Thursday, February 25, 2016

6th january,2016 Daily Exclusive ORYZA Rice E-Newsletter by Riceplus Magazine

Sri Lanka Grants Duty Free Access to Pakistan Basmati Rice

Jan 05, 2016
Sri Lanka has granted duty free access to 102 products from Pakistan, including basmati rice, oranges and engineering goods, as part of a free trade agreement (FTA), according to Lanka Business Online.
The two countries have agreed to include services and investment chapters in the bilateral FTA, that was signed in 2005. They have reportedly agreed to offer preferential market access to each other’s' exports through tariff concessions.
The Premiers of the two countries finalized the extended bilateral FTA today in Colombo. They also signed 8 bilateral agreements in the fields of hydro power, cement, fishing and navel.
“This would enable our companies to form joint ventures for exports for third countries. Sri Lanka enjoys exceptional position of being the first country with which Pakistan entered into a FTA,” said the Pakistan Prime Minister.  “The present volume of trade does not reflect the true potential. We have agreed to re-liberate our efforts to realize the goal of achieving one billion dollars bilateral trade target at the earliest.” he added.
Italy's Piedmont Region to Tighten Controls on Organic Rice Growers
Jan 05, 2016
The administration of Italy's Piedmont region has decided to tighten controls on organic rice growing in order to prevent speculation against the consumers' confidence, according to local sources.
Organic rice in the European Union (EU) is generally grown according to specified practices, including the elimination of chemicals and the use of a crop rotation. Yields are low and prices are high for organic rice.
"We want farmers to continue to make organic rice, a real opportunities for them. We decided to tighten up controls to offer better guarantees, both for consumers and businesses in order. Those who try to be cunning must be punished: not it will be easier," the alderman for agriculture of Piedmont told local sources.
He noted that the tighter controls are needed because the organic rice farmers are found not to use all their farmland for organic rice. Nearly 90% of farmers use only part of their area for organic growing. Most of the organic rice farmers do not obtain resources from the Rural Development Plan and are controlled by private certification bodies, who determine whether the producers are meeting the organic standards. The region has decided to increase pressure on the private certification bodies to take a closer look at the organic rice growing practices, starting from sowing time. The analysis of samples will also include all active principles allowed in conventional farming.
The new standards will be prepared by the University of Turin. The monitoring bodies can start with the inspections in 2016, and are expected to give account to the Region.

Australian Weather Forecaster Predicts Chances of La Nina in Second Half of 2016

Jan 05, 2016

Australia's Bureau of Meteorology (ABM) has predicted that the current conditions of El Nino will return to neutral during the second quarter of 2016 with chances of La Nina occurrence in the second half of 2016, according to Bloomberg.
Most of the other El Nino-Southern Oscillation indicators also suggest that the current El Nino has peaked and will decline in the coming months.
La Nina is said to be an opposite phenomenon of El Nino and is often associated with a cooling in the equatorial Pacific Ocean. While El Nino brings droughts to Asia and South America, and heavy rains to the U.S., La Nina brings dry conditions to the U.S. and heavy rains to Australia and Indonesia. El Nino events are generally followed by La Nina events, according to the ABM. They are extreme phases of a naturally occurring cycle, according to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) and both peak during the Northern hemisphere winter.
Analysts are predicting that a transition from a strong El Nino to a strong La Nina may lead to volatility in rice and other grains prices. Global rice prices were expected to increase due to likely lower production in the top rice producing countries, including India and Thailand. However, the effects of the current El Nino have not been properly factored by rice market due to lack of demand.

Experts Call for Curtailing $533 Million Annual Rice Wastage in Saudi Arabia

Jan 05, 2016

Experts noted that curtailing rice wastage of about 700,000 tons worth SR 2 billion (around $533 million) per year would help the economy significantly and keep rice prices in check, according to Arab News.
According to local sources, about 40% of the rice slated for domestic consumption is wasted because of banquets, celebrations and social occasions involving providing food for guests. Saudi Arabia is the largest rice consumer outside the East Asian countries with an annual consumption demand of about 1.4 million tons worth about SR 5 billion (around $1.3 billion). Saudi Arabia imports about 68% of its annual rice requirements.
Prices have been increasing due to increasing demand according to experts. In 2015, prices increased by about 5% to around 31 halala per kilogram (around 310 riyal or $82 per ton).
"Unscrupulous merchants, extravagant consumers, monopolization practices and alluding to a limited number of importers are the main reasons for such price hikes during past years," said the former Chairman of the Saudi Consumer Protection Association (CPA).
"It is a known economic fact that when demand is high, prices increase. The solution in this case is to rationalize consumption by raising awareness among people on the importance of saving and rationalizing in consumption,” said one of the country's leading economists.
Some youth organizations are striving to stop abundant food leftovers during social occasions.

Oryza U.S. Rough Rice Recap - Prices Edge Higher as Trade Activities Picks up in the New Year

Jan 06, 2016
The U.S. cash market was slightly firmer today with uptick in trade activity as both buyers and sellers showed a willingness to come off of their price ideas to get something done.
Colombian authorities announced today that they will hold a Tariff Rate Quota auction for 65,972 tons of export licenses on February 1 for shipment no later than June 30.
This is Col-Rice’s first auction in 2016 and the licenses will allow the successful bidders to export U.S. rice duty-free to Colombia.

Indonesia May Import 350,000 Tons of Rice in First Quarter of 2016

Jan 05, 2016

The government of Indonesia is planning to import 350,000 tons of rice in the first quarter of 2016 to enhance stocks and curb price hikes, Jakarta Globe quoted the Coordinating Minister for Economic Affairs.
The Minister told reporters that the government is also planning to rely on sugar, soybean and cattle imports in the first three months of 2016 to maintain the inflation within its 3-5% target.
"Information from [the Meteorological, Climatology and Geophysics Agency] and the Agriculture Ministry showed that we will likely experience food shortage at the end of February and March," he was quoted. "The situation will return to normal in April, as we can expect [a rice] harvest," he added.
Indonesia already imported one million tons of rice from Thailand and Vietnam in the last quarter of 2015. About 485,000 tons of rice has arrived in the country.
Last week, the Trade Minister also hinted at additional rice imports in the first quarter of 2016 though he did not mention the volume.
Stocks with the country's state logistics agency Bulog currently stand at about one million tons. According to data from the UN's Food and Agricultural Organization (FAO), average domestic rice prices have reached a high of Rp 10,633 per kilogram (around $784 per ton) in December and the government is undertaking rice market operations in an effort to stabilize rice prices at around Rp 8,300 per kilogram ($612 per ton), price at which Bulog normally sells rice to the public.
The USDA estimates Indonesia to import 1.6 million tons of rice in 2016, up from an estimated 1.4 million tons in 2015. It estimates Indonesia's paddy rice production to increase to around 57.165 million tons in 2016, up from around 56.315 tons in 2015.
Global Rice Quotes
January 5th, 2016
Long grain white rice - high quality
Thailand 100% B grade   360-370                ↑
Vietnam 5% broken        355-365                ↔
India 5% broken               355-365                ↔
Pakistan 5% broken        335-345                ↔
Myanmar 5% broken      410-420                ↔
Cambodia 5% broken     425-435                ↔
U.S. 4% broken                 475-485                ↔
Uruguay 5% broken        510-520                ↔
Argentina 5% broken     505-515                ↔
Long grain white rice - low quality
Thailand 25% broken      335-345                ↔
Vietnam 25% broken      345-355                ↔
Pakistan 25% broken      305-315                ↔
Cambodia 25% broken   400-410                ↔
India 25% broken             325-335                ↔
U.S. 15% broken               500-510                ↔
Long grain parboiled rice
Thailand parboiled 100% stxd     355-365                ↑
Pakistan parboiled 5% broken stxd          405-415                ↔
India parboiled 5% broken stxd                 345-355                ↔
U.S. parboiled 4% broken             500-510                ↔
Brazil parboiled 5% broken          520-530                ↔
Uruguay parboiled 5% broken    NQ         ↔
Long grain fragrant rice
Thailand Hommali 92%   680-690                ↔
Vietnam Jasmine             445-455                ↔
India basmati 2% broken              NQ         ↔
Pakistan basmati 2% broken       NQ         ↔
Cambodia Phka Mails     830-840                ↔
Thailand A1 Super            315-325                ↔
Vietnam 100% broken   340-350                ↔
Pakistan 100% broken stxd          285-295                ↔
Cambodia A1 Super        355-365                ↔
India 100% broken stxd                 265-275                ↔
Egypt medium grain brokens      NQ         ↔
U.S. pet food     290-300                ↔
Brazil half grain NQ         ↔
All prices USD per ton, FOB vessel,

Oryza CBOT Rough Rice Futures Recap - Chicago Rough Rice Futures Rally as Cash Market Sees Uptick in Buying Interest and Firmer Grains Add Support

Jan 06, 2016
Chicago rough rice futures for Mar delivery settled 15.5 cents per cwt (about $3 per ton) higher at $11.925 per cwt (about $263 per ton). The other grains finished the day higher; Soybeans closed about 0.2% higher at $8.5725 per bushel; wheat finished about 0.7% higher at $4.6125 per bushel, and corn finished the day about 0.4% higher at $3.5300 per bushel.
U.S. stocks traded in a range Tuesday, attempting to steady after a sharply lower start to the year, as a decline in oil prices weighed. The major U.S. averages fluctuated between gains and losses. The Dow transports attempted gains after earlier falling to hit a fresh 52-week low. European stocks ended higher, but off session highs. Earlier, Dow futures recovered a decline of more than 100 points to trade about 20 points lower ahead of the market open, with traders noting support from gains in European stocks. Overnight, the Shanghai composite swung in a 4% range before closing down about 0.3%. The blue-chip CSI300 closed nearly 0.3% higher. The Hang Seng fell more than half a percent, while the Nikkei 225 was off about 0.4%.
The People's Bank of China (PBOC) injected nearly $20 billion into money markets, its largest cash injection since September, Reuters reported, noting traders suspected the PBOC was using state banks to prop up the yuan at the same time. In afternoon trade, the Dow Jones industrial average declined 63 points, or 0.38%, to 17,084. The S&P 500 traded down 2 points, or 0.13%, to 2,010, with energy leading six sectors lower and telecommunications the greatest advancer. The Nasdaq composite fell 14 points, or 0.29%, to 4,888. Gold is seen trading about 0.3% higher, crude oil is seen trading about 2.4% lower, and the U.S. dollar is seen trading about 0.5% higher at about  2:30pm Chicago time.
Monday, there were 986 contracts traded, up from 797 contracts traded on Thursday. Open interest – the number of contracts outstanding – on Monday decreased by 325 contracts to 13,476.

Seaweed Extracts can Enhance Rice Growth by 30%, Find Philippines Scientists

Jan 05, 2016

Scientists from the Philippine Nuclear Research Institute (PNRI) have found that extracts from seaweeds can boost rice production as well protect rice plants from major pests when they are treated with slight gamma radiation, according to a study published in the January edition of the Radiation Physics and Chemistry journal.
A team of scientists led by the Chief of PNRI's chemistry research section showed that the carrageenan-derived polysaccharide, a carbohydrate, enhances rice growth when degraded through a “very small dose” of gamma radiation. They developed the carrageenan plant food supplementor (CPFS), which is derived from carrageenan extracted from red edible seaweeds.
The PNRI scientist told reporters that the chemical arrangement of carrageenan can provide more agricultural benefits. The long-chain carrageenan polymer can be broken down into shorter chain fragments known as oligomers, which can be easily absorbed by plants to help their growth and development and also improve their resistance to diseases.
“Using gamma radiation, we were able to cut up the polymer into oligomers without using chemicals or complicated and expensive processes,” she says. The CPFS is nor radioactive and is a clean and add  additive-free method that is safe, non-toxic, environment friendly and, most of all, effective, she adds. The scientist noted that the new technology can increase rice yields by at least 30%.
She also notes that rice plants treated with CPFS have produced longer rice stems and panicles compared to conventional crops. CPFS also induces resistance against major rice pests such as rice tungro virus and bacterial leaf blight, she told.
A scientist at the at the National Crop Protection Center and who headed the field trials in Bulacan noted that three bags of chemical fertiliser per hectare combined with 200 parts per million or 20 millilitres per litre of CPFS yielded higher rice grain weight of 450 grams per 10 hills (mound of soil that is planted with seeds). On the other hand, the conventional farmers’ practice of applying nine bags of chemical fertiliser per hectare yields a grain weight of only 275 grams per 10 hills. 


Philippines Plans to Import More Rice from Vietnam and Thailand in 2016, Says NFA Administrator

Jan 05, 2016

The National Food Authority (NFA) of Philippines is planning to import more rice from Vietnam and Thailand in 2016 to ensure rice sufficiency throughout the country this year, local sources quoted the NFA Administrator.
He told reporters that the agency is planning to import at least 50,000 tons of rice from Vietnam and Thailand to ensure enough rice stocks in times of calamity or disaster that may occur this year.
“See to it that we have enough rice in time of calamities that can immediately be dispatched to various disaster councils and local government units,” the NFA official was quoted.
Last month, the official noted that the NFA was planning to finalize the volume and timing of the additional rice imports of about 300,000 - 400,000 tons approved by the NFA Council and the Cabinet Task Force on El Nino.

The NFA already imported 500,000 tons from Vietnam and Thailand for the first quarter of 2016. The Philippines imported around 1.8 million tons of rice in 2015.
New imports may push up Thai and Vietnam rice export quotes which have eased during December 2015 due to lack of demand. Thai 5% and Vietnam 5% rice quotes have declined to around $355 per ton and $360 per ton respectively in the new year from around $355 per ton and $375 per ton in the beginning of December 2015.



Thailand Rice Sellers Increase Their Quotes Today; Other Asia Rice Quotes Unchanged

Jan 05, 2016
Thailand rice sellers increased their quotes for 100% high quality rice and parboiled rice by about $5 per ton each to about $360-370 per ton and $355-$365 per ton, respectively, today. Other Asia rice sellers have kept their quotes unchanged today .                                
5% Broken Rice
Thailand 5% rice is indicated at around $345 - $355 per ton about $10 per ton discount on Vietnam 5% rice shown at around $355 - $365 per ton. India 5% rice is indicated at around $355 - $365 per ton, about $20 per ton premium on Pakistan 5% rice shown at around $335 - $345 per ton.
25% Broken Rice
Thailand 25% rice is indicated at around $335 - $345 per ton, about $10 per ton discount on Vietnam 25% rice shown at around $345- $355 per ton. India 25% rice is indicated at around $325 - $335 per ton, about $20 per ton premium on Pakistan 25% rice shown at around $305 - $315 per ton.
Parboiled Rice           
Thailand parboiled rice is indicated at around $355 - $365 per ton. India parboiled rice is indicated at around $345 - $355 per ton, about $60 per ton discount to Pakistan parboiled rice last shown at around $405 - $415 per ton.
100% Broken Rice
Thailand broken rice, A1 Super is indicated at around $315 - $325 per ton, about $25 per ton discount to Vietnam 100% broken rice shown at around $340 - $350 per ton. India's 100% broken rice is shown at around $265 - $275 per ton, about $20 per ton discount to Pakistan broken sortexed rice shown at around $285 - $295 per ton.a

Exclusive News have been shared with written permission of with thanks

24 February 2016 Daily Global Rice E-Newsletter by Riceplus Magazine-Latest Rice News Updates

Today Rice News Headlines...
ü  Uganda: Improved Farming Tools to Boost Rice Production
ü  Authorities act to reduce risk for export of rice
ü  Vietnamese rice nowhere to be found in Chinese malls
ü  Rice distributed to one million people
ü  APEDA AgriExchange Newsletter - Volume 1421
ü  02/24/2016 Farm Bureau Market Report
ü  Rice Leadership Development Class Graduates 
ü  Heaviest bag of rice: India breaks Guinness World Records record (VIDEO)
ü  Rice Exports Down as Fiscal Year Nears End
ü  SINAG: Govt failed to stop rice smuggling
ü  LEAD) Gov't to purchase 157,000 tons of rice
ü  Louisiana agriculture consultants honor Caffey, Linscombe
ü  World Bank sees govt rice import monopoly a bad idea
ü  Aceh to Produce 2.7 Million Tons of Paddy Rice in 2016
ü  PM tells drought-stricken Thailand to cut rice production
News Detail...
The Union of Small and Medium Enterprises (UNISAME) has invited the attention of Shahid Rashid chairman of Intellectual Property Organization of Pakistan (IPOP) to the very important and crucial matter of basmati geographical indications (GI) not being given the seriousness it deserves by the concerned authority and trade associations. President UNISAME Zulfikar Thaver has urged the chairman IPOP to immediately convene a meeting of the concerned stakeholders and sort the matter in the national interest and decide on merit.  Thaver emphasized the urgency in view of the judgement of the Indian High Court and the disappointment of the SME rice sector which is in farming, milling,processing and exporting. e regretted that the Trade Development Authority of Pakistan (TDAP), the Rice Exporters Association of Pakistan (REAP) and the Basmati Growers Association (BGA) are apparently not on the same page and not united in their approach and this may jeopardize matters. The union has requested the Small and Medium Enterprises Development Authority (SMEDA) to hold meetings and discussions on this crucial issue affecting the SME rice sector and bring the applicants on the same page and take up the matter in right earnest with the IPOP on top priority basis.
 He stated with all emphasis at his command that basmati is grown in Pakistan in the geographically indicated areas and has inherent characteristics and features and is undoubtedly basmati rice. In fact Pakistan is the only country which grows super basmati rice which has aroma, elongates on cooking, it is tasty and has superb cooking ability and is reputed the world over. He urged the chairman IPOP to personally look into the matter as it is of prime importance and the future of the growers, millers, processor and exporters is threatened by the adverse remarks of the judiciary. The IPOP needs to declare immediately that Pakistan has the GI tag for its basmati grown in the specific regions of Pakistan and enjoys the reputation by virtue of its characteristics and features.


Wednesday, 24 February 2016 17:58
Posted by Imaduddin
HANOI: Export prices of Vietnamese rice picked up this week on demand from China, Indonesia and the Philippines and due to damage from dry weather, while ample supply put pressure on Thai rice prices, traders said on Wednesday.The price rise in Vietnam however could be short-lived, as harvesting of the winter-spring crop, Vietnam's biggest, is expected to peak in the Mekong Delta food basket in coming weeks, traders said.Prices of 5-percent broken rice rose to $355-$365 a tonne, free-on-board (FOB) Saigon Port, from $350-$360 a week ago, and the 25-percent broken rice prices advanced to $340-$350 a tonne, from $330-$335 last week."The volume of newly harvested rice has not picked up yet, while domestic prices are firming after some forecasts of a serious dryness in the Mekong Delta, pulling up export prices," a trader at a foreign firm in Ho Chi Minh City said.Salination has become a serious issue in several Mekong Delta provinces, damaging 100,000 hectares (247,000 acres), or 6 percent of the winter-spring crop, the government said on its news website on Wednesday. (

Loading for Indonesia and the Philippines under contracts signed last year, and fresh enquiries from China, Vietnam's top rice buyer, also lifted prices, traders said."But prices could weaken from mid-March at the peak of the harvest," a Vietnamese exporter in Ho Chi Minh City said.All winter-spring paddy now being harvested could be fully bought, keeping prices stable, a report on a government website quoted the Vietnam Food Association as saying.The association will not seek government-backed rice purchases for stockpiling, the report added.Last year, China's imports of Vietnamese rice rose 32.7 percent from 2014 to 1.79 million tonnes, making the southern neighbour its biggest grain seller, followed by Thailand with 931,000 tonnes, based on Customs of China data.Thailand and Vietnam are the world's second- and third-largest rice exporters after India.

In Thailand, ample supply from the government and an ongoing harvest extended pressure on prices, traders said."The government sold rice directly to private firms, so they didn't have to buy from rice millers," a senior trader said, referring to a government auction last week, at which more than 152,000 tonnes were sold.Quotations of Thai 5-percent broken rice narrowed to $373-$375 a tonne, FOB basis, from $370-$375 last Wednesday.Thailand expects to export 9.5 million tonnes of rice this year, focusing on markets in Asia, Europe, Africa and the Middle East, a senior commerce ministry official said on Wednesday
Uganda: Improved Farming Tools to Boost Rice Production
By Chris Tusiime
Poor agricultural mechanisation is one of the biggest hindrances to transforming Uganda's agriculture from subsistence to commercial, Dr Godfrey Asea, the director of National Crops Resources Research Institute (NaCRRI), has said.Asea, who recently spoke at NaCRRI during a demonstration of agricultural machinery for small-scale farmers that have been manufactured in Uganda, said almost all small-scale farmers in Uganda use traditional, rudimentary and obsolete technologies in agriculture, a major contributor to low farm output.The machinery that was displayed included a destoner (machines for removing stones from rice), a manually-pedalled rice thresher, and a manually-pedalled water pump, which can be used for pumping water for irrigation.
The machinery was bought with support from the Promotion of Rice Development (PRiDe) project, which is being implemented by Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA), ministry of Agriculture, Animal Industry and Fisheries, and National Agricultural Research Organization, and National Agricultural Advisory Services (Naads). The project is supporting Uganda to achieve its national rice production targets.The country already has a national rice development strategy, which aims at increasing rice production to 443,800 tonnes in 2018 from 106,700 tonnes in 2008.
Asea said demand for rice in Uganda is increasing, a shift that is pushing for more intensive production of high-yield rice.We have achieved rice production self-sufficiency. National rice production is 306,000 tonnes today. But the increase in population and increasing demand, especially in urban areas, means new farmers need to be engaged in rice production and those farmers who are already producing rice should adopt better farming methods to increase their rice yields," he said.Yutaka Nakamura, the deputy head of mission at the Japanese embassy in Uganda, said efforts of promoting rice in Uganda were paying off. He said the PRiDe project, a five-year project that ends in 2016, which set out to increase Uganda's national rice production by 20,000 tonnes, has surpassed this target, contributing 32,000 tonnes by December 2015.
Nakamura revealed that they are helping in the construction of a storehouse, which will prevent farmers with limited storage capacities from incurring post-harvest losses. The store is being constructed in Kasese district.Asea said government is promoting the use of cost-effective farm tools because the use of machinery will boost agricultural production.JICA Chief Representative Kyosuke Kawazumi said mechanizing agriculture would encourage young people to get involved in agriculture enabling Uganda to fight unemployment.
Dr Kazuhiko Yagi, the chief advisor of PRiDe project, said broken grains and stones in rice pose a big threat to the demand for rice produced in Uganda. He explained that the use of affordable threshing machines will empower small-scale farmers to avoid beating rice with sticks in order to thresh it, a practice which causes rice grains to break
Authorities act to reduce risk for export of rice
After analyzing the actual rice export situation in 2015 and rice export potentiality in 2016, Mr. Huynh The Nang, chairman of the Vietnam Food Association (VFA), said that China remains the main rice export market this year with 54 percent of total rice exports; the rest will be exported to Europe, the US, Japan, South Korea, Middle East, Russia, and the United Arab Emirates.
 Workers load rice onto the vessel for exporting in the Mekong Delta. (Photo: SGGP)
However, with China still accounting for high proportion in rice export structure, rice export potential this year is expected to be great but contains high risks. Chinese businesses usually imported Vietnamese rice that looks like Chinese rice variety then polish, pack, and distribute to the market under Chinese businesses’ brand names. This seriously affects the brand name of Vietnamese rice as well as devalues Vietnamese rice. Vietnamese businesses also lack of information of their Chinese partners, therefore, many of them were swindled when exporting rice to China.
As for new market, such as America, Europe, South Korea, Japan, and Middle East, Vietnamese rice exporters have to face strict technical barriers. However, there has not been a quality testing center of international standards in Vietnam that Vietnamese businesses have to rely on foreign testing centers so risks are high.
The VFA had proposed the ministries of Health, Agriculture and Rural Development to warn farmers against using banned chemicals during rice cultivation. Until now, this problem has not been solved yet as authorities are short of testing equipment. There are harmful chemicals that authorities even do not know of. In fact, rice of some businesses was returned because of these harmful chemicals in 2015.
 In order to lessen risks for rice exporters as well as increase sustainability of market, Mr. Tran Tuan Anh, deputy minister of Industry and Trade, ordered commercial counselors to coordinate with the Vietnam Trade Promotion Agency, Multilateral Trade Policy Department, and Department of Import and Export to gather information of rice importers. Of which, they have to evaluate and compare the advantages of Vietnamese rice over that of competitors and propose solutions to improve export effectiveness and add more value to rice products. Local authorities have to restructure agriculture, ensure quality of rice, build solution to develop Vietnamese rice’s brand name, stabilize cultivation area, and connect farmers with rice exporters. The VFA should quickly complete strategy to develop brand name of Vietnamese rice in order to help Vietnamese rice to infiltrate into distribution network of rice importers.
 The Ministry of Industry and Trade will carry out a project to improve business ability of rice exporters in terms of human resources, marketing activities, and international commercial dispute to create most favorable conditions for them to enhance internal force and diversify export market.The Ministry of Industry and Trade on February 22 held a conference to appraise rice export situation in 2016.
Vietnamese rice nowhere to be found in Chinese malls
UPDATED : 02/24/2016 12:01 GMT + 7
Bags of rice are loaded onto a ship for export at the Saigon Port in Ho Chi Minh City.
Tuoi Tre
While China has traditionally been the main market for Vietnam’s rice exports, retail outlets across that country fail to sell the Vietnamese produce, an official said on Monday.

Although over half of its rice exports were to China last year, it remains a highly competitive market amongst other rice exporters, namely Thailand, Pakistan, and Cambodia, said Bui Huy Hoang, Vietnam’s commercial counselor in China.The produce is nowhere to be seen in supermarkets or other retailers in China, Hoang said in a conference about the rice market development organized by the Vietnamese Ministry of Trade and Industry in Ho Chi Minh City.In the meantime, Vietnam’s rice export competitors like Thailand, Pakistan, and Cambodia have gradually improved their standings in the Chinese market thanks to a high quality product.“We should improve the quality of our rice to regain our standing in China; otherwise Cambodia will pass us sooner or later,” Hoang noted.
The amount of rice for export could hover at about 6.5 million metric tons for 2016, Huynh The Nang, chairman of the Vietnam Food Administration (VFA), said on January 14.In the Jan-Oct period, the country’s rice export reached 5.03 million metric tons, according to the VFA.
In the last two months of 2015, 1.5 million metric tons of rice was exported, which took total rice exports to 6.7 million metric tons for the year, according to the VFA
This represented a three percent decline in total rice export value compared to that of 2014, the organization noted.Vietnam has recently yielded huge profits from exporting its ‘herbal variety,’ which offers a high nutrition content, to the European market, fetching up to US$800 per metric ton.Although the Southeast Asian country has joined the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) trade deal, many Vietnamese experts are skeptical about the economic potential of exporting rice as it could become uncompetitive when pitted against other countries.Despite Vietnam being among the world’s top rice exporters, many local consumers in southern markets now prefer several types ofCambodian rice to the domestically grown produce.

Rice distributed to one million people
HA NOI (VNS) — More than 17,000 tonnes of rice was distributed to more than 1 million poor people across the country during Lunar New Year (Tet), the General Department of State Reserves reported.The department revealed the value of the support at a press conference held yesterday to announce the work of distributing reserved rice to people in need during Tet and to areas suffering from food shortage this year.Deputy Head of the GDSR, Le Van Thoi, said the support was undertaken in response to requests from authorities of 17 provinces nationwide which asked the Government to provide over 17, 000 tonnes of rice from the nation's storage for 1,145,182 people each in need of 15kg per month.
As of February 4, the department's local chapters completed the allocation of rice ensuring both quality and quantity in accordance with the requests, he added.Regarding the policy to provide rice for students in disadvantaged areas, Thoi said each student would also receive 15 kg of rice per month for a maximum of nine months per academic year.In the first term of the 2015-2016 academic year, about 540,000 students from 48 provinces and cities nationwide were provided with rice.Thoi said the GDSR has received a decision from the Ministry of Finance to distribute an additional of nearly 33,000 tonnes of rice for those students in their second semester.He affirmed that the policy contributes to helping students from disadvantaged and ethnic minority areas to continue their studies uninterrupted. — VNS
Authority distributes rice to the poor in Huong Hoa District, Central Quang Tri Province. More than 17,000 tonnes of rice was distributed to more than 1 million poor people across the country during Lunar New Year (Tet). — Photo VNA/VNS Photo Ho Cau

APEDA AgriExchange Newsletter - Volume 1421

International Benchmark Price
Price on: 24-02-2016
Benchmark Indicators Name
Chinese first grade granules, CFR NW Europe (USD/t)
Chinese Grade A dehydrated flakes, CFR NW Europe (USD/t)
Chinese powdered, CFR NW Europe (USD/t)
Chinese sliced, CIF NW Europe (USD/t)
Chinese whole, CIF NW Europe (USD/t)
Indian Cochin, CIF NW Europe (USD/t)
Guar Gum Powder
Indian 100 mesh 3500 cps, FOB Kandla (USD/t)
Indian 200 mesh 3500 cps basis, FOB Kandla (USD/t)
Indian 200 mesh 5000 cps, FOB Kandla (USD/t)
For more info
Market Watch
Commodity-wise, Market-wise Daily Price on 23-02-2016
Domestic Prices
Unit Price : Rs per Qty
Market Center
Min Price
Max Price
Aroor (Kerala)
Jorhat (Assam)
Samsi (West Bengal)
Cherthala (Kerala)
Sangli (Maharashtra)
Bonai (Orissa)
Manjeri (Kerala)
Taura (Haryana)
Rajpura (Punjab)
Aroor (Kerala)
Bargarh (Orissa)
Sirhind (Punjab)
For more info
Rs per 100 No
Price on 24-02-2016
Market Center
Other International Prices
Unit Price : US$ per package
Price on 24-02-2016
Market Center
Onions Dry
Package: 40 lb cartons
Package: 50 lb cartons
Round Green Type
Round Green Type
Round Green Type
Package: 4/5 bushel cartons

02/24/2016 Farm Bureau Market Report
Long Grain Cash Bids
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- - -
Long Grain New Crop
- - -
- - -

Mar '16
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Rice Comment

Rice futures ended the day a bit higher, but didn't undo much of the damage seen earlier this week. The losses were attributed to the disappointing results of the Iraqi tender. The tender had originally been for 90,000 tons US origin rice only, the top bidder only offered 30,000 tons of US rice and the rest was much cheaper rice from Argentina and Uruguay, and word is now that the entire tender has been rejected due to price. Exports have been slow and the industry had higher hopes for the Iraqi market

Rice Leadership Development Class Graduates  
 WASHINGTON, DC -- The Rice Leadership Development Program's Class of 2014-16 graduated from the prestigious program during a special ceremony at the USA Rice Federation's 2016 Government Affairs Conference this week.  Rice Foundation Chairman Todd Burich and USA Rice Chairman Dow Brantley presided over the ceremony, congratulating the graduates and thanking program sponsors, John Deere, RiceTec, Inc., and American Commodity Company.
The class is made up of five rice producers:  Derek Haigwood, Newport, AR; Jeremy Jones, England, AR; Jon Munger, Yuba City, CA; Will Reneau, Beaumont, TX; Clay Schaefer, Hunter, AR; and two industry representatives: Jonathan Hobbs, Russell Marine Group, Jefferson, LA; and A.J. Sabine, Louisiana Farm Bureau, Baton Rouge, LA.Jonathan Hobbs served as class spokesperson.  He expressed his appreciation to the many people the class met who are involved "in helping execute the bigger picture of putting U.S. rice on the table for millions of families around the world." 
Hobbs concluded his commencement speech with a rallying cry to his fellow classmates saying, "Let's put our heads together and help these committees develop strategies to win back markets we've lost.  Let's take back Nicaragua, the EU, and Iraq.  Let's go get Cuba.  As far as U.S. rice demand goes, those things are game changers for everyone here.  Let's listen to our markets and learn from our past mistakes.  Let's be active leaders."The class was immediately put to work representing the rice industry during the conference, participating in multiple meetings with Members of Congress, staff from key Congressional Committees, and agency representatives.  
They also met with officials at CropLife America to discuss the responsible use of environmentally sound crop protection products, and got a lesson in high tech agriculture from the FAS/USDA Global Analysis, International Production Assessment Division where they observed how crop assessments around the world are made using satellites. While in Washington, the group is also scheduled to meet Ambassador José Ramón Cabañas of the Cuban Embassy to discuss the potential for rice trade between the two countries as well as attend the USA Rice World Market Price Subcommittee meetings.
The Rice Leadership Development Program gives young men and women a comprehensive understanding of the U.S. rice industry, with an emphasis on personal development and communication training.  During a two-year period, class members attend four one-week sessions that are designed to strengthen their leadership skills.  If you have interest in applying for the 2017 Rice Leadership Development Program, contact Chuck Wilson at 
Heaviest bag of rice: India breaks Guinness World Records record (VIDEO)
DUBAI, UAE -- A bag of rice weighing 550 kilograms has entered the Book of World Records for being the heaviest bag of rice; the rice bag of India Gate Classic Basmati Rice brand has achieved the feat at the annual 4-day food and hospitality trade show being held in Dubai, according to the World Record Academy.

    Photo: KRBL director Priyanka Mittal. KRBL Limited, the world's largest rice millers and Basmati rice exporters, has successfully entered the Book of World Records with a bag of rice from its acclaimed India Gate Classic Basmati Rice brand weighing 550kg, a combined weight of two adult Royal Bengal Tigers.(enlarge photo)
    The Guinness World Records world record for the largest display of rice dumplings contained 34,056 dumplings and was made by Towngas Rice Dumplings for the Community (China) at Hong Kong International Trade & Exhibition Centre in Hong Kong on 10 June 2007.

     Guinness World Records also recognized the world record for the largest rice mosaic; it is 1,798 sq.m (19364.14 sq. ft) and was achieved by Chinese Taoism Folk Culture Association (Chinese Taipei) at Changhua City, Chinese Taipei on 8 November 2014.

     The rice bag of India Gate Classic Basmati Rice brand has achieved the feat at the annual 4-day food and hospitality trade show being held in Dubai from February 21-25.

   KRBL Limited, the world's largest rice millers and Basmati rice exporters, has successfully entered the Book of World Records with a bag of rice from its acclaimed India Gate Classic Basmati Rice brand weighing 550kg, a combined weight of two adult Royal Bengal Tigers.

    The new record by India-based Basmati rice exporter, KRBL Ltd was achieved when the bag was filled in a single day by a team at KRBL DMCC's Al Quoz warehouse before being driven on a truck to Gulfood.
      KRBL director Priyanka Mittal said: "This is a very important region for us, 85% of India's exports in Basmati rice comes to the Middle East, so this is our biggest market after India; naturally being at Gulfood is important to our continued progress."

   Gulfood 2016 is hosting the show's largest contingent to date of national and industry pavilions having lined up a total of 117 – five more than last year – with first-time group participation from Russia, Costa Rica, Belarus, Mauritius and New Zealand returning after a six-year break.

     Related world records:  

 Longest Cold Meat Platter: Culinary Academy of India sets world record (VIDEO)

  Longest rice flour pancake (dosa): Vijayawada hoteliers (Video)

Largest serving of fried rice: China breaks Guinness World Records record (VIDEO)

Rice Exports Down as Fiscal Year Nears End

RANGOON — Due to the lingering effects of torrential flooding and El Niño, Burma’s rice export volume is expected to dip in the 2015-16 fiscal year, industry experts said.With just one month left in the fiscal year, which began in April 2015, rice export volume has reached only 1 million tons, according to figures from the Ministry of Commerce.Myint Cho, director of the Ministry of Commerce, said that he expects rice exports to fall short by more than 200,000 tons, with the exact figure currently at 1.037 million tons, compared to the 1.255 tons that had been exported over the same period last year.

“We won’t match last year’s record, with the major reasons being the floods last year [in July and August] and the fact that some rice exporters and traders are concerned about not having rice for the summer [because of El Niño], so they’re storing rice,” Myint Cho said.“Rice prices increased last year because of these floods, so traders are preparing for prices to remain the same this time. There’s also less production here,” he added.By the end of the 2014-15 fiscal year, Burma exported a total of 1.84 million tons of rice, including broken rice. Of this, 1.3 million tons went to China. Besides China, Burma also exports rice to Germany, Indonesia, Poland, Singapore and Thailand.In recent weeks the Myanmar Rice Federation (MRF) has been urging the government to prepare rice reserves for a potentially extreme El Niño period in the months ahead.
Ye Min Aung, MRF secretary, said that the public sector should also prepare rice reserves because of the potentially severe weather on the horizon.“I’m not concerned about summer paddies but about rain paddies, because it [El Niño] may delay rain for the harvest season later. We should keep an eye on this,” Ye Min Aung said.“We’ll also have to be careful about market speculation, because if some traders try to speculate how the market will move, the price of rice could increase.”Despite an official Chinese ban on Burmese rice imports, traders in Burma have recently been focusing on trade across the Sino-Burmese border.

Moreover, domestic prices have increased compared to normal trade prices in the world market, Myint Cho explained.“The world price is less than US$400 per ton, while the Chinese price is over $400, so most [of Burma’s] rice is going to China,” he said.Ministry figures estimate that Burma produced more than 13 million tons of rice over 23 million acres of paddy during the fiscal year 2014-15. At least 9 million tons were used for local consumption, while about 1.8 million tons went to the export market

A worker unloads rice from a boat a jetty on the Rangoon river, October 23, 2015. (Photo: Soe Zeya Tun / Reuters)

SINAG: Govt failed to stop rice smuggling

February 24, 2016 11:08 pm
by James Konstantin Galvez

The seizure of P118 million worth of smuggled rice from Thailand is proof that the illegal importation of the staple continues unchallenged under the Aquino government, a lobby group of agricultural workers said Wednesday.“After five years and four Customs’ chief, there is no doubt that this administration has failed the agriculture sector in this regard,” said Rosendo So, chairperson of Samahang Industriya ng Agrikultura (SINAG).“Smuggling has prospered and continues to thrive under this government,” So said in reaction to the agriculture officials’ inability to adequately respond to questions during a Senate hearing investigating the issue.SINAG earlier discovered that close to P200 billion worth of agricultural goods were smuggled into the country since 2010, the year Aquino assumed the presidency.

Smuggled rice makes up about P94 billion, making the grain the single biggest agricultural commodity being smuggled into the country. Smuggled pork comes at a far second at P40 billion and then sugar at close to P25 billion.Other commodities being smuggled include chicken, garlic, onion and carrots.In terms of volume, 2,772,142 metric tons of rice was smuggled from 2010 to 2014, double the volume of 1,066,021 metric tons smuggled from 2005 to 2009.SINAG had proposed making the National Food Authority (NFA) the lone importer of rice and for government to reconsider the implementation of government-to-government (G2G) scheme as the sole mode of importing rice.

Permits are supposedly allocated to farmer cooperatives.However, these permits are being bought by unscrupulous traders. The scheme is similar to the one allegedly employed by businessman Davidson Bangayan and other similar consolidators of import permits as exposed in previous Senate investigations.SINAG said the market value of the smuggled rice in this last case translates to a loss of P60-P80 billion in revenues for government. Rice is a highly sensitive commodity that is protected so imports are levied a higher tariff of 30 percent to 40 percent.“Sa halip na pangalagaan at tulungan ang lokal na industriya ng agrikultura na tanging ikinabubuhay ng milyon-milyong pamilyang Pilipino, tila wala nang intensyon ang pamahalaang ito na masabat ang smuggling,” (Instead of helping the local agricultural sector that millions of Filipinos depend on for livelihood, it appears that government has no intention to stop smuggling,) So said.


LEAD) Gov't to purchase 157,000 tons of rice

2016/02/24 12:09
SEOUL, Feb. 24 (Yonhap) -- The government plans to spend 140 billion won (US$113.6 million) to buy 157,000 tons of rice in the latest effort to stabilize rice prices, a ruling party lawmaker said Wednesday.The decision was made in a policy coordination meeting between the government and the ruling Saenuri Party at the National Assembly, ruling lawmaker Ahn Hyo-dae told reporters after attending the closed-door session.

Last year South Korea produced 4.32 million tons of rice, exceeding its earlier projection by 360,000 tons. The bumper crop has led to a fall in rice prices by 12.8 percent as of Feb. 15, compared to the same period during an average year.The government is set to buy 157,000 tons next month to take them out of the market following its previous purchase of 200,000 tons of rice in October."Though we have made the inevitable decision to make an additional rice purchase, the government will continue to push for long-term measures such as keeping moderate rice production and encouraging the expansion of domestic consumption," said Agricultural Minister Lee Dong-phil during the meeting.The government is also pushing to reduce the size of rice paddies by 10 percent in the long term to reduce an excess in crop harvests.

Last year, the government spent 81.2 billion won on keeping rice stocks in surplus at more than 4,100 storage facilities throughout the country.South Korea used to send rice to aid North Korea when inter-Korean relations were on good terms.Rice is a key staple food for both South and North Koreans.South Korea last provided rice to North Korea in 2007, giving 151,000 tons of it when liberal President Roh Moo-hyun sought reconciliation with North Korea and met with then North Korean leader Kim Jong-il in Pyongyang in the second summit between the two Koreas."It is hard to pinpoint how much impact the delivery of rice to the North had in stabilizing rice prices back then," an official of the Ministry of Agriculture, Food and Rural Affairs said. The official asked not to be identified, citing policy.

Louisiana agriculture consultants honor Caffey, Linscombe

Induction at the 2016 LACA annual meeting
Feb 24, 2016Bruce Schultz, LSU AgCenter
Belle Caffey Chatelain represents her father, the late H. Rouse Caffey, who was selected for the Louisiana Agricultural Consultants Association Hall of Fame at the LACA annual conference in Marksville on Feb. 17. Steve Linscombe, director of the LSU AgCenter H. Rouse Caffey Rice Research Station at Crowley, was also inducted into the LACA hall.  Photo by Bruce Schultz, LSU AgCenter.
The late H. Rouse Caffey, former LSU AgCenter chancellor, and Steve Linscombe, rice breeder and director of the LSU AgCenter H. Rouse Caffey Rice Research Station, have been honored as the newest selections for the Louisiana Agricultural Consultants Association Hall of Fame.
The honors were made the first day, Feb. 17, of the LACA’s annual three-day Agricultural Technology and Management Conference. Consultants hear updates on management for Louisiana’s major crops.Linscombe remembered Caffey as a mentor who often gave advice.
“He understood the importance of keeping research and extension on the cutting edge,” Linscombe said.

Caffey, director of Rice Research Station from 1962 until 1970, was credited by Linscombe for the station’s success. “The station has become the nation’s premier rice research station,” Linscombe said.Caffey was LSU AgCenter chancellor from 1984 until 1997.“Because of his efforts, the LSU AgCenter was a leader to many developing nations,” Linscombe said.Belle Caffey Chatelain, Caffey’s daughter, said her father grew up in the Mississippi Delta on a cotton farm, and his family didn’t get electricity until he was in the third grade.In high school, Caffey’s 2-acre cotton crop won a 4-H competition, and he won the prize of a trip to Chicago. “That was the start of his travels,” Chatelain said.Caffey enjoyed traveling around the globe to educate farmers, she said. “I know it was his heart’s desire that no one would go hungry.”

Eric Webster, LSU AgCenter weed scientist, said Linscombe has secured $17 million in grants for the AgCenter during his 34-year career. He has developed 32 of the 52 rice varieties released from the station, and many of those varieties have dominated acreage in the southern U.S. rice-growing states.Webster said yields have increased to 7,500 pounds an acre -- a 1,900-pound jump since 2002.Webster met the late Nobel Prize laureate Norman Borlaug, who is the father of the Green Revolution and was considered the No. 1 plant breeder worldwide. “I know who No. 2 is,” Webster said of Linscombe.Linscombe credited his co-workers and his wife, Judy, for his success.

“This is one of the more significant honors,” he said. “I like to think of this group as real people.”Also at the conference, Diane Schuster, LSU AgCenter and LSU College of Agriculture development director, said efforts are close to securing all of the funding for the $300,000 Dorothy and Ray Young Fellowship to help graduate students in agriculture with their education.
Rogers Leonard, LSU AgCenter vice president, said it’s not clear how the state’s current budget problems will affect research and Extension efforts for the AgCenter.“The problem is, the numbers keep changing,” he said. “We really don’t know what we’re going to end up with.”He said the dairy research programs at the AgCenter Southeast Research Station are being significantly reduced, and restructuring of several other stations is inevitable to increase efficiency.Several members of the LSU AgCenter faculty were among the presenters at the conference.

AgCenter pesticide safety education coordinator Kim Pope detailed worker protection standards for pesticide applicators that will go into effect in January 2017. She said new training requirements effective in January 2018 will require annual training for pesticide handling. Currently, training is required every three years.New workers will have to be trained immediately, and the five-day grace period will be eliminated, she said. No minimum age currently is in place for pesticide handlers, but that will change to age 18. In addition, the U.S. Occupational Safety and Health Administration standards will become effective for respirators.
Exemptions will apply for family members, and the definition of who is a family member will be expanded.
AgCenter entomologist Jeff Davis said the soybean looper is a difficult-to-control insect pest that will cause a loss of six bushels an acre with just 10 percent defoliation.The spinosyn insecticides are still effective. “That’s the only thing I have that I know will work, at least for this year,” Davis said.He said it’s not known where the insects that migrate into Louisiana are coming from.
AgCenter entomologist David Kerns said controlling Johnsongrass is a good control measure for sugarcane aphids that overwinter in the weed.Scouting grain sorghum for sugarcane aphids is essential because of the threat they pose to a crop, and they can double in population in three days, he said. “If you miss five days with this pest and you’ve got high numbers, you’re finished.”

Choosing a grain sorghum hybrid with resistance is the best answer, Kerns said. But even the selection of a resistant hybrid doesn’t mean it won’t be necessary to spray an insecticide for the aphids, he cautioned. Seed treatments also provide some protection.AgCenter rice specialist Dustin Harrell said nutrient uptake by rice plants is affected by soil pH.Harrell said phosphorous is best applied at planting. When soil test values fall in the “very low” category, 60 pounds per acre is recommended, but an additional 30 pounds are needed if a field will be second-cropped.
Harrell said nitrogen should be applied to dry ground before permanent flood establishment. But in years like 2015, when soil was slow to dry, preflood applications may have to be split into multiple applications. He said it is a waste of money to use a urease inhibitor with fertilizer applied in a flood.

AgCenter cotton specialist Dan Fromme said farmers may be tempted to use conventional seed because of its cheaper price. “If you’re going to try it, try a little,” he said.Two to three plants per foot of row is the optimum plant population, he said. Nitrogen at 80 pounds per acre is best, but too much nitrogen will hurt yields.Fromme said total defoliation is not required before harvest. “You don’t have to have every leaf off.”AgCenter nematologist Charles Overstreet said the 2015 cotton crop had the highest nematode population he’s ever seen during his 37-year career.Rotating cotton with corn and grain sorghum can help control nematodes in Louisiana. Some soybean varieties have nematode resistance, he said.

AgCenter sugarcane specialist Kenneth Gravois said the variety HoCP96-540 continues to prove its value as the leading choice, with LO1-299 increasing.Sugarcane yields have continued to increase since 1963, but the biggest upturn started in the 1980s with better quality seed cane. In the early 1990s, he said, the release of LCP 85-384 resulted in a yield increase.At one time, he said, more than 200 pounds of sugar out of a ton of cane was exceptional, but that has now become the rule.
World Bank sees govt rice import monopoly a bad idea
February 24, 2016 11:08 pm

THE GOVERNMENT’S policy of “monopolizing” the importation of rice is not helping poor farmers, thus, it does not bode well for the overall objective of achieving rice self-sufficiency and inclusive economic growth, according to World Bank lead economist Rogier Van den Brink.Van den Brink, one of the resource speakers at The Manila Times’ 3rd Business Forum held at the New World Manila Bay Hotel, said the existing strict government policy on rice importation “affects the entire country.”“The Philippines can be (rice) self-sufficient (but because of) monopolizing rice importation… it has failed,” the Bank executive claimed as he fielded questions from forum participants.
He said the policy will not work to increase the net income of farmers or to reduce the retail prices of the commodity. What the government should do, he explained, is to embark on programs that will modernize the agriculture sector.In his presentation, Van den Brink noted that the current rice policy of self-sufficiency is not achieved because a “significant gap remains between production and consumption.” Likewise, the policy of “buying high” from farmers and “selling low to the poor” is far-fetched from the actual performance.“Purchases are too small scale to make a significant impact and only 11.5 percent of rice purchases by the poor was NFA (National Food Authority) rice,” he pointed out.The World Bank expert, a lead economist in the poverty reduction and economic management department of the East Asia and Pacific Region, also noted that the rice marketing system is underdeveloped.
“The widening gap between farm gate prices and retail prices suggests increasing inefficiency,” Van den Brink stressed.To correct these flaws, he suggested that government “open the import regime of food commodities, in particular rice” by removing the “quantitative rice import restrictions and its licensing system.”“Urgently, so that traders have sufficient time to import, to avoid domestic food price increases,” he further explained, adding that retail food prices can be monitored throughout the country through “crowd sourcing.”Van den Brink pointed that in January 2015, a kilogram of rice in the Philippines was worth P35 while the Thais and Vietnamese paid only the equivalent of P15 per kilo.For the medium term, he suggested that after the removal of the quantitative import restrictions and the tarification of the quotas, tariffs should be “progressively reduced over time.”The WB official said there should be more investments in agricultural productivity, specifically on research and development, agricultural extension, rural infrastructure such as roads irrigation and electrification; secure property rights; and farmers’ health and education.
World Bank’s lead economist Rogier Van Den Brink (second, left) fields questions during the 3rd business forum of The Manila Times . With him are Eduardo Francisco, president of BDO Capital, Investment Corp, Alexander Cabrera, chairman and senior partner of PWC Philippines and Nerilyn Tenorio, editor-in-chief of The Manila Times. PHOTO BY DJ DIOSINA
Aceh to Produce 2.7 Million Tons of Paddy Rice in 2016
WEDNESDAY, 24 FEBRUARY, 2016 | 11:34 WIB
TEMPO.CO, Jakarta - Aceh Government is targeting for 2.7 million tons of paddy production in 2016. The message was conveyed by Vice Governor of Aceh Muzakir Manaf in a seminar held in Malikussaleh University, Tuesday, February 23, 2016.According to Muzakir, Aceh Government is focusing on three plants, namely paddy, soybean and maize. In 2016, apart from paddy, Aceh Government is also targeting 131 thousand tons of soybean and 237 thousand tons of maize productions.Based on last year’s data, paddy production in Aceh is around 2.32 million tons, almost reached the 2015 production target of 2.4 tons.

According to Muzakir, production target is more likely to be achieved with a hope that Village Law could strengthen Aceh’s agricultural sector.“With the support of village fund, we could develop a wide range of agricultural potentials in villages to improve agricultural sector,” he said.To develop crop productivity, Aceh Government has encouraged villagers to improve their agricultural activities through village program as mandated by Law No. 6/2015 on Villages. Aceh Government also hopes for agricultural sector to absorb greater number of workforce.In the seminar, Dr. Iskandar, an academician, explained that the main problem faced by farmers lies at the downstream, i.e. poor marketing. Farmers are unable to sell their agricultural products with suitable prices. In fact, market prices drop as they enter harvest period.“Students must be able to address the problem by creating effective marketing mechanisms to maximize agricultural products marketing,” Iskandar said

PM tells drought-stricken Thailand to cut rice production

© AFP/File | Thailand is one of the world's top rice exporters, but four consecutive years of below-average rainfall has drained water reserves and left irrigation channels in the heart of the country dry
Thailand's prime minister on Wednesday told farmers to cultivate less rice to help the country manage its intensifying water crisis, as experts called this year's drought the worst in decades.
Prayut Chan-O-Cha, the junta leader who grabbed power in a military coup two years ago, said his administration was working on a 20-year strategy to diversify the country's agricultural sector, which has long relied on irrigation-intensive rice production.Thailand is one of the world's top rice exporters, but four consecutive years of below-average rainfall has drained water reserves and left irrigation channels in the heart of the country dry.Many rice farmers are currently unable to muster enough water to plant second crops, shaving their incomes and plunging many into debt."We have to find measures to motivate rice farmers to change to other crops (than rice)," Prayut told reporters on Wednesday, adding that management of Thailand's "limited" water resources must be at the core of agricultural planning.Thailand is expected to produce around 25 million tonnes of rice this year, he added, without revealing how much less rice will be grown in the coming years.

Water reserves across the country have dipped below last year's levels, which were already considered a record low, according to the irrigation department.Anond Sanidvongs, a Thailand-based climate expert, said 2016 is shaping up to be the driest in decades."The drought problem this year is probably the worst in 40 to 50 years," he told AFP.Agricultural policies are often divisive in Thailand, with rice and rubber farmers pushing hard for subsidies.The country's vast network of rice farmers in the north and northeast form a political bloc that has voted for governments led by, or aligned to, billionaire ex-premier Thaksin Shinawatra for more than a decade.His sister Yingluck was ousted by the 2014 coup but is still wildly popular among rice farmers.She faces a decade in prison over a rice subsidy scheme derided by critics as a populist handout to her support base.Yingluck insists her subsidy was an effort to assist poor farmers long-ignored by Bangkok's arch-royalist elite.They draw support from southern rubber farmers who have taken a hit as global commodity prices plunge