietnam 100% broken rice shown at around $315 - $325 per ton. India's 100% broken rice is shown at around $280 - $290 per ton,  about $10 per ton discount to Pakistan broken sortexed rice quoted at around $290 - $300 per ton.

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9th March (Monday),2015 Daily Global Rice E_Newsletter by Riceplus Magazine

Border areas of Balochistan: Iran agrees to raise power supply

March 07, 2015
Iran has agreed to increase electricity supply from 74MW to 100MW for border areas of Balochistan by 2016. The tariff of the electricity varies from Rs 7-10 cents, depending on international fuel prices. Well-informed sources told Business Recorder that tariff deadline of 74MW of electricity being imported from Iran had expired. However, after threadbare negotiations Iran has extended the prevalent applicable tariff for 2015. Pakistan requested for extension of two years in current applicable tariff, but Iran has refused to honour the request, saying that they have one-year agreements with all electricity importing countries. The sources said that Pakistan in order to get electricity supply enhanced from Iran will have to improve its transmission system, including replacement of current transformers with more capacity transformers. 
According to sources, supply of 100MW from Iran to Gwadar also came under discussion and payment of $100 million against electricity imported in recent years. Pakistan is unable to pay the due amount owing to non-availability of banking facility. Pakistan has proposed that whatever outstanding payments are due from Pakistan should be converted into loan. Iranian side assured that they will take up the matter with the Central Bank of Iran and, as such, Pakistan was hopeful of getting the issue resolved. And if the amount was converted into loan, payment issue will be settled, the sources added. Pakistan has also expressed willingness to export rice to Iran against $100m outstanding electricity charges.
Pakistan''s ambassador to Iran has been actively pursuing Iranian authorities for a deal on 30,000 tons of rice in lieu of outstanding electricity payment. "If a deal is struck on supply of 30,000 tons rice to Iran, Pakistan will certainly get a relief on payment issue," the sources added. Iran and Pakistan have also shown keen interest in finalising Power Purchase Agreement (PPA) for buying 1000MW electricity from Iran. Pakistan and Iran will discuss the PPA next month, the sources said, adding that as per memorandum of understanding (MoU) tariff would be 8 to 11 cent KwH which could be revised minus/plus at the time of finalisation of the agreement. The sources said Pakistan expressed its intention to increase electricity import from proposed 1000MW to 3000MW. Pakistan will import 1000MW electricity from Iran in the first phase.
Import of remaining 2000MW electricity will be considered in the second phase for which feasibility study will be carried out in the next four to five months. Iranian company Tavnir and NTDC had approved the feasibility study report prepared jointly by Nespak and Moshanir (Iran) consultants on 1000MW electricity supply from Iran to Pakistan. A DVDC transmission system will be set up along with converter station at either end for transmitting power to the national grid at Quetta. The cost of HVDC transmission inter-connection project, including two HVDC converter/inverter sub-stations, one for each side as well as HVDC(+)(-) 500 KV line is estimated to be around $700m, excluding the cost of 1300MW power plant, required to be constructed on Iranian side.
Iran will construct power plant through its own resources. Tavanir has consented to finance HVDC inter-connection project cost in its own territory (approximately $265m). Both sides have agreed that the power purchase contract of February 7, 2007 for supply of 100MW to Gwadar will be used as a base document in preparation for the contract for supply of 1000MW electricity. In 2012, former minister for water and power, Ahmad Mukhtar, had fired the then managing director of NTDC, Rasul Khan Mehsud, who inked MoU with Iran for import of 1000MW, soon after he returned from Iran.

Uganda is a potential market for Pakistani exports: LCCI

Description: Description: Uganda is a potential market for Pakistani exports:  LCCILAHORE: Uganda and Pakistan can build their mutual trade and economic relations on new lines. Both countries are enjoying cordial friendly relations which should be transformed into strong trade & economic ties.  Pakistan is the best country to collaborate with and Uganda can take many advantages from this resource enriched country, said Minister of State for Foreign Affairs and Regional Cooperation of Uganda Dr. Asuman Kiyingi while speaking at the Lahore Chamber of Commerce & Industry (LCCI) here on Friday.The LCCI President Ijaz A. Mumtaz, Ambassador of Uganda Dr. Mohammad Ahmed Kissule and LCCI Senior Vice President Mian Nauman Kabir also spoke on the occasion while Executive Committee Members Maqsood Butt, Shahzad Ahmed and Rizwan Shamsi were present on the occasion.

He said that President of the Republic of Uganda H.E. Yoweri Museveni would visit Pakistan this year. Dr. Asuman Kiyingi said that both countries should make joint efforts for the promotion of trade economic cooperation between the two countries as existing trade volume does not reflect the available potential.He said that Uganda and Pakistan were agricultural countries and could share experience and expertise in this particular sector for mutual benefit.The Minister of State said that Uganda offers best investment opportunities with easy access to big market of 200 million people of East African Community and Pakistani investors should initiate joint ventures with their counterparts in Uganda the areas of energy, food processing, pharmaceuticals, oil and gas and extraction of iron ore etc. He said that Pakistan could import high quality tea and coffee from Uganda.

Speaking on the occasion, the LCCI President Ijaz A. Mumtaz said that Pakistan and Uganda have strong relations which need to be developed further. He said that Uganda is a potential market for Pakistani exports but unfortunately the presence of Pakistani products in the Ugandan market is quire nominal.LCCI president said that governments of both the countries need to take active interest in developing of these relations. He said that the commercial sections of the embassies of both the countries need to arrange delegations and trade fairs on a regular basis so that the products of both the countries could be aggressively marketed and a common platform for the businessmen of both the countries could be provided.

He said that the bottlenecks between the smooth flows of trade between Pakistan and Uganda should be seriously dealt with.Ijaz A. Mumtaz said that Pakistan can supply rice, textile, pharmaceutical, surgical, sports goods, leather goods, meat and ready to cook food, home appliances including pedestal fans, water pumps, washing machines, refrigerators etc to Uganda and East African countries. He said that both the countries can also collaborate in agriculture and agricultural products and machinery.

He said that there should be ease of visas for the businessmen on both sides. Tourism should be enhanced. Single country exhibitions should be held and students, researchers and medical experts should be exchanged on a more regular basis to increase people to people interaction.LCCI president said that there is immense potential for increasing trade between both the countries which is not being fully exploited. He said that joint ventures in the fields of engineering and building up of infrastructure in Uganda can be a prospective opportunity for Pakistan as well.


Talks On Agri And Rice Farming Institute Positive

March 07,2015
 by Ranoba Baoa, SUVA
Description: Description: Talks On Agri And Rice Farming Institute PositiveTalks on establishing Grace Road Food Company Limited’s first training institute ended on a positive note in Navua this week.Minister of Agriculture Inia Seruiratu, and Grace Road Food managing director Daniel Kim, established focused on Agriculture Training Institute and the Rice Research Institute took place.Grace Road plans to open the institute come October.The purpose of constructing the educational institutions, according to Grace Road, is understood to not be limited to transferring the farming techniques with the basis of hands-on field experience.
However the company’s vision is to have these institutions grow to be a place of intellectual convention to anyone who want to understand and on-site practices for farming.Mr Kim said: “We sincerely appreciate Mr Inia Seruiratu’s supporting our project from the beginning.“We want to rebuild the Rice Industrial Area in Navua, Nausori, and Tailevu.“With this intimate cooperation with the Government and the generation of talentthrough the Agricultural Institution and the establishment of Rice Research Center, we will invigorate the Rice Industry.”Through this revitalisation, Mr Kim said, Grace Road will achieve its 2020 Fiji Rice Self-Sufficiency Scheme.”
Mr Seruiratu responded with great optimism to the company’s vision, and promised full support for the rapid actualisation of the plan.“The education of the agriculture institute should not be limited to the technical aspects of farming, but create entrepreneurship simultaneously.”

Three held for duping people with ‘rice puller’

MAPUSA: Anjuna police have arrested three persons for fraud. The trio—Epheeq Ahmad and Keshav Murthi, both residents of Bengaluru, and Ajay Kumar Mahato of Ghaziabad, UP—allegedly duped people, especially in Maharashtra, into buying a device they claimed attracted rice.They were arrested from a house they were renting in Kumarwado, Anjuna, after a tip-off to the police.
 They also had on them fake ID cards showing they were 'scientists' of the Defence Research and Development Organization (DRDO).PSI Mahesh Kerkar, who was tipped off and who led the arrest, explained that the trio's modus operandi was to scour the net for customers with claims of an object that had fallen to earth during lightning, and which could pull things towards it. The object was priced 5-10 lakh.Once a customer showed interest, the object would be shown and the money taken.The customer would then be told that a scientist from DRDO would arrive the next day to test the 'rice puller', and that the customer, after witnessing the test, could take the device home.The following day one from the three, with his fake DRDO ID card in tow, would arrive at the pre-decided spot and meet the customer.
The other two would not turn up with the 'rice puller' and after a wait of about an hour the 'scientist' would say he is busy, can not wait anymore, and would leave, leaving the customer without a device and lakhs of rupees short."The trio were not able to dupe people in Goa as they were arrested immediately after they came to Goa. But they have duped people in Pandharpur, Kolhapur, and other places in Maharashtra," Kerkar told TOI.Police have also seized the 'rice puller' and other machinery from the accused. They have been booked under Sections 419, 420, and 511 of IPC.
ONOPRA airs concern versus biotech threat
The Organic na Negros! Producers and Retailers Association (ONOPRA) yesterday aired deep concern about the country now counted among the world’s “biotech mega-countries.”ONOPRA sees this development as a threat to the fast growing organic industry not only in Negros Occidental but in the country, Ramon Uy Jr., its  president, said In 2007, ONOPRA lobbied with the Negros Occidental Sangguniang Panlalawigan to ban the entry of GMOs to benefit the efforts of the thousands of organic farmers from its more than 80 organizations of small farmers, NGOs, peoples’ organizations, cooperatives, federations, private companies, government line agencies, chefs, restaurateurs and organic advocates to remake the province as an organic food bowl.
GMOs are incompatible with international organic standards, he said.Negros Occidental has aggressively promoted rice production - including organic rice-to attain self-sufficiency that the province now produces 97.43 percent of its rice needs, he said.“Since mainstreaming the organic program in the province and banning of GMO's, We have experienced a significant increase in our rice production. This only proves that we don't need this GMO technology to be able to become rice sufficient,” Uy said.It has also been noted that organic rice farmers in the province now produce there own inputs, from organic fertilizer, pest control and seeds. Increasing the income and are now empowered, he said.With GMO technology we will be giving back the power to multinational companies, who farmers will again depend there livelihood from.
That is why farmers from all over the country has remained poor, he added. Organic Rice yield now according  to organic rice farmers is already on an average of 4.6 tons per hectare, that is all using organic and natural farming methods without chemicals, pesticides, and not even GMO's, Uy said.Another positive development for Negros is the niche market for GMO free products for soy and corn, he said.“We got several inquiries from big buyers of GMO free corn and soybeans.
It is to our advantage because GMO is banned in the province and with increasing awareness from consumers worldwide about the dangers of GMO food that is why a lot of buyers especially exporters are looking for GMO-free products,” Uy added.They  see no benefits from golden rice that could contaminate organic rice production in the province. Last year, even the International Rice Research Institute pushed back the commercialization of golden rice due to its very low yield performance. Moreover, there are no studies on allergenicity and toxicity of this frankencrop, he added.*
Bioethanol from nipa sap to aid farm mechanization
Distillation plant set up in Quezon to convert sap from nipa palm into fuel farm hand tractors, pump boats and generators
By Gilbert P. Felongco, CorrespondentPublished: 14:52 March 8, 2015Gulf News
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Manila: The Philippine government is banking on biofuel from nipa sap to power its drive towards farm mechanisation in far-flung coastal areas of the country.According to the Department of Agriculture and the Philippine Rice Research Institute (PhilRice), the government has established a distillation facility in the village of Binonoan in Infanta, Quezon that could convert sap taken from the nipa palm into fuel that runs piston engines such as those used by agricultural hand tractors, pump boats and electricity generators.Nipa (scientific name: Nypa Fruiticans), grows abundantly in the costal areas of the Philippines where its dried fronds are used as roofing materials for huts.
The water palm can also be found in other countries located in the Pacific and Indian Oceans.The sap from the nipa can also be fermented into vinegar.According to Engr. Alexis T. Belonio, the government intends to put up more distillation plants to process nipa into biofuel.The distillation facility in Infanta was among three the government planned to put up in three years.“This facility built basically produces hydrous bioethanol (95 per cent alcohol) fuel to be used for small farm machines,” Belonio, lead inventor of the technology, said.Hydrous bioethanol, he said which can be produced from the farm like nipa sap, sugar molasses, and sweet sorghum, is a good alternative for fuelling pumps, threshes, dryers and small rice mills.
The biofuel project dovetails with government plans to increase farm mechanisation in the country. “We need to increase rice production. One way to do this is to improve [farm practices from land preparation to post-harvest], and by [doing this], we need mechanisation. In mechanisation, we need fuel, so what is mechanisation without the gasoline? [With this facility], we have an option [on what energy type to use],” said Belonio, the first Filipino to win the Rolex Award for Enterprise in 2008 for his breakthrough creation of a simple rice hull-powered stove.Former PhilRice Executive Director Eufemio Rasco junior for his part, said the government is aware of the pressing need for alternative fuel to run farm engines.
“We want to manufacture machines for farming that do not depend on fossil fuel,” said. “With our depleting fossil fuel supply, the bioethanol technology is a cost-efficient system because we can now produce and use clean energy at the least cost,” Belonio said.Aside from biofuel derived from nipa sap, the government is also looking at other possible sources of feedstock, such as coconuts and water lilies, the latter which is highly abundant in the country and is often regarded as a nuisance to river systems as they clog the waterways and often cause flooding.The project is jointly implemented by the Mariano Marcos State University, PhilRice, the University of the Philippines Los Baños, and the local government unit of Infanta.
Rare 'green' power plant opens
SAN JOSE CITY–The country’s first power plant that runs on commercial rice hulls or rice husks (“ipa”) was activated here on Friday.The facility was put up by 21 rice millers here in a joint venture with the Union Energy Corp. owned by businessmen Lucio Co, and called the San Jose City ìiî Power Corp. (SJC iPower).“Our plant is 100 percent [fueled] by rice husks,” said Edgardo Alfonso, chief executive officer of the SJC iPower.“It is generating a gross capacity of 12 megawatts and is feeding 10.8 MW to the Luzon grid (of the National Grid Corp. of the Philippines).”The remaining 1.2 MW are kept in reserve.The generating plant operates on a 7-hectare lot in Barangay Tulat here.
It employs 100 personnel.“We use 330 metric tons of rice husks every day to power the plant,” Alfonso said.“The plant is clean as it is equipped with a facility that limits harmful emissions way below the limit set by the government,” he said.He said rice millers buy and mill palay not only from parts of Nueva Ecija but also from Isabela, Pangasinan and the Ilocos provinces. This leaves enough supply of husks for the plant.
“That’s why we are putting up another plant with the same output of 12-MW electric power,” Alfonso said.Husks are agricultural wastes, which the corporation now buys from member-rice millers at P1 a kilogram.In a project brief, SJC iPower said the power project was inspired by the study, “Enhancing the Energy Self Sufficiency of Rice Mills in the Philippines,” commissioned by the European Community-Association of Southeast Asian Nations Energy Facility and undertaken by the Philippine Rice Research Institute and Full Advantage Phils. International Inc.Co contributed P1 billion for the project. He was elected chair of the board while Leonardo Dayao serves as president.The plant was completed in October 2014. It underwent four months of testing and fine-tuning.Energy officials said the rice hull-powered plant here is the first biomass power project in the country to be launched after the feed in-tariff rates were approved on July 27, 2012. Anselmo Roque, Inquirer Central Luzon

Rice milling industry in dire straits

Many units being closed down due to increased cost of production

Description: Description: district has earned the distinction of having the highest number of rice mills in the State and has done a roaring business for many years. But all is not well now. Many rice mills are being closed down due to increased cost of production.The rice milling industry has been facing severe hardships since several years due to CMR (custom milled rice) paddy. The millers have been getting Rs. 15 per quintal of raw rice and Rs. 25 per quintal of boiled rice, the price that was fixed 20 years ago. The rates are now totally uneconomical due to which the millers are facing financial crisis, said Annamaneni Sudhakar Rao, director, Karimnagar district Rice Millers’ Association.Stating that the rice millers were incurring a loss of Rs. 140 per quintal of paddy for raw rice, he urged the government to increase the price to Rs. 170 per quintal for boiled rice and Rs. 80 for raw rice so as to make the industry viable and provide employment to rural masses.
 He pointed out that the rice millers were forced to shut down their units as they were unable to clear power bills of Rs. 1 lakh per month. Gopal Rao, a rice miller, said that he had invested Rs. 4 crore for setting up of parboiled rice mill a few years ago. “But now, I am ready to sell my mill for Rs. 2 crore as I have to clear bank loan and avoid incurring further loss due to crisis in the sector,” he said. The millers also complained that the yield from paddy was less because of the high moisture content and other factors.Naveen Rao of Rangineni Rice Industry said the industry would survive only if the government creates an open market and allows them to purchase paddy from farmers directly. Mr. Rao said that the millers in the State were forced to purchase paddy at Rs. 1,400 per quintal whereas it was Rs. 1,200 per quintal in the neighbouring States.

FOOD FOR THOUGHT: Arsenic in rice is a big risk

Consumer Reports” Food Safety and Sustainability Center tested 128 samples of basmati, jasmine and sushi rice. The data was analyzed with the 2012 Consumer Reports’ tests and FDA data; this provided 697 samples of rice. Results indicated that different levels of arsenic were found depending on where the rice was grown.
White basmati rice from California, India and Pakistan as well as sushi rice from the United states had approximately half of the inorganic arsenic found in other types of rice, while all types of rice from Arkansas, Louisiana,Texas, as well as rice labelled simply as “grown in the U.S.” had the highest levels.Brown rice, while more nutritious, has 80 percent more arsenic on average than white rice of the same type from the same location. This is because arsenic tends to accumulate in the outer layer of bran, which is removed in the manufacture of white rice.Based on these findings, if an individual is consuming rice with the lowest amount of arsenic and this is the only rice product one consumes, Consumer Reports recommended weekly maximum consumption are 4 1/2 servings (approximately 1 1/8 cup uncooked rice) for adults and 2 3/4 servings (approximately 2/3 cup uncooked rice) for children.

Other types of grains also can contain arsenic but in lower levels than rice. Consumer Reports studied 114 other types of grains and found that bulgur, barley and faro have very little arsenic. Gluten-free grains like buckwheat, millet and amaranth, as well as corn-based grains such as polenta and grits, had negligible amounts of arsenic, which makes them better alternatives than rice-based products for the gluten-sensitive population. Quinoa, had varying levels of arsenic, on average comparable to the other grains; however some samples showed quite a bit more arsenic, although the higher samples were still lower than rice.Preparation and cooking of rice also can help minimize the arsenic content.

 Research shows that it can remove approximately 30 percent of rice’s inorganic arsenic content. Make sure to wash rice before cooking, filling a bowl with water and rice or scrubbing the rice in a colander while running water through the rice. Cook rice in plenty of water — 1 cup of rice to 6 cups of water — and strain the rice like you would pasta, when the rice is cooked.Rice is a perfect example of how the world of food has changed. Not only have we contaminated the Earth but we also rely on far too many processed foods that seem to be healthy. However, when we change a whole food by processing it, there can be unintended consequences. Then we allow big food companies that manufacture these products to educate us about nutrition through their marketing schemes.

As consumers we must be aware of all processed foods and minimize their use. We must also educate ourselves and understand that we cannot rely on the government or the media to protect our best interests. As the consumers, we have to use the power of our spending dollars to affect change. Whether it be purchasing specific types rice, buying whole foods for your family, choosing organics or supporting companies opposed to GMOs, this is how we are going to change the face of food in America.Grosse Ile resident Theresa Edmunds is a certified health counselor who works with individuals to create health through natural living principles. Contact her at Information in this column should not be considered medical advice.

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9thMarch ,2015 Daily Global Rice E_Newsletter by Riceplus Magazine

How he built a biryani empire


Y. Aasife Ahmed, managing director of Aasife Biryani. Photo: M. Vedhan
The Hindu
Y. Aasife Ahmed, managing director of Aasife Biryani. Photo: M. Vedhan

From a pushcart to a chain of plush restaurants…the author gets a whiff of Y. Aasife Ahmed’s success

Y. Aasife Ahmed was not much for bookish learning. “I knew what I was passionate about, and I set about pursuing my dream,” he says. And so at 18, he apprenticed with a biryani cook and later started his own wedding catering business.
Even then, he had his eye set on something much bigger, something he hardly dared to dream of, but he set about working towards it anyway.
What started with five kg of biryani on a thallu vandi (pushcart) on Butt Road in St. Thomas Mount 15 years ago has now grown to 500 kg of biryani per day, served out of four Aasife Biryani Centre outlets all around the city, the latest one being on Anna Salai.
“From the pushcart we moved to a hole-in-the-wall. We still serve take away from that shop. We then expanded across the road,” says Aasife, seated in the well-appointed lobby of the Alandur branch one evening.
I tell him I have fond memories of cycling down the road on my pink Ladybird to pick up biryani and kothu barotta for lunch.
His face lights up as he says, “You must have seen me there then; I was always behind the counter! It is good to meet old customers. In fact, there is one person who has been a regular from the beginning, and he still dines at our outlet frequently. It is the most satisfying feeling.”
While the shop was established as Aasife and Brothers, they have now parted ways. “My two brothers have diversified into other businesses. They do not share the same love for biryani or the potential I see here,” he shrugs, gesturing to the restaurant filled with chattering diners and customers waiting for their take-away orders.
He has hired the same architect and design firm to work on all his upcoming restaurants. They open in Kilpauk this month and in Nungambakkam the next.
But his pet project is the one on OMR. The 39-year-old’s soft-spoken and calm demeanour is replaced by a palpable excitement when he talks about it: “We have five floors, each with a different concept. The kitchen will take up an entire floor, and another will have a floating restaurant. There will also be a large play area for children. I want it to be the biggest restaurant in the country when we launch in May or June this year.”
Aasife’s mantra for both his cooking and his business is quality. “The ingredients should be of the best quality; even if one ingredient is not good, it will ruin the taste. Also, diners want to see a well-maintained restaurant. They care about the ambience, and so my staff are trained to ensure that every nook and corner is cleaned throughout the day. I am lucky to have such a great team of managers who know exactly what my expectations are and carry it out to perfection,” he says.
It is a good thing his favourite food is biryani, mutton in particular, and although he does not cook as much as he used to when he started the business, he does several taste tests a day.
“I go to the gym for an hour every morning. After that I visit the centralised kitchen in Guindy, and each of the outlets. I ask for whatever negative feedback has been received, and we set about rectifying them as quickly as possible,” he says.  
Walking around the Anna Salai branch just before opening time on a weekday afternoon, Aasife draws my attention to the wall.
“Our speciality is that we use wood fire to make our biryani. As a tribute to that, we cut up our firewood logs and incorporated that into our decor,” he says proudly, running a hand over the now varnished wood.
“Although this is the newest branch, I feel like I have arrived on the scene with this restaurant. It is just the beginning for me.”
Apart from biryani, Aasife’s other love is cars. “Right now, I drive an Elantra. I would love to get some of the best and fastest cars available,” he says with a grin. But those can wait: right now, his plan is to take over the Chennai biryani market by 2016.
He does, of course, talk of his three children — a girl and two boys — with a lot of tenderness.
“I hope that one day they will take over what I have started here. I want this to be my legacy to them. Although it is my passion, I am doing this for their future as well.”