Saturday, December 26, 2015

25th December 2015 Daily Global Rice E-Newsletter by Riceplus Magazine

Rice News Headlines...
·         Vietnam’s rice, although top-rated, is a poor money earner
·         Phnom Penh Post - Rice farmers looking at dry spell
·         Pakistan gifts 15000 tonnes of rice to Cuba
·         Why we sell rice
 News Detail...
Vietnam’s rice, although top-rated, is a poor money earner
VietNamNet Bridge - Vietnam has been listed among the top three countries which provide the most delicious rice in the world. However, Vietnam still cannot export ‘the pearl from God’ to many countries.

Vietnam has for the first time seen one of its rice varieties added to the list of the three most delicious varieties recognized by Rice Trader, an international rice research organization. The conclusion was made after a competition organized at the international rice conference held in Malaysia in late October 2015. Vietnam’s rice variety is ‘Hat ngoc troi so 3’ (the God’s Pearl No 3), made from Loc troi so 1 variety (the old name was AGPPS 103), developed by Loc Troi Group, which was the An Giang Plant Protection JSC.

According to Duong Van Chinh from Dinh Thanh Agriculture Research Center, the competition is organized annually by The Rice Trader, to which all rice importers and exporters can join by sending rice samples.California’s fragrant rice was recognized as the most delicious, while the second position belonged to Cambodian Jasmine.

Also according to Chin, in order to create high quality varieties like Hat ngoc troi so 3, Loc Troi had to make heavy investments in the agriculture research center, gathering the best scientists and selecting short-term high-yield rice varieties (3 crops a year), but the quality is in no way inferior to the rice varie
ties grown on the Mekong River’s upper course, including Thailand and Cambodia.
Loc Troi so 1 variety has recently been recognized by the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development, which allows the rice to be sold on a large scale to people.Apart from Loc Troi so 1, Loc Troi Group has one more strategic variety – Loc Troi so 18 (the old name was AGPPS 140). The typical characteristic of Loc Troi so 18 is the long grain and high quality. The rice variety is being grown under trial by the Plantation Agency. To date, Loc Troi has exported some varieties, including Jasmine and Hat ngoc troi so 3 to 36 countries.Chin said Hat ngoc troi so 3 was sold for VND17,000-18,000 per kilo in Vietnam and exported at prices which are equal or higher than Jasmine exported by other companies, at $550-600 per ton.However, an analyst commented that though Vietnam’s rice is delicious, Vietnam still cannot make big money from ric
e. The problem is that it still cannot organize production on a large scale.Chin commented that if just 70 out of 140 enterprises belonging to the Vietnam Food Association build a rice value chain like Loc Troi Group’s and develops only one high-quality variety, Vietnam would have millions of tons of high-quality rice a year

 Vietnam has been listed among the top three countries which provide the most delicious rice in the world.


Phnom Penh Post - Rice farmers looking at dry spell

A farmer harvests his rice crop in Russey Keo district earlier this year. The government has asked rice farmers to only plant one crop of rice this dry season in an effort to avert water shortages. Vireak Mai
Fri, 25 December 2015
Farmers and exporters have expressed concerns over an Agriculture Ministry notice issued on Wednesday asking farmers to have only one harvest this upcoming dry season because of water shortages across the country, given that this could affect the paddy output next year.The ministry notice cited a prolonged El Niño period going into next year and suggested that farmers refrain from planting a second rice crop, even if they had access to sufficient water. Instead, the ministry said farmers could plant other less water-intensive crops.“Farmers should not plant rice for a second time this dry season, because it will consume more water,” said Eang Sophallet, spokesman of Ministry of Agriculture.
“They should keep water for daily usage and start farming crops that do not need much water.”Given the drought conditions in certain parts of the country, Sophallet said the ministry will cooperate with farmers on conserving water and help them with planting other crops.“It will impact slightly the livelihood of farmers and the rice industry. Based on the estimates the impact will be only 1 per cent on exports,” Sophallet said.Som Song, director of Chamroeurn Phal Raingkesey agriculture community in Battambang, said farmers were aware of the low water levels and drought-like conditions, but were worried if they could not plant a second rice crop.“The water channel and ponds in the commune are drying, and it will dry up by February,” he said, “I hope that the government will dig the deep well for us, but I am still worried.

”According to Song, 90 per cent of the people, which was around 2,000 families, in his commune were dependent on rice farming and restrictions on planting a second crop could affect their incomes. He added that planting a new type of crop was easier said than done.“We do not have the experience to grow other crops and it is not in our interests to do it because it will be difficult to payback our loans,” he said, “Most young farmers will have to leave and work outside the province again.”Song Saran, CEO of rice exporter Amru Rice, said the reduction in production will affect the output of white rice, which is expected to be harvested in the next two weeks.He added that this could also impact the price of white rice in the market – a product which is already facing intense competition from Myanmar rice exports.“The drought will impact exports because we will have the shortage of white rice, which is in high demand in the market and the price will increase,” Saran said.

He added that farmers normally have more paddy than can be bought by rice millers, which they stored and then sold to neighbouring countries.This additional income, he said, will become more difficult to earn if farmers are unable to grow and store enough rice.Srey Chanthy, an independent economist specialising in agriculture, said that with almost 80 per cent of the workforce dependent on rice farming, there was a greater need for better irrigational facilities, which could lessen the effects of the El Niño.“Farmers have no choice but to do rice farming, because they do not know the technicalities of other crops and the land conditions may not be conducive as well,” he said, adding that in such a situation farming communities will see more people moving to the cities to work in garment factories.
Contact author: Cheng Sokhorng

Pakistan gifts 15000 tonnes of rice to Cuba

December 24, 2015 @ 2:41 PM by Web Desk

Published in Pakistan

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ISLAMABAD: Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif on Wednesday announced a gift of 15000 tonnes of rice to the people of Cuba to commemorate the 60th anniversary of the establishment of Pakistan-Cuba diplomatic relations.According to a release by Foreign Office, the gift is being given as an expression of gratitude for the unprecedented support provided by Cuba to Pakistan after the 2005 earthquake.The release stated that a formal ceremony was held at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, where the Adviser to the Prime Minister on Foreign Affairs Sartaj Aziz, made the announcement.

The Cuban Ambassador-designate to Pakistan, H.E. Gabriel Tiel Capote, and other Cuban Embassy officials were also present on the occasion.Pakistan and Cuba enjoy long-standing and time-tested cooperation based on mutual respect and understanding. Both countries have also supported each other at the International forums, FO stated.Following the 2005 earthquake in Pakistan, Cuban relief and medical contingent, led by the present Foreign Minister H.E. Bruno Rodriguez Parrilla, provided assistance to the earthquake victims for six months. Cuba also offered 1000 fully funded scholarships to Pakistani students from the earthquake affected areas, the release said.

Published: 24 December 2015
SOLOMON Islands Ports Authority (SIPA) wants to break the monopoly on rice sales in the country.This came after the country’s long time rice importer, Sol Rice has been dominating the market for years now.Even the government’s effort to help local farmers plant rice to reduce importation did not bear fruit as people still resort to paying Sol Rice bags in the shops. SIPA Director Commercial, Glyn Joshua said people felt that SIPA should not sell rice because it’s a State Owned Enterprise.Hoever, Mr Joshua said SIPA felt they should sell rice because the company belongs to Solomon Islanders.

“From statistics in the Ministry of Finance, Solomon Islanders spent around $550 million annually on rice,” he said.“However, with the SIPA rice, Solomon Islanders will save $150 million to put back in the economy,” he added.Mr Joshua said SIPA will try its best to reach the whole population of Solomon Islands with its rice in future.As part of its promotion, he said SIPA will promote the rice in the media and train people in the provinces on the methods to cook the rice.He said currently, SIPA wants to promote the rice by selling it to people returning to the provinces and those staying in Honiara.Apart from that, it will send some rice down to Noro, Western province, for its sale as well.

December 25, 2015
Country's rice exports are likely to surge mainly due to lower rice production in Thailand and expected lifting of US sanctions on Iran. The country's basmati rice exports continued downtrend and recorded a fall of 21 percent during FY15, while it was showing some stability a year earlier. Pakistan's basmati is shipped mainly to the GCC countries, especially UAE, Oman and Yemen, however, Indian varieties have penetrated deeply into these markets on the back of strong marketing and distribution network. According to State Bank of Pakistan's (SBP), Pakistani exporters have succumbed to competition from India, as quantum exports have nearly halved in the past five years. Due to lower demand for exports, farmers also prefer other varieties over basmati as it is a low-yield variety, more water intense and costlier to produce. The only factor that had earlier pulled farmers into basmati, was the international demand and higher unit values compared to other varieties, now with tapering exports, it has become less lucrative to grow this variety.

The bulk of Pakistan's rice export is now made up of non-basmati varieties and their performance is consistently improving as these varieties are cheaper than basmati, these are popular in low-income African countries, like Kenya, Madagascar, Mozambique and Tanzania. In FY15 also, export of non-basmati rice posted a quantum increase of 8 percent as against 21 percent decline in Basmati rice. The demand for broken rice remained particularly strong, especially from Afghanistan, Indonesia, Senegal and Mozambique. However, values could not recover much due to low unit prices compared to basmati. SBP is expecting some increase in rice exports in coming days following the two developments.
With Iran nuclear deal, it is likely that the UN will lift sanctions and it will directly benefit for Pakistan as Iran is the largest importer of basmati rice in the world. If sanctions are lifted, Iranian market would be open to many other countries, including Pakistan. Back in FY09, Pakistan was the major rice supplier in the Iranian market before sanctions put the trade between two countries to a near hold. Secondly, severe drought is likely to hurt 2015 rice production in Thailand, the largest exporter of non-basmati varieties. Thai government has reduced rice production estimates by around 9 percent compared to the previous season, as it requested farmers to delay plantations. Thailand is already grappling with quality issues with rice the government had stockpiled in the previous few years, under the costly pledging scheme. Other producers like India, Vietnam and Pakistan are likely to benefit.
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Vietnam is one of the biggest rice exporters in the world