Thursday, July 23, 2015

23rd July (Thursday), 2015 Daily Exclusive ORYZA Rice E-Newsletter by Riceplus Magazine

Thailand Plans to Sell 500,000 Tons of Rice in Next Auction
Jul 22, 2015

The Thai Commerce Ministry is planning to auction around 500,000 tons of rice in the next auction, according to Reuters. This is the fifth auction this year and ninth after the military government took over in May 2014.The Commerce Minister told local sources that the exact tender date would be announced shortly and bidders will go through a qualification process next week.
The government sold around 3.88 million of rice raising around 40 billion baht (around $1.15 billion) from the first eight auctions.The military government is still holding around 15.11 million tons of rice in its stockpiles. It is planning to auction around 1.29 million tons of spoilt rice for industrial use by the end of this month.
The Commerce Ministry is expecting Thailand to export around 10 million tons of rice in 2015 despite a drought threatening to lower Thai rice production. However the Thai Rice Exporters Association (TREA) is expecting Thailand to export only 9.5 million tons against its earlier estimation of 10 million tons.
China Rice Imports Increase Sharply in First Six Months of 2015
Jul 22, 2015

China has imported around 1.42 million tons of rice in the first six months of 2015 (January - June), up about 7% from around 1.32 million tons imported during the same period last year, according to data from China Customs General Administration.
In June 2015, China imported around 404,800 tons of rice, up about 16.5% from around 347,400 tons imported in May 2015, and up about 69% from around 24,000 tons imported in June 2014.
China has exported around 116,500 tons of rice in first six months of 2015, up about 45% from around 80,346 tons exported during the same period last year, according to data from the China Customs General Administration.
In June 2015, China exported around 35,300 tons of rice, up about 2.7 times from around 13,100 tons exported in May 2015 and over twice from around 16,545 tons exported in May 2014.
China imported about 2.563 million tons of rice and exported about 419,069 tons of rice and in 2014.
USDA estimates China to produce around 146 million tons of milled rice in MY 2015-16 (July - June). It estimates China to import around 4.7 million tons and export around 400,000 tons of rice in 2015.
India Removes Quantitative Restrictions on Rice Bran Oil Exports; Allows Bulk Exports
Jul 22, 2015

The government of India has removed quantitative restrictions on exports of rice bran oil and allowed for its bulk exports, according to local sources.The Cabinet Committee on Economic Affairs (CCEA) has reportedly approved the proposal of the Commerce Ministry to "allow unrestricted exports of rice bran oil in bulk", and removed the quantitative restrictions of 10,000 tonnes per annum on exports of organic edible oils.The government has also not imposed any restrictions in terms of minimum export price (MEP) or consumer packs. The move is expected to help small millers to realize better prices as local demand for rice bran oil is still low.The Executive Director of the Solvent Extractors Association has welcomed the move. "This would help rice farmers as well as the country in realising full potential in this segment. India produces one million tons of rice bran oil, but we have capacity to reach 1.6 million tons," he was quoted as saying.
The rice bran oil exports will be registered and certified as "organic" by the Agricultural & Processed Food Products Export Development Authority (APEDA).
India imports about 10 million tons of vegetable oil, mostly edible, annually. Edible oil exports were banned since March 17, 2008, but the government has been allowing some exemptions from time to time.Local sources noted that the move would attract more investments in "organic" exports.
Separately, the government has allowed for the extension of 3% interest subvention scheme for FY 2015-16 under which banks can provide a 3% interest subvention on short-term crop loans. Currently, farmers get loans up to Rs.3 lakh at 7% interest per annum. The scheme allows banks to provide an additional subvention of 3% to those who pay loans of time.The subvention scheme will be applicable to farmers who repay their amounts within one year of disbursal and will be restricted to loans up to Rs.3 lakh. The scheme will also be applicable for post-harvest loans taken by small and marginal farmers against their negotiable warehouse receipts. All public sector banks, private banks, cooperative banks, regional rural banks and National Bank for Agriculture and Rural Development (NABARD) can implement the scheme.
Global Rice Quotes
July 22nd, 2015
Long grain white rice - high quality
Thailand 100% B grade 390-400
Vietnam 5% broken 345-355
India 5% broken 385-395
Pakistan 5% broken 370-380
Myanmar 5% broken 400-410
Cambodia 5% broken 425-435
U.S. 4% broken 470-480
Uruguay 5% broken 535-545
Argentina 5% broken 530-540
Long grain white rice - low quality
Thailand 25% broken 360-370
Vietnam 25% broken 325-335
Pakistan 25% broken 330-340
Cambodia 25% broken 410-420
India 25% broken 350-360
U.S. 15% broken 445-455
Long grain parboiled rice
Thailand parboiled 100% stxd 390-400
Pakistan parboiled 5% broken stxd 415-425
India parboiled 5% broken stxd 380-390
U.S. parboiled 4% broken 555-565
Brazil parboiled 5% broken 545-555
Uruguay parboiled 5% broken NQ
Long grain fragrant rice
Thailand Hommali 92% 855-865
Vietnam Jasmine 485-495
India basmati 2% broken NQ
Pakistan basmati 2% broken NQ
Cambodia Phka Mails 835-845
Thailand A1 Super 320-320
Vietnam 100% broken 315-325
Pakistan 100% broken stxd 285-295
Cambodia A1 Super 350-360
India 100% broken stxd 305-315
Egypt medium grain brokens NQ
U.S. pet food 325-335
Brazil half grain NQ
 All prices USD per ton, FOB vessel,

'Rice Board' Needed to Fix and Maintain Rice Prices in Pakistan, Say Exporters
Jul 22, 2015

Pakistan rice exporters are reportedly expressing concern that the country's rice sector lacks a specific forum that would fix, maintain and control rice prices in the country, according to local sources.The Chairman of the Rice Exporters Association of Pakistan (REAP) noted that exporters have been facing numerous problems in fixing prices for different qualities of rice. He says rice growers usually do not disclose their cost of production and stocks due to which exporters cannot come to a conclusion over prices. He also adds that growers complain of low prices and high costs for whatever prices offered by exporters.
He therefore stressed for setting up a 'Rice Board' is necessary to bring growers and exporters together and fix prices as well as settle other related issues.A senior government officer in the Ministry of National Food Security and Research also added that most decisions taken by the government are difficult to implement because of lack of coordination between stakeholders.
Last month, the Pakistan Chambers of Commerce and Industry (FPCCI) urged the government to set up a Rice Development Board to help promote different rice varieties as well as focus on increasing rice exports.Separately, the government is planning to fix an export target $40 billion worth of products, including rice, engineering products, leather and surgical instruments, in the Strategic Trade Policy Framework (STPF) 2015-18, which is likely to be announced in August. The government will reportedly fix a target of $30 billion exports in FY 2015-16 (July - June), target of $35 billion exports in FY 2016-17 and a target of $40 billion exporters in FY 2017-18.
Oryza Afternoon Recap – Chicago Rough Rice Futures Continue to Rally on their Own as Grains Slip along with Crude
Jul 22, 2015
Chicago rough rice futures for Sep delivery settled 11.5 cents per cwt (about $3 per ton) higher at $11.120 per cwt (about $245 per ton). The other grains finished the day lower; Soybeans closed about 0.9% lower at $9.9525 per bushel; wheat finished about 1.5% lower at $5.1675 per bushel, and corn finished the day about 1% lower at $4.1325 per bushel.U.S. stocks traded lower on Wednesday as disappointing tech earnings weighted down on the three major indices. U.S. stocks closed lower on Tuesday, with lackluster earnings from IBM and UTX sending the Dow Jones down 1% and the Nasdaq off its recent records. The Nasdaq Composite briefly fell more than 1% in the open before trimming losses to about 0.5% lower. The S&P and the Dow Jones industrial average also flirted with trading positive in midmorning trade. Nevertheless, all three major indexes fell back to around session lows in late-morning trade.
In economic news, U.S. home prices rose 0.4% in May from April, up from 5.7% a year ago, FHFA said. Existing home sales rose 3.2% from the previous month in June, their highest levels in over eight years. Overseas, Greece's parliament is due to vote on Wednesday on a second set of reforms that lenders have demanded in exchange for further bailout funds. European stocks ended Wednesday trading in the red. The Dow Jones Industrial Average traded down 78 points, or 0.44%, at 17,839. The S&P 500 traded down 5 points, or 0.26%, at 2,113, with information technology leading five decliners and financials the greatest advancer. The Nasdaq traded down 29 points, or 0.57%, at 5,178. Gold is trading about 1.1% lower, crude oil is seen trading about 3.2% lower, and the U.S. dollar is seen trading at about 0.3% higher at about  1:00pm Chicago time.Tuesday, there were 520 contracts traded, up from 474 contracts traded on Monday. Open interest – the number of contracts outstanding – on Tuesday increased by 35 contracts to 8,725.
Oryza Overnight Recap – Chicago Rough Rice Futures Continue to Show Strength as Market Looks to Test Resistance at $11.180
Jul 22, 2015
Chicago rough rice futures for Sep delivery are currently seen trading 7 cents per cwt (about $2 per ton) higher at $11.065 per cwt (about $244 per ton) during early floor trading in Chicago. The other grains are seen trading lower this morning; soybeans are currently seen trading about 0.6% lower, wheat is listed about 0.4% lower and corn is currently noted about 0.8% lower.U.S. stocks traded lower on Wednesday as key tech earnings disappointed most investors. The Nasdaq Composite briefly fell more than 1% in the open before trading about 0.8% lower. Corporate reports before the open Wednesday were slightly more encouraging. Commodities also remain in focus, with gold extending losses to trade below $1,100 an ounce and crude oil near $50 a barrel.
In economic news, U.S. home prices rose 0.4% in May from April, up from 5.7% a year ago, FHFA said. Existing home sales rose 3.2% from the previous month in June. Overseas, Greece's parliament is due to vote on Wednesday on a second set of reforms that lenders have demanded in exchange for further bailout funds. The Dow Jones Industrial Average traded down 32 points, or 0.18%, at 17,888. The S&P 500 traded down 5 points, or 0.23%, at 2,114, with information technology leading five decliners and consumer discretionary the greatest advancer. The Nasdaq traded down 44 points, or 0.83%, at 5,164. Gold is currently trading about 1.4% lower, crude oil is seen trading about 1.7% lower,  and the U.S. dollar is currently trading about 0.3% higher at 9:15am Chicago time.
Sri Lanka Begins Three-Day Agricultural Field Event to Educate Rice Farmers
Jul 22, 2015

Sri Lanka has begun a three-day agricultural field event "Rice Self-Sufficiency and Beyond" on July 22 and will continue till July 24 at Batalegoda Rice Research and Development Institute, according to the government official web portal.
The event aims at educating rice farmers regarding the recent developments in the country and help them boost rice production. Farmers will be educated about the recently recommended paddy varieties, anti-weeds campaigns and techniques, demonstrations on weed management, traditional paddy varieties, the qualitative characters of traditional and upgraded paddy varieties, manure application, combined herbicide control methods, the effects of using various types of herbicides for weed management, various rice planting techniques, seed paddy clinic, wet/dry irrigation, and production of various food items using rice etc.
Monsoon Rains Damage $415,455 Worth Rice Crop in Philippines
Jul 22, 2015

The south-west monsoon rains have damaged around 18.8 million peso (around $415,455) worth rice crop in the northern Luzon region of the Philippines, Bloomberg quoted the Office of Civil Defence.The monsoon rains caused damage to around 30.7 million peso (around $678,429) worth crops, including rice.
The Philippines paddy output in the first half of 2015 has reached around 8.3 million tons, down about 1% from last year's 8.39 million tons and down about 2.4% from the targeted 8.5 million tons, according to a preliminary report by the Department of Agriculture (DA).
The National Food Authority (NFA) already imported around 750,000 tons of rice from Vietnam and Thailand and has approved private traders to import around 805,200 tons of rice under WTO minimum access volume (MAV) country specific (CSQ) to maintain buffer stocks and curb price hikes. It is further authorized to import another 250,000 tons if need arises.
Italy to Organize 105th Rice Seed Contest
Jul 22, 2015

Italy is preparing to organize the 105th rice seed contest for breeders, according to local sources. The contest is promoted by the Ente Nazionale Risi, the National Agency for Rice, and the Council for Research in Agriculture and the Agricultural Economic Analysis (CRA-SCS e CRA-RIS).
Each participating breeder/company can apply for a maximum of three varieties. According to the contest rules, the companies must cultivate each variety on an area of at least two hectares and the final ranking will be decided after the analysis of a representative sample of the seed product. Each of the following characteristics of the seed product will be studied: 1. the number of red grains, 2. the degree of varietal purity, 3. the percentage of germination, and 4. the magnitude of the diseases that can be transmitted them through the seeds.
A total of five different variety groups will be examined separately.
The winners will get golden panicles, silver cups, certificates of excellence, quality marks and  special prizes are being offered by Basf Italy srl for Clearfield varieties.
Breeders/companies should send their application forms before September 30, 2015.

TREA Expects Drought to Push Up Domestic and Export Rice Prices in Second Half of 2015
Jul 22, 2015

The Thai Rice Exporters Association (TREA) is expecting the ongoing drought conditions to push up Thailand's domestic and export rice prices in the second half of 2015, according to local sources. Yesterday, the association lowered its estimations for 2015 Thai rice exports to 9.5 million tons from earlier estimation of 10 million tons due to drought.
The President of the TREA noted that global rice prices, which have been falling for the last few months, are likely to increase amid higher demand and lower supply in Thailand and other countries. He said production is Thailand alone is expected to decline about 15-20% or about 2-3 million tons due to drought.
In Thailand, the TREA is expecting the domestic paddy prices to increase to around 9,000 baht (around $260) per ton in the second half of this year from the current 8,500 baht (around $245) per ton. The association is expecting the export prices of white rice to be over $400 per ton from the current $390 per ton.
He however noted that that global factors such as financial crises in the EU nations and declining oil prices are likely to impact global rice prices as they would impact purchasing power in some rice importing nations.
The Honorary President of the TREA noted that  baht's depreciation had stabilized the export price of rice but expressed confidence that low production levels due to drought conditions would drive back the domestic rice prices.
The association urged the government to manage rice stocks with high efficiency to ensure minimum impact on market prices. It also noted that the government should focus more on government-to-government (G2G) contracts with rice importing countries, promote jasmine rice exports, stabilize baht and reduce trade obstacles with many countries.
In its July Rice Outlook report, USDA has forecasted 2015 global rice trade at around 43.7 million tons, slightly up from an estimated 43.4 million tons in 2014, and global rice production to decline to around 476.28 million tons this year from around 478.18 million tons last year.
Thailand Rice Sellers Lower Some of Their Quotes Today; Other Asia Quotes Unchanged
Jul 22, 2015
Thailand rice sellers lowered their quotes for 5% broken rice and Parboiled rice by about $5 per ton each to around $380-$390 per ton and $390-$400 per ton respectively. Other Asia rice sellers kept their quotes mostly unchanged.                                                                                                                  
5% Broken Rice
Thailand 5% rice is indicated at around $380 - $390 per ton, down about $5 per ton from yesterday and about $35 per ton premium on Vietnam 5% rice shown at around $345 - $355 per ton. India 5% rice is indicated at around $385 - $395 per ton, about $15 per ton premium on Pakistan 5% rice shown at around $370 - $380 per ton.
25% Broken Rice
Thailand 25% rice is shown at around $360 - $370 per ton, about $35 per ton premium on Vietnam 25% rice shown at around $325- $335 per ton.
India 25% rice is indicated at around $350 - $360, about $20 per ton premium on Pakistan 25% rice shown at around $330 - $340per ton.
Parboiled Rice
Thailand parboiled rice is indicated at around $390 - $400 per ton, down about $5 per ton from yesterday. India parboiled rice is indicated at around $380- $390 per ton, about $35 per ton discount to Pakistan parboiled rice was last shown at around $415 - $425 per ton.                                                                                                                                                            
100% Broken Rice
Thailand broken rice, A1 Super, is indicated at around $320 - $330 per ton, about $5 per ton from premium on Vietnam 100% broken rice shown at around $315 - $325 per ton. India's 100% broken rice is shown at around $305 - $315 per ton, about $20 per ton premium on Pakistan broken sortexed rice shown at around $285 - $295 per ton.
Download/View On-Line the above News in pdf for
mat,just click the following link

22nd July (Wednesday),2015 Daily Global Rice E-Newsletter by Riceplus Magazine

July  22  2015
Vol  5 ,Issue VII

Growers and exporters: REAP demands establishment of ‘rice board’

Published: July 22, 2015
Description: Description: Forum necessary to settle issues and fix prices in the market. PHOTO: CREATIVE COMMON
Forum necessary to settle issues and fix prices in the market. PHOTO: CREATIVE COMMON
ISLAMABAD: Government authorities should fix and maintain rice prices in the country by establishing a ‘rice board’, said the Rice Exporters Association of Pakistan (REAP).
REAP members said the absence of an effective rice board was creating problems for exporters and growers, and like other cash crops, around 6 million tons of rice is lying with growers and cannot be exported due to high prices in the international market.
Description: Description:
“There are numerous problems faced by exporters to fix the rice price in the market as per their quality, out of which the absence of a relevant forum is a major one,” said REAP Chairman Rafique Sulaiman, adding that a board is necessary for growers and exporters to sit together and settle issues.
He said REAP had forwarded a proposal to the government for constituting the board but there has not been any headway so far.Sulaiman said growers do not disclose the exact cost of production, particularly pertaining to the cost of production in the heads of land rent and contracts given to the third party.He said the growers also do not disclose the quantity of the stock and tend to manipulate in a situation when it’s time for any subsidy or incentive. “They whine for low prices and high cost when the price of basmati rice is Rs65 and there is the same hue and cry when the price is Rs150.

“Most decisions taken by the government cannot be implemented due to the lack of coordination among stakeholders,” said a senior government officer in the Ministry of National Food Security and Research. “One such example is the ECC decision of 2014 when it decided to give Rs5,000 as compensation per acre to small rice growers on the directives of the Prime Minister, but it could not be implemented due to non-distinction between growers of basmati and other rice varieties.The ECC had also decided that the total amount of compensation may be shared equally between the federal and provincial governments. The compensation was to be made only to the smaller growers of 25 acres only.

Farmers who had already received compensation against crop damage in recent floods in Punjab were not eligible for this additional compensation.The officer held the provincial governments of Sindh and Punjab responsible for taking least interest in differentiating the small and big growers and it resulted in failure of implementation of the package.Besides, Sulaiman also urged that government must take up the issue with China to import at least one million tons of our rice as it has started importing rice from Thailand.
Published in The Express Tribune, July 22nd,  2015.

Trade Policy Will Be Falling Short Without SME Export House

The Union of Small and Medium Enterprises (UNISAME) invited the attention of federal commerce minister engineer Khurram Dastagir that the ambitious exports target of $40 billion in the Strategic Trade Policy Framework (STPF) 2015-18, which is likely to be announced in next month (August), would not be possible without the contribution of the SME sector as its inclusion is of prime importance. President UNISAME Zulfikar Thaver said we have appealed to the commerce minister to strengthen the SME sector by well designed strategy.

 The SME sector needs full support of the government and to invigorate it, it is very important that marketing support is provided by the Trade Development Authority of Pakistan (TDAP) to engineering, sports and surgical goods, textiles, rice and other commodities. Exports have fallen considerably and strategy is required to include the SMEs. He lamented that our demands of SME export house have not been taken seriously. The SME export house is the need of the hour and a modern export house having all the facilities of providing information, education, search engines and product galleries is required to achieve the targets and without the SME sector the government will never be able to achieve the targets.
Thaver added that we can say with all emphasis at our command that the SME sector has the potentiality to double its exports if it gets the support of the Small and Medium Enterprises Development Authority (SMEDA) and TDAP. It is unfortunate that both the authorities are unable to comprehend the advantages and merits of the proposed export house.Although both have done preliminary working on the setting up of the export house. TDAP even formed a steering committee and SMEDA prepared the feasibility. It is very important that before the draft of Strategic Trade Policy Framework (STPF) 2015-18 is submitted which is in the final stages of its completion includes the setting up of the SME export house for the sector.and then presented to sub-committee of the Cabinet for further deliberations.
After incorporating the recommendations of the sub-committee the draft will be submitted before the Cabinet for final approval. It is  pertinent to note that the government failed to achieve the targets set in the previous Strategic Trade Policy Framework 2012-15. The government failed to achieve the exports target of $95 billion in three years, as it remained under $70 billion mainly due to the poor law and order and energy situation in the country. In the budget estimates for 2014-15, the federal government had earmarked Rs 2 billion towards STPF.
Not a penny was spent under this head, according to the budgetary documents and as reported by the media. UNISAME urged the prompt establishment of the  Exim Bank and the revamping of the SME Bank and the SME Leasing, other institutions of prime importance are the SME insurance, the venture capital fund and the SME technical institute. The government will fail again if the SME sector is not included as this is the majority sector and the big investors and industrialist are on the back foot due to energy crisis and political uncertainty whereas the SME sector is here to stay and never thinks of migrating and shifting capital to foreign countries. The government had missed the exports target of $27 billion and revised target of $24.2 billion during last financial year 2014-15. Pakistan’s exports had gone down by 4.88 percent to $ 23.885 billion in previous fiscal year from $25.11 billion of the preceding year. However, imports had enhanced by two percent to $45.98 billion in FY2015 from $45.07 billion of the FY2014. Therefore, the trade deficit was registered at $22.095 billion during the period under review as reported by a leading newspaper.


International Benchmark Price
Price on: 20-07-2015
Benchmark Indicators Name
CZCE Early Rice Futures (USD/t)
Pakistani 100%, FOB Karachi (USD/t)
Pakistani 15% Broken (USD/t)
South Africa, HPS 70/80 peanuts CFR main European ports (USD/t)
South African, HPS 40/50 peanuts CFR main European ports (USD/t)
US 38/42 Runners, CFR NW Europe (USD/t)
Argentine 34mm, CIF NW Europe (USD/t)
Argentine 50mm, CIF NW Europe (USD/t)
Argentine 85mm, CIF NW Europe (USD/t)
For more info
Market Watch
Commodity-wise, Market-wise Daily Price on 21-07-2015
Domestic Prices
Unit Price : Rs per Qty
Market Center
Min Price
Max Price
Cachar (Assam)
Bonai (Orissa)
Manjeri (Kerala)
Amirgadh (Gujarat)
Bonai (Orissa)
Dhing (Assam)
Sirhind (Punjab)
Haldwani (Uttrakhand)
Taura (Haryana)
Bharuch (Gujarat)
Jajpur (Orissa)
Sirhind (Punjab)
For more info
Rs per 100 No
Price on 21-07-2015
Market Center
Other International Prices
Unit Price : US$ per package
Price on 21-07-2015
Market Center
Onions Dry
Package: 50 lb sacks
Package: cartons film wrapped
Long Seedless
New York
Long Seedless
Long Seedless
Package: cartons tray pack
Red Delicious 
Red Delicious 
Red Delicious 

"Rice Self-Sufficiency and Beyond" - Agricultural Field Day begins today

An agricultural field day with the theme "Rice Self-Sufficiency and Beyond" will be held from July 22 to 24 at Batalegoda Rice Research and Development Institute as a way to educate farmers  about harvesting techniques in paddy cultivation. Description: Description: "Rice Self-Sufficiency and Beyond" - Agricultural Field Day begins today 
This event will include new technologies including recently recommended paddy varieties, anti-weed campaigns and techniques, demonstrations on weed management, traditional paddy varieties, the qualitative characters of traditional and upgraded paddy varieties,  manure application, demonstrations on combined herbicide control methods, the effects of using various types of herbicides for weed management, a stall that includes various rice planting techniques, Seed paddy clinic, wet/dry irrigation, production of various food items using rice etc. and will be very useful especially to farming community.

Students Interning in Asia Share Experiences

July 22, 2015

BLOOMINGTON, Ill.— Illinois Wesleyan University biology major Jenni Chlebek ’16 planted more than 11,000 rice seeds in a lab in the Philippines to test new varieties. In Hong Kong, nursing major Sana Shafiuddin ’17 has observed differences in the way Chinese and American caregivers understand dementia. And International Studies major Andrea Fortner ’16 is helping plan activities for students attending Technos College International Week in Tokyo.   These students and 12 others are interning in Asia this summer, thanks to a $100,000 grant from the Freeman Foundation. Two more students will be placed in Hong Kong during their study abroad experiences this fall. The Freeman Foundation grant provides funding for airfare, housing, living allowances and all internship placement costs.

The Freeman Foundation, a private foundation with offices in New York and Honolulu, works to strengthen the bonds of friendship between the United States and countries of east Asia. “All the internships we have arranged not only fulfill the Freeman Foundation’s goal of having American students work and interact with Asians in actual work settings, but also give the students the opportunity to work with people from all over the globe,” said Illinois Wesleyan Professor of Sociology Teddy Amoloza, who led efforts to secure the grant.

As Chlebek prepared to leave the United States for her experience in the Philippines, she wrote about her gratitude for the opportunity. “I have begun to concentrate in Botany in my undergraduate studies at Illinois Wesleyan University,” she wrote in her blog. “Oryza sativa is the scientific name for Asian rice. For the next two months, I will be studying this crop and join [the International Rice Research Institute’s] mission to help farmers feed the growing population of the world.“With this scholarship [the Freeman grant] I can make sure I am one step closer to fulfilling my dream of pursuing a career in plant biology research while continuing to also make a difference in the lives of others,” she wrote. “I’m going to arrive with open arms, challenge my comfort zone, and let down all barriers.” Each student is sharing observations and travel adventures through a blog, social media posts or presentations on campus.

Quest for climate-proof farms

Climate change is a major threat to food production, so researchers are working with farmers to make agriculture more resilient.
21 July 2015
Description: Description:!/image/GettyImages-176487738web.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_630/GettyImages-176487738web.jpg
Crops that endure droughts and floods help farmers adapt to global warming.

When Frank Untersmayr was growing up near Amstetten, Austria, he saw his father wait until the soil warmed up at the end of April to plant maize. “But the climate here has got a lot warmer since, so we can now often begin to sow before mid-April,” says Untersmayr, now 44 and a farmer himself. “That's good because it means that maize, which in our climate doesn't fully ripen, has two weeks longer to grow.”But more changes are coming, which is why Untersmayr and half a dozen other farmers from the region gathered at the local chamber of agriculture on a rainy day in May. They met to talk to scientists about how increasing temperatures and shifts in precipitation might affect agriculture in their area — and how farmers might need to adapt.

Martin Schönhart, an agro-economist at the University of Natural Resources and Life Sciences in Vienna, presented preliminary forecasts for average agricultural yields in 2040. Some crops and fruit benefited from the amount of warming expected. But the yields of other crops — including maize — decreased by up to 20% because changes in precipitation and extreme weather events wiped out the benefits brought by warmer temperatures.Hearing such negative projections, some farmers shook their heads in disbelief. “I would rather trust my own experience than any such forecast,” said Untersmayr.

His reaction reveals the communication gap that has long separated scientists from farmers in planning for climate change. “There is a deep divide between the science and its supposed end-users,” says Nora Mitterböck, who oversees climate-change adaptation policies at the Federal Austrian Ministry for Agriculture and the Environment in Vienna. “There is no lack of climate-impact research, but very little of it arrives on the farm. It's a sad situation that must absolutely change.”Around the world, scientists, farmers, agricultural companies and governments are struggling to make agricultural systems more 'climate smart', which will be necessary if they are to feed the ever-swelling global population. Some are working in the short term to make today's farms more resilient. Others are looking further ahead to provide the information required for making major changes, such as investing in large irrigation systems.

Schönhart's work is part of a €14-million (US$15-million) programme called Modelling European Agriculture with Climate Change for Food Security (MACSUR), which aims to help European nations to prepare and adapt to climate change. Another international programme, the Agricultural Model Intercomparison and Improvement Project (AgMIP), is bringing together hundreds of researchers to inform policy-makers in developing countries, as well as agricultural extension agencies, which aid farmers.Meetings such as the one in Amstetten are a key part of this work. For climate-adaptation programmes to succeed, researchers need to learn from farmers and agricultural officials what kind of information will help them the most, says Anne-Maree Dowd, a social scientist with the Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Organisation in Kenmore, Australia.

“Scientists tend to think primarily in terms of publications as the main reward for their work,” she says. “When it comes to climate-change adaptation, they need to thoroughly switch their mindsets and first think about the overall practical goal of what they are doing.”

Adapt to survive

Farmers worldwide produce more than 1 billion tonnes of maize annually, along with some 750 million tonnes of rice, more than 700 million tonnes of wheat and nearly 2 billion tonnes of sugar cane. Despite all this, more than 800 million people go hungry each year. Even without climate change, agriculture will face enormous pressure as the global population swells from 7 billion to perhaps 9 billion by 2050.

Changing rainfall and temperature patterns will cause added stress for farmers, particularly in poorer countries, if heatwaves, droughts and extreme storms become more common, as is expected in many areas1. Agricultural forecasts are notoriously difficult because they face multiple tiers of uncertainty: in how climate will change regionally, in assumptions about what crops might be planted, in the availability of fertilizers and in economic projections. But last year, a comprehensive study2 that used multiple climate and agriculture models forecast that problems from climate change would generally outweigh the benefits for wheat and maize production in low-latitude regions, where developing countries are concentrated. Another study3 analysed 1,700 simulations and projected that without adaptation efforts, yields of maize, wheat and rice will decline in both temperate and tropical regions if temperatures rise by 2 °C.
One of the first steps towards building the agricultural systems of the future is helping farmers to deal with today's weather extremes.

Crop developers, for example, are breeding varieties that can tolerate floods, droughts or increased salinity caused by rising sea levels. Millions of farmers in low-lying parts of India, Nepal and Bangladesh are now growing a rice variety developed by the International Rice Research Institute (IRRI) in Los Baños, Philippines, that can survive floodwaters better than traditional types of rice. Flood-tolerant varieties have raised yields of temporarily submerged fields by up to 45% and have helped to avert food shortages after major floods in southeast Asia, according to the IRRI.

Digital communication tools also provide opportunities to protect yields and safeguard farmers' incomes. An app developed by the IRRI allows regional agricultural offices to send farmers recommendations on when to apply fertilizers and when to harvest, based on weather and local soil conditions. In the first 6 months of 2015, the app sent 170,000 recommendations. Average yields for those who used the tool have increased by about half a metric tonne per hectare — almost 10%, says Matthew Morrell, head of research at the IRRI. Customized real-time advice is expected to become even more important as farmers try to keep up with new weather patterns.
Successful adaptation will also require bigger steps over the next few decades. In some regions, farmers might need to switch from irrigating crops to using semi-arid techniques, or might even have to abandon some land. Governments might choose to invest in expensive irrigation systems; in May, for example, Australia decided to fund projects totalling AUS$65 million (US$48 million) to irrigate the drought-struck Murray–Darling river basin, which produces one-third of the nation's food.

“Farmers seek to be profitable in the very near-term. From their perspective, 2040 is light years away.”

Most developed nations have already started planning for the long term by developing comprehensive adaptation strategies. Austria's scheme lists more than 130 measures to make the country's economy climate-fit. In the agricultural sector, the proposed measures range from diversifying crops to letting fields go fallow and reducing tillage of soil to fight erosion. But it has been a struggle to get farmers to implement some of these recommendations, says Mitterböck. “Farmers seek to be profitable in the very near-term. From their perspective, 2040 is light years away.” Successful adaptation in agriculture, she says, requires all relevant stakeholders to be involved in the scientific process so that farmers can get the information and incentives that they need.

Most climate impact and adaptation studies so far have failed to take into account the complexity of modern farming, says Holger Meinke, director of the Tasmanian Institute of Agriculture in Hobart, Australia. “Adaptation research must be a cross-cutting affair because hard-nosed decisions are never solely based on climate-change considerations.”In Amstetten, farmers could not agree more. “We practise adaption all the time, but we mainly adapt to food prices and subsidy programmes and to modern machinery,” says Untersmayr. “And of course we must constantly adapt to the weather, no matter if the climate is changing or not.”Governments and researchers are starting to listen. In Australia, scientists involved in a national climate-adaptation initiative are regularly consulting farmers about their problems with, for example, weed management, and how science might be able to solve them.

Developing nations have fewer resources to plan for the future, but AgMIP scientists are reaching out to farmers and stakeholders in 20 countries in Africa and South Asia. Launched in 2010, the €15-million programme is combining information drawn from climate projection and crop and economic models with empirical data collected in the field by 7 regional teams. To account for disagreements between models, AgMIP researchers aim to develop an optimistic and a pessimistic agricultural scenario for future conditions in each region. Over the next five years, they will advise local planners on how climate change may affect farmers in their region, and which social groups and farm types are most vulnerable. That will greatly help adaptation planning in poorer countries, says Dumisani Mbikwa Nyoni, an agricultural extension officer in Zimbabwe's Matabeleland North Province who took part in a meeting in June in Victoria Falls, Zimbabwe, with an AgMIP regional research team.

“Climate change is causing drought in our country,” he says. “So we need to identify crop varieties that can stand dryness and inadequate soil moisture, and we need to know what other options exist that will sustain our farmers. I hope science will help us do all that.” The information from AgMIP can also help officials in Zimbabwe decide where to put a planned 15,000 hectares of irrigation systems over the next 3–5 years, he says.AgMIP is determined to provide the kind of information that will make a difference, says Cynthia Rosenzweig, a climate-impact researcher at the NASA Goddard Institute for Space Studies in New York City and a principal investigator of the project.“It is utterly important that planners in each region and each locality will have all the knowledge in place that they need,” she says. “There are no dumb farmers, but farmers focus on present realities. We must leave no stone unturned to help them plan for a hotter future.”

Scientists create low-methane rice

By Mariette le Roux
Paris (AFP) - Scientists said Wednesday they had created a rice variety with starchier grains that emits less methane, a step towards the twin goals of feeding more people and curbing global warming.The cultivation of rice, a staple starch for billions of people, is also mankind's major emitter of methane, a potent climate-altering gas.Methane lives for a shorter time in the atmosphere than carbon dioxide (CO2), the most abundant greenhouse gas, but traps far more heat radiated from Earth's surface.Every year, rice paddies pump out 25 to 100 million tonnes of methane -- the second-most important greenhouse gas at about 16 percent.This means a high risk for the planet as rice cultivation expands to feed a growing population, said the paper, published in the journal Nature."There is an urgent need to establish sustainable technologies for increasing rice production while reducing methane fluxes from rice paddies," wrote the team led by Chuanxin Sun of the Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences.

Description: Description: Indian labourers plant rice paddy cuttings in a field …Indian labourers plant rice paddy cuttings in a field on the outskirts of Amritsar on June 16, 2015  …
Already in 2002, scientists reported that the more grain carried by rice plants, the less methane they emitted.The leaves and stems of rice plants take up CO2, which is transformed through photosynthesis into sugars that are used to produce starch in the shoots, roots and grains.Carbon released from dead plants, or directly into the soil via the roots, is transformed by microorganisms into methane, which can escape into the atmosphere.
Larger, starchier rice grains mean there is less carbon transferred to the soil to be turned into methane.But attempts to reduce emissions from paddies have focused on changes in farming practices, which can be onerous and expensive.
Description: Description: A vendor sells rice at a market in Jakarta on February 4, 2011
An Afghan farmer separates rice from grain chaff at his farm on the outskirts of Jalalabad on Januar …
- 'Groundbreaking' work -
Tackling the problem differently, a team from China, the United States and Sweden added a barley gene to a conventional rice cultivar to create a variety dubbed SUSIBA2."Three-year field trials in China demonstrated that the cultivation of SUSIBA2 rice was associated with a significant reduction in methane emissions," said the study."SUSIBA2 rice offers a sustainable means of providing increased starch content for food production while reducing greenhouse gas emissions from rice cultivation."In a comment also carried by Nature, Paul Bodelier of the Netherlands Institute of Ecology described the research as "groundbreaking", but cautioned it also raised several "biological and ethics concerns"."In addition to the general questions surrounding the use of genetically modified crops for human consumption, and how access to seed for such crops is controlled, we do not yet have a clear picture of how this modification affects rice plants' survival and general function," said Bodelier.Long-term measurements of methane emissions would be needed to calculate the crop's potential overall impact on greenhouse gas reduction efforts, he wrote.Also, the reduction of carbon in soil may have unknown consequences for other types of microorganisms that could aid or harm the plants.All said, the work should spur scientists worldwide "to conduct experiments to verify whether this variety will enable more sustainable cultivation of the crop that feeds half the human population," said Bodelier.
Description: Description: An Afghan farmer separates rice from grain chaff at …

Scientists warn of risk of arsenic in rice

Thursday, July 23, 2015 - 09:03 AM
Scientists at Queens University in Belfast are warning of the risks of arsenic in rice, in particular for babies and young children.

Description: Description: have found that using plenty of water during cooking can significantly cut the level of arsenic.Coffee percolators have been found to be particularly good for cooking rice.Inorganic arsenic is found in all types of rice, where its grown under flooded conditions which causes soil minerals, including arsenic, to be absorbed by the plant.A range of health problems including bladder and lung cancer can be caused by arsenic consumption.Professor Andy Mehang of Queens University said that babies in particular can be at risk."There's more concern over young children," he said.He added: "Their exposure to arsenic from rice is three times higher than adults, so I'd be especially careful to avoid as much as possible a reliance on rice products for young children - and there are many of them out there."

GMO rice could reduce greenhouse gas emissions, study says


Description: Description: Flooded rice paddy
Rice grows in flooded paddies, emitting methane in the process. A new variety of genetically engineered rice can sharply reduce these greenhouse gas emissions, a study says. Above, a rice paddy in Nepal.
Over half the people on the planet eat rice as a staple food. Growing rice emits methane, a potent greenhouse gas — to the tune of 25 million to 100 million metric tons of methane every year, a notable contribution to human-caused greenhouse gas emissions.

Description: Description: FDA says GMO apples, potatoes are 'safe for consumption'As the world’s population grows and needs more food, the problem is likely to get worse, but genetic engineering could help, a new study reports. By transferring a barley gene into a rice plant, scientists have created a new variety of rice that produces less methane while still making highly starchy, productive seeds. The development of the new rice strain is described this week in the journal Nature.
Description: Description: Can scientists engineer drought-tolerant plants?Finding a way to boost rice production while reducing methane emissions has been a goal for many years, said Chuanxin Sun, a plant biologist at the Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences and the lead author of the study. By engineering barley genes into the rice plant, “we demonstrated it’s possible to get these two traits with this technology,” he said.When rice paddies are flooded, methane-producing bacteria thrive on the carbohydrates secreted by rice roots in the oxygen-free soils. The rice plant itself acts as a conduit, transmitting methane from the soil into the atmosphere.

Description: Description: Rice growingMethane traps heat in the atmosphere with devastating efficiency: Over 20 years, it is 84 times stronger than carbon dioxide as a greenhouse gas, according to the most recent assessment from the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change.

By transferring a gene from barley into rice, scientists were able to produce a new variety of rice that emitted less methane and grew starchier seeds than conventional rice.
 (Feng Wang)
Sun and his team transferred barley genes that cause high-starch production in rice grains and stems. Based on previous research that proposed that rice plants with smaller root systems could produce less methane, the researchers hoped that the genetic transfer would cause their rice plants to allocate less energy toward growing roots and more toward making robust grains.
Then they planted a handful of their genetically engineered rice plants alongside conventionally grown Nipponbare rice in the laboratory and in two field settings in China.

Description: Description: Creating a 'genetic firewall' for GMOsNear the end of the growing season, in summer and fall, the researchers measured how much methane each plant emitted by covering it with a sealed plastic cylinder and using a syringe to extract the accumulated gasses in the trapped air. They also measured how much starch the plants allocated to their seeds, stems and roots, and how many methane-producing bacteria lived around the plant roots.As they suspected, the genetically engineered rice grew smaller root systems and starchier grains than conventional rice. Far fewer methane-producing bacteria hugged the roots of the new rice. And the new rice variety emitted less than 10% of the methane of conventional rice, they reported.
The genetically modified rice variety provides “a tremendous opportunity for more-sustainable rice cultivation,” Paul Bodelier, a microbial ecologist at the Netherlands Institute of Ecology, wrote in an essay that accompanied that research article.

Previous techniques for reducing methane emissions from rice paddies involve alternating flooding with dry periods, said Bruce Linquist, a plant scientist at UC Davis who specializes in rice cultivation and was not involved in the study. Although these techniques can cut methane emissions in half, they also can reduce the plants’ productivity. Additionally, in a lot of places where rice is grown, you can’t control when rice paddies are wet or dry because irrigation is based on seasonal rains and floods, he said.

The research is too preliminary to make solid conclusions about methane emissions from the genetically engineered rice, Linquist added. More research about how much methane whole rice paddies (and not just individual plants) emit over the entire growing season is necessary, he said. In addition, the new rice plants’ smaller root systems could make it difficult for the crop to uptake nutrients.“It needs to be tested more in the field,” he said.Even if the new rice variety does prove to reduce methane emissions on a larger scale, there are still barriers to it being grown and sold. Genetically engineered rice isn't commercially cultivated anywhere in the world, in part because of ethical and biological concerns about the spread of engineered rice pollen, experts said."There's not a market for it," Linquist said

Can rice give you cancer? 'Not if you cook it in a coffee percolator'


Rice contains high levels of arsenic because it is grown in flood plains, but steaming it in a coffee percolator removes most of the poison

Description: Description: Cooking rice
People who eat a lot of rice are exposed to dangerous levels of arsenic, according to the research Photo: © Yuji Kotani
Rice should be cooked in a coffee percolator because it contains dangerous levels of carcinogenic arsenic, scientists have said.People who eat a lot of rice are exposed to dangerous levels of arsenic which can cause lung and bladder cancer, researchers at Queen’s University in Belfast claim.But now they have come up with a simple solution. Allowing rice to steam in a normal coffee percolator removes 85 per cent of the arsenic, they found.Rice is the only major crop grown under the flooded conditions of paddy fields. It is this flooding that releases inorganic arsenic, normally locked up in soil minerals, which is then absorbed by the plant.

Too much arsenic is associated with a range of health problems.Andy Meharg, Professor of Plant and Soil Sciences at Queen's Institute for Global Food Security said: “This is a very significant breakthrough as this offers an immediate solution to decreasing inorganic arsenic in the diet.“In our research we rethought the method of rice cooking to optimise the removal of inorganic arsenic and we discovered that by using percolating technology, where cooking water is continually passed through rice in a constant flow, we could maximise removal of arsenic.
Description: Description: rice in a percolator can decrease the risk of exposure to inorganic arsenic
“Chronic exposure to inorganic arsenic can cause a range of health problems including developmental problems, heart disease, diabetes and nervous system damage. However, most worrying are lung and bladder cancers.”Rice has, typically, ten times more inorganic arsenic than other foods and according to the European Food Standards Authority, people who eat a lot of rice, as is the case in many parts of the developing world, are exposed to worrying concentrations.Children and infants are of particular concern as they eat, relatively, three times more rice than adults – baby rice being a popular food for weaning– and their organs are still developing.Queen’s is at the patent stage for the development of a bespoke rice cooker based on a percolation system which means consumers could soon have this technology in their own kitchen.What is the official advice on how to avoid the health risks associated with arsenic in rice?
The FSA says it is the responsibility of manufacturers to ensure that the food they produce is as low as possible in arsenic
Children under four and a half years of age should not be given rice milk as a substitute for breast milk, formula or regular milk

CCEA eases curbs on export of edible oil

Tribune News Service
New Delhi, July 22

The Cabinet Committee on Economic Affairs (CCEA) has eased restrictions on export of edible oil.
The CCEA in a meeting approved the proposal of the Commerce Ministry to allow unrestricted exports of rice bran oil in bulk.In addition, it also removed the quantitative limit of 10,000 tonne per annum on export of organic edible oils subject to contracts being registered and certified as organic by Agricultural and Processed Food Products Export Development Authority (APEDA).Justifying the move, a government statement said that export of edible oils has been banned since 2008 and certain exemptions have been given from time to time.
It has now been decided to allow bulk exports of rice bran oil which is premium edible oil and has limited direct consumption base in India. This will be done without any restrictions of minimum export price (MEP) or consumer packs.According to the government, this step would help the country to fully exploit the potential of rice bran oil and would help small rice millers through better realization of rice bran without increasing the cost of rice.At present, export of organic edible oils is allowed subject to quantitative restriction of 10,000 tonne per year. The government has decided to remove this restriction to send a clear message to investors and the growers community to invest in organic exports thereby capturing higher end of the value chain through better realisations.

Northeast Louisiana Rice Growers Hold Annual Field Day
USA Rice's Ben Mosely
RAYVILLE, LA -- The Northeast Louisiana Rice Growers' Association hosted its annual rice and soybean field day yesterday at the Louisiana State University (LSU) AgCenter's off-station research plots on the Woodsland Plantation.  The field day was coordinated by LSU AgCenter agricultural agents in the region.
 Farmers and allied rice industry personnel heard reports from researchers on production recommendations including varietal development, insect and disease control, and fertilizer management.  Growers also received an update on production issues observed by AgCenter researchers during the current growing season and the outlook for issues they may face in upcoming seasons.

"Field days like this are one of the best ways for the LSU rice research team to showcase their hard work," said Dr. Steve Linscombe, long-time rice breeder and director of the LSU AgCenter Rice Research Station.  "We're always excited to share with growers some of the new varieties on the horizon and how we think they may impact the rice industry."Following the research demonstrations, attendees assembled at the Rayville Civic Center for soybean-related pest and disease updates. The day's program concluded with a policy update from USA Rice's Vice President of Government Affairs Ben Mosely, with an emphasis on 2014 Farm Bill provisions that USA Rice aggressively advocated for such as Supplemental Coverage Option, Price Loss Coverage, and Margin Protection. "As these new farm bill programs are rolled out, farmers want to know the direct effect on their operations," said Mosely.  "We're working closely with the U.S. Department of Agriculture and their Farm Service Agency and Risk Management Agency to ensure that these programs work to the best benefit of rice farmers."
 Mosely also gave an update on U.S. rice export market conditions, including the Trans Pacific Partnership negotiations with Japan, irregular market access in Iraq, and the potential reopening of the Cuban market.
 Contact:  Randy Jemison (337) 738-7009
CCC Announces Prevailing World Market Prices 
WASHINGTON, DC --The Department of Agriculture's Commodity Credit Corporationtoday announced the following prevailing world market prices of milled and rough rice, adjusted for U.S. milling yields and location, and the resulting marketing loan gain (MLG) and loan deficiency payment (LDP) rates applicable to the 2014 crop, which will become effective today at 7:00 a.m., Eastern Time (ET).  Prices are unchanged from the previous announcement.

World Price

Milled Value ($/cwt)
Rough ($/cwt)
Rough ($/cwt)
Long Grain
Medium/Short Grain

This week's prevailing world market prices and MLG/LDP rates are based on the following U.S. milling yields and the corresponding loan rates:

U.S. Milling Yields
Loan Rate
Long Grain
Medium/Short Grain

The next program announcement is scheduled for
 July 29, 2015.    

CME Group/Closing Rough Rice Futures   
CME Group (Prelim):  Closing Rough Rice Futures for July 22
Net Change

September 2015
 + $0.115
November 2015
+ $0.110
January 2016
+ $0.105
March 2016
+ $0.150
May 2016
+ $0.155
July 2016
+ $0.155
September 2016
+ $0.155

Rice farming reduction to make room for livestock feed materials, experts
Rice farming area has exceeded plan resulting in supply redundancy and low price while breeding industry has depended on import materials causing high-cost feed products to plague breeders. Therefore, experts have said that rice area should be reduced to make room for livestock feed material production, especially corn.An animal feed shop in the northern province of Hai Duong (Photo: SGGP)
Description: Description: of breeders have purchased import feed products at high prices for the last several years because Vietnam's breeding industry has depended on import materials. Breeding is among the weakest industries nearly without export products.Latest data from the General Department of Vietnam Customs shows that Vietnam spent US$3 billion on import feed last year. Maize import hit a record high output of 3.72 million tons and turnover of US$744 million in the first six months this year.The Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development reported that Vietnam yielded US$2.95 billion from rice exports but spent up to US$3 billion on livestock feed and material imports every year. It touched US$4 billion if calculating maize, soybean and wheat.
Experts said that Vietnam had the advantage in rice farming but disadvantage in feed material production.American feed provider Bunge Group predicted that Vietnam’s import demand on maize has increased to 3.5-4 million tons a year. Besides, the country has imported nearly 950,000 tons of soybeans worth US$438 million. It is expected to continue increasing in the upcoming time due to hot and muggy weather.According to chairman of the Vietnam Animal Feed Association Le Ba Lich, Vietnam needs 12.5 million tons of livestock feed annually but imports up to 9-10 million tons of materials for production.
He has proposed the Government to reconsider of the plan on livestock feed material production, rebalance farming areas between rice and corn--the main feed material.Deputy Head of the Department of Livestock Production Nguyen Xuan Duong said that feed accounted for 70 percent of breeding product prices while the breeding industry has been conditional on import materials. Therefore any fluctuation in the Vietnamese dong to US dollar exchange rate has greatly affected local breeding industry and food market.In addition, the agricultural industry has been forced to tighten management over feed quality as the high import demand has unleashed low quality materials to enter domestic market, he added.Minister Cao Duc Phat said it unacceptable that Vietnam’s feed prices are 15-20 percent higher than that in Thailand and other nations in the world.
Feed material farming development would reduce the dependence and help farmers lower cost prices to improve competitiveness and profit, he said.In the breeding development strategy by 2020, the ministry targets to develop breeding into a main production industry, accounting for 42 percent of agricultural value structure, he added.Experts said that in order to obtain the target, the ministry should set up policies, aiming to build and develop feed material source right now.
Small water flow brings joy to rice farmers in Thailand 
BY EDITOR ON          2015-07-22 THAILAND
BANGKOK: — AS SOON as water began flowing into their paddy fields again yesterday, farmers in Lop Buri’s Ban Mi district felt like they were on cloud nine. “I am over the moon. I feel like heaven,” said Surat Rueangroong, 69.He said it had broken his heart to walk around the paddy fields for the past month and see his rice plants wither from lack of water, day after day.The Royal Irrigation Department had allowed farmers in Surat’s town to pump water into their fields.
“We are permitted to do so for just one day. But it’s still better than nothing and we understand that we have to share water with farmers in other zones too,” the farmer said.Ayutthaya Governor Apichart Dodilokwej said the government was trying to support about 100,000 rai of fields where rice had first started to sprout. “We are prioritising the needs for water in each zone,” he said.
With supply tight, the government had resolved to cut water for farms in a bid to ensure people would still have water for their daily activities until the annual rains start. However, authorities are also trying to ensure that they can ease farmers’ woes where possible. And some farmers have already managed to turn the drought crisis into an opportunity.In Uttaradit’s Laplae district, locals in Ban Pong Kachee are now doing well with their new livelihood – making mushroom spawn for sale. “Months ago, we were told to postpone growing rice until adequate rain arrived. So, we started looking for supplementary jobs. We need to earn money,” farmer Namneung Jeamklin said yesterday.

Description: Description: 30264942-01_big.JPG?1437518308503Locals in Ban Pong Kachee looked around their neighbourhood and saw that it had plenty of sawdust because there were many wood-processing factories nearby.In Sukhothai province, many farmers decided to grow cassava in place of rice in the face of the water shortage.“Cassava requires little water. We have to go for it,” said Jamroon Sukpan, the kamnan of Tambon Nong Chik.
Commerce Min inspects substandard rice stock before auction
Date : 22 กรกฎาคม 2558
BANGKOK, 22 July 2015 (NNT) – The Ministry of Commerce is reexamining the government’s stockpile of low-quality rice before releasing it to the industrial sector. Ms Jintana Chaiyawonnagal, Chairperson of the Public Warehouse Organization (PWO), led concerned officials and press members to conduct another inspection of rice stock at a warehouse in Khlong Sam Wa district of Bangkok. The objective of the inspection was to collect samples of rice grains in order for them to be rechecked on quality and grade prior to the bidding process. It was found that the warehouse was containing 8,911 tons of off-season white rice from the 2012 crop year. Of the total, 1,430 tons have so far been confirmed to be in deteriorated condition. Ms Jintana said such an inspection is being carried out constantly on a random basis. She expected all findings to be concluded within this week, after which they will be reported to the Commerce Ministry.
Meanwhile, Commerce Minister Gen Chatchai Sarikalya disclosed that bidding conditions will be announced next week for 400,000-500,000 tons of good-quality rice. Another 1.29 million tons of substandard rice will also be offered to the industrial sector and there will be a follow-up inspection to ensure that the low-quality grains are not resold to the general market for consumption.

Thai rice sales extending decline on competition

by Bloomberg News - July 22, 2015
RICE exports from Thailand will probably drop further from a record amid cheaper supplies from Asian rivals and as the worst drought in almost 30 years parches crops in the world’s biggest supplier.Thailand is poised to ship 9.5 million metric tons this year, lower than the 10 million tons forecast in February, the Thai Rice Exporters Association said in a statement on Tuesday. The country sold a record 10.97 million tons in 2014.Cheaper shipments from Vietnam, the third-biggest exporter, spurred a unit of the US Department of Agriculture (USDA) to cut its forecast for Thai exports last month. The USDA’s Foreign Agricultural Service said on June 30 that Thailand may export 10 million tons this year, 9 percent less than estimated earlier. Dry weather amid a strengthening El Niño may cut the main harvest to the lowest in nine years, data from Thailand’s Office of Agricultural Economics show.

“Competition is high,” Chareon Laothamatas, president of the association, said at a news briefing in Bangkok. “Our prices are about $50 a ton above that of Vietnam.”The price of Thai 5-percent broken white rice was quoted at $404 a ton on July 15, higher than $385 in India, the second-biggest shipper, and $350 in Vietnam, the association said on its web site. Futures in Chicago traded at $10.90 per 100 pounds on Tuesday after slumping to $9.25 on May 13, the lowest level since 2006.
State stockpiles
“We’re concerned that Vietnam could take more of our share in the white-rice market,” said Chookiat Ophaswongse, honorary president of the association. It can offer supplies at cheaper rates because of lower production costs and as its crops have been less impacted by drought, he said on Tuesday.El Niño, which can bake parts of Asia and disrupt harvests worldwide, has further strengthened and may persist into 2016, Australia’s Bureau of Meteorology said on its web site on Tuesday. Thailand’s main harvest, which accounts for about 70 percent of annual production, may slump 14 percent to 23.3 million tons, according to Office of Agricultural Economics data.
A decline in production could help the military government accelerate sales of state reserves accumulated after the administration of former Prime Minister Yingluck Shinawatra introduced a purchase program in 2011 to support farmers. Stockpiles in Thailand are poised to fall to 6.2 million tons this season, the lowest since 2010-2011, according to the USDA.“Drought may reduce output of white rice by 15 percent to 20 percent,” Chareon said. That should provide the government an opportunity to sell more of the stockpiled rice, he said.The inventory at the end of June totaled 15.11 million tons of which 9.15 million tons was food grade, Commerce Minister Chatchai Sarikulya said last week.

Nagpur Foodgrain Prices Open-July 22

Nagpur, July 22 Gram and tuar prices firmed up in Nagpur Agriculture Produce and
Marketing Committee (APMC) here on increased demand from local millers amid tight supply from
producing regions. Poor monsoon session, downward trend in Madhya Pradesh pulses and enquiries
from South-based plants also jacked up prices, according to sources. 
               *            *              *              *
   * Deshi gram raw and gram filter reported higher on good demand from local traders 
     amid thin arrival from producing regions.
   * Tuar varieties ruled steady in open market here on subdued demand from local traders 
     amid ample stock in ready position.  
   * Watana dal recovered strongly in open market here on increased buying support 
     from local traders amid weak arrival from producing regions.
   * In Akola, Tuar - 7,100-7,200, Tuar dal - 10,100-10,300, Udid at 9,500-9,900, 
     Udid Mogar (clean) - 11,000-11,400, Moong - 7,000-8,000, Moong Mogar 
    (clean) 9,800-10,100, Gram - 4,100-4,200, Gram Super best bold - 5,700-5,900 
     for 100 kg.
   * Wheat, rice and other commodities remained steady in open market 
     in thin trading activity, according to sources.
 Nagpur foodgrains APMC auction/open-market prices in rupees for 100 kg
     FOODGRAINS                 Available prices     Previous close   
     Gram Auction                   3,800-4,540         3,770-4,520
     Gram Pink Auction            n.a.           2,100-2,600
     Tuar Auction                6,700-7,460         6,600-7,460
     Moong Auction                n.a.                6,000-6,400
     Udid Auction                n.a.           4,300-4,500
     Masoor Auction                n.a.              2,600-2,800
     Gram Super Best Bold            6,000-6,200        6,000-6,200
     Gram Super Best            n.a.                
     Gram Medium Best            5,700-5,800        5,700-5,800
     Gram Dal Medium            n.a.            n.a.
     Gram Mill Quality            5,350-5,550        5,350-5,550
     Desi gram Raw                4,550-4,650         4,500-4,600
     Gram Filter new            5,950-6,150        5,900-6,100
     Gram Kabuli                5,600-7,100        5,600-7,100
     Gram Pink                6,500-6,700        6,500-6,700
     Tuar Fataka Best             10,600-10,850        10,600-10,850
     Tuar Fataka Medium             10,200-10,500        10,200-10,500
     Tuar Dal Best Phod            9,700-9,900        9,700-9,900
     Tuar Dal Medium phod            9,200-9,500        9,200-9,500
     Tuar Gavarani New             7,650-7,750        7,650-7,750
     Tuar Karnataka             8,100-8,300        8,100-8,300
     Tuar Black                 11,000-11,300           11,000-11,300 
     Masoor dal best            8,000-8,300        8,000-8,300
     Masoor dal medium            7,700-7,900        7,700-7,900
     Masoor                    n.a.            n.a.
     Moong Mogar bold               9,500-10,500        9,500-10,500
     Moong Mogar Medium best        8,800-9,200        8,800-9,200
     Moong dal Chilka            8,800-9,200        8,800-9,800
     Moong Mill quality            n.a.            n.a.
     Moong Chamki best            9,600-9,900        9,600-9,900
     Udid Mogar Super best (100 INR/KG)    11,200-11,800       11,200-11,800
     Udid Mogar Medium (100 INR/KG)    10,600-11,000        10,600-11,000
     Udid Dal Black (100 INR/KG)        9,200-9,600        9,200-9,600
     Batri dal (100 INR/KG)        4,500-5,000        4,400-4,800
     Lakhodi dal (100 INR/kg)           3,250-3,350         3,250-3,350
     Watana Dal (100 INR/KG)        3,300-3,400        3,100-3,350
     Watana White (100 INR/KG)        3,100-3,200         3,100-3,200
     Watana Green Best (100 INR/KG)    3,200-3,800        3,200-3,800
     Wheat 308 (100 INR/KG)        1,400-1,500        1,400-1,500
     Wheat Mill quality(100 INR/KG)    1,550-1,700        1,550-1,700
     Wheat Filter (100 INR/KG)        1,300-1,500           1,300-1,500
     Wheat Lokwan best (100 INR/KG)    2,200-2,400        2,200-2,400
     Wheat Lokwan medium (100 INR/KG)    1,900-2,100        1,900-2,100
     Lokwan Hath Binar (100 INR/KG)    n.a.            n.a.
     MP Sharbati Best (100 INR/KG)    3,200-3,700        3,200-3,700
     MP Sharbati Medium (100 INR/KG)    2,550-2,850        2,550-2,850        
     Rice BPT New(100 INR/KG)        2,750-2,900        2,750-2,900
     Rice BPT (100 INR/KG)               3,050-3,300        3,050-3,300
     Rice Parmal (100 INR/KG)        1,600-1,750        1,600-1,750
     Rice Swarna new (100 INR/KG)      2,200-2,450        2,200-2,450
     Rice Swarna old (100 INR/KG)      2,500-2,700        2,500-2,700
     Rice HMT new(100 INR/KG)        3,100-3,600        3,100-3,600
     Rice HMT (100 INR/KG)               3,800-4,200        3,800-4,200
     Rice HMT Shriram New(100 INR/KG)    4,200-4,500        4,200-4,500
     Rice HMT Shriram old (100 INR/KG)    4,500-5,100        4,500-5,100     
     Rice Basmati best (100 INR/KG)    8,000-10,000        8,000-10,000
     Rice Basmati Medium (100 INR/KG)    7,000-7,500        7,000-7,500
     Rice Chinnor new (100 INR/KG)    4,500-4,800        4,500-4,800
     Rice Chinnor (100 INR/KG)        5,100-5,500        5,100-5,500
     Jowar Gavarani (100 INR/KG)        2,100-2,350        2,100-2,350
     Jowar CH-5 (100 INR/KG)        2,400-2,500        2,400-2,500
Maximum temp. 31.0 degree Celsius (87.8 degree Fahrenheit), minimum temp.
25.4 degree Celsius (77.7 degree Fahrenheit)
Humidity: Highest - n.a., lowest - n.a.
Rainfall : nil
FORECAST: Generally cloudy sky. Rains or thunder-showers likely. Maximum and minimum temperature
would be around and 32 and 24 degree Celsius respectively.
Note: n.a.--not available
(For oils, transport costs are excluded from plant delivery prices, but included in market prices.)

Venezuelan farmers ordered to hand over produce to state


As Venezuela's food shortages worsen, the president of the country's Food Industry Chamber has said that authorities ordered producers of milk, pasta, oil, rice, sugar and flour to supply their products to the state stores

People queue up outside a supermarket in Caracas earlier this year  Photo: AFP
Description: Description: Harriet Alexander6:32PM BST 21 Jul 2015
Venezuela's embattled government has taken the drastic step of forcing food producers to sell their produce to the state, in a bid to counter the ever-worsening shortages.Farmers and manufacturers who produce milk, pasta, oil, rice, sugar and flour have been told to supply between 30 per cent and 100 per cent of their products to the state stores. Shortages, rationing and queues outside supermarkets have become a way of life for Venezuelans, as their isolated country battles against rigid currency controls and a shortage of US dollars – making it difficult for Venezuelans to find imported goods. Description: Description: Venezuelan farmers ordered to hand over produce to state
Pablo Baraybar, president of the Venezuelan Food Industry Chamber, said that the order was illogical, and damaging to Venezuelan consumers."Taking products from the supermarkets and shops to hand them over to the state network doesn't help in any way," he said. "And problems like speculating will only get worse, because the foods will be concentrated precisely in the areas where the resellers go.He pointed to statistics showing that two thirds of hoarders – or "bachaqueros", giant ants, as they are nicknamed in Venezuela – buy their goods from the three state-owned chains, to resell at a profit.

"Consumers will be forced to spend more time in queues, given that the goods will be available in fewer stores."The state owns 7,245 stores, compared to more than 113,000 in private hands. Mr Baraybar said that many of the private shops were in densely-populated areas, meaning that people will now be forced to make longer journeys to the state stores.The Chamber has asked the government for a meeting to discuss the plan, which they say they were not informed of."This does absolutely nothing to help with the shortages," he said, adding that the solution was for the government to increase national production.

In March, Venezuelans were so worried about food shortages and dimininshing stocks of basic goods, fingerprint scanners were installed in supermarkets in an attempt to crack down on hoarding.Venezuela’s official rate of inflation hit 64 per cent last year – the highest in the world. The government hides the scale of shortages, but angry consumers regularly post photos of empty shelves on social media.

Water reserves improve slightly after rain

22 Jul 2015 at 12:43
Buddhist monks and novices lead local farmers in a ceremonial planting of rice in Phu Phiang district of Nan province on Wednesday, in the wake of heavy rain. (Photo by Rarinthorn Petcharoen)
Recent rain has slightly increased water reserves in the North, the Northeast and the Central Plain and rice farmers in some provinces have taken a chance and begun planting their long delayed main crop. Heavy rain was reported in Nakhon Ratchasima, Nan, Phetchabun, Phichit, Phitsanulok, Sakon Nakhon, Sukhothai, Tak and Uttaradit provinces over the past few days.On Wednesday morning, the Pa Sak River overflowed into nearby communities in Lom Kao district of Phetchabun. In Mae Sot district of Tak, heavy rain caused landslides that toppled big trees along Highway 12 (Tak-Mae Sot).Ekasit Sakdeethanaporn, director of the Chao Phraya dam in Chai Nat province, said the level of the Chao Phraya River just above the dam in Sapphaya district continued to rise above its critical level of 14 metres above mean sea level for the second day on Wednesday. It rose by 15 centimetres in 24 hours to 14.21m above sea level after being below 14m for five weeks.He attributed the increase to rainfall upstream from the dam in Kamphaeng Phet, Nakhon Sawan and Uthai Thani provinces, and farmers' cooperation with the government's request to stop pumping water to their fields for the time being to save water for general  use.Mr Ekasit said the Chao Phraya dam increased its discharge rate to 95 cubic metres per second to supply freshwater to the Sam Lae water intake station of the Metropolitan Waterworks Authority in Pathum Thani province, to maintain the standard of tap water in Bangkok and nearby provinces.
The Chao Phraya dam increases its discharge rate in Chai Nat province on Wednesday. (Photo by Chudate Seehawong)

Rain also raised water levels at Nam Un and Nam Phung dams and in Nong Han lake in Sakon Nakhon province. Their water reserves amounted to 373.55 million cu/m, or 39% of their total capacity. They had been at 63% at the same time last year.Sakon Nakhon governor Boonsong Techawanit said the water would be kept for general consumption first, not agriculture.However, the rains prompted farmers to start planting rice in Nan and Nakhon Ratchasima provinces. In Nan, monks and novices ceremonially planted rice in a paddy field to boost the morale of local farmers who had long waited for rain.In Nakhon Ratchasima, farmers said although they doubted the rain would continue, they had to take a gamble and plant their crops because they might not have another chance this year. They had already postponed planting for three weeks and local canals remained dry.The Meteorological Department has forecast rainfall would decrease from Thursday to Saturday, but return in the North and Northeast on Sunday and Monday.
U.S. Rice Recognized at Food for Peace Celebration
USA Rice's Sarah Moran (l) and USAID Acting Assistant Administrator Thomas Staal
WASHINGTON, DC -- USA Rice was one of the selected exhibitors at a Capitol Hill celebration yesterday on the occasion of the 60th anniversary of the U.S. Food for Peace program.  Food for Peace has provided life-saving food assistance through the use of in-kind food donations including rice, to more than three billion people in vulnerable communities around the world.  The event was hosted by the Chairmen of the House Committee on Agriculture and the House Appropriations Subcommittee on Agriculture.  House Committee on Agriculture Chair Mike Conaway (R-TX) thanked USA Rice, other attendees, and the American people for their willingness and desire to feed the world's hungry.
 "This was an important opportunity for USA Rice to showcase longstanding participation in, and commitment to, the U.S. global feeding programs and to provide information to Congress, USAID, and Private Voluntary Organizations (PVOs) on the introduction of a new fortified rice product to address hidden hunger," said Jim Guinn, USA Rice's vice president of international promotion.While the U.S. has made progress in addressing overall hunger, hidden hunger -- in the form of severe micronutrient deficiencies -- remains a major impediment to proper development in many vulnerable communities.  Statistics from the United States Agency for International Development (USAID) note that more than two billion people still suffer from hidden hunger. Fortified rice is the first new product introduced to U.S. global feeding programs as a result of research and testing conducted under the auspices of both USAID and USDA.  Extensive studies have shown that fortified rice is widely accepted by communities worldwide and is effective in addressing some of the most severe deficiencies such as vitamin A and anemia. 
 Fortified rice contains levels of iron, thiamin, zinc, vitamin A, folic acid, and other B vitamins, formulated in a way that allows for maximum nutrient uptake.  "The look and taste of fortified rice is just like regular milled rice," says Dr. Yi Wu, Chief Innovation Director of the Wright Group, a company that produces fortified rice.  "Recent trials in Cambodia and the historical (in some cases mandatory) use of fortified rice in the Philippines and Costa Rica, have shown both wide scale acceptance of the product and efficiency in nutrient bioavailability to address hidden hunger.  Rice is one of the most consumed foods in the world and through fortification, the nutritional needs of vulnerable populations will be met in an appetizing, culturally-appropriate way."
Fortified rice is now part of USAID's Master List of commodities and it is expected that several PVOs will begin to specify this product in feeding rations in both USDA's McGovern Dole school feeding programs and USAID's Food for Peace programs as a cost effective and culturally appropriate way to address the persistent challenge of hidden hunger.

 Contact:  Sarah Moran (703) 236-1457         

Download/View On-Line the above News in pdf format,just click the following link