Tuesday, October 25, 2016

25th October,2016 daily global,regional and local rice e-newsletter by riceplus magazine



REAP looks to govt to revive rice exports

October 22, 2016

KARACHI/Lahore -  Rice Export Association of Pakistan (REAP) on Friday expressed concern over huge decline in Basmati and non-Basmati rice export during last two years and urged the government to take appropriate measures to prevent further loss of foreign exchange in this regard.
According to REAP Chairman Mahmood Moulvi, Pakistan has suffered 44 percent decline in rice exports.
He said that the country exported 28,615 m/tons Basmati rice in September 2016 whereas in September 2015 the export was 51,733 m/tons.He said that exports of non-Basmati in September 2016 stood at 152,735 m/tons, whereas 202,725 m/tons exported in the last corresponding year, showing a decrease of 24.65 percent.Mahmood pointed that decline of non-Basmati exports is a real matter of concern as China has reduced its import due to high price issue.

He blamed high input costs, overvalued currency and excessive taxes for this.He said Cambodia and Myanmar are emerging as emerging as main Chinese supplier.He also said that Vietnam and Thailand might not be able to compete with Pakistan, adding that another major threat for Pakistan’s non-Basmati sector would be India this year.

Mahmood said that Basmati rice export has been facing severe competition from India.He regretted that lack of research and non-availability of new seeds has caused low yields, adding that the high input costs have made Pakistani Basmati rice totally uncompetitive against Indian Basmati.He said that Pakistan also lost the important and lucrative Basmati market for Iran.To date, banks are not willing to accept documents for shipment to Iran, he said.He urged State Bank of Pakistan to intervene in the matter and issue directives to commercial banks to accept documents allowing Pakistan exporters to recapture this lucrative and lost market.
The association requested the government to include Basmati and non-Basmati rice in all FTA agreements with China, Indonesia, Malaysia, Philippines.It is pertinent to mention here that Pakistan annually earns $2.0 billion through export of Basmati and non-Basmati rice.Govt urged to ensure basic necessities to attract FDIForeign Direct Investment (FDI) has presented a dismal performance and posted some 38 percent decline during the first quarter of this fiscal year.Pakistan Industrial and Traders Associations Front (PIAF) Chairman Irfan Iqbal Sheikh, quoting the State Bank of Pakistan (SBP) data, revealed that FDI continuously moving down and fell by 38 percent during July-September of FY17 compared to same period of last fiscal year.Pakistan fetched FDI amounting to $249 million during the first quarter of FY17 compared to $403 million in the corresponding period of FY16, depicting a decrease $154 million.

However, the second component of foreign investment - portfolio investment - has posted a surge of 130 percent because of improvement in the country's equity market, the PIAF chairman said.
Net inflows of foreign investment in Pakistan comprising FDI, portfolio investment and foreign private investment fell by 54 percent during July-September of FY17.With the current decline, total foreign investment stood at $368 million at the end of first quarter of this fiscal year compared to $793.2 million in the same period of last fiscal year, depicting a decrease of $425 million.
Irfan said foreign investors always seek a peaceful environment and basic infrastructure including utilities for fresh investment, therefore the government should ensure availability of basic necessities to attract more foreign investment.Experts believe that political uncertainty and lake of infrastructure is largely contributing to lower foreign investment in Pakistan.Political parties should shun their differences for the sake of their country betterment and join hands with the government and the private sector for implementation of national agenda for economic revolution



October 24, 2016

‘PML-N govt took historical steps for prosperity’
From Our Correspondent
OKARA: MNA Ch Riazul Haq Juj has said that the PML-N government has taken historical measures for the development, solidarity and prosperity of the country.Talking to reporters here on Sunday, the MNA said that geographical position of Pakistan signifies the glorious future of this country. He said that Pakistan had a capacity and capability of turning into a bridge for the world in the supply and trade of oil, gas, agriculture and industrial production. He said that former government could not sense this situation of the country so they could not adopt the policies for the excellent future of this land. He said that the present government had well-sensed the significance of natural situation of Pakistan in the region and now keeping in view the importance and benefit of this situation made alliance with China to initiate the CPEC. He said that according to analytical reports of international institutions, it was expected that 150 billion dollars would be incurred on this project.
DACOITY: A dacoity incident was reported here on Sunday.
Muhammad Arshad of 38/2R village was carrying rice bags, toys and utensils to Lahore from Multan when he saw that seven accused was dropping rice bags from his running truck near Okara Bypass. When the accused saw Arshad, they fled on a rickshaw coming from behind, taking away rice bags and other articles worth Rs 250,000. Sadar police have registered a case.
MAN INJURED: A man was injured over a marriage issue at 6/4L village on Sunday.
Mahwish Masih, d/o Maryam Bibi, contracted court marriage with the son of Sahil Masih, which infuriated the family of Maryam Bibi. On the day of the incident, accused Maryam Bibi, Riaz Masih, Faryad Masih, Nadeem Masih and their two unknown accomplices intercepted Victor Masih, nephew of Sahil Masih, and allegedly injured him with the help of batons and sticks and fled. Sadar police have registered a case



Wheat imports poised to rise on bakers' demand

The import of wheat is likely to rise 5 percent to 47 lakh tonnes by the end of the current fiscal year, spurred by higher demand in the bakery industry, according to the US Department of Agriculture.The import forecast has been raised because new bakery products are expected to drive higher consumption, said USDA in its latest Grain and Feed Update on Bangladesh released last week.
Total import of the cereal rose 18 percent year-on-year to 44.82 lakh tonnes in fiscal 2015-16, said USDA, citing customs data.
The US agency's prediction comes at a time when import of the grain is rising. In July to September, wheat imports rose 77 percent to nearly 12 lakh tonnes year-on-year, according to the food ministry's data.
However, rice imports slumped, depressed by a duty hike by the government at the beginning of the fiscal year.
Wheat and flour traders also linked rising imports to higher consumption of wheat flour by a section of low-income population in the wake of rising rice prices.
 “We had good sales in the last three months. It seems that many people switched to flour as its price was lower than rice,” said SK Wazed Ali, president of Narayanganj Flour Millers Cooperative Society.
In September, the USDA said the wholesale and retail prices for coarse rice in Dhaka and Gazipur were Tk 32.44 and Tk 34.67 a kilogram respectively. These prices were 17.45 percent and 10.66 percent higher than in the same period last year, it said.
Rice prices began rising in mid-2016, driven by a reduced supply in response to the government's purchase of the coarse category of the grain at Tk 32 a kilogram and a duty spike on imports.
For the same month, the wholesale and retail prices of wheat flour were estimated at Tk 21 and Tk 24 a kg, according to the US agency.
Wheat flour is approximately Tk 13.66 less expensive per kilogram than rice at the retail level, which, for some consumers, is enough to influence their buying decisions, said the USDA.
Golam Mustafa, manager of NC Trading, a wheat trading firm, said a large number of  people in rural and urban areas now eat home-made bread. Demand for fast food also rose over the years, he added.
Wheat imports hit the highest level in three decades last fiscal year, buoyed by reduced international prices and increased demand from food manufacturers. The private sector accounted for 90 percent of the imports, according to industry operators.
Over the last four years, local farmers have been growing wheat on more lands, raising total production to 13 lakh tonnes on average a year.
But local production could meet only a fourth of the annual demand, which according to USDA estimates, would be 60 lakh tonnes in the year 2016-17, up from 55 lakh tonnes in the previous year.
The US agency kept its forecast on wheat production this winter unchanged at 13.35 lakh tonnes

DA says no urgent need to import rice after typhoon

Posted on October 25, 2016

THE Agriculture secretary said on Monday there was no urgent need to import rice despite crop losses from Super Typhoon Haima, known locally as Lawin.

Haima hit key rice-growing provinces in the north of the country last week. “As of the moment I don’t think so,” Agriculture Secretary Emmanuel Piñol said at a press briefing when asked if the government needs to allow more rice imports on top of the 250,000 tons the state grains agency recently bought from Vietnam and Thailand. “Cagayan Valley is actually one of our major rice production areas but the good thing is that some of our farmers were able to harvest their palay (unmilled rice) ahead of the typhoon,” Mr. Piñol said. -- Reuters

Low Uptake of Gov’t Rice Fund

The government’s much-heralded $27 million emergency rice fund, announced last month amid complaints from rice farmers and millers that cheap competition and low-storage capacity was driving down prices, has so far had only limited takers among rice millers. Kao Thach, CEO at the Rural Development Bank (RDB) said yesterday that the rice sector was presently still using its own funds to purchase and process the ongoing rice harvest, and that the fund had not yet been utilized.“At this moment, all rice millers are using their own resources to purchase rice from farmers to store in their warehouses, but I hope that they will come to us for the next harvest season, which includes other varieties of aromatic fragrant rice [Romdoul and Malis] that are popular globally,” he explained.
He predicted that the increased need in November and December for loans will see the emergency fund being totally used up. With interest on the loans being seven percent annually, Mr. Thach said that he expected any loans from the fund to be fully repaid by May, once all rice had been harvested. In order to qualify for the funding, millers must use their rice stocks as collateral, which may be a factor in the limited number of loan recipients.
Phon Nary, director-general of Heng Huch Rice Mill in Battambang province, told Khmer Times that he had hoped to apply for the funds, but that his rice storage capabilities were too small for RDB requirements.He said that the RDB required storage capacity of up to 150 tons per day but small and medium-sized operations struggled to store more than 50 tons.

“Currently I use my money to purchase rice from farmers and now I have almost exhausted my budget to purchase the upcoming rice harvest,” he said. “I have purchased about 600 tons...and my silos can only receive about 45 tons a day and process about six tons per hour, so we haven’t been allowed to get funding.”“We are now trying to sell our milled rice to the market to get some money to purchase the upcoming new harvest” Mr. Nary added.He said that more than 10 rice mills in Battambang province had been unable to receive any loans under the scheme, and called upon the government and the RDB to lower their storage requirements before the next harvest.

Rin Sokun, the owner of Chhang Lay Rice Mill in Battambang province, agreed that the current system seems to be favoring large-scale exporters, rather than smaller businesses.“The government cooperates with the big rice mills and huge rice exporters as they are easy to work with,” he said.“We are disappointed since what we expect from the government is now hopeless – both farmers and rice mills do not trust the government. Farmers expect the rice mills to purchase their rice since [they think] rice millers now have lots of money, but the reality is not this,” Mr. Sokun said.

Gov’t eyes million-tonne rice quota deal with Indonesia

Tue, 25 October 2016
Cambodia is close to signing an ambitious agreement with the Indonesian government that would pave the way for the Kingdom’s rice producers to export 1 million tonnes of rice under a new quota scheme, a state official said yesterday.
Soeng Sophary, spokesperson for the Ministry of Commerce, said a memorandum of understanding (MoU) between Cambodia and Indonesia has already been finalised and is ready for ink.
“Everything is agreed upon between the two governments already,” she said. “We are just waiting for the right time to sign the MoU and then the private sector will be engaged in the process.”
She added that the new quota scheme presented a valuable opportunity for Cambodia’s rice sector.
“This would bring a new market for the country’s rice producers and would provide the private sector with fair market value,” she said, adding that the quota scheme was in line with the government’s elusive target of exporting 1 million tonnes of rice a year by 2015, which it fell well short of achieving.
According to Ministry of Commerce estimates, Cambodia has a current rice production capacity of 3 million tonnes providing the grain is properly harvested and stored.
Sophary added that local media had erroneously reported last week that the ministry was negotiating a deal to export 1 million tonnes of rice to Malaysia. She said that the only major rice deal on the table was with the Indonesian government.
Hean Vanhan, undersecretary of state at the Ministry of Agriculture, said that even if an MoU were signed, it would not guarantee the sale of rice to Indonesia as Cambodia must still compete on price and quality with rival suppliers, such as Thailand and Vietnam.
“The intention to export 1 million tonnes of rice has always been part of the government’s strategy, but whether it is a reality or not depends on if we can compete in the market,” he said.
Cambodia only managed to export around 500,000 tonnes last year.
According to Vanhan, the main obstacles that have prevented the Kingdom from achieving its 1 million tonne export target were millers’ capital shortages, inefficient logistical capacity, insufficient storage capacity, and the high cost of electricity.
He added, however, that capacity for exports was not an issue.Hun Lak, vice president of the Cambodia Rice Federation (CRF), said that the Commerce Ministry’s plan was overly ambitious and the Kingdom was years away from being able to export 1 million tonnes annually.
“The industry is not yet ready for a 1 million tonne agreement, and we would need at least two to three years before it would be possible to reach that level of export,” he said. “Rice millers still do not have enough capital to buy paddy rice, pay for storage and transportation.”
Cambodia signed an MoU with the Indonesian government back in 2012 which outlined a more modest goal of exporting 100,000 tonnes of rice a year. Sophary could not comment on whether the target of the agreement was ever achieved


QR scheme failed to protect rice farmers, agricultural group says


AN agricultural organization said it backs the removal of quantitative restriction on rice, noting that the QR regime intended to protect rice farmers from cheap imports has failed to serve its purpose.
“[The] country’s rice industry is supposed to enjoy protection from wanton imports under the rice QRs - quantitative restriction. But this remains merely on paper. Our QRs did not curb rice imports; we have beenimporting more than the required QRs, excluding smuggled rice, for the past 10 years,” according to a statement by Samahang Industriya ng Agrikultura, Inc. (SINAG), which was e-mailed to reporters over the weekend.
The group said last year’s inbound shipments of rice amounted to 1.91 million metric tons, exceeding the minimum access volume limit of 805,200 metric tons. The scheme calls for volumes within the MAV limit to be levied a 35% rate, based on the rate scheduled in the ASEAN Trade in Goods Agreement, while those outside the MAV are subject to a most-favored nation rate of 40%.
SINAG, composed of 33 farmers’ and irrigator’s associations also said that the Philippines is compelled to aim for rice self-sufficiency and undertake a “significant increase in public spending” for rice “given the relatively thin global rice market and the onset of extreme weather situations as the new norm.”
SINAG urged the government to impose the maximums possible tariff rate on rice, saying that current international prices of rice call for an import duty of at least 50%, revenue generated from which should be poured Into the development of the rice sector towards self-sufficiency.
“Lift rice QR and the revenue generated from rice importtariffs should exclusively be allocated in implementing a comprehensive government program across the whole supply chain of the rice industry that will redevelop our capacity to produce our own staple and food requirements,” the statement added.
A firm implementation of the law that would prevent smuggling and enhance regulations governing quarantine and food safety regulations/sanitary and phytosanitary measures and institute special safeguard (SSG) mechanisms that will protect the local rice industry againstimport dumping, import surges and global price discrimination, it said.
For his part, Finance Undersecretary of Policy Development and Management Services Group Gil S. Beltran expressed the department’s support for the removal of non-tariff import restrictions on rice and transfer rice importation to the private sector.
“We believe that this will lessen opportunities for corruption and also incentivize greater investment in the rice sector. Then uncertainty over the timing and levels ofimports from domestic sales by NFA has resulted in underinvestment in milling, drying and storage,” Mr. Beltran said during an Oct. 17 Senate hearing.

Anambra hits 210,000 metric tonnes target in rice production

The Anambra State Commissioner for Agriculture, Afam Mbanefo, said on Monday that the state has reached self-sufficiency in rice production.Mr. Mbanefo made the disclosure at a Commodity Alliance Forum/Consultative meeting organised by the state Value Chain Development Programme (VCDP) in Awka.
The commissioner recalled that the state government had earlier targeted production of 210,000 metric tonnes of rice per annum.
“Based on the calculation of our expected yield, we are expecting to realise over 236,000 metric tonnes of rice in 2016 based on the production capacity.”
Mr. Mbanefo said the calculation was based on expected yield of 35 per cent of over 14,300 farmers and the activities of programmes like the VCDP and FADAMA.
He said the expected yield also included the activities of rice investors in the state, including Coscharis farms, Joseph Agro and others.
He said the state government was passionate about revolutionising agriculture and making it wealth creator, especially for unemployed youth willing to venture into the sector.
The commissioner, who said the state government ensured a linkage between farmers and off-takers, advised farmers yet to form cooperatives to do so. Earlier, the National Programme Coordinator for VCDP, Ameh Onoja, said the aim of the programme was to assist the Federal Government to reduce spending on importation of rice.
According to him, the overall goal is to ensure that rural poverty is reduced and to ensure accelerated economic growth is achieved on a sustainable and inclusive basis.
Mr. Onoja, who was represented by Basil Esinulo, said the project was developed to address some major constraints militating against agricultural development such as the poor organisation of farmers, processors and marketing.
Other constraints, he said, included lack of rural infrastructure, particularly rural roads, water supply and market as well as poor access to production.
According to him, tremendous boost in rice production will be achieved to increase incomes and food security in the country.The acting state Programme Coordinator for VCDP, Bonaventure Mochebe, said the forum was organised to deliberate on issues that affect farmers and to seek ways to address the challenges.
He said that the forum will link farmers with financial institutions, off-takers, civil society organisations and other stakeholders in the rice business.
Mr. Mochebe urged government to rescue farmers whose three hectares of rice farmland were destroyed by Fulani herdsmen.He said on the sideline of the programme that Fulani herdsmen’s cattle had destroyed over three hectares of rice farmland.The forum also witnessed the signing of a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU), by the farmers, agro dealers and off-takers to strengthen their partnership and capacity of production.


‘Self-reliance in rice production soon’

Published: October 25, 2016 5:13 am On: Kathmandu
Speaking at the second review and planning workshop on USAID-funded project ‘Accelerating adoption of stress-tolerant rice varieties by smallholders farmers in Nepal and Cambodia’ organised by the MoAD, Nepal Agricultural Research Council and Philippines-based International Rice Research Institute, Agriculture Secretary Uday Chandra Thakur said, the government plans to launch programmes to increase rice production within two years.
He said farmers need to adopt climate smart rice varieties to increase production. He further said that the ASTV project would supply quality seeds for increasing rice production.Secretary Thakur informed that the new varieties supplied by the project have given a huge relief to farmers across the country.Dr Yubak Dhoj GC, director general, Department of Agriculture said the ASTV project was initiated by USAID under the banner of Feed the Future to ensure food security.

He stated that the major objectives of the project was to minimise poverty, hunger and increase the income of poor families by distributing drought tolerant improved seeds. The ASTV project is running in four districts of western, ten districts of mid-western and six districts of far-western regions.He informed that the government had released/recommended eight rice varieties for rice farming in Nepal.Of them, six varieties have been recommended for drought-prone areas and two varieties for flood-prone areas.
Commission for farmers on cards
KATHMANDU: The Agricultural Development Ministry has begun preparations to form National Farmers Commission. The ministry has prepared a draft of the National Farmers Commission and Operation Order – 2073 BS which envisages forming a seven-member commission to promote agriculture and protect the rights and interests of farmers. Programmes on managing the market for agro-products, operating agro-products processing plants, establishing research centres to boost agricultural production and agriculture education will be run once the commission is formed, said Spokesman for the ministry Yogendra Karki:-RSS

Climate change threatens food safety, experts warn

 Post Report, Kathmandu

Participants at a programme in Kathmandu on Monday.Post Photo

Oct 25, 2016- Agro scientists have warned that Nepal’s food safety will be under threat due to the impact of climate change which directly affects farm profit margins, and urged all stakeholders to strengthen efforts to improve technology-intensive agricultural practices.Nepal has the potential to become self-sufficient in food and even export it, but the sector is hampered by lack of technology, quality inputs and infrastructure, they said.
“Rice consumption in Nepal has doubled to 3.7 million tonnes in the last two decades, and it is growing,” said Abdelbagi M Ismail, a visiting principal scientist from the International Rice Research Institute (IRRI), Los Baños, the Philippines.

He was speaking at the second review workshop of the USAID-funded project entitled Accelerating the Adoption of Stress-Tolerant Rice Varieties by Smallholder Farmers in Nepal and Cambodia (ASTV) on Monday.The US government has implemented the Feed the Future Initiative, a project aimed at addressing global hunger and food insecurity, in 22 districts in the Eastern, Western, Mid-Western and Far-Western regions. IRRI is technically supporting the project.

Ismail said that Nepal was one of the highest rice consuming countries in the world. The per capita per year rice consumption in Nepal is 130 kg, which is extremely high. Rice is the most important source of calories, accounting for 31 percent of the total calories intake in Nepal, he said. However, Nepal’s production falls short of demand. As a result, it currently imports 15-20 percent of the rice it consumes.According to the Customs Department, Nepal’s cereal import bill jumped to a staggering Rs38.72 billion in the last fiscal year after unfavourable weather left it with the worst cereal harvest. Of the total imports, rice and paddy amounted to 489,401 tonnes worth Rs21.42 billion.

The Agricultural Ministry’s annual crop production report shows that the country produced 652,000 tonnes less food grain in the last fiscal year as severe drought affected both summer and winter harvests. The drop in output was reflected on imports.“Having fertile land, beautiful sunshine and water potential, there is no need for Nepal to invest millions of dollars to import food,” Ismail said. He added that the country could double output by adopting new technologies like new improved varieties of seeds and farm mechanization and ensuring proper market access.

The seed replacement rate is one of the problems. The rate should be 20 percent on average, but in Nepal it is 12 percent, he said. “This poor rate has forced farmers to lose 15-20 percent of their crops.”He urged the government to focus on improved seed varieties and distribute them to farmers. “Women are dominant in Nepal’s agricultural sector. They need to be provided appropriate technologies for product development and delivery strategy,” he said.Uma Shankar Singh, senior scientist and IRRI Representative for Nepal and India, said that convincing farmers to adopt new varieties was challenging as they don’t want to switch to new varieties leaving their traditional ones. In this context, the governments and media intervention is crucial in creating awareness among farmers, he said.

For example, the ASTV conducted a head-to-head trail of new paddy varieties like DRR 44, DRR 42, Ciherang Sub-1 and Sawa Mahsuli Sub-1, among others. Half of the farmers’ fields were transplanted with improved varieties and half of them with their traditional varieties.“The objective was to see which one is better,” said Singh. “The result showed that new seeds are not only good in climatic stress conditions but equally best when the situation is normal.”

The survey conducted by the project in the 22 districts shows that 358 village development committees (VDCs) are prone to drought and 177 VDCs are prone to flood. The project covered 68,000 hectares as of last year and expects to reach 150,000 hectares by this year, he said.    “Climate change is leading to an increase in temperatures and more frequent and severe periods of drought, which have a negative impact on crop productivity,” said Uday Chandra Thakur, secretary of the Ministry of Agricultural Development.“Moreover, the overuse of chemical fertilizers has been degrading Nepal’s soil condition.” As the effects of climate change will threaten the poor, the government is committed to adopting stress-tolerant paddy varieties to increase productivity, he said.http://kathmandupost.ekantipur.com/news/2016-10-25/climate-change-threatens-food-safety-experts-warn.html

Managing crops after typhoon

Super typhoons Karen and Lawin brought damages in Central and Northern Luzon affecting the country’s major rice-producing provinces. According to the Department of Agriculture (DA), Karen alone left almost P3 Billion in agricultural damages.
To help farmers recover from the damages brought by the said calamities, experts at the Philippine Rice Research Institute (PhilRice) recommended strategies on how to manage crops after typhoons.
For those who were able to harvest before Karen and Lawin hit the country, farmers are advised to use the mechanical dryer for drying of harvested grains.“Seeds must have drying temperature not higher than 43°C. It is advantageous for farmers to use the mechanical dryer as it allows drying during unfavorable weather conditions,” said Arnold Juliano, PhilRice’s agricultural engineer.

A publication on how to use the mechanical dryer is available in this link.In harvesting crops submerged in water or mud, farmers can use the combine harvester provided that the field is already dry.“If the crop submerged in water is easy to drain, combine harvester can be used provided that no or minimum moisture is present in the panicles to minimize grain losses during operation.  For submerged crop with drainage problem, immediate manual harvesting is advisable to save the grains from deterioration,” Juliano explained.
To know more about the practical recommendations on how to manage crops after typhoons, farmers may call or text the PhilRice Text Center 0920 911 1398

10/24/2016 Farm Bureau Market Report

Long Grain Cash Bids
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Rice Comment

Rice futures plummeted today after opening higher. November charted a bearish key reversal and violated uptrending support in the process, which could signal a move toward a retest of support at the contract low of $9.35. Weekly export sales of 69,600 metric tons was an improvement from last week, but not enough to spark buying interest


PhilExport supports plan to revive Masagana rice program

  • October 24, 2016
  • PIA 11-Joey Sem G. Dalumpines
DAVAO CITY, Oct 24 (PIA) An official of the Philippine Export Foundation based here expressed support to the revival Masagana Rice Production Program to ensure food security.Ferdinand Maranon, president of the PhilExport Incorporated lauded President Rodrigo Duterte’s plan to revive the rice production program copied from the Masagana 99 of the Marcos Administration, as long as it will benefit the lowly rice farmers.
He said the program will succeed only if it will be thoroughly supported by government and the private sector.Maranon recalled that as a rice trader in the 80s, there was this phenomenon of over rice production which filled in the driers and warehouses of traders, consequently bringing the price of palay down.He said farmers tended to a lower price for their production making them at a loss.Maranon suggested to attach quedan to rice production the same as what is applied in sugar production.
He said with the quedan system, an amount can be assigned to a number of kilos in a rice production.Maranon said the farmer then can store his produced rice and can sell it when the price goes higher.He said the farmer can also have the option of making his quedan a collateral to apply for a loan.“The government will construct more warehouses as it allows the private sector with due license to work as quedan operator,” Maranon said. President Rodrigo Duterte in his visit to Isabela hinted of reviving the Masagana rice production program and the Biyayang Dagat program which stopped food importation during the Marcos Administration. (PIA 11-Joey Sem G. Dalumpines)

QR scheme failed to protect rice farmers, agricultural group says

October 24, 2016

AN agricultural organization said it backs the removal of quantitative restriction on rice, noting that the QR regime intended to protect rice farmers from cheap imports has failed to serve its purpose.

“[The] country’s rice industry is supposed to enjoy protection from wanton imports under the rice QRs -- quantitative restriction. But this remains merely on paper. Our QRs did not curb rice imports; we have been importing more than the required QRs, excluding smuggled rice, for the past 10 years,” according to a statement by Samahang Industriya ng Agrikultura, Inc. (SINAG), which was e-mailed to reporters over the weekend.

The group said last year’s inbound shipments of rice amounted to 1.91 million metric tons, exceeding the minimum access volume limit of 805,200 metric tons. The scheme calls for volumes within the MAV limit to be levied a 35% rate, based on the rate scheduled in the ASEAN Trade in Goods Agreement, while those outside the MAV are subject to a most-favored nation rate of 40%.

SINAG, composed of 33 farmers’ and irrigator’s associations also said that the Philippines is compelled to aim for rice self-sufficiency and undertake a “significant increase in public spending” for rice “given the relatively thin global rice market and the onset of extreme weather situations as the new norm.”

SINAG urged the government to impose the maximums possible tariff rate on rice, saying that current international prices of rice call for an import duty of at least 50%, revenue generated from which should be poured Into the development of the rice sector towards self-sufficiency.

“Lift rice QR and the revenue generated from rice import tariffs should exclusively be allocated in implementing a comprehensive government program across the whole supply chain of the rice industry that will redevelop our capacity to produce our own staple and food requirements,” the statement added.

A firm implementation of the law that would prevent smuggling and enhance regulations governing quarantine and food safety regulations/sanitary and phytosanitary measures and institute special safeguard (SSG) mechanisms that will protect the local rice industry against import dumping, import surges and global price discrimination, it said.

For his part, Finance Undersecretary of Policy Development and Management Services Group Gil S. Beltran expressed the department’s support for the removal of non-tariff import restrictions on rice and transfer rice importation to the private sector.

“We believe that this will lessen opportunities for corruption and also incentivize greater investment in the rice sector. Then uncertainty over the timing and levels of imports from domestic sales by NFA has resulted in underinvestment in milling, drying and storage,” Mr. Beltran said during an Oct. 17 Senate hearing. -- Janina C. Lim

Groups urge government to extend QR on rice

BusinessMirror - October 24, 2016
Farmers’ groups on Monday appealed to the government to negotiate the extension of the rice-import quota as rice farming in the country remains “dismal” and “unprofitable.”
They also called on President Duterte to thumb down the efforts of other Cabinet members to privatize the National Food Authority (NFA).
“In his Executive Order [EO] 1, President Duterte vowed to reduce poverty. However, his lieutenants are eyeing the opposite direction, opting to remove state support to the rice industry that has 4 million farmers dependent on it for their livelihood,” Jaime Tadeo, president of Paragos Pilipinas, said in a statement.
“Instead of lifting the quantitative restriction [QR] on rice, this administration should strengthen its support to help the local industry gain the competitive advantage that the past administrations failed to do,” Tadeo added.

Mr. Duterte’s economic team is partial to lifting the QR on rice, citing the need to reduce the retail price of the staple to make it more affordable to the poor.
But opening up the rice market at this time is ill-advised because palay farmers remain unable to compete with their counterparts in the Asean.
“We are alarmed that despite the extensive funding provided for rice, we remain poor because the cost of production remains very high, compared to those produced in other Southeast Asian countries,” said Trinidad Domingo, honorary president of Pambansang Koalisyon ng mga Kababaihan sa Kanayunan.
To help farmers, the Pambansang Kaisahan ng mga Magbubukid sa Pilipinas (PKMP) said the NFA should continue to receive government funds so it could buy unmilled rice from farmers and stabilize the farm gate price of the staple. PKMP’s Ed Mora also urged the government to investigate the reported losses suffered by the NFA in the past.
The group noted that NFA loans increased in 2008, 2009 and 2010, when rice importation was at its height. Former President Benigno S. Aquino III exposed the staggering debt of the agency that reached P180 billion.
“The past administration attributed these NFA losses to over importation, overpricing and over borrowing from banks—a grave concern that easily merits a formal executive of legislative inquiry,” Mora said.
Farmers’ groups proposed the removal of representatives of banks in the NFA Council and to retain only one representative of the Development Budget Coordination Committee.

Phnom Penh Post - Soggy forecast for rice farmers

Mon, 24 October 2016
Extreme weather attributed to the tail-end of an El Niño event continues to wreak havoc on the nation’s agricultural sector, with more than 20,000 hectares of rice fields damaged so far this year, a government agricultural expert said yesterday.Men Sothy, director of the statistics department at the Ministry of Agriculture, said the nation’s rice farmers have taken a one-two punch from Mother Nature – first with a severe and prolonged drought, and now in some areas with devastating floods.
“If comparing the current flooding to the earlier drought, farmers suffered more seriously during the long drought, but we cannot yet assess the full impact of flood damage as heavy rains are expected to continue through at least next week,” he said.As of mid-October, about 17,500 hectares of rice fields have been affected by adverse weather, of which crops on nearly 3,200 hectares have been destroyed. Heaviest hit are crops in Prey Veng and Kampong Speu provinces, which account for over half of the total affected area.
“Prey Veng and Kampong Speu provinces have been seriously impacted,” Sothy said, without putting a price on the damage. “I think the amount of damage will keep increasing as flood levels remain high and the rain is forecast to continue through the week.”Say Sopheatra, project manager of the Cambodian Micro Agricultural Insurance Scheme (CAMAIS), said the impact of adverse weather could surpass last year’s devastating totals, resulting in losses for farmers whose crops are uninsured.
CAMAIS is a crop insurance scheme launched in late-2015 that aims at supporting local smallholder farmers by providing insurance payouts to those affected by severe weather-related events attributed to climate change. The two-year project was launched with funding from the Netherlands-based Achmea Foundation, and implemented by the Cambodian Centre for Study and Development in Agriculture (CEDAC) across nine districts in three provinces: Kampong Chhnang, Takeo and Kampong Speu.
According to Sopheatra, 159 rice farmers took out microinsurance from CAMAIS since the start of the year, with a total premium of just under $1,500. She said the microinsurer’s team was currently monitoring and evaluating claims in order to determine the compensation that affected rice farmers are entitled to.“The situation this year, it is worse than last year as farmers have suffered both drought and floods,” she said. “We are monitoring and evaluating the compensation payout for farmers.”
The weather-related damage is helping the project’s organisers to better understand the market. CAMAIS is seeking further funding from Achmea and looking to expand its crop insurance scheme to four other provinces soon.Seam Bunthoeurn, a rice farmer in Kampong Speu province’s Borse district, said he was thankful to be among the farmers who piloted the crop insurance scheme, and the $5 he spent on a policy for his half-hectare field gave him peace of mind.
“This year my crops suffered flooding but it was not too bad, as each time the water receded quickly,” he said. “However, even in the face of drought and flooding I will not lose all my money as I purchased insurance for my field that will allow me to recover the money I spent on seeds and fertilizer.”Cambodia’s total rice production topped 9.2 million tonnes last year, with exports rising by 39 percent in 2015 to 538,000 tonnes, according to Ministry of Agriculture data

October 24, 2016

USA Rice Sustainability Committee Chair Jennifer James
USA Rice Launches Sustainability Attitude Survey  

ARLINGTON, VA -- The concept of sustainability is clearly a driving force in our society today, and it's one that businesses, industries, individuals, and government agencies are trying to get their heads around and define.  In pursuit of a better understanding of what sustainability means to and for the U.S. rice industry, USA Rice is launching a quick online survey that is linked below.

"Sustainability means different things to different people, and while there are a lot of organizations and interests moving their definition and vision of sustainability forward, we think it's important to first see if we as an industry are on the same page with each other," said Jennifer James, an Arkansas rice farmer and chair of the USA Rice Sustainability Committee.  "You need to learn to walk before you can run, and this survey is designed to tell us whether you're running, walking, flying, or not sure what to do."

James said the simple survey consists of just seven questions, all but one of which are multiple choice or true/false.

"Our survey will take less than 10 minutes, but the insight it provides will be invaluable," James said.  "I encourage everyone who reads the Daily to take it, and to forward it to friends and family - producers, millers, exporters, merchants, equipment and seed dealers, food company employees, media, and government employees - we want to know what these terms mean to you."

The survey can be found
 here and will be kept live for a limited time

CBN approves N15.7b for additional rice mills

On October 24, 201612:10 amIn Business, Finance, NewsComments By babajide komolafe In a bid to reduce foreign exchange spending on food importation through enhanced funding for agriculture, the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) has approved funding for additional rice mills in the country. Meanwhile the Minister of Agriculture, Chief Audu Ogbeh has said that the federal government may soon stop importation of rice into the country given the increased rice production across the country facilitated by the CBN backed Anchor Borrowers’ Programme (ABP). Rice Mill CBN loan Rice Mill CBN loan The duo spoke in Awka, Anambra State, alongside, Governor of Anambra State, Chief Willie Obiano and Governor of Kebbi State, Alhaji Atiku Abubakar Bagudu while fielding questions from journalists during inspection tour of the 2,600 hectares rice plantation of Coscharis Farms.

The rice plantation is one of the rice projects funded through the Anchor Borrowers’ Programme of the CBN, which is aimed at boosting food production in the country. Under the programme, the CBN has provided N15.7 billion loan to 76,251 smallholder farmers producing and supplying rice to five private anchors (rice millers) in five states. Emefiele while commending Cocharis Farms, said: ”We started this with him, almost about two years ago when we granted him a N2 billion Commercial Agricultural Credit Scheme (CACS). With his own resources, he added to it and that is why he is where he is today. Those are the type of things we need to continue to encourage. And about a month ago, he came to the CBN that we need to come and see what he has done with the CACS fund we gave to him. “I must say that I am delighted that he has used the money well. And when he came, he requested for more money because he wants to have the capacity to produce rice all-year round, which is three harvests in a year.

To do so, he needs irrigation and he needs his mill. And I am happy to say yesterday, the Committee of Governors of CBN gave approval for him to set up a mill here and also set up his irrigation. That is the kind of support we would give people who have shown interest, because there is no foreign exchange to import food, when we can produce food in the country.” Ban on rice imports Ogbeh commented on the Coscharis rice plantation saying, “As we go round we began to have great confidence in our country. I think Nigeria’s independence is just beginning to be established because unless a country can feed itself and feed well, every other dream can’t be fulfilled. This is amazing. I have seen similar things in Kebbi and I am seeing this big one. I am very proud of Coscharis and the effort the Governor is making to support him. In another year, we will have no need to import one grain of rice into this country. In fact we may stop rice importation sooner than that. It is final word I am telling you, because Nigerians have proven that they can do it and I am proud that I can see this thing in Anambra.
“The rice sector alone will take care of two million people before we began to satisfy our needs of 8 million tonnes. This is heavily mechanised, the smaller farmers don’t have all these machineries but they contribute immensely. So jobs, jobs and jobs, the millers are there, the marketers, the transporters, the distributors, all of them will be part of this business, just for rice. We have not even talked about cassava, or maize, or sorghum, or millets, beans, yams so the future is huge, the jobs are there.” The Chairman of Coscharis Group, Mr. Cosmas Maduka, in his remarks, stated that Coscharis Farm Limited will provide full time employment for about 3000 people as well as drive ancillary industrial growth in the state when all the phases of the investment are complete.
He said the farm phase of the business currently employs over 250 people, adding that the rice mill and irrigation components of the investment for which the CBN has given approval in principle to finance, will significantly enhance the capacity of the business to create more jobs and boost economic activities. Maduka however called on other arms of the federal government to be more responsive to requests from the private sector to enable them achieve their set business goals in good time. “Although the government is providing support, a lot more assistance is still required from the government. Government should respond to our needs and requests faster to help us meet our investment goals. For example, we have made a request for waivers for the importation of our farm equipment and it has been lying there for over a year without any approval. The government should respond faster,” he said.

He commended the CBN for agreeing to provide financing for its rice mill and irrigation, while also thanking the Federal Ministry of Agriculture for the decisions to allow the company use its silos for the storage of grains harvested from the farm. Governor Willie Obiano of Anambra stated, “We are hoping to catch up with Kebbi. We are currently doing 210,000 metric tonnes. We call on CBN to support Coscharis Farms and other small holder farms because they are structured here. Through the agro-intervention funds we got N1.5 billion and disbursed it and now we want N5 billion. There is much money in farming- you feed yourself and sell others” On his part, Governor of Kebbi State, Alhaji Atiku Abubakar Bagudu, said: “We are happy that since last year the President launched CBN’s Anchor Borrowers’ scheme in Kebbi, the State governments have been keying into the project.

It is evidenced again when Mr Cosmas Maduka told us how the State governor intervened on the brewing controversy over the land, which he acquired 29 years ago. He also told of the state government’s support with infrastructure. This shows that the president’s call, with the support of the Minister of Agriculture and the Central Bank of Nigeria was heard. With these developments, it is obvious that we are on our way to rice sufficiency.


New campaign for USA Easy Cook Rice

24 October
World Foods brand Tropical Sun is launching a new campaign to promote its USA Easy Cook Rice range.Launched in partnership with the USA Rice Federation, the campaign includes press advertising, digital marketing and a London-wide bus advertising campaign.Tropical Sun brand manager Jag Singh said: “Our Easy Cook USA Rice ticks a whole host of boxes for consumers and chefs. It’s pre-fluffed, easy to cook and delivers consistently delicious white rice which can be used to make virtually any international dish.“This is the first stage in a much wider campaign aimed at raising awareness of the benefits of rice from the United States. We highly recommend businesses stock up to take full advantage of the awareness and interest we will be generating over the next few months and in the run-up to Christmas.”
Source: Wanis International Foods

Egypt limits area for rice cultivation in 2017 to preserve water

Home News
Monday ,24 October 2016

 Egyptwill decrease land area used for rice production in the 2017 season with a decrease of 34.6 percent, according to a decree issued by the Ministry of Irrigation and published in the Official Gazette on Sunday.
In an attempt to preserve scarce water resources, the Ministry limited the cultivation of the water-consuming crop to 6 governorates covering an area of 704.5 thousand feddans in comparison to 1.076 million feddans in 2016 season.

The only governorates that will be allowed to cultivate rice are Beheira, Kafr El-Sheikh, Daqahliya, Damietta, Port Said, and Sharqiya.

The ministry will provide water for rice fields in the selected governorates from May - August 2017.

Rice, a key stable foodstuff for millions of Egyptians, consumes 9,500 to 11,000 cubic metres water per hectare, a much higher average compared to other crops.

Per the decree, rice production would be banned in unauthorized fields with violators subjected to fines.

Egypt has long outlawed rice exports to preserve stocks for the local market and combat rising prices.

In August, the Egyptian government said it aims to procure up to 2 million tonnes of rice from farmers by purchasing long grain rice at EGP 2,300 per tonne and short grain rice at EGP 2,400 per tonne.

According to the US Department of Agriculture's Grain and Feed annual report issued in October, post forecast for milled rice production is at 4.0 million metric tonnes with a post forecast for rice consumption at 3.5 million metric tonnes in 2016/17.

In recent months, rice has been among the essential food stuff facing price hikes as a result of low supply due to traders holding stock.

Earlier in October, Egypt's Supply Ministry Mohamed Ali El-Sheikh said the government will hold an international tender for rice seeking to purchase a minimum of 500,000 tonnes in order to secure rations for consumers who receive food subsidies.

The minister said during a press conference on sugar scarcity last week that President Abdel-Fattah El-Sisi has ordered the managing of essential foodstuff reserves to cover six months


          Nagpur Foodgrain Prices Open- Oct 24

Nagpur Foodgrain Prices - APMC & Open Market-October 24
Nagpur, Oct 24 Gram prices firmed up again in Nagpur Agriculture Produce and
Marketing Committee (APMC)auctions on increased buying support from local millers amid weak
supply from producing belt. Healthy rise in Madhya Pradesh gram prices and enquiries from
South-based millers also boosted prices, according to sources.
   * Gram varieties touched to a record high in open market on good 
     seasonal demand from local traders amid thin supply from millers.
   * Tuar reported strong in open market on festival season demand 
     from local traders amid weak arrival from producing belt.
   * Udid varieties recovered in open market on good festival season demand from local 
     traders amid weak supply from producing region.
   * In Akola, Tuar New - 6,200-6,300, Tuar dal (clean) - 10,800-11,200, Udid - 
     10,700-11,000, Udid Mogar (clean) - 13,400-13,700, Moong - 
     6,100-6,300, Moong Mogar (clean) 6,800-7,200, Gram - 9,000-9,500, 
     Gram Super best bold - 11,400-11,700 for 100 kg.
   * Wheat, rice and other commodities moved in a narrow range in 
     scattered deals, settled at last levels. 
 Nagpur foodgrains APMC auction/open-market prices in rupees for 100 kg
     FOODGRAINS                 Available prices     Previous close   
     Gram Auction                5,700-9,750         5,500-9,500
     Gram Pink Auction            n.a.           2,100-2,600
     Tuar Auction                n.a.                5,500-6,200
     Moong Auction                n.a.                6,400-6,600
     Udid Auction                n.a.           4,300-4,500
     Masoor Auction                n.a.              2,600-2,800
     Gram Super Best Bold            12,500-13,000        12,200-12,700
     Gram Super Best            n.a.            n.a.
     Gram Medium Best            11,800-12,100        11,200-11,500
     Gram Dal Medium            n.a.            n.a
     Gram Mill Quality            10,200-10,500        9,800-10,000
     Desi gram Raw                9,800-10,000        9,550-9,750
     Gram Yellow                 13,300-13,700        13,000-13,500
     Gram Kabuli                12,700-14,000        12,700-14,000
     Gram Pink                        12,000-12,500        12,000-12,500    
     Tuar Fataka Best-New             11,500-12,000        11,200-11,700
     Tuar Fataka Medium-New        10,900-11,200        10,600-11,000
     Tuar Dal Best Phod-New        9,500-10,200        10,000-10,500
     Tuar Dal Medium phod-New        8,500-9,000        8,300-9,000
     Tuar Gavarani New             6,500-6,600        6,400-6,500
     Tuar Karnataka             6,800-6,950        6,800-6,950
     Tuar Black                 11,800-12,300        11,800-12,300 
     Masoor dal best            6,400-6,500        6,400-6,500
     Masoor dal medium            6,000-6,200        6,000-6,200
     Masoor                    n.a.            n.a.
     Moong Mogar bold (New)        6,800-7,200         6,800-7,200
     Moong Mogar Medium            6,300-6,600        6,300-6,600
     Moong dal Chilka            6,200-6,500        6,300-6,500
     Moong Mill quality            n.a.            n.a.
     Moong Chamki best            6,400-6,900        6,400-6,900
     Udid Mogar best (100 INR/KG) (New) 11,000-12,100       10,900-12,000 
     Udid Mogar Medium (100 INR/KG)    9,500-10,500        9,300-10,300    
     Udid Dal Black (100 INR/KG)        7,300-7,600        7,200-7,500     
     Batri dal (100 INR/KG)        6,400-6,800        6,400-6,800
     Lakhodi dal (100 INR/kg)          4,600-4,800         4,600-4,800
     Watana Dal (100 INR/KG)            3,150-3,250        3,150-3,250
     Watana White (100 INR/KG)           3,400-3,600           3,400-3,600
     Watana Green Best (100 INR/KG)    4,000-4,500        4,000-4,500   
     Wheat 308 (100 INR/KG)        1,900-2,000        1,900-2,000
     Wheat Mill quality (100 INR/KG)    1,900-2,000        1,900-2,000   
     Wheat Filter (100 INR/KG)         1,750-1,950        1,750-1,950
     Wheat Lokwan best (100 INR/KG)    2,250-2,450        2,250-2,450    
     Wheat Lokwan medium (100 INR/KG)   1,950-2,250        1,950-2,250
     Lokwan Hath Binar (100 INR/KG)    n.a.            n.a.
     MP Sharbati Best (100 INR/KG)    3,300-4,000        3,300-4,000    
     MP Sharbati Medium (100 INR/KG)    2,400-3,000        2,400-3,000           
     Rice BPT best New(100 INR/KG)    2,800-3,250        2,800-3,250    
     Rice BPT medium (100 INR/KG)        2,300-2,650        2,300-2,650    
     Rice Luchai (100 INR/KG)         2,200-2,500        2,200-2,500
     Rice Swarna best (100 INR/KG)      2,100-2,450        2,100-2,450   
     Rice Swarna medium (100 INR/KG)      1,800-2,000        1,800-2,000   
     Rice HMT best New (100 INR/KG)    3,450-3,800        3,450-3,800    
     Rice HMT medium (100 INR/KG)        2,600-3,000        2,600-3,000    
     Rice Shriram best New(100 INR/KG)    4,200-4,500        4,200-4,500 
     Rice Shriram med New(100 INR/KG)    3,800-4,100        3,800-4,100   
     Rice Basmati best (100 INR/KG)    8,700-13,300        9,000-13,500     
     Rice Basmati Medium (100 INR/KG)    6,300-7,800        6,500-8,000    
     Rice Chinnor best New(100 INR/KG)    5,300-5,600        5,300-5,600    
     Rice Chinnor med. New (100 INR/KG)    4,900-5,100        4,900-5,100    
     Jowar Gavarani (100 INR/KG)        1,900-2,200        1,900-2,200    
     Jowar CH-5 (100 INR/KG)         1,700-1,850        1,700-1,850
Maximum temp. 34.0 degree Celsius (93.12 degree Fahrenheit), minimum temp.
16.4 degree Celsius (61.5 degree Fahrenheit)
Humidity: Highest - n.a., lowest - n.a.
Rainfall : Nil
FORECAST: Mainly clear sky. Maximum and minimum temperature would be around and 34 and 16 degree
Celsius respectively.
Note: n.a.--not available
(For oils, transport costs are excluded from plant delivery prices, butincluded in market prices)