Monday, September 26, 2016

26th September,2016 daily global regional and local rice e-newsletter by riceplus magazine

Basmati GI and TM issues need to be resolved promptly

The Union of Small and Medium Enterprises (UNISAME) has urged the Intellectual Property Organisation (IPO) and the registrar Trade Marks (TM) to expedite the protection law on geographical indications and the trademark ownership of basmati to settle both the issues promptly.President UNISAME Zulfikar Thaver regretted that both the issues of GI and TM of basmati rice are lingering since years and it is high time the matter is resolved so that Pakistan's GI rights are protected and saved from the mischief of our competitors who are not acknowledging and recognising our rights despite the fact that our basmati rice has inherited features and characteristics of basmati rice because of aroma, length and look and of course the best cooking ability as it elongates when cooked.

It is very unfortunate that the Indian court dismissed our case on grounds of lack of evidence. Actually our representatives should not have gone in the first place without complete homework and that too in a competitors country not at all friendly.If we have our GI protection law in place such rulings will not affect us. Now that the draft is ready it should be placed before the cabinet and the national assembly promptly. 
Thaver also urged the registrar of trade marks to grant or declare the ownership rights of basmati rice in favour of Pakistan government who may assign it to the ministry of commerce or agriculture as it deems fit and under no circumstances it must go to any trade body or association. 

It belongs to Pakistan and it is national property and heritage.It is pertinent to note that some vested interest is trying to acquire the ownership of Pakistani basmati rice on the grounds that it is grown by them. It must be noted that the entire supply chain are the stakeholders and the growers, shellers, processors and exporters and local merchants are all the rightful owners.

REAP to hold 'Biryani Festival' in Indonesia

September 24, 2016
profile delegation of Rice Exporters Association of Pakistan (REAP) will visit Indonesia to market Pakistani rice. REAP has also planned a grand Biryani Festival in Indonesia, in which different rice dishes will be made with Pakistani rice for the participants to promote the Pakistani rice. Indonesia is a very potential market for Pakistani rice as it imports approx one million metric tons rice annually from various regions.

During August, a high profile delegation from Indonesia visited Karachi and had meetings with the representatives of REAP and Trading Corporation of Pakistan (TCP). Various matters related to increase the bilateral trade were discussed during the meetings. In this regard, recently a REAP delegation led by Abdul Rahim Janoo met with Chairman TCP and other senior officials of TCP to develop a strategy for rice promotion in the Indonesia. On the occasion, Noman Ahmed Shaikh Senior Vice Chairman REAP, Rafique Suleman Ex-Chairman REAP and Abdul Rauf Chappal newly elected MC Member REAP were also present.

During the meeting, various proposals were discussed to increase the rice exports from Pakistan to Indonesia and it was mutually decided to send a high profile REAP delegation along with TCP to Indonesia in the October, 2016.

It was also decided that during the visit, a grand Biryani Festival will be organized and different rice dishes made by Pakistani rice will be presented on the occasion to the participants to promote the Pakistani rice. Rafique Suleman, former Chairman REAP, toldBusiness Recorder that previously, REAP has successfully organised such Biryani Festivals in 14 countries of the world, as this is very instrumental to introduce the Pakistani rice among the people of buying countries.

"This is one of the main reasons that rice exports from Pakistan which were only $300 million have been surged to about $2 Billion annually and such growth has never seen in any other commodity in the history of Pakistan," he added. REAP delegation, during the visit of Indonesia, along with Chairman TCP will also have meetings with the top officials of various ministries and government departments particularly with the officials of BULOG, the state owned department, he informed.

As currently only government to government (G to G) trade is being done by Indonesia and efforts will be made to export Pakistani rice through exporters, he said. REAP will also sign a memorandum of understanding (MoU) with Indonesian importers for export of rice. "We are hopeful that after the visit of this delegation, rice exports from Pakistan to Indonesia will be increase with a remarkable ratio," Rafique said.

Public urged: Consume brown rice

  • September 24, 2016
  • Elsa S. Subong
ILOILO CITY, 24 Sept. (PIA6)—The Department of Agriculture is urging the public to consume brown rice for health, and to help attain rice self-sufficiency.In its current promotion dubbed #Brown4good Challenge, the DA and the Philippine Rice Research Institute (PhilRice) said that consumption of brown rice can help solve undernourishment, hunger and low income among farmers.
Brown rice is locally known as pinawa and is the whole grain of rice, since only the outer shell called hull is removed.

The intact bran gives it a distinct brown or tan color, nutty taste and chewy nature, with higher contents of protein, fiber, vitamins, minerals, and anti-oxidants than milled white rice.

According to DA and health experts, the nutritional contents of brown rice help in the prevention of diabetes, cardiovascular disease and cancer.

DA Regional Director Remelyn Recoter encouraged all sectors – the academe, farmers, consumers, farmers and government employees, to support the #BROWN4good Project, where one can order brown rice in restaurants or cook it at home, then post a picture with the hashtag #BROWN4good#Region6 on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.
 Hide original message

“Every post is equivalent to one cup of brown rice donated to charities in Western Visayas,” Recoter said.

The #BROWN4good Challenge was launched last August 30 and will run until October 31, 2016.

Brown rice is available for P36-P37 per kilo, and P1,800 to P1,850 per sack at the Iloilo Rice Processing Complex in Pototan, Iloilo. (JSC/ESS/PIA6 Iloilo

Punjab Rice Millers threaten to boycott paddy procrurements

Press Trust of India  |  Fatehgarh Sahib (PB)  September 24, 2016 Last Updated at 21:28 IST

Punjab Rice Millers Association today threatened to boycott paddy procrurements till October 5 protesting recovery notices by government procurement agencies. "No miller will store paddy in their mills and will boycott procurements till October 5," association president Tarsem Saini said. Government agencies are "intentionally ruining" millers by "exploiting" them, he alleged, adding agencies had issued notices for recoveries related to the 2001-02 crop year, which was not justified. The general house of the association will soon meet at Jagraon and decide the next line of action, he informed. The industry is already on the verge of collapse due to "anti-trade" policies of government, alleged senior association member Nikesh Jindal.(This story has not been edited by Business Standard staff and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.

NFA mulls importation of another 250k MT of rice in November

by Madelaine B. Miraflor
September 26, 2016
After securing 250,000 metric tons (MT) of rice imports from Thailand and Vietnam earlier this month, the National Food Authority is now mulling to tap the half of its standby authority to secure country’s grains requirement in the first few months of 2017.NFA Officer in Charge Tomas Escarez said the NFA Council will meet today (Tuesday) to evaluate whether the government has to buy another 250,000 MT of rice abroad right away.
M FILE – Workers arranges sacks of NFA rice at a warehouse in Visayas Ave, Quezon City.
(Mark Balmores/ Manila Bulletin)
“We already imported 250,000 MT but then we think more is needed because between January to February are lean months. So we recommended to the council based on the standby authority of 500,000 MT, even if we already imported 250,000 MT, we are allowed to import another 250,000 MT. We are just awaiting the instruction of the nfa council,” Escarez told reporters.
“We plan to have the G2G [government-to-government] earlier but its really up to the council but most probably the importation would happen around November. Most likely we will be allowed to import before December because it takes how many days to take the procurement process,” he further said.
Lean season in the Philippines usually starts in July and ends in September but with the threats of La Niña, more imports must be tapped immediately.
While assuring the public that there is more than enough stocks for now, Escarez said the country must prepare for La Niña.
Forecasted to hit the country this year, La Niña is a weather phenomenon expected to bring heavy rains in most parts of the country.
In September 1, NFA awarded the import contracts, covering 250,000 MT of 25-percent broken well-milled rice at $424.5 per MT, to Thailand and Vietnam.
The NFA noted that the price was 0.15 percent lower than the reference price of $425 per MT.
Escarez said earlier that 40 percent of the rice shipment is expected to be delivered by the end of this month, while the remaining 60 percent will reach the country by the end of October.
“This will give NFA sufficient lead time to preposition the stocks nationwide in time for the season of tropical storms and typhoons which usually occur during the end of the third quarter until the fourth quarter,” Escarez said then.
NFA Council earlier allowed the government to tap 500,000 MT of rice import as “standby authority” to fill an estimated gap of five percent of the national production as the result of the El Niño phenomenon

Crisis Shows Weakness in Cambodia’s Rice Sector

The Cambodian government last week gave the green light to the Rural Development Bank (RDB) to disburse loans totaling $27 million to millers to buy paddy rice from farmers at 840 riel ($0.21) per kilogram, in a bid to stabilize falling prices. But problems abound, with farmers still offered low prices for their harvests and millers complaining of poor quality paddy rice from the fields. Khmer Times’ Chea Vannak sat down with Phou Poy, president of the Green Rice Miller in Battambang and also chairman of the Rice Bank, to discuss issues surrounding the current predicaments of both rice millers and farmers.

KT: How much did you ask from the RDB to buy paddy rice from farmers at a price of not less than 840 riel per kilogram?

Mr. Poy: The Rice Bank and a few millers joined hands together to purchase rice at a higher price from farmers, after complaints that they were receiving low prices for their paddy rice. We have been using our own funds to buy paddy rice at 840 riel per kilogram from farmers, even before the emergency loan package was announced.
We still have funds in the Rice Bank. But how long they will last is a good guess. We still have not made any requests for the loan. A few millers are waiting for their own funds to run out before they make their loan requests to the RDB.

KT: By using your own funds, up to today, how many tons of paddy rice have you bought from farmers?
Mr. Poy: With our limited funds, we could not make very large purchases of paddy rice. Also bear in mind that some of the rice fields are in very remote areas of Battambang province. Because of that, our teams could not get access to farmers there to buy their paddy rice at 840 riel per kilogram. So farmers in those areas had no choice but to sell the rice harvest to traders who were offering 720 riel ($0.18) per kilogram.

One important factor that affects the price of paddy rice, is its quality. Farmers often do not dry their harvested paddy rice well enough. Quality is lost if their paddy rice is still damp, and traders have no choice but to offer them lower prices.
The Rice Bank buys milled rice directly from the millers, so that they will have funds to buy another batch of paddy rice from farmers. So far, the Rice Bank has purchased 7,000 tons of milled rice from the millers. The Bank also buys paddy rice directly from farmers. We purchase close to 900 tons of paddy rice a day. That 900 tons is milled and processed for export, though some is supplied to local markets.
KT: How can help be given to farmers who have not been able to sell their rice at 840 riel per kilogram?
Mr. Poy: For farmers who missed selling their paddy rice to our teams, there is still hope. We have informed all community centers in Battambang province to contact rice farmers and tell them to prepare for the forthcoming harvest. The key message is that paddy rice not dried properly will only fetch low prices from the rice traders. Famers can still sell to us, by bringing their paddy rice directly to our warehouses in Battambang. But the paddy rice has to be dried properly. That can be a problem now because of the end of the wet season, where the rains are heaviest.
KT: What do think of the emergency funds from the government to help stabilize rice prices for farmers?
Mr. Poy: This is a good direct intervention to prevent rice prices from tumbling further. Without the 840 riel per kilogram government price, the price of rice might go into a free fall. But the $27 million is only a short-term measure.
We have to take into account the capacity of rice millers to store paddy rice in their warehouses and sell milled rice at a time when there is surplus rice in the market. If there is good market demand for their milled rice, and if they have the capacity to store paddy rice in their warehouses, then $20 million to $30 million is enough. But if the market is not there due to the influx of cheap quality rice from neighboring countries, then this $27 million will not go a long way. Then it’s just a band aid measure for the rice millers.
KT:  What do you think caused the current crisis in the country’s rice sector?
Mr. Poy: Farmers have been affected by climate change. Wet season planting started late this year because of the delayed rains. Farmers only started planting in July, and due to the late wet season they also decided to plant fragrant jasmine rice together with other rice varieties.
 This created a surplus in paddy rice harvest during the harvest period between 15 to 18 September. The farmers then found themselves in a tight corner ‒ unable to sell their harvested crop at prices to make ends meet.Due to poor and limited storage facilities, farmers must sell whatever extra rice they produce immediately after harvest. With the oversupply of rice in the market, farmers have little bargaining power to negotiate the selling price. In addition to this, the quality of the rice has decreased, representing an added cost to farmers.

The Rice Bank and provincial officials then held emergency meetings to find ways to deal with plunging rice prices. We decided to buy paddy rice directly from the rice fields at 840 riel per kilogram. There were reports that the rice traders were buying farmers’ rice crop at less than 720 riel per kilogram.

KT: What do you think about the future of Cambodia’s rice sector? Will we weather this crisis?
Mr. Poy: As for poor rice farmers that are hardest hit by falling prices, immediate intervention by government, development partners, and civil society organizations is needed. We need a medium- to long-term strategy that involves enhancing competitiveness in rice export through the promotion of production technology, improvement of rice processing quality, and provision of short- and long-term credits for rice millers and exporters.
A major constraint for Cambodian millers is the quality of paddy rice sent for milling. The combination of poor drying techniques, open storage systems, high relative humidity, and high temperatures reduces seed and grain quality during the storage period. Most rice traders have little or no capital to invest in storage. The government should encourage the private sector to improve processing capacities for paddy and processed rice as well as milling capacities by giving soft loan incentives or by seeking developing partners.Yes, we will weather this crisis. But it has also shown the structural weakness in the country’s rice sector.

Indonesia Needs Cheaper Rice

Indonesia would consider buying more rice from Cambodia if the price was more competitive, the Indonesian ambassador to Cambodia told reporters after the Indonesian Trade and Tourism Promotion 2016 expo in Phnom Penh on Friday.
Ambassador Pitono Purnomo said that Cambodia and Indonesia signed a memorandum of understanding in 2012 for the annual export of about 100,000 tons of milled rice and have been in continuous talks since.He added that so far, negotiations had yet to provide enough incentive to increase imports as the price of Cambodian rice was too high. He said Indonesia was one of the world’s biggest rice consumers and needed rice not only for consumption but also for stock stabilization.

“The price of Cambodian rice is high, you have to make it lower to compare with your competitors like Thailand and Vietnam. Indonesia is one of the biggest rice consumers,” Mr. Purnomo said.“If you make the price more competitive compared to Vietnam and Thailand, Indonesia will of course consider Cambodian rice. We are not going to import premium rice as we are importing it for the average citizen. We don’t need high grade as we also want to use it for stock purposes,” he added.
Mr. Purnomo said the ball was now in Cambodia’s court, adding that if the price was reduced, Indonesia would make appropriate considerations. “As far as I know, we’re only stuck on the price. I understand the price is a bit higher since you have higher-quality rice and logistics are high.”Commerce Minister Pan Sorasak said at the rice purchasing and export workshop that Indonesia has been working with the Ministry of Commerce to purchase about 400,000 tons of rice and just needed to agree on the price and type of rice.

“Indonesia demands white rice with more than 15 percent broken rice to deliver to average people. It is not a premium rice. Indonesia wants to purchase low-grade rice,” he said. “We are now working with Indonesia, but we want our rice exporters to consider low-quality rice for export.”

Song Saron, president of Amru Rice of Cambodia, told Khmer Times that his company had yet to export to Indonesia because the price for logistics was higher than neighboring countries and added that Indonesia’s market was for white rice. “In my opinion, we cannot talk about export [to Indonesia] at the moment. We must first make our price more competitive,” he said.
Mr. Saron added that Cambodian rice would be more competitive if electricity, logistics and port costs were reduced as well as other administrative procedures for rice millers and exporters. He said Cambodian white rice costs about $425 per ton while that in Thailand and Vietnam was $380 and $360 respectively, about $40 to $65 higher per ton.   “Production costs should be under $30 per ton. Generally, our production costs are about $100 from rice paddy. If it is $40 to $60 per ton we could do it,” Mr. Saron said. “If logistics, electricity, and port costs are high, how can we compete with neighboring countries?”
In 2015, according to figures from the Indonesian embassy, Indonesia exported $435 million in goods to the Kingdom while Cambodia exported only $15 million to Indonesia. Indonesia’s exports included garments, spare parts, chemicals, medicine and tobacco while Cambodia mostly exported garments and food

Indonesia to sign rice import deal with Myanmar

Nilar | Myanmar Eleven/ANN | Naypyidaw
Sun, September 25 2016 | 05:50 pm
Workers carry sacks of rice on their shoulder in State Logistics Agency's (Bulog) warehouse in Jakarta.(JP/R. Berto Wedhatama)
Myanmar is due to sign a memorandum of understanding (MoU) with Indonesia to export 500,000 tons of rice a year until 2019, according to Myanmar’s Commerce Ministry.“There is a new minister of commerce in Indonesia and it has requested to postpone the deal for the time being. We are scheduled to visit Indonesia this month to sign the agreement,” said assistant secretary of the ministry Khin Maung Lwin as quoted by Myanmar Eleven on Sunday.
About 90 percent of rice exports currently go overland to China, but the Myanmar Rice Federation is looking to increase sales to Indonesia, the Philippines and Japan.
The Indonesian government initiated a plan to import rice from Myanmar in December 2015, saying that importing rice from Myanmar would serve as backup in case rice imports from Vietnam and Thailand were not adequate to stabilize local prices.
In May 2016, the Indonesian Agriculture Ministry reported that 15,000 tons of Myanmar rice had entered Indonesia, but was halted at Tanjung Perak Port, Surabaya, West Java. Then-trade minister Thomas Lembong refused to comment on the problem behind the rice import initiated by the State Logistics Agency (Bulog).(ags)

P3.3-T budget up for deliberation

Lower House begins today scrutiny of ‘pork-free’ gov’t fund
by Charissa Luci
September 26, 2016
The House of Representatives will begin today its plenary deliberations on the Duterte administration’s first proposed national budget of P3.35 trillion for 2017.Davao City Rep. Karlo Alexei Nograles, chairman of the House Committee on Appropriations, will sponsor and defend the proposed 2017 P3.35-trillion General Appropriations Bill (GAB).
FIELD OF DREAMS – In what is called ‘Paddy Art,’ a rice field is embellished with the image and moniker of President Rodrigo R. Duterte at the University of the Philippines campus in Los Baños, Laguna. The DU30 paddy art was made with inbred rice variety developed at the Philippine Rice Research Institute (PhilRice).
(Jansen Romero/Manila Bulletin)

“We will begin the two-week marathon deliberations [from Monday to Friday] on the national budget to approve this (on third and final reading) by the third week of next month and transmit this to the Senate,” he said.Nograles is expected to defend the Department of Budget and Management (DBM). Camarines Sur Rep. Luis Raymund Villafuerte will sponsor the Department of Finance (DOF) and its attached agencies and defend the budget of the Anti-Money Laundering Council (AMLC) and the Government Commission for Government-owned and Controlled Corporations (GOCCs).Albay Rep. Joey Salceda, who served as chairman of the House Committee on Appropriations in the past Congress, will defend the budget of the National Economic and Development Authority (NEDA) and its attached agencies.

The proposed budget for 2017 is 11.6 percent higher than last year’s P3.002 trillion.It reflects the Duterte administration’s priorities next year as it intensifies efforts to combat crime, illegal drugs and corruption, enhance economic growth through regional development, and bring about other reforms, Nograles said.“We will have a budget responsive to the people’s needs and in support of President Duterte’s thrusts, priorities and call for change,” he said.

House Majority Floor Leader and Ilocos Norte Rep. Rodolfo “Rudy” Fariñas, another stalwart of the PDP-Laban, said they are set to ratify the proposed 2017 General Appropriations Act on December 14, 2016.
“We will pass the General Appropriations Bill (GAB) in time for the President to sign it into the General Appropriations Act (GAA) on or before we adjourn on December 14. This will be the first National Expenditure Program (NEP) of President Rody and we will see his priorities for his first year in office,” he said.
Speaker Pantaleon Alvarez maintained that President Duterte’s first national budget is not littered with “pork” allocations.

“There is no pork barrel, it has been declared illegal by the Supreme Court. I do not intend to violate it and (Budget) Secretary (Bejamin) Diokno will not allow it,” Alvarez said.He said lawmakers were already stripped of their power over lump sum congressional allocations, recognizing that they will only court cases if they will revive the old pork barrel system

Campaign highlights brown rice benefits

September 25, 2016
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Iloilo City — The Department of Agriculture is urging the public to eat brown rice because it is healthy and helps the country attain rice self-sufficiency.In its promotion campaign, #Brown4good Challenge, the DA and the Philippine Rice Research Institute (PhilRice) said that consumption of brown rice can help solve undernourishment, hunger and low income among farmers.

Brown rice is locally known as pinawa and is the whole grain of rice, since only the outer shell called hull is removed.  The intact bran gives it a distinct brown or tan color, nutty taste and chewy nature, with higher contents of protein, fiber, vitamins, minerals, and anti-oxidants than milled white rice.DA and health experts say the nutritional contents of brown rice help prevent diabetes, cardiovascular diseases and cancer.DA Regional Director Remelyn Recoter encouraged the public to support the #BROWN4good Project by ordering brown rice in restaurants or cooking it at home, then posting a picture with the hashtag #BROWN4good#Region6 on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.
Brown rice (Photo courtesy of