Tuesday, March 10, 2015

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

Farm bill update: Medium grain rice and peanuts

Mar 9, 2015Bobby Coats Delta Farm Press
Editor's note: Bobby Coats is a professor, University of Arkansas Division of Agriculture
Medium grain rice
Description: http://deltafarmpress.com/site-files/deltafarmpress.com/files/uploads/2015/03/farmbilldecisions3.jpgA number of questions have been asked about medium grain rice ARC/PLC program participation. The presentation at the following link provides some perspective on this issue.This article builds on our previous article where we looked at a simple comparison of expected PLC and ARC-CO payments for long grain rice, soybeans, corn, and wheat. The accompanying tables to the presentation below provide real perspective on possible PLC (SCO – Not Included) and ARC payments by county and years 2014-2018. Note the probabilities.I will restate: If one (for any number of reasons) is simply not going to use a farm bill decision aid and wants to gain an increased understanding of their farm by farm and crop by crop options, this discussion may provide some insight into ARC-CO and PLC (SCO-Not Included) program options.

One option is to use the Texas A&M and Missouri FAPRI ARC/PLC Evaluator for Generic Base Module or Decision Tool.This tool compares expected PLC and ARC-CO payments (the average payment across many possible future realizations of prices and yields) for a county of your choice. In the calculations, they use two key assumptions.• First, they assume that you would have a PLC Payment Yield equal to the default value assigned by FSA in the absence of a yield history.
• Second, they assume expected prices equal to the latest FAPRI projections.The output reflects only expected payments for PLC and ARC-CO. It should be noted, that choosing ARC-CO precludes one from purchasing the crop insurance Supplemental Coverage Option (SCO). Expected net SCO indemnities are not reflected in the output.Dr. Nathan Smith, Department of Agricultural and Applied Economics, University of Georgia, did an excellent job of discussing the 2014 farm bill peanut program and peanut outlook in our webinar. He is recognized domestically and globally as a leading authority on economic, policy and farm bill issues related to peanuts.

More Rice, Fewer Farms

by Rick Fahr  on Monday, Mar. 9, 2015 12:00 am  

Description: http://assets.inarkansas.com/59838/arkansas-ag-business-march-2015-rice-field-968.jpgEconomies of scale continue to play a huge role in Arkansas agriculture.Farmers increasingly look to expand the scope of their operations by purchasing ground, entering into traditional rental agreements with landowners or forging managerial relationships.However the method, the result is that fewer farmers are farming more acres today than a generation ago.According to a U.S. Department of Agriculture report, the number of rice farms in the nation dropped by 46 percent from 1992 to 2007. At the same time, overall rice acreage fell only 12 percent.Average acres of rice per farm grew from 278 to 453, an increase of 63 percent.
The number of farms featuring at least 1,000 acres of rice more than doubled in that period, to 616 from 292. Smaller-size rice farms shrank significantly.
Why?
Operating costs for rice farms are much higher than for most other row crops. The USDA report indicated that from 2005-2009, typical operating costs per acre for rice totaled $415.11, compared to $242.81 for corn and $109.74 for soybeans. Cotton costs were the most similar to rice, $402.04 per acre.Of course, the value of the resulting crop plays a role in why rice is as popular as it is.The average gross value of each rice acre’s production was $846.33 in 2005-2009, compared to $454.36 for corn, $352.71 for soybeans and $477.88 for cotton.By extension, rice was almost twice as profitable per acre as any other row crop.That profitability and expanding scope have their own costs, though. A typical rice farm has hard assets of nearly $2.5 million — equipment, irrigation equipment, etc. By comparison, an all-soybean farm would require less than $1 million in assets.



NFA approves Vietnam, Thailand rice deals

Reuters
Posted at 03/09/2015 12:34 PM
MANILA - The Philippines' state grains procurement agency awarded rice supply deals for up to 500,000 tonnes to the world's top rice exporters, Vietnam and Thailand, and said it would not rule out importing more this year.Officials of the National Food Authority (NFA), however, have yet to discuss any new plan for imports, a spokesman told Reuters on Monday, after announcing the council's approval of the government-to-government deals with Vietnam and Thailand."There are no discussions yet" in the NFA Council on any additional purchases, the spokesman said.
Vietnam will deliver 300,000 tonnes while Thailand will ship 200,000 tonnes before May to build up state stockpiles ahead of the lean harvest season which begins in July. The deals followed an auction held on Feb. 27.The Philippines remains one of the world's biggest rice buyers despite record-high domestic harvests in recent years, including last year's.The Southeast Asian nation imported around 1.7 million tonnes last year, the biggest amount in four years, as local supplies run low, pushing food price inflation to the highest in more than five years.
Unlike last year, however, there is little pressure now for the NFA to rush purchases as the country's rice inventory stood at more 2.35 million tonnes as of last month, up 17.3 percent from a year earlier, data from the Philippine Statistics Authority show.The agency is also looking to buy as much as 189,845 tonnes of paddy rice from local farmers from January to June this year, the highest volume since 2010, when first-half purchases totalled 230,965 tonnes.The government expects the country's paddy rice output in the first half to rise 2 percent from a year earlier to 8.55 million tonnes.

Vietnam, Thailand tapped to supply rice



NEIGHBORS Vietnam and Thailand have bagged contracts to supply a total of 500,000 metric tons (MT) of rice to boost the Philippines’ buffer stock in time for this year’s lean months, an official from the National Food Authority (NFA) said yesterday.


“The NFA council approved the award in a special meeting last Tuesday. Notices of award were sent last Wednesday,” NFA Administrator Renan B. Dalisay said in a phone interview.The council earlier agreed on the importation of 250,000 MT of 25% broken, well-milled long grain white rice and another 250,000 MT of the 15% broken variety. The auction was held last Feb. 27.

Mr. Dalisay said Vietnam won the contract to supply 300,000 MT, involving 150,000 MT each of the 15% and 25% broken varieties.Thailand will deliver the remaining 200,000 MT to cover the balance of each rice variety.“Both offers of Vietnam and Thailand are below the reference or world market prices,” Mr. Dalisay said.Auction reference prices for the 15% and 25% broken rice varieties were set at $442.94 per MT and $425.85/MT, respectively.Vietnam, whose original bid was $442.5/MT, matched Thailand’s $441/MT offer for the 15% broken variety. With an original offer of $424.50/MT, Vietnam likewise matched Thailand’s $421-million/MT bid for the 25% broken rice.

Half of the volume awarded will be delivered by the end of this month, Mr. Dalisay said, adding that the balance will be due for importation by the end of April.Rice stocks from the two countries will ensure buffer stocks for the three-month lean season that starts in July, the NFA administrator said.He added that there are no plans yet for a new round of rice importation, saying: “the NFA Council will decide on the matter” but no meeting has been scheduled for this discussion.Existing bilateral rice agreements allow the Philippines to import stocks from Thailand, Vietnam and Cambodia through government-to-government procurement mode. Cambodia did not participate in the last auction.

Mr. Dalisay said last month that the government imported last year around 1.5 million MT of rice, equivalent to 8% of 2014’s total domestic output. Last year’s palay production hit 18.97 million MT, up 2.87% from 18.44 million MT in 2013 amid increased harvest due to utilization of high yielding variety seeds, more fertilizer usage and favorable weather conditions.


1ST QUARTER OUTLOOK CUT

An official update released yesterday showed that the Philippine Statistics Authority-Bureau of Agricultural Statistics (PSA-BAS) has cut its palay and corn output projections for this quarter due to a contraction of harvest area; a drop in yield due to the impact of storms Seniang and Amang that affected southern Luzon and the Visayas in December last year and January, respectively; “intense heat”; insufficient water supply; pests and diseases; and damage from strong winds in some provinces.Updated PSA-BAS estimates, as of Feb. 1, cut palay output projection for this quarter by 2.8% to 4.46 million MT from 4.59 million MT seen in January.

The latest estimate, however, is still 3.6% more than the 4.31 million MT actually harvested in 2014’s first quarter.For corn, first-quarter output is now seen at 2.43 million MT, 0.6% below the earlier forecast of 2.44 million MT but still 6.6% above the 2.28 million MT actually harvested in 2014’s comparable three months.The NFA Council makes import recommendations to the President, who then makes the final decision. The NFA was transferred to the Office of the President from the Department of Agriculture under Executive Order No. 65 last year.

Besides Mr. Dalisay, the council consists of Food Security Sec. Francis N. Pangilinan; Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas Governor Amando M. Tetangco, Jr.; Development Bank of the Philippines Chairman Jose A. Nunez Jr.; Land Bank of the Philippines President Gilda E. Pico; Secretaries Cesar V. Purisima (Finance); Gregory L. Domingo (Trade) Proceso J. Alcala (Agriculture) and Arsenio M. Balisacan (National Economic and Development Authority); as well as farmer sector representative Edwin Y. Paraluman and Board Secretary Ofelia Cortez-Reyes. -- Claire-Ann Marie C. Feliciano



Fall in rice output tests Jokowi’s food vision 

Satria Sambijantoro, The Jakarta Post, Jakarta | Headlines | Tue, March 03 2015, 5:45 AM
Description: http://www.thejakartapost.com/files/images2/p1BPS.img_assist_custom-560x493.jpg
Headlines News
Farmers reported declining rice production throughout last year, indicating a challenging test for President Joko “Jokowi” Widodo’s goal to secure the domestic rice supply without imports.The Central Statistics Agency (BPS) reported on Monday that total output estimates, harvest area and farmers’ productivity in the rice sector all declined in 2014 from the previous year.Latest BPS data show that total rice-production estimates declined 450,000 tons year-on-year to 70.8 million tons in 2014, a sharp turnaround from a 2.2 million ton increase posted the previous year.The declining rice production last year was due mostly to seasonal factors such as bad weather, BPS deputy head for statistics Sasmito Hadi Wibowo told a press briefing. 

Whether the new government could achieve its future goal to secure food supply without imports, Sasmito said, would depend on whether it could realize the farming infrastructure projects planned for this year.The Jokowi administration has vowed to improve farming infrastructure as the President seeks to strengthen domestic food supply to make the nation less reliant on imports. His plan includes an ambitious project to build 49 new dams over five years to improve irrigation for local farmers.Total output of rice, the main staple food for Indonesia’s citizens, is targeted by Jokowi to rise to 82 million tons by the end of 2019, up more than 15 percent or by 11.2 million tons from the current level.In the corresponding period, corn production is expected to hit 23.4 million tons from the current rate of 19 million tons, while soybean production is hoped to reach 1 million from 953,000 tons.Coordinating Economic Minister Sofyan Djalil said Monday that he was still optimistic about the food sovereignty goal, citing the government’s planned support to local farmers in order to boost their productivity. 

“We plan the involvement of the TNI [the Indonesian Military] and its Babinsa unit [non-commissioned officers assigned to villages] to safeguard the distribution of seeds and fertilizers and to help local farmers,” he said at his Jakarta office.“There will be a systematic effort to boost rice production.”In its efforts to bolster the domestic food supply, the new government is hampered not only by declining rice output, but also by the prevalence of traders illicitly manipulating rice prices in the market.This year, rice prices in certain areas of Indonesia have already surged more than 30 percent, with Trade Minister Rachmat Gobel blaming the issue on a “rice mafia” looking to push the government to open stalled imports.On Monday, the BPS revealed a finding that justified suspicions that unscrupulous traders were hoarding rice stockpiles to benefit from higher prices.
Despite the increase in rice prices in the market, the price of unhusked rice(gabah) produced by local farmers fell to Rp 4,922 (0.37 US cents) per kilogram in February from Rp 5,357 per kg a month earlier, the statistics agency reported.“Some traders are reaping huge profits here, as they manage to buy rice at low prices from farmers and sell it at high prices,” said the BPS’ Sasmito. He argued that the government’s decision not to import rice was the correct move, as an influx of imports would only serve to push down the value of unhusked rice sold by local farmers, eventually affecting their welfare and purchasing power.

http://www.thejakartapost.com/news/2015/03/03/fall-rice-output-tests-jokowi-s-food-vision.html#sthash.BiX4JEKn.dpuf

 

Delta farmers hope for hybrid rice gain
Farmers in the Cuu Long (Mekong) Delta who are set to harvest F1 hybrid rice seeds and a rice crop grown using the seeds this winter-spring hope to have very good yields.



In Can Tho city's Co Do District, farmers expect the yield to be four tonnes of seeds per hectare, higher than before.Nguyen Van O, who is growing F1 hybrid-rice seeds on 1.5ha in Co Do, said, "I have grown hybrid rice seeds for 14 crops. "Thanks to the advice of agricultural officials from the Southern Seed Joint Stock Company (SSC), my skills at planting F1 hybrid rice seeds have improved."Together with the winter-spring crop, farmers in Co Do are growing seeds on 85ha, including varieties like Bac Uu 903 KBL, Nam Uu 603, and HR 182.Description: hybrid riceAlmost half the area is part of a Government agriculture extension programme to develop F1 hybrid seeds to expand the rate of domestically-grown seeds.

The programme, being implemented in 2014-16, has been carried out in the mountainous northern region, Hong (Red) Delta, north-central, south-central and Tay Nguyen (Central Highlands) regions, and the Mekong Delta.For it, the SSC has chosen Can Tho city and Hau Giang, Dak Lak, and Quang Nam provinces to grow six varieties of F1 hybrid seeds on 240ha.It buys all the hybrid seeds for farmers.Pham Van Hanh, a farmer in Co Do District who has grown F1 seeds the last six seasons, said growing hybrid seeds needed a lot of labour and costed around VND30 million (US$1,400) per hectare.The seeds fetched VND20,000 a kilogramme and farmers could earn a profit of VND50 million ($2,380) per hectare from a crop, he said.

Nguyen Hoang Tuan, deputy general director of the SSC, said the main factor for success was that farmers had been trained to grow these seeds. So the rice plants grew well, had less diseases and yielded many seeds, he said.Around 300 tonnes of hybrid seeds grown under the programme in winter-spring will be sold at 14 per cent lower than the cost of imported seeds, according to the SSC.In Viet Nam hybrid rice strains are grown on around 700,000ha a year, or 10 per cent of the total area under the crop.Domestically produced F1 seeds meet only a third of the demand and the country has to import 11,000-12,000 tonnes every year.

New varieties

Farmer Tran Van Chin, who has planted KC06-1 hybrid rice for the first time in Long An Province's Tan Lap District, said he would harvest his crop next week, and estimates a yield of 10 tonnes per hectare.The variety grew well and was resistant to rice blast disease, a common disease in the Mekong Delta, he said.KC06 hybrid rice varieties were created by SSC and include KC06-1, KC06-2, and KC06-3.Tran Quang Giau, head of the Kien Giang Province Department of Plant Protection, said during winter-spring the weather was cold and there was often fog, creating conducive conditions for rice blast disease.
Non-hybrids required more pesticides to prevent diseases while KC06 varieties did not need pesticides, he said.Besides, hybrids grew well even in acidic soil and could thus be planted in the Long Xuyen Quadrangle and Ca Mau Peninsula, he said.Prof Bui Thi Tram, a hybrid-rice scientist, said KC06 varieties were resistant to diseases, salinity, and acidic soil.They had great potential in the context of the increasing effects of climate change on agriculture, especially in the Mekong Delta, she said
VNS

Tags:hybrid rice

National scene: Ministry to revamp rice-for-poor program

The Jakarta Post, Pekanbaru | National | Mon, March 09 2015, 6:09 AM

The Social Affairs Ministry has unveiled plans to improve the national rice for the poor (raskin) program in an effort to overcome rice shortages.Social Affairs Minister Khofifah Indar Parawansa said the plan was also aimed at curbing graft.“The Corruption Eradication Commission [KPK] has requested that the raskin program be redesigned,” Khofifah said on Saturday.Khofifah said that the ministry had enlisted several other government institutions, including the State Logistics Agency (Bulog) in the restructuring program.

The plan was to start the restructuring program without affecting food sufficiency.A number of regions have experienced rice shortages over the past several weeks. Last month, the ministry appealed to Bulog to immediately distribute rice to the poor.“Based on instructions issued by Vice President Jusuf Kalla, Bulog should immediately distribute rice to the poor,” Khofifah said on Feb. 24



Rice Production Up in State


By Express News Service
Published: 09th March 2015 06:06 AM
Last Updated: 09th March 2015 06:06 AM

KOCHI: There has been an increase in the state’s rice production in autumn (July-Oct) season due to increased use of areas that were lying unutilised or underutilised in the previous years.According to the latest data, the total production of rice showed an increase of 20,232 tonnes or 14.32 per cent to 161,476 tonnes in 2014-15, compared to previous year’s 141,234 tonnes.
Last year’s increase in production figures comes after a decline of 12.32 per cent in 2013-14 compared to 2012-13, when the production stood at 161,083 tonnes. 2014-15’s figures are also higher than the production in 2012-13. The area of cultivation increased from 51923 hectares in 2013-14 to 63981 hectares in 2014-15, as per the Directorate of Economics and Statistics.Paddy is cultivated in three seasons in Kerala with winter (Nov-Feb) season (50.5 per cent of total production) accounting for the biggest in terms of production and least in summer (Mar-Jun) season (23 per cent).
Palakkad district occupies number one position in production in autumn and winter seasons and Alappuzha district occupies number one position in summer season. Alappuzha, Kannur and Kasargod districts are in the next positions in autumn season, where as Thrissur, Alappuzha, Wayanad and Kottayam occupy the next positions in winter season and Thrissur, Kottayan and Palakkad comes next in summer season.
In the last autumn season, Palakkad, the highest producing district in autumn season, showed a decline in production to 95,178 tonnes from 97,030 tonnes, though there was an increase in area of cultivation from 35561 hectares to 37371 hectare in 2014-15.Alappuzha, considered the ‘rice bowl of Kerala’, showed a steep increase in production from 20,589 tonnes to 28,432 tonnes as the area of cultivation increased to 11,073 hectares from 6339 hectare, a growth of 74 per cent.Kottayam also showed a sharp increase in production in 2014-15-from 2,834 tonnes to 14,354 tonnes as the area of cultivation rose from 1106 hectares to 5059 hectares.The area under rice has been declining consistently over the last several years. After a long period of continuous decline, area under rice increased from 2.29 lakh ha in 2007-08 to 2.34 lakh ha in 2008-09 but it sharply declined by 20828 ha in 2010-11 period over to the previous year, according to the government.
A rich harvest
■ Palakkad district occupies number one position in production in autumn and winter seasons and Alappuzha district occupies number one position in summer season.
■ There has been a rise in the production due to increased use of areas that were lying unutilised in the previous years.
■ The total production of rice shows an increase of 20,232 tonnes or 14.32 per cent to 161,476 tonnes in 2014-15, compared to previous year’s 141,234 tonnes.


NFA approves Vietnam, Thailand rice deals

Reuters
Posted at 03/09/2015 12:34 PM
MANILA - The Philippines' state grains procurement agency awarded rice supply deals for up to 500,000 tonnes to the world's top rice exporters, Vietnam and Thailand, and said it would not rule out importing more this year.Officials of the National Food Authority (NFA), however, have yet to discuss any new plan for imports, a spokesman told Reuters on Monday, after announcing the council's approval of the government-to-government deals with Vietnam and Thailand."There are no discussions yet" in the NFA Council on any additional purchases, the spokesman said.Vietnam will deliver 300,000 tonnes while Thailand will ship 200,000 tonnes before May to build up state stockpiles ahead of the lean harvest season which begins in July.
The deals followed an auction held on Feb. 27.The Philippines remains one of the world's biggest rice buyers despite record-high domestic harvests in recent years, including last year's.The Southeast Asian nation imported around 1.7 million tonnes last year, the biggest amount in four years, as local supplies run low, pushing food price inflation to the highest in more than five years.Unlike last year, however, there is little pressure now for the NFA to rush purchases as the country's rice inventory stood at more 2.35 million tonnes as of last month, up 17.3 percent from a year earlier, data from the Philippine Statistics Authority show.
The agency is also looking to buy as much as 189,845 tonnes of paddy rice from local farmers from January to June this year, the highest volume since 2010, when first-half purchases totalled 230,965 tonnes.The government expects the country's paddy rice output in the first half to rise 2 percent from a year earlier to 8.55 million tonnes


Investors eye Myanmar's rich potential for rice growing

Petchanet Pratruangkrai
The Nation
Publication Date : 09-02-2015

Myanmar may go back to being one of the world's major rice exporters in five to 10 years, as many Thai and foreign investors are looking to expand in rice mills and farms in the country.Thai traders and experts all believe that Myanmar has great potential to become a major rice producer in the near future because it has plenty of land with good quality soil for raising rice, abundant water and a strategic location for distributing rice.Vichai Sriprasert, honorary president of the Thai Rice Exporters Association, said last week that some rice millers and exporters have started exploring Myanmar to establish mills and parboiled rice processing plants after realising the country's potential to produce large quantities of the commodity for export.

"Thai investors are studying Myanmar's investment laws and regulations. Once all issues are clarified, they can start investing in a few years," he said.Most investors are considering setting up large-scale rice mills to make their investment worthwhile. To build a large mill that processes up to 500 tonnes of rice a year, an investment of up to 300 million baht is required, not including the cost of land.The areas that Thai rice traders are eyeing are around Yangon and in rice-growing areas along major rivers in Myanmar, such as the Ayeyarwaddy River and Bago, which flows through the central region, the Thanlwin or Salween River, which connects to Thailand, and the Sittaung River, which lies in the east-central part of the country.

Besides the existing rice growing areas, 40 million to 50 million rai of land in the country could be developed and promoted for growing rice.Other foreign investors that are also keen on investing in the farming industry, including rice, come from mainland China, Japan and Korea, and from the Middle East.Myanmar used to be the world's largest rice supplier before the 1980s. However, after the military government closed the country, local farmers shunned rice, as the returns became less attractive.However, to invest in rice or other farming businesses, Thai companies need to form a joint venture with local operators, as local farming businesses are restricted to only Myanmar citizens.Chareon Laothammatas, president of the association, said that with the food security policy of many foreign governments, many rice importing countries are looking to expand to developing countries including Myanmar and other countries in Asean.

According to the US Department of Agriculture, Myanmar is projected to export 1.3 million-1.5 million tonnes of rice this year, up from about 1.3 million tonnes last year.In 2014-15, rice production in Myanmar is forecast to increase by 1 per cent to 12.16 million tonnes in anticipation of continued expansion of the growing area.The construction of eight dams, which were targeted to be completed last year, and the renovation of drainage canals in flood zones and deep-water areas in the Ayeyarwaddy region, are likely to increase the planting acreage for dry season rice.Aat Pisanwanich, director of the Centre for International Trade Studies, said Myanmar is one of the high-potential countries that have attracted the interest of many Thai investors and rice is one of the potential businesses.

Rice production in Myanmar is cheaper than in Thailand, while Myanmar has many positive factors including plenty of space, water supply and a location to support rice growing and exporting.The study found the cost of rice production in Myanmar is about 7,122 baht per rai, and could be lower after state dams are built and operating.The centre's study also forecast that Thailand would lose a total of 87.5 billion baht (or 8.7 billion baht per year) in rice exports to 2022 if a serious effort is not made to develop the industry. The Thai share of the world market is tipped to drop to 2.3 per cent from 2.5 per cent last year.The lost market share will go to neighbouring countries - Vietnam and Myanmar.

Thailand's market share in Asia would slump from 1.3 per cent in 2013 to just 0.3 per cent in 10 years because other rice-exporting nations - mainly Vietnam, Cambodia and Myanmar - will play a more significant role in supplying the continental market.


Rice exports to plunge as Thailand offloads grain from its stockpiles

Reuters Mar 2, 2015, 12.15PM IST
Description: http://articles.economictimes.indiatimes.com/images/pixel.gif
Description: http://articles.economictimes.indiatimes.com/images/pixel.gif
("The Thai govt's efforts…)
Description: http://economictimes.indiatimes.com/photo/46427682.cmsMUMBAI/BANGKOK: India's rice exports will struggle to compete with cheaper cargoes from No.1 seller Thailand in 2015 as Bangkok looks to offload grain from its huge state stockpiles, industry officials and traders said.B.V. Krishna Rao, managing director of leading Indian rice shipper Pattabhi Agro Foods Pvt Ltd, said the country's exports could plunge by a fifth this year to 8 million tonnes, with some other industry officials in the country making similar warnings.Lower exports will leave more rice in Indian hands, piling pressure on already-bulging storage and raising the spectre of grain getting damaged in temporary silos.

But competition among the world's top two exporters will drag further on prices that have fallen 5 percent since the start of October. That's good news for African nations like Nigeria and Senegal that are typically major buyers of Asian rice."The Thai government's efforts to sell rice from its own warehouses has been putting pressure on global prices and limiting Indian exports," said Rao.Thailand will open a tender to sell around 1 million tonnes of rice in March, as it tries to shift over 17 million tonnes of rice built up under a controversial subsidy scheme.

It aims to sell 10 million tonnes in 2015 and 7 million next year.Indian exporters can compete with private Thai traders, but not with the government as it can cut prices to generate demand for old stock, said M. Adishankar, executive director at Sri Lalitha, a major rice exporter in southern India.In the latest tender, Thailand sold 5-percent broken rice from old stocks for $236 to $378 per tonne, although the market price for new crops was around $415. India has recently offered the same grade at around $400.

"The government's rice is old and has been stored for a long time so its value depreciates accordingly ... there is always a price gap between new rice and old rice," said an official at the Thai Rice Exporters Association, who declined to be identified.India, which lost the top rice exporter spot in 2014, could see its shipments of non-basmati or common grade rice fall by nearly a quarter to 5 million tonnes in 2015, while exports of aromatic basmati could drop over 14 percent to 3 million tonnes, Rao said.Basmati sales have also been hit after top buyer Iran suspended imports late last year to support local farmers, although one exporter expected shipments to restart in April.Rice inventories at India's state-run agencies had jumped to around 25 million tonnes by Feb. 1, nearly double the targeted level, government data shows.

Over 7,000 tons of rice distributed to provinces




17:12 | 06/03/2015

Description: http://dangcongsan.vn/cpv/Upload/NewsFolder/2015/3/10/060315_gao%20cuu%20doi.jpgThe Prime Minister has decided to take food from the national reserves for localities in between crop harvests.Under the decision, the Prime Minister assigned the Ministry of Finance to take 6,930 tons of rice to assist 9 provinces, including Quang Ngai (1,371 tons), Ninh Binh (265 tons), Ha Nam (1,284 tons), Kon Tum (279 tons), Quang Tri (668 tons), Lai Chau (847 tons), Ninh Thuan (523 tons), Quang Binh (1,219 tons) and Gia Lai (over 475 tons).In his decision, the Prime Minister also asked the provincial People’s Committees to receive and wisely use the allocated rice.In early 2015, the Prime Minister directed the distribution of rice to the provinces of Quang Tri, Lao Cai, Nghe An, Tuyen Quang, Binh Dinh Quang Ngai, Yen Bai, Ninh Binh, Cao Bang, Dak Lak, Ha Nam, Kon Tum, Gia Lai, Ninh Thuan, Quang Binh, Phu Yen and Thanh Hoa./.
Photo for illustration (Source: vtv.vn)


APEDA News




Market Watch
Commodity-wise, Market-wise Daily Price on 07-03-2015
Domestic Prices
Unit Price : Rs/Qtl
Product
Market Center
Variety
Min Price
Max Price
Rice
1
Cachar (Assam)
Other
2000
2500
2
Deogarh (Orissa)
Other
2000
3000
3
Mannar (Kerala)
Other
3500
3700
Wheat
1
Amirgadh (Gujarat)
Other
1675
1675
2
Manvi (Karnataka)
Other
1550
1560
3
Cherthala(Kerala)
Other
3200
3400
Apple
1
Karanjia (Orissa)
Other
4000
4500
2
Banga(Punjab)
Other
3200
3562
3
Ramnagar(Uttrakhand)
Other
3000
5000
Brinjal
1
Cherthala (Kerala)
Other
1500
2000
2
Banki (Orissa)
Other
1400
1600
3
Dhekiajuli(Assam)
Other
700
800
Source: agmarknet
Egg
Rs per 100 No.
Price on 07-03-2015
Product
Market Center
Price
1
Ahmedabad
285
2
Ajmer
255
3
Chittoor
288
Source: e2necc.com
International Benchmark Price
Price on: 06-03-2015
Product
Benchmark Indicators Name
Price
Apricots
1
Turkish No. 2 whole pitted, CIF UK (USD/t)
6125
2
Turkish No. 4 whole pitted, CIF UK (USD/t)
4875
3
Turkish size 8, CIF UK (USD/t)
3625
Raisins
1
Californian Thompson seedless raisins, CIF UK (USD/t)
2591
2
South African Thompson seedless raisins, CIF UK (USD/t)
2298
White Sugar
1
Kenya Mumias white sugar, EXW (USD/t)
879
2
Pakistani refined sugar, EXW Akbari Mandi (USD/t)
483
3
Thai, FOB (USD/t)
425
Source:agra-net
Other International Prices
Unit Price : US$ / package
Price on 06-03-2015
Product
Market Center
Origin
Variety
Low
High
Onions Dry
Package: 50 lb sacks
1
Atlanta
Mexico
Yellow
14
14.50
2
Baltimore
New York
Yellow 
10
11
3
Chicago
Nevada
Yellow
10
10.50
Cauliflower
Package: cartons film wrapped
1
Atlanta
Mexico
White 
17
17.50
2
Detroit
California
White 
33
34
3
Miami
Mexico
White
19
20
Grapes
Package: 18 lb containers bagged
1
Atlanta
Chile 
Black Seedless   





Market Watch
Commodity-wise, Market-wise Daily Price on 09-03-2015
Domestic Prices
Unit Price : Rs/Qtl
Product
Market Center
Variety
Min Price
Max Price
Maize
1
Amreli (Gujarat)
Other
1220
1515
2
Koraput (Orissa)
Other
1310
1330
3
Saharsa (Bihar)
Other
1310
1600
Paddy(Dhan)
1
Borsad (Gujarat)
Other
1225
1350
2
Bonai (Orissa)
Other
1360
1400
3
Kota(Rajasthan)
Other
1257
2101
Grapes
1
Aroor (Kerala)
Other
3000
3500
2
Abohar(Punjab)
Other
3500
6000
3
Ateli(Haryana)
Other
4500
4500
Carrot
1
Aroor (Kerala)
Other
3600
3800
2
Bonai (Orissa)
Other
1000
1500
3
Asandh(Haryana)
Other
750
800
Source: agmarknet
Egg
Rs per 100 No.
Price on 09-03-2015
Product
Market Center
Price
1
Pune
290
2
Mysore
283
3
Nagapur
252
Source: e2necc.com
International Benchmark Price
Price on: 09-03-2015
Product
Benchmark Indicators Name
Price
Garlic
1
Chinese first grade granules, CFR NW Europe (USD/t)
1800
2
Chinese Grade A dehydrated flakes, CFR NW Europe (USD/t)
2000
3
Chinese powdered, CFR NW Europe (USD/t)
1300
Ginger
1
Chinese sliced, CIF NW Europe (USD/t)
4600
2
Chinese whole, CIF NW Europe (USD/t)
5100
3
Indian Cochin, CIF NW Europe (USD/t)
3000
Guar Gum Powder
1
Indian 100 mesh 3500 cps, FOB Kandla (USD/t)
2350
2
Indian 200 mesh 3500 cps basis, FOB Kandla (USD/t)
1800
3
Indian 200 mesh 5500 cps basis, FOB Kandla (USD/t)
3101
Source:agra-net
Other International Prices
Unit Price : US$ / package
Price on 09-03-2015
Product
Market Center
Origin
Variety
Low
High
Potatoes
Package: 50 lb cartons
1
Baltimore
Colorado
Russet
18
18
2
Chicago
Idaho
Russet 
15
17
3
Detroit
Wisconsin
Russet
13
14.50
Cucumbers
Package: cartons film wrapped
1
Baltimore
Mexico
Long Seedless 
10
12
2
Detroit
Canada
Long Seedless 
8
9.50
3
Miami
Honduras
Long Seedless 
8
10
Grapefruit
Package: 4/5 bushel cartons
1
Baltimore
Florida 
Red 
18
18


King visits royal projects at Chitralada Farm
Tuesday, 10 March 2015
By  NNT
 7  0  3  0


BANGKOK, 10 March 2015 - His Majesty King Bhumibol Adulyadej on late Monday afternoon (March 9) proceeded from Siriraj Hospital to observe royal projects at Chitralad Farm in the compound of Chitralada Villa. At the Farm, His Majesty stopped at the Demonstration Rice Mill and toured around an exhibition on the use of solar energy in rice milling, put up inside the mill.

The Demonstration Rice Mill mill was established in 1971 following the royal initiative to encourage farmers to group themselves into cooperatives so that they would be strong enough to set up and run their own rice mill, instead of selling their paddy at low price to private millers. His Majesty at that time donated his own fund for the establishment of a demonstration rice mill to provide knowledge to farmers on milling techniques and appropriate ways to store various types of paddy.

His Majesty later proceeded past the Suan Dusit powder milk factory and a UHT milk production center before taking a rest at the solar-powered house built by the Defense Energy Department in honor of His Majesty the King on the Golden Jubilee of His Majesty’s Accession to the Throne in 1996.

His Majesty spent about an hour at the Chitralada Farm before returning to Siriraj Hospital at 4.43 p.m.



Chhattisgarh PDS rice scam: probe widens as police find a list with names, alleged bribes


Written by Ashutosh Bhardwaj | Raipur | Updated: March 10, 2015 9:41 am

The Chhattisgarh anti-corruption bureau (ACB), which is probing irregularities in supply of rice for the public distribution system (PDS) in the state, is scrutinising an alleged balance sheet which lists, among others, senior IAS officers and personal assistants to the food minister and chief secretary as beneficiaries of illegal commissions.The five-page balance sheet, recovered by the ACB from the office of Girish Sharma, personal assistant to Chhattisgarh State Civil Supplies Corporation managing director Anil Tuteja (Sharma has since been suspended and Tuteja removed), also has references to individuals which, it is alleged, point to Chief Minister Raman Singh’s wife, sister-in-law and personal assistant.

But the ACB says the inferences being drawn to involve the Chief Minister are not correct.Additional Director General (ACB) Mukesh Gupta told The Indian Express: “These papers have names of some officers, but their involvement is yet to be established. It’s a big seizure. Things are still emerging. We can say anything only after the investigation is over.”It is alleged that Girish Sharma — the ACB said he also owns a department store called Suvidha Mart — prepared a list of beneficiaries of illegal commissions received from millers who were allowed to mix poor quality rice and sell it to the state government for the PDS.An entry in one of Sharma’s sheets is dated December 5, 2014 and mentions a Rs 3-lakh transaction:

“Chandrakarji ne jo CM Madam ko diya tha usse Barik ko diya (What Chandrakarji gave to CM Madam was handed over to Barik)”.The food department has two employees named Chandrakar while K K Barik is the personal assistant of Raman Singh’s former personal secretary S S Bhatt, a manager at the Raipur headquarters of the civil supplies corporation. Bhatt was suspended after Rs 1.62 crore was recovered from his office by the ACB — both Bhatt and Sharma declined comment.The ACB does not agree that this entry refers to Raman Singh’s wife. ACB chief Gupta said: “CM Madam here refers to the wife of Chintamani Chandrakar, a staff in the food department.

The ACB points out that on December 5, the date mentioned in the sheet, Raman Singh’s wife Veena Singh was not even in Chhattisgarh. Critically ill, she was under treatment outside the state, the ACB said.Another entry dated November 24 mentions “Rs 2500 Mobile for Bahadur” while an undated entry shows Rs 15,000 against “Car for Bahadur”. Raman Singh’s personal assistant is Bahadur but Gupta said: “The driver of managing director Tuteja is also Bahadur. This entry refers to him.”

There is also an undated entry of Rs 3 lakh for Aishwarya Residency in Raipur. While the upscale apartment complex is where Raman Singh’s sister-in-law lives, the ACB says many families live there.Last month, the ACB recovered Rs 3.64 crore from the offices of continued…
First Published on: March 10, 20153:37 am




IT’S NOT THE SIZE, BUT HOW IT’S USED: LESSON FOR ASEAN RICE RESERVES – ANALYSIS

MARCH 9, 2015
By RSIS

ASEAN’s approach to stabilising rice markets and averting crises has focused on having sufficient rice stocks as a buffer. Insights from stabilisation in currency markets show that reserve size is not as important as the way it is used to reduce overall risk exposure.

By Jose Ma. Luis P. Montesclaros

Description: riceStabliziing ASEAN rice markets is a crucial concern for averting crises such as the 2007-08 global rice crisis. The current strategy towards this is by growing the size of rice reserves in the ASEAN-Plus-Three Emergency Ri ce Reserve (APTERR), although the APTERR has been critiqued for its small size relative to total demand and low utilisation.A look into the stabilisation policies in currency markets shows that more important than size is the way the reserves are used to incentivise actors towards behaviours that reduce risk exposure. As such, the limited reserves in APTERR can be used for encouraging behaviours such as increasing transparency/reporting, increasing partner diversification, and addressing structural imbalances in agricultural production and consumption within countries.

Current criticisms on reserve size

Rice, as a commodity, is subject to unstable market dynamics. For instance, chance events such as a drought in India’s wheat market, combined with panic reactions by both exporters and importers, triggered world rice prices to soar in 2007-08. This developed into a crisis when Thailand and Vietnam, major exporting countries, closed their export gates following India’s lead. This left rice importing countries unable to purchase the needed amounts for meeting their own demand.

Structurally, risks of the recent crisis recurring are high since the top five exporters (India, Thailand, Vietnam, the United States and Pakistan) occupy 81% of global rice trade, as reported by the International Rice Research Institute. Production shortfalls in any of the five countries are likely to cause panic. Worse still is if they engage in strategic behaviour of holding stocks to drive prices up (in fact, a rice cartel was proposed by Thailand in 2012). Lastly, countries hardly provide accurate data on how much stocks they have, making it harder to assess risk.

To address instability in the rice market, the 10 ASEAN countries plus China, Japan and South Korea developed the ASEAN-Plus-Three Emergency Rice Reserve (APTERR), a multilateral institution that holds rice reserves contributed by member countries for use during crises. The attention given in the media is often to the low amount of reserves relative to demand. ASEAN reports show that compared to an ASEAN demand of half a million tonnes of rice per day, APTERR is small as its overall size is only at 787,000 tonnes (enough to cover a day and a half of consumption). Overall recommendations for APTERR have focussed on increasing accumulation and accessibility of its reserves for crises.

Of the total reserves, 87,000 tonnes come from all 10 ASEAN countries combined while the rest are sourced from the “Plus Three” countries (Japan, Korea, China), leading to calls for increasing contributions by ASEAN countries. Relatedly, it has been critiqued for its low utilisation rate: member countries prefer to have country-to-country rice purchases because the APTERR’s mechanism poses the risk that the needed rice/funds are not delivered soon enough. For instance, it requires a time-consuming process of crisis declarations by countries in need and approvals by member countries.

How reserves should be used: It is not the size

However, the approach to rice market stabilisation through the APTERR may be insufficient from the standards of currency market stabilisation. Rice and currency markets are comparable for a few reasons: Firstly, they both deal with priced commodities, the latter being priced based on the exchange rate.The International Monetary Fund (IMF) was setup after the Second World War for the purpose of stabilising exchange rates. Similar to the APTERR, the IMF also has a system of holding reserves and releasing them for stabilisation purposes though it has committed to doing things differently, learning from the 2007-08 global financial crisis.

The IMF has moved on from issues of size and utilisation. A key insight to be learned from its practices in currency market stabilisation is its shift from crisis resolution to crisis prevention.What the IMF will be doing differently is its use of reserves to influence countries towards reducing risk, by tailoring the criteria for accessing reserves. Firstly, data adequacy is a key criterion for which country receives funds, and how much of it a country can tap. Next, these criteria also include behavioural adjustments which would reduce structural instabilities in the countries concerned, in the areas of external position and market access, fiscal policy, monetary policy and financial sector soundness. In sum, the use of reserves is only a last resort for the IMF while most of its work focuses on stabilising the structures of economies so that they will have no need for the said emergency mechanism in the first place.

Moving forward: A change in perspective

Applying this to rice market stabilisation, the criteria for release of rice reserves can be tailored towards incentivising countries to reduce their vulnerability to risk, individually. Firstly, net-importing countries can be incentivised to prioritise rice production so that they can reduce external dependence, and to spread their risk by diversifying into other export partners. Strategic indicators may be drawn from current food security databases, including the Economist Intelligence Unit’s Global Food Security Index, or Syngenta’s Rice Bowl Index.Next, the APTERR can also adopt the data adequacy criterion used by the IMF to reward countries for reporting country data on rice stocks held. This would allow it to perform effective surveillance in countries, which in turn would feed into better recommendations for reducing long-term structural risks.

Learning from stabilisation practices in currency markets, APTERR reserves should be used not simply as a buffer for crisis purposes. Instead, they should be tapped for incentivising countries towards reducing overall systemic risk. In this regard, it would not be the size of APTERR, but its potential for reducing overall risk, which should be the focus in the next APTERR meeting in 2015.

*Jose Ma. Luis P. Montesclaros is an Associate Research Fellow at the Centre for Non-Traditional Security (NTS) Studies, S. Rajaratnam School of International Studies (RSIS), Nanyang Technological University in Singapore.




Basmati rice exports to Iran likely to resume soon

Iran had stopped issuing import permits since October 2014

Dilip Kumar Jha  |  Mumbai  
March 10, 2015 Last Updated at 10:14 IST

After several rounds of discussions, Iran is likely to start issuing permits to Indian exporters, paving the way for basmati exports.  “India may resume exports of basmati rice exports to Iran early next year,” said Ajay Sahai, Director General of the Federation of Indian Exports Organisation (FIEO).Basmati rice exports from India in 2013-14 are likely to decline 10% due to Iran’s temporary stoppage of fresh order issuances. The country has not issued any fresh import permits after October 2014.

However, execution of existing and past orders has continued. “India does not face any ban in terms of basmati rice exports to Iran. Only thing is Iran has not issued import permits, which it does to any country before bringing consignments into its territory, since October due to oversupply. During past years, Iran had imported large quantity of basmati rice from India,” said A K Gupta, Director, Agricultural & Processed Food Products Export Development Authority (Apeda).Once, import permit is issued, India would commence exports of basmati rice to Iran, said Gupta.

Basmati rice exports
Financial Year
Quantity (million tonnes)
Value ($ million)
2014-15*
2.57
3373.23
2013-14
3.76
4866.29
2012-13
3.46
3564.05
2011-12
3.18
3222.3
Source : Apeda, * Apr-Dec ’14 period
India’s overall basmati rice exports declined by over 6% at 2.57 million tonne during April and December 2014 as compared to 2.74 million tonne reported in the corresponding period last year. In value terms, overall basmati rice exports declined by 2.64% to $3373.23 million in the first nine months of the current fiscal as compared to $3464.74 million in the same period last year. But average per tonne realisation increased to Rs 80,000 this year as compared to Rs 75,000 during the previous year.While country-wise bifurcation is not available, experts believe, exports to Iran has declined by 15-20% this year.

Iran is the largest basmati rice importer, accounting for around 60-65% of total premium rice exports from India. India exported 1.44 million tonne of basmati rice worth $1,834.55 million to Iran in 2013-14. During 2012-13, however, basmati rice shipments to Iran totaled 1.08 million tonne worth $1187.23 million.Basmati rice was India’s second largest export commodity after buffalo meat. 
A recent report by the Food and Agriculture Orgnisation (FAO) of the United Nations estimated Iran’s rice output in 2014 at all time record of 3 million tonne as compared to 2.9 million tonne and 2.8 million in the two subsequent previous years. Total cereal output in Iran, however, is estimated to decline by 4.4% to 20.4 million tonne in 2014 as compared to 21.4 million tonne and 21.3 million tonne in 2013 and 2012 respectively.Apart from basmati rice, India exports non-basmati rice and other cereals to Iran to the tune of around $150 million annually.



In Memory:  Mike Danna
 
Mike Danna
BATON ROUGE, LA -- USA Rice is deeply saddened by the death of Michael Danna, director of public relations for the Louisiana Farm Bureau Federation and host of the organization's long-running television program "This Week in Louisiana Agriculture."  He died Friday, March 6, in Baton Rouge at age 54 after a battle with cancer.Mike was a great friend and supporter of the Louisiana and U.S. rice industries.  "Mike was one of the first journalists to interview me after I became affiliated with USA Rice," said Betsy Ward, president and CEO of USA Rice.  "He was a true professional and an outstanding broadcaster.

Mike was very knowledgeable about, and a passionate supporter of, the rice industry.  He will be missed."A memorial service in Mike's honor is scheduled on Saturday, March 14 from 8-11 a.m., at Baker Funeral Home, 6401 Groom Road in Baker.  In lieu of flowers, the Danna family has asked that contributions be made to a Louisiana State University scholarship to be established in Mike's name.  Donations for the scholarship can be made online at www.lsufoundation.org or via check payable to LSU Foundation, in memory of Mike Danna in the notation line, and mailed to LSU Foundation, 3838 West Lakeshore Drive, Baton Rouge, LA 70808 or to Cancer Services of Greater Baton Rouge, www.cancerservices.org.

Louisiana Shorebird Extravaganza to Connect Working Rice Lands with Precious Habitat 

Description: https://ci4.googleusercontent.com/proxy/-ZG7OA2OhduQqAomn7brrgeV0-TosOiGIS5z_t7rQSQzprK5QKh6RpknehoHsQ4GW4ExBMy1I1xwypi7EW_KN3EeSduRETF90Syj1NvdJ1yt2a1L3sn2YXK24H82egWC6Bk6DSTH5RSX9KmQWfyQJ01iLNAIjeGJz7gNQ54jCCCVp6U=s0-d-e1-ft#http://www.usarice.com/images/Daily/Daily_Photos/COMM/comm-waders%20in%20working%20wetlands%20logo-150306.pngJENNINGS, LA -- The same folks who host the Yellow Rails and Rice Festival each fall have organized a new festival, called "Waders in Working Wetlands: Shorebird Extravaganza," that highlights the springtime abundance of bird life in the rice-crawfish agricultural areas of southwest Louisiana.The new festival is scheduled for April 29 - May 3and based on the Shorebird Blitz, an "all-out shorebird count" in Louisiana's southwest rice-growing region, first held in May 2010.

USA Rice Federation has joined 46 other organizations in support of the festival, including Ducks Unlimited.  Registration is online and includes a choice of field trips, socials, and workshops."The Yellow Rails Festival is a great showcase for the harmonious relationship between working ricelands and wildlife habitat," said festival co-founder and Chairman of the Louisiana Rice Promotion Board Kevin Berken.  "The Shorebird Extravaganza will complement our fall festival by providing birders the opportunity to see many additional species not present during late fall.  In the spring, the birds will be singing and in gorgeous breeding plumage.

"Berken continued, "Many species of birds, mammals, amphibians and reptiles take advantage of the wetland habitat created by rice farmers, making rice a unique agricultural crop where food production and conservation go hand in hand."Birding conservation and rice lands are attracting more and more attention lately.  In addition to being a part of the national USA Rice-Ducks Unlimited Regional Conservation Partnership Program, Louisiana recently received $1.2 million of its own from the U.S. Department of Agriculture's Natural Resources Conservation Service to help fund three state conservation programs that work on rice, waterfowl, water quantity, quality, and sustainability."Festivals like ours draw public attention to the good conservation work already being undertaken by rice growers, and serve as proof positive to legislators and regulators that rice lands have enormous value beyond the commercial agriculture aspects," added Berken.

Contact:  Deborah Willenborg (703) 236-1444
CME Group/Closing Rough Rice Futures   

CME Group (Prelim):  Closing Rough Rice Futures for March 9
Month
Price
Net Change

March 2015
$10.305
+ $0.070
May 2015
$10.535
+ $0.060
July 2015
$10.785
+ $0.050
September 2015
$10.930
+ $0.060
November 2015
$11.090
+ $0.060
January 2016
$11.230
+ $0.065
March 2016
$11.230
+ $0.065



Ken Bridges: Fuller's vision started Arkansas' rice revolution


Ken Bridges
Posted: Friday, March 6, 2015 5:38 pm

Description: Ken BridgesAcross the globe, rice is the staple of life. Far more than wheat and other grains popular with the average American consumer, rice is the most important portion of meals in hundreds of millions of households each day. Arkansas has been the leading rice producer in the United States for decades, all due to the determination and imagination of William H. Fuller of Lonoke County.While native to Asia, rice first began to be grown in North America in 1694 in South Carolina. Rice required flooded fields and hot climates to grow properly, which made the work very difficult.

Modest attempts to grow rice in Arkansas were reported as early as 1819 at Arkansas Post, near the confluence of the Mississippi and White Rivers. Further attempts were made in the early 1840s but failed again.Fuller, a Nebraska native, had grown up after the Civil War. He arrived in the Carlisle area in the latter 1800s and established a successful farm. Paul Williams, a black farmer and fellow Lonoke County resident had begun experimenting with rice cultivation on his own in 1893, but the results were mixed.

 Fuller became fascinated with rice after seeing the efforts of Williams as well as witnessing the success of Louisiana rice fields on a hunting trip. By 1897, Fuller began his own experiments on three acres. After the results fizzled, he traveled to Louisiana to learn rice farming firsthand. In 1904, with new water pumps and techniques, he tried again on 70 acres and produced an astonishing 5,225 bushels of rice.

Area farmers were inspired by Fuller’s success, and the rice industry took off in 1905. Investors and land dealers streamed through the region, anxious to see the progress of the crops. By 1907, a profitable rice mill had been completed in Lonoke County. Within four years, enough farmers had begun producing rice to form the Rice Growers’ Association of Arkansas. Stuttgart held its first Rice Carnival in 1909 to celebrate the impact rice was just beginning to have. The event would become a popular annual festival by 1918. Weiner and Hazen would establish their own rice festivals in the years to follow. By the end of World War I, Arkansas had become the second-largest rice producer in the nation, and the industry was still growing.

Fuller himself would remain a leading spokesman for Arkansas rice production through the 1910s. By the 1920s, rice production would rival cotton, long the heart of the state’s agriculture. Arkansas was the leading rice producer in the nation by the 1940s. Thousands of Arkansans would come to be employed by the rice industry, and rice itself would be declared the state grain in 2007.Globally, the United States ranks 11th in total rice production, well behind such nations as China, India and Indonesia.

Nearly all the rice produced commercially in the United States today is produced in portions of six states: California, Texas, Mississippi, Louisiana, Missouri, and Arkansas. In 2014, the U.S. Department of Agriculture reported that 28 eastern Arkansas counties produced rice. The state remains by far the leading rice producer of the nation, with nearly 60 percent coming from the Natural State. In fact, the state by itself produces nearly as much rice as South Korea each year.One man’s vision had started a revolution in an industry that had stayed largely the same for generations. William Fuller lived his last years as a celebrity among farmers in the state, hailed as the “Father of Arkansas Rice.

” Just a century after his inspiration, rice had become a billion-dollar industry in Arkansas.Ken Bridges, a History Professor at South Arkansas Community College in El Dorado can be reached at kbridges@southark.edu. The South Arkansas Historical Preservation Society is dedicated to educating the public about the state’s rich history.  The SAHPS can be contacted at P.O. Box 144, El Dorado, AR, 71730, at (870) 862-9890 or at soarkhistory.com/.



Anticipating The Benefits Of A Trade Deal In The Pacific


Ducks find a home on Chuck Earnest's rice fields. Earnest hopes to produce more rice for export markets if the Trans Pacific Partnership is signed.
Credit Kristofor Husted / Harvest Public Media

Description: Ducks find a home on Chuck Earnest's rice fields. Earnest hopes to produce more rice for export markets if the Trans Pacific Partnership is signed.After years of negotiations, a dozen countries – from New Zealand up to Canada –are on the verge of a trade agreement that could be worth billions of dollars to the U.S. agriculture industry. Many American farmers and ranchers are eager to see the expected benefits of the Trans Pacific Partnership, or TPP.A free trade agreement across the Pacific Ocean could open up markets and raise prices for him as well as other rice producers, said Chuck Earnest, a rice farmer in southeast Missouri.

“About 40 percent of the American rice crop is exported year after year, and so we have to have access to far more markets in order to be able to move our crop,” he said.The U.S. Department of Agriculture estimates the deal could be a $3 billion increase in agriculture exports to the region. Tariff-free trades would be opened up across many industries, including automobiles and pharmaceuticals. For U.S. soybean producers, the deal could mean no longer paying tariffs as high as 20 percent in countries like Japan. For ranchers, the TPP could mean the elimination of tariffs that are now as high as 50 percent.
“That’s a lot of money,” Earnest said.  “For Missouri producers to get our share of that would be a significant thing.  It would either draw the rice price up, or it would increase rice acres in Missouri.  Either of those are good things.” TPP negotiations continue in Hawaii in March, and some of the trickiest issues surround rice and other agriculture products. That’s mostly because of Japan, which is protective of its so-called five sacred commodities:  beef and pork, wheat, sugar, dairy and rice.  “In trade negotiations, (Japan has) tied those to motivations such as preserving culture and food security or food safety,” said Wyatt Thompson, a University of Missouri agriculture economist.
“And also other things you might not think of like flood control or having pretty countrysides.”Wyatt said Japan’s strong rural farm presence influences food policy — hence opposition to dropping agriculture tariffs and allowing more foreign competition. Although more competitors might hurt producers in Japan, Thompson said, it could mean cheaper prices and more variety for Japanese consumers.As for the U.S., eliminating tariffs mean more beef, pork and rice could be sold to Japan.“For a range of commodities we might increase our exports to Japan, which means higher U.S. prices for these commodities and somewhat greater revenue to farmers and producers,” Thompson said.

Chuck Earnest, of southeast Missouri, says he and other farmers in the U.S. would benefit greatly from more international trade deals like the Trans Pacific Partnership.
Credit Kristofor Husted / Harvest Public Media

Description: Chuck Earnest, of southeast Missouri, says he and other farmers in the U.S. would benefit greatly from more international trade deals like the Trans Pacific Partnership.In the United States, there are other concerns.  Some food safety groups contend the agreement may lead to imports that don’t meet strict American safety standards.  But the negotiations have been private and the exact terms of the deal are unknown, so  eperts say it’s hard to speculate.Those in favor of an agreement, including U.S. Secretary of Agriculture Tom Vilsack, say it’s crucial to strike a deal quickly.
“If we don’t get this done, the void will be filled by China and China will set the stage and set the rules for trade with Asian nations in the future,” he said. “We don’t want to cede that opportunity to China.”Vilsack said to expedite approval of the deal, he and previous agriculture secretaries have asked Congress to grant Trade Promotion Authority to President Barack Obama. That would allow the president to negotiate a trade deal and fast track it to Congress for approval.Ultimately, Vilsack said, nailing down a TPP agreement would help create momentum for an even bigger trade agreement with the European Union.  



Hain Celestial : Celebrates Innovation at Natural Products Expo West 2015; Features Over 100 New and Exciting Food, Beverage, Snack And Personal Care Products

 

03/09/2015 | 05:34am US/Eastern
Release date- 06032015 - LAKE SUCCESS, N.Y - The Hain Celestial Group, Inc. (NASDAQ: HAIN), a leading organic and natural products company providing consumers with A Healthier Way of Life, today announced that over 100 new products will be featured at Natural Products Expo West in Anaheim, California starting today.Expo West is the world's largest event devoted to natural and specialty food and beverages, organics, supplements, health and beauty, natural living and pet products. Hain Celestial's products will be rolling out now through the end of 2015 and sold in selected markets in the United States. In its last fiscal year, Hain Celestial's new products generated over $100 million in net sales on a worldwide basis.
The Hain Celestial Group, Inc.
'This is a banner year for Hain Celestial's innovation pipeline. We are proud of our brands and our new product innovation that demonstrates our continued leadership in the organic and natural space,' said Irwin D. Simon, Founder, President and Chief Executive Officer of Hain Celestial. 'Our ability to globally source distinctive ingredients, coupled with our nimble, innovation-focused culture, has resulted in product uniqueness with quality and speed-to-market that rival the rest. Our exciting line-up features food, beverage, snack and personal care products for all age groups and lifestyles, with particular attention to millennial consumers, an important segment for Hain Celestial's growth.
'Natural Products Expo West 2015 is expected to feature over 2,600 exhibitors and more than 60,000 participants who will be able to preview the exciting Hain Celestial product line-up first-hand.'This year, our booth includes a digital experience in support of two programs. The first is our new partnership with CARE to support girls' education around the world, and the second is our on-going leadership to make mandatory labeling of genetically modified organisms (GMOs) in food products a reality in the United States. Our new products along with these digital initiatives exemplify our high standards for quality, value, enjoyment and social responsibility,' concluded Irwin Simon.
In the year since the last Expo West Hain Celestial has acquired new brands that extend the Company's existing portfolio of innovative and high quality natural and certified organic products. The new brands include Rudi's Organic Bakery, a leading organic and gluten-free brand offering a diversified line of bread and baked goods products and fresh and frozen FreeBird chicken and Plainville Farms turkey that are never, ever given antibiotics. More recently, Hain Celestial purchased the Live Clean personal care brand and Empire Kosher.Some of the highlights of this year's lineup of new products includes:
Arrowhead Mills brand adds three new cereals including two new Organic Sprouted Granolas made with organic whole sprouted oats and buckwheat in Maple & Apple and Apple and Ginger varieties, and Organic Gluten Free Coconut Rice and Shine Hot Cereal made with Fair Trade Coconut.BluePrint introduces new nutrient-packed 100% juices-Arugula Kale and Chard Basil. Arugula, kale, apple, romaine, celery, cucumber, lemon and ginger provide a dose of essential daily vitamins and minerals and superfoods chard and collards, basil, apple, romaine, celery, cucumber and lemon combine for a flavorful and nutritious choice.

Celestial Seasonings announces completely re-imagined packaging and a variety of innovative new product lines that appeal to new and existing tea drinkers alike. The new products include Sleepytime Honey and Watermelon Lime Zinger Herbal Teas; Celestial Organics Herbal and Wellness Teas; Celestial Teahouse Chai Teas; Celestial Lattes in shelf-stable ready-to-drink and aseptic concentrate formats; Celestial Loose Leaf Tea Blending Kits; and two new flavors of Celestial Organics Kombucha.
The DREAM brand expands its plant based offerings with a new platform of coconut based yogurts and frozen dessert bites. Coconut Dream Yogurts have a creamy consistency with a tropical twist and come in five luscious flavors: Plain, Vanilla, Strawberry, Blueberry and Raspberry. Coconut Dream Frozen Dessert Bites, the first and only coconut based bite size frozen treats, are delicious frozen nuggets coated with rich thick chocolate.Earth's Best Organic introduces redesigned and value sized packaging and new snacks for toddlers. The Earth's Best Tendercare Diapers and Wipes have a fresh new look, giving babies pure, chlorine free protection. Value size options include Earth's Best Frozen Fish Nuggets, made fromMarine Stewardship Council (MSC) certified Sustainable Alaskan Pollock and Earth's Best Organic Infant formula the #1 Organic Formula brand*, is now offered in 50% larger value can. Earth's Best Organic Freeze Dried Snacks are tiny finger-sized freeze dried fruits and veggies with a soft texture for a nutritious first snack. Varieties include Corn & Edamame and Strawberry, Banana & Apple.
Ella's Kitchen has new, nutritious snack and beverage options for children. Ella's Kitchen Organic Cookies are lightly sweetened only with honey and contain 2 grams of sugar per serving. Organic Multigrain Snacks are made with gluten free grains including Quinoa & Brown Rice and are available in varieties including Lentil & Carrot Sticks. Kids beverage options from Ella's Kitchen include Organic Coconut Water to help rehydrate and replenish nutrients and Nutritional Shakes that are packed with vitamins and minerals essential for growing big and strong.Garden of Eatin' Cantina Style Corn Tortilla Chips are thin and crispy like you'd find in an authentic 'Mexican Cantina.' Available in White Corn with Lime and Blue Corn with Sea Salt.GG Unique Fiber Scandinavian Thins, baked wheat crispbread in Raisin & Honey, with 40 calories and 3 grams of fiber per serving.
Imagine has a strong soup season planned for Fall of 2015. New products include Imagine Seafood Stock which is MSC (Marine Stewardship Council) certified, Imagine Organic Unsalted Free Range Chicken and Vegetable Broths sold in a 4-pack of 8 fluid ounce cartons, and a new line of refrigerated Imagine Culinary Soup in 22 ounce tubs in 5 delicious varieties, including 3 vegetarian soups such as Potato & Kale, and 2 chicken soups including Lemon Chicken Quinoa.Plainville Farms debuts Organic Deli Breast products-Oven Roasted Turkey, Honey Turkey and Hickory Smoked Turkey and Organic Ground Turkey.Rudi's Gluten-Free Bakery Garlic Toast and Cheese Toast are a gluten-free take on the popular Texas Toast category. These delicious 'heat and serve' items also contain 5 grams of fiber per slice.Sensible Portions Puffs made with Organic Corn are gluten-free and available in four delicious varieties: Cheddar, Sour Cream & Onion, Tomato Basil and Veggie.
TERRA Wasabi Chips, sharp and spicy wasabi flavor on a seasonal blend of potato chips.Tilda ready-to-heat rice is made with only the finest, authentic Basmati rice. Available in four delicious flavors: Pure Basmati, Brown Basmati, Brown Basmati and Quinoa and Mexican Style Chili Bean.Spectrum Whole Chia Seed is now available in a 22 ounce Value Size. Whole Chia Seed is rich in Omega-3 ALA fatty acids and a good source of fiber.Westbrae Natural condiments have the same great taste but are now USDA Organic. The full line of Organic condiments include: Stoneground Mustard, Stoneground Mustard-No Salt Added, Dijon Style Mustard, Yellow Mustard and Unsweetened Ketchup.
Yves Veggie Cuisine brand is introducing delicious new vegan burgers, patties and appetizers to its line-up which contain on-trend ingredients such as Kale & Quinoa. New Yves Veggie Cuisine Kale & Roots Vegetable Patties with brown rice and ancient grains and Yves Veggie Cuisine Kale & Quinoa Bites are non GMO, gluten free and packed with veggies.Hain Celestial's featured personal care products include:
Alba Botanica brand introduces Fast Fix, four botanically-powerful solutions to common beauty emergencies, and Clear Spray SPF 50 Broad Spectrum Sunscreens for single-touch continuous spray-on sun care convenience without chemical propellants.JASON brand introduces two Sheer Spray Lotions for feather-light moisture in a convenient, continuous spray and the Smoothing Coconut Body Care Collection to deliver intense moisture to extremely dry skin.
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, Europe and India. Hain Celestialparticipates 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 Cafe,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.
SOURCE The Hain Celestial Group, Inc.
Amanda Castelli, 516-587-5000
(c) 2015 Electronic News Publishing -, source ENP Newswire


A meaty problem

A blanket ban on cattle slaughter threatens the viability of India’s livestock sector
Beef has always been a politically contentious issue in India, reflected in the multiplicity of laws in different States regulating the slaughter of cows and cattle and the consumption of beef. While the States in the North-East have no ban, as many as 23 others have some kind of restriction on the slaughter of cows or cattle. The storm kicked up by the Maharashtra government’s recent decision to ban the slaughter of all types of cattle reflects the emotiveness of the issue. Two decades after it was first cleared, the Maharashtra Animal Preservation (Amendment) Bill, 1995, has now become law, placing a blanket ban on the slaughter of bulls, bullocks and calves, in addition to cows (whose slaughter has been banned since 1976). Even possession of beef is now an offence; however, water buffaloes can still be legally slaughtered in the State.
While most of the criticism of the Maharashtra government’s move has been centred on the imposition of a majoritarian choice on the food habits of the minority, the real argument is economic. India may not be the largest consumer of beef in the world, but it is the world’s largest bovine meat exporter. Most of the exports consist of buffalo meat, which is legally classified as ‘beef’. In 2012-13, India had exported 1.3 million tonnes of bovine meat, worth over 26,457 crore. In April-December 2014-15 (the period up to which export data is available), exports had already crossed 1.1 million tonnes.
More importantly, bovine meat is now India’s single biggest agri export, overtaking basmati rice exports. India has the largest livestock population in the world. It accounts for about 58 per cent of the world buffalo population and 14.7 per cent of the cattle population, with over 300 million cattle, over 200 million goats and sheep, and over 10 million pigs.This huge pool plays a significant role in the rural economy and livelihood. According to the 19th Livestock Census released by the ministry of agriculture, the sector contributes nearly 25.6 per cent of the total value of output in the agriculture, fishing and forestry sector. The overall contribution of the livestock sector in total GDP was 4.11 per cent in 2012-13.
A blanket ban on cattle slaughter will significantly mar the economics of the livestock and dairy sectors since it removes the ‘exit option’ for farmers, who will be unable to dispose of non-yielding milch animals, and will be forced to rear unproductive male cattle and buffaloes. Such animals are likely to be abandoned, leading to starvation and misery for the animals, and significantly increased disease risk for the viable bovine population.Banning cattle slaughter, without providing a solution to the farmer for non-yielding or non-productive assets, amounts to a hidden tax on the farmer. And allowing buffalo slaughter — apart from the lack of logic in such a distinction — only leads to the increasing ‘buffaloisation’ of the livestock population. Regardless of the politics, it is poor economics.
(This article was published on March 8, 2015)

Courtesy: Business line

Rice Shipments From Vietnam Climbing on Lower Prices, China
Diep Ngoc Pham,7:43 PM PDT ,March 9, 2015

(Bloomberg) -- Rice exports from Vietnam, the world’s third-largest shipper, will probably rebound this year as lower prices boost demand, while competition with Thailand keeps the gain to single digits, according to the government.“The Chinese market will definitely become active again after quiet periods late 2014 and early this year,” said Tran Tuan Anh, deputy minister of industry and trade. Competitive prices, suitable varieties, and geographic proximity in particular to China, are Vietnam’s advantages over Thailand, the top shipper. Exports may rise “less than 10 percent” in 2015, he said in an interview in Hanoi on March 4.Global output is set to be near last year’s record, and Thailand will ship more this year than any country ever, U.S. government data show. Futures fell to a four-year low in Chicago, helping cut food costs to the lowest since 2010.
While Thailand’s export prices will be pressured as the country sells about 17 million metric tons in state reserves over the next two years, they have been higher than that of Vietnam, India and Pakistan, the Thai Rice Exporters Association says.“While generally, Vietnamese rice costs less, Thailand does offer lower prices sometimes,” Anh said, without giving an estimate. Thailand is trying to increase access to Africa, where India and Pakistan also compete “fiercely,” he said.Prices for Vietnam’s double-water-polished milled-rice with 5 percent broken were quoted at $355 per ton, the lowest since July 2010 and $50 less than Thailand’s 5 percent broken for the week ending Feb. 10, the U.S. Department of Agriculture said in a report dated Feb. 12.

Thai Prices

The Thai variety was at $419 a ton on March 4, according to exporters association data. Chareon Laothamatas, president of the group, said on Feb. 3 that the price was about $405 to $410 and compares with $355 in Vietnam, $370 in Pakistan and $380 in India. The sale of stockpiled rice will continue to weigh on prices, Chareon said.Thailand’s record stockpiles are the legacy of the previous government’s rice-purchase policy. Yingluck Shinawatra’s administration spent $27 billion buying at guaranteed, above-market rates to aid farmers. She was ousted in May by military leaders, who now plan to auction the grain.Futures traded at $10.53 per 100 pounds on the Chicago Board of Trade on Tuesday after plunging to $10.01 on Feb. 3, the lowest since July 2010.

Vietnam Sales

Exports from Vietnam dropped to 6.4 million tons in 2014 from 6.7 million a year earlier, General Statistics Office data show. Sales in the first two months of 2015 may reach 515,000 tons, down 34 percent from a year ago, the office estimates.Shipments will pick up from the second quarter and bring the total this year to match or exceed last year’s figure by “a little bit,” Anh said, without giving exact figures.Global milled production may decline to 474.6 million tons in 2014-15 from an all-time high of 477.1 million tons a year earlier, according to the USDA.

Thai shipments will climb to 11 million tons in 2015 from 10.2 million tons last year, according to the Food & Agriculture Organization. India will export 8.2 million tons from 10 million tons, it said. China’s imports may reach 4.3 million tons in 2014-15 from 4.1 million, the USDA report shows.Vietnam will also continue to count on demand from its traditional markets like the Philippines, Malaysia, and Indonesia, Anh said. While the countries are trying to boost production and become self-sufficient, their efforts will take time and demand is still high this year, he said.

To contact the reporter on this story: Diep Ngoc Pham in Hanoi atdpham5@bloomberg.net
To contact the editors responsible for this story: Jake Lloyd-Smith atjlloydsmith@bloomberg.net Ovais Subhani, Claudia Carpenter





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