Monday, November 14, 2016

14th November,2016 daily global,regional and local rice e-newsletter by riceplus magazine


Rice sector woes: Stock shortage, lack of interest to hamper rice exporters

Published: November 12, 2016
LAHORE: Pakistan’s rice exports could see a further dip in the coming years as lack of interest from growers, and almost zero carry-forward stocks, especially in Super Basmati variety, could create trouble for exporters in meeting international orders, said different farmer lobbies.
Additionally, the lack of interest from government institutions to market Pakistani rice and find new markets are creating issues for stakeholders, associated with this crop, they added.
“Super Basmati variety this year could see a crisis-like situation, as all existing stocks have already been sold to Iran last year,” Faisal Cheema, chairman of the Rice Mill Association, told The Express Tribune.
The worst scenario growers faced over the last couple of years was discouraging for them, as there were abundant rice stocks available but no one was there to purchase them. This year many growers were not interested in sowing the crop, he added.
Rice is the second biggest commodity generating export revenue after textiles. Pakistan exported $1.86 billion worth of rice in 2015-16, down 8.6% year-on-year when it crossed $2 billion.
Pakistan can produce around 6.9 million tons of paddy annually, out of which 3.4 metric tons of rice is produced in Punjab, 2.8 million tons in Sindh, 0.6 million tons in Balu, Balochistan and 0.1 million tons in K-P.
Pakistan’s local rice consumption stands at 2.6 million tons annually.
The government for the next year has set a rice production target of 6.9 million tons, up from 2.8 million; however, lobbies claim that the final production could be in between 6 million to 6.5 million tons with a dominant share of coarse variety.
Rice production, according to the Economic Survey of Pakistan, has already witnessed a dip of 2.7% in 2015-16 with a 4.92% decline in production area.
However, exporters as well as agri experts believe that Pakistan could significantly increase rice production and export revenues with the same production area.
“Pakistan’s rice production could easily touch 8 million tons by adopting up-to-date technologies and curbing post-harvest loss,” said Agri Forum Pakistan chairman Ibrahim Mughal. Our production cost is almost 33% more than our neighbour India which produce around 85-90 million tons of rice annually, he added.
Published in The Express Tribune, November 12th, 2016

Kharif paddy procurement to begin from Nov 15: Minister

Bhubaneswar: Amidst the stalemate over procurement of Kharif paddy from mandis (procurement centre) with the talks between All Odisha Rice Millers’ Association and the Food Supply and Consumer Welfare department failing yesterday, the Odisha government today said the procurement will begin in the state from November 15.Briefing media persons here, Food Supply and Consumer Welfare minister Sanjay Dasburma said the procurement would begin in Atabira, Godabhaga and Kolapani blocks in Bargarh district while procurement committee in the remaining districts will decide on the date for procurement.Stating that 16 rice millers have been registered for Kharif paddy procurement in Bargarh district, the minister said his department is currently reviewing the issues of the rice millers. “If necessary, there will be another round of meeting with them,” he added.
Talking to media persons after a meeting with the managing director of Odisha State Civil Supply Corporation Ltd (OSCSCL) yesterday, chairman of All Odisha Rice Millers’ Association (AORMA), Santosh Agrawal, hoped that the concerned minister and department would convene another meeting to fulfil the justified demands of the Association.
“We are ready to run our mill. What we want to say is that if the state government is unable to pay money to us on various heads, it should work under the guidelines on the responsibilities of the rice millers. The responsibility of the millers is to return the rice to the government after milling the paddy. But the other works bestowed on us like transportation, mandi handling and supply of sacks for purchase of paddy are not the responsibilities of the rice millers. We demand that we will not take these extra responsibilities. Let the government pay us the money for the work we will do and assign the other works to some agencies or organisations,” AORMA general secretary Santosh Sonthalia said.
Asked about the matter, the minister said his department will have a meeting with the rice millers to discuss about their issues.“I would seek cooperation from all to streamline the process for paddy procurement to ensure that the farmers, who are the major stake holders, will be entitled to get the minimum support price (MSP). Since the rice millers have a major role in this process, the procurement programme cannot be successful without them,” he pointed out.


Watkins watches economical side of farming


Posted Nov 12, 2016 at 10:00 AM
By Dawn Teer / Stuttgart Daily Leader
Editor's Note: This is the sixth question and answer session with scientists conducting research at Stuttgart's University of Arkansas Rice Research and Extension Center (UARREC).
Wife, Melanie Watkins; daughter, Jessica Watkins, 15; son, Aaron Watkins, 13.
When did you become interested in rice research?
I became interested in rice research when I worked on my master thesis. I actually became interested in land tenure and rental arrangements in eastern Arkansas agriculture, which is what my thesis was about. In working on my thesis, I became interested in eastern Arkansas agriculture in general. Rice happens to be a major crop grown in this part of the state, and I naturally gravitated towards work on rice production economics.
What courses did you take that steered you into the field that became your career?
Courses in microeconomics, many math and statistics courses, science courses — chemistry, biology, animal and plant science courses — and courses specific to agriculture — agribusiness management, agricultural prices, futures trading.
What do you do at UARREC?
I have a 75 percent research appointment and a 25 percent extension appointment. The primary focus of my research program is identification of production systems and/or management practices that reduce inputs and lead to greater profitability in rice production. My extension program is devoted to dissemination of economic information related to alternative cropping systems, management practices and/or technologies that promote the long-term economic and environmental sustainability of rice production in Arkansas. I also work on economic evaluation of alternative government programs and other important economic problems related to Arkansas agriculture.
What are you currently working on or developing? And why?
I am presently working on several things. They include:
 Economic Analysis of Representative Rice Farms — I am working with other economists in the state on a project to evaluate the financial health of rice farms using representative panel farm data for four Arkansas farms growing rice. This framework will also be used to evaluate the economic impact of present Farm Bill programs and the economic impact of future programs that will likely be proposed during discussions of the next Farm Bill.
 Economics of the University of Arkansas Foundation Seed Program — My research associate and I are evaluating the costs associated with the University of Arkansas rice, soybean and wheat foundation seed program. All economic aspects of the program from production to bagging of foundation seed for sale to certified seed growers are being evaluated. The objective of this work is to improve the economic efficiency of this important program.
 Economics of Organic Rice Production — I am currently a member of a USDA NIFA Organic Agriculture Research and Extension Initiative (OREI) grant in which I evaluate the economics of growing organic rice. Organic rice is a niche market and is grown without the use of inorganic inputs — inorganic fertilizers and pesticides — that are used in conventional rice production. Organic rice is sold at over twice the price rice producers typically receive, but produces much less yield due to the absence of inorganic inputs. It has great profit potential, but requires a large learning curve to overcome relative to conventional rice. It also requires yearly inspection and recertification to be sold as organic.
 Economic Impacts of the August 2016 Rain Event on Arkansas Crop Production — This is a collaborative effort with University of Arkansas agricultural economists, crop agronomists and county agents to produce a report of preliminary estimates of physical and monetary damages to Arkansas crops resulting from the heavy rainfall and flooding that occurred in August of this year.
What research that you have done has been able to help the average rice farmer?
I have conducted much research on the profitability of various production practices used in rice production with an aim of identifying practices that are most cost efficient (e.g., management practices that use inputs in the right combinations necessary to achieve cost minimization). This work has pointed to the importance of proper irrigation management (i.e., applying water in a timely manner using technologies like multiple inlet irrigation or making capital improvements to the land via precision leveling that result in less water applied). I have also done research identifying economic optimum nitrogen rates for rice production in Arkansas.
On the extension side, I participate with other University of Arkansas agricultural economists in farm bill education to Arkansas row crop producers, land owners and agricultural lending agencies. These efforts generally occur when a new farm bill is either being proposed or has been introduced with new program provisions. The most recent farm bill — 2014 Farm Bill — was the most complex farm bill implemented to date, requiring many decisions to be made on the part of both land owners and agricultural producers. I participated with other extension economists and University of Arkansas. Extension personnel in supplying information aimed at helping crop producers and land owners make educated economic choices among the myriad programs and options available to them in the 2014 Farm Bill.
What are some of the research differences between what you do and the Dale Bumpers National Rice Research Center?
My work and the work of all the other scientists here at the UARREC is much more applied relative to the work conducted at Dale Bumpers. My task is to identify production practices that are profitable to crop producers in the state. The work at Dale Bumpers is more science oriented (DNA analysis, discovery and mapping of plant genes, etc.)
What are some of the collaborations with DBNRRC?
I am currently collaborating with Dr. David Gealy (plant pathologist, DBNRRC) in a study evaluating the economics of using weed-suppressive rice cultivars in rice production systems. The objective of this research is to determine if using weed-suppressive rice cultivars would result in a reduction in herbicide inputs applied to rice. We are finding that they do have potential to reduce herbicide inputs in conventional flooded rice systems.
I am also currently working in collaboration with Dr. Anna McClung (director, DBNRRC) on the organic rice grant mentioned above. I am working with Dr. McClung on economic evaluation of the various rice cultivars used (or with potential for use) in organic rice production. These are rice cultivars that Dr. McClung has identified in her organic rice breeding program.
What would people be surprised to learn about your job and what you do?
People generally know little about the type of work that I do, so I typically explain my work using very general terms. I am often confused for an accountant.
Do you have a support staff that assist you in your research? Who are they and what do they do?
I have a research associate. His name is Ranjit Mane, and he assists me with all aspects of my research program. He is currently working on evaluating the use of crop insurance in Arkansas agriculture and has taken a lead role in conducting the economics of the University of Arkansas rice, soybean, and wheat foundation seed program. He is also working with Dr. Chris Henry (hydrologist, RREC) on economic analysis of various irrigation technologies

Are scientific efforts a priority for Trump? Rice prof and former presidential adviser unsure

November 12, 2016 Updated: November 12, 2016 12:35pm

Neal Lane is the former science adviser to Bill Clinton and is now the science and technology policy fellow at the Baker Institute on Public Policy at Rice University.The day after Donald Trump was elected the next president of the United States, the Houston Museum of Natural Science hosted a luncheon featuring celebrated astronaut Scott Kelly as the guest speaker.The event sold out. Hundreds of people came to hear Kelly talk about a year in space, and maybe, just possibly, offer insight into the future of the American space program under a new administration."To those of you in the audience that do not appear to be space aliens, I want to say good afternoon," Kelly said. "And to the rest of you, congratulations on winning the election."It was a joke – something Kelly quickly pointed out – but maybe it's a good analogy for Trump's scientific ambitions. Like space, those plans are unchartered territory though very important for our future.While Trump has spoken clearly about his plans for immigration, manufacturing and health care, he said decidedly less about things such as space exploration, science and technology and medical research on the campaign trail.
It would certainly seem science is going to take a back seat to Trump's aforementioned priorities.
If that's the case, funding for research could diminish. Or maybe not.
No one, not even Neal Lane, former science adviser to President Clinton, knows for sure how science will ultimately fit into the Trump agenda.
"Trump certainly said a lot of things during the campaign, some of which were contradictory, some things he can't get done," said Lane, who is the senior fellow of science and technology policy at Rice University's Baker Institute for Public Policy. "Everything that people are saying is entirely speculative. He is a most unconventional president-elect."
While Trump has expressed a desire to undo many of President Obama's executive actions that pertain to the environment, he has not really addressed his scientific priorities such as sending humans to Mars, the cancer "moon shot" program or the BRAIN initiative, which aims to advance our understanding of devastating brain disorders while also developing new technology and treatment through innovative research.
That program, which was launched in 2013, has provided millions of dollars in grant funding to several Houston area scientists. You could read about some of them on Planet Texas and in the Houston Chronicle.
Also in question is the future of the National Institutes of Health, a federal agency Trump has called "terrible."
It invests about $30 billion a year in medical research and supports the work of about 300,000 researchers. Last fiscal year, the University of Texas system received about $636 million in NIH funding.
"I just don't know what to think about that," Lane said of Trump's comments about NIH. "I hope he forgets he said that. NIH is not terrible by any means, but it is one of the larger sources of government spending."
In September, the Baker Institute released a report that urged the next president to quickly appoint a science adviser and pull together a team for the White House Office of Science and Technology Policy.
The report's authors recommended the new science adviser be a leader in science and engineering with strong connections to the global science and technology community.
"The primary benefit of getting an adviser in there quickly is to help the president make decisions about the people who will ultimately run some of the government agencies," Lane said.
No word yet on who might be Trump's science adviser. It has been widely reported that Myron Ebell, a climate change skeptic from the Competitive Enterprise Institute will head Trump's EPA transition team.
If you care about science and want to know more about how president-elect Trump stands on the issues, one of the best sources of information is Scientific American which, along with, got three of the four presidential candidates to answer questions on everything from neuroscience to biodiversity

Mekong Delta plans hi-tech moves

The Mekong Delta region seeks to improve agricultural production and seafood processing by increasing partnerships with countries that have expertise in advanced technologies, the director of the Viet Nam Chamber of Commerce and Industry’s Can Tho chapter has said.

Rice is harvested and packed in Cho Moi District, the Mekong Delta Province of An Giang.Speaking at the fourth annual Mekong Delta Investment Conference that began yesterday in Can Tho, Vo Hung Dung said the delta region “has great demand for agricultural mechanisation and smart technologies development”.With favourable conditions for agriculture, the delta “plays an essential role in the country’s socio-economic development,” he added.
The conference aims to promote cutting-edge technologies and improve cooperation between delta firms and foreign partners in hi-tech agricultural trade and investment.The event, which ends on Sunday, is also showcasing agricultural technology machinery and equipment from Japanese companies.

Yuichi Nishizawa, of Tokyo-based Vox Trading Co. Ltd., which exports rice powder mills, said the conference was a platform for his company to introduce smart technologies in food processing.Truong Quang Hoai Nam, vice chairman of Can Tho People’s Committee, said the Mekong Delta had an advantageous geographical position and abundant natural resources, and that the business environment had improved since 2009.The region supplies more than 90 per cent of the nation’s rice and 50 per cent of seafood, as well as many other agro-forestry-fishery exports every year.

In the next 10 years, the region’s economy is expected to achieve a high growth rate, supported by the rapid improvement of transport and electronics as well as low labour costs and an abundant food supply.Vo Hung Dung said investment prospects in the region’s food sector were relatively high, considering the many free trade agreements Viet Nam had already signed, including the Trans-Pacific-Partnership (TPP) and the Viet Nam-European Union Free Trade Agreement.In addition, Dung pointed out that there were many challenges facing the region, especially the agriculture sector, including climate change.Dung also said the use of advanced technologies in agricultural production and processing to add value was still limited.

The rate of mechanisation in agriculture remains modest and is only 65 per cent for rice harvesting.“These factors have resulted in low productivity, value addition and competitiveness,” Dung said.Every year, rice farmers in the region have incurred a loss of more than VND3.2 trillion (US$143.32 million) during post-harvest due to a low rate of mechanisation, according to the Mekong Delta Rice Research Institute.Takimoto Koji, chief representative of the Japan External Trade Organisation, said the delta, with a location between Hong Kong and Singapore, had great potential to become a logistics centre in Asia.“The region has not had enough foreign investment, but it has become more attractive to Japanese companies for its fertile land, low labour costs, improved transport infrastructure and well-developed industrial zones,” Koji told Viet Nam News.Last year, Viet Nam and Japan signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) on cooperation in agriculture, he said.Under the MoU, both countries have organised survey groups and held a networking exhibition to improve cooperation in agriculture, especially high-quality farm produce.

Foreign investment
The Mekong Delta is currently calling for investment in 50 projects in agriculture, with a projected total investment of $1.385 billion, according to VCCI Can Tho.Dung said more and more foreign investors were coming to the delta to explore business opportunities, adding that foreign direct investment (FDI) in the region had increased sharply in recent years.As of last year, FDI in the region had reached 13 per cent of the country’s total FDI, a sharp rise from 5 per cent recorded for many years, according to the agency.

FDI reached $1.67 billion in the first nine months, accounting for 10.2 per cent of the country’s total FDI.As of last month, the region had attracted 50 agricultural projects with total registered capital of $209.64 million.Hong Kong is the biggest investor with five projects worth $67.93 million, followed by Taiwan with nine projects worth $41.98 million, Japan with five projects worth $30.02 million, Australia with seven projects worth $19.85 million, two American projects worth $11.96 million and Israel with one project worth $5.2 million.

Nguyen Khanh Tung, director of the Can Tho Centre for Investment, Trade and Expo Promotion, said that 27 foreign delegations with 100 business executives had visited the Delta this year, most of them from Japan, South Korea, Thailand and India.South Korean investors have expressed interest in high-tech agriculture, food and beverage processing, with some Korean companies keen to make Can Tho a smart city, he said.

Japanese investors are particularly interested in agriculture and tourism.The conference was co-organised by VCCI Can Tho and the Mekong Delta Club of Promotion Centres for trade, investment and tourism.
The event has attracted 350 local and international delegates, including delegates from Japan, the UK, the Netherlands, the US, Canada, South Korea, Singapore, Taiwan and Thailand.In a related issue, a Japan-Vietnam cultural and commercial exchange programme is being held on November 11-13 by the VCCI Can Tho and the Japanese General Consulate in HCM City in Can Tho.The event includes a traditional Japanese music programme and an exhibition introducing Japanese culture and products as well as Vietnamese products

Việt Nam needs to create a rice brand: experts

Update: November, 12/2016 - 09:00

Developing a national brand name is an urgent need for improving the competitiveness of Vietnamese rice, a conference heard in HCM City yesterday.– Photo

HCM CITY – Developing a national brand name is an urgent need for improving the competitiveness of Vietnamese rice, a conference heard in HCM City yesterday.The fourth rice symposium, organised by Việt Nam Economic Times with support from Bayer Vietnam and titled “How to enhance Việt Nam rice quality and brand positioning to meet market needs” gathered more than 150 experts and officials from Government agencies and representatives of rice trading companies.Experts told the conference that Vietnamese rice had been exported to over 80 markets including Southeast Asia, the US, Japan, Africa, and the Middle East.But in recent years exports were not stable and were diminishing due to the lack of clear plans to develop global trademarks for its rice.
Đào Thế Anh, director of the Centre for Agrarian Systems Research and Development, told the conference that without national brands, Vietnamese rice was often packaged with the name of exporting companies or importing countries.Even in the domestic market, Vietnamese rice varieties are less competitive than those imported from neigbouring countries, according to Anh.Some companies have started to build their own brands, but these are yet to become well-known.It is now imperative to have a national brand name.
Huỳnh Văn Nghiệp, deputy director of the Mekong Delta Rice Research Institution, said the advantage of low labour costs no longer existed.Production costs kept increasing while rice prices were down due to problems related to quality and trademark.Besides ensuring quality, expanding the distribution system and improving packaging, Việt Nam should also develop a national brand name for rice, he stressed.The gathered experts agreed that the brand name for Vietnamese rice must be based on quality.
Anh said Vietnamese rice quality was not uniform because there were many varieties of paddy."In the Mekong region alone there are 100 varieties," he pointed out.He admitted it was very difficult to manage a national trademark with many kinds of paddy, citing the examples of Thailand, whose rice trademark is just for two varieties, and India, for whom it is only for basmati.Speaking about how to create Vietnamese rice brand names, Kohei Sakata, general director of Bayer Việt Nam, said: “The missing part now, from my perspective, is to really make sure that the quality is as high as required in other markets. We also need to ensure equal quality across different farms and sectors. So in order to achieve high quality at an equal level in many places, the value chain needs to be close to each other.”
Nghiệp said it was a big challenge to develop a national brand for Vietnamese rice.It needs co-operation among various sectors and companies and a clear plan, according to Nghiệp.He suggested having national standards for each rice category, saying from that there would be studies to develop them.Various rice strains should be planted in different areas with different technologies to produce rice of quality that meets international standards, he said.Food hygiene standards should also be created, he added.Along with these, the experts said, there should be co-operation among companies to avoid small scale of production.This year Viêt Nam has been facing many challenges and heightened concerns over the Mekong Delta’s future due to an extremely severe drought which resulted in higher salinity levels in the delta as seawater intruded unusually deep into rivers. –

Climate Change, Dams Threaten Vietnam Rice Industry

November 13, 2016
Scientists say Climate Change and Dams threaten agriculture and fisheries on the Mekong River. Research into new crops is part of the effort to keep the Mekong Delta area productive.
The government of Vietnam is seeking to help the main rice-producing part of the country deal with difficult agricultural issues.
The area is known as the Mekong Delta. It is home to 18 million of Vietnam’s 94 million people. More than half of the country’s rice is grown in the area, which feeds more than 145 million people in Asia.The Mekong begins in Tibet. It passes through six countries: China, Myanmar, Laos, Thailand, Cambodia and Vietnam. Some of these countries are building dams that are affecting the river.
Climate change
The Mekong River is a major river of Southeast Asia.Worries about the future of the Mekong Delta increased after an extreme lack of water this year caused the area to become saltier than normal. The United Nation’s Food and Agriculture Organization, or FAO, said rice production fell by 1.1 million tons.Philip Hirsch is a professor at Sydney University. He says climate change is causing sea levels to rise and bringing more storms to the area. “One of the big concerns is the amount of salt water and the distance the salt water moves up various Mekong tributaries into the Delta, which again threatens the viability of rice farming,” he said.

International scientists are working with scientists in Vietnam to find solutions to the problems. Their project is called CLUES, which stands for climate change affecting land use in the Mekong Delta.
N.D. Phong is one of the leaders of the project. He said among the issues the Mekong Delta faces are rising levels of salt and fresh water, higher temperatures, rising greenhouse gases and a large population. The Delta also faces the possibility of lower rainfall, reduced numbers of farm laborers and reduced valuable land.
CLUES scientists are developing kinds of rice that can grow in areas of rising salinity, when water levels are too high, and in dry conditions.
Australia’s Center for International Agricultural Research, or ACIAR, is also helping Vietnam improve rice production. ACIAR scientists say Vietnamese rice farmers have adapted to changing conditions over the past 30 years. They are still worried about the future however.Leocadio Sebastian is based in Vietnam as a regional program leader for South East Asia for the International Rice Research Institute, or IRRI. He says Vietnam is going to try to increase farm incomes and rice quality. He says IRRI and the Vietnamese government are going to try to get farmers to grow two crops a year instead of three. They also want them to grow higher-value grain.
Sebastian told VOA “they have to position the Vietnam rice to a higher quality and higher priced level so that the farmers now and in the future can have a better income from rice production.”
Hydropower dams
Scientists say the area also faces a threat from the increasing numbers of hydroelectric dams being built on the Mekong River in China, Laos and Cambodia.
Chris Barlow is an ACIAR fisheries expert. He says the dams will have a severe effect on the lower Mekong area.In a report about the conflicts between hydro-power and fisheries, he wrote that “China has completed three large dams on the Mekong and five (more) are being built or being planned. These dams have major impacts on hydrology and completely block fish migration in the Upper Mekong.”
He said plans for nine high-level dams in Laos and two being built in Cambodia will have “severe impacts” on fisheries and food security.Scientists say the dams will change the flow of rivers and tributaries and lower water temperatures, among other effects.
Barlow says hydro-power may produce economic gains, but “the fishery and other ecosystem services provided by the river will be permanently degraded.”
Le Anh Tuan is the deputy head of the Institute of Climate Change Research at Can Tho University. Le told Vietnamese media that damming threatens the future of the Mekong Delta.
Sydney University’s Hirsch says Vietnam’s government needs to be “more assertive”with members of the intergovernmental Mekong River Commission. He says the group should “try and put a brake on the very rapid pattern of hydrological development in the upstream countries.”
Hirsch fears the area’s most-productive years may have been before damming on the river began. He says in the early 1990s, Vietnam, once a large importer of rice, became the world’s second largest exporter.
Hirsh says efforts by China, and more recently Laos, to put dams on the river may have started a drop in food production in the Mekong Delta area.
I’m John Russell.
Correspondent Ron Corben reported this story from Bangkok. Christopher Jones-Cruise adapted it into VOA Special English. Mario Ritter was the editor.

MRF allows 3 months of rice exports

Submitted by Eleven on Sun, 11/13/2016 - 15:58

Writer: Nilar

The Myanmar Rice Federation says it will export 300,000 tonnes of rice from now until January, in cooperation with its members. The move would encourage domestic rice demand, stimulate the market and bring great benefits to everyone in the supply chain, it said. The country would earn around US$90 million from 300,000 tonnes of rice, the trade body said.  The MRF said it would not support exports that would harm small- and medium-sized rice millers at a time when the country should lay down a clear-cut policy for long-term development. 

Entrepreneurs should think about exports only after getting the nod from the government. According to state-owned newspapers, Dr Than Myint, union commerce minister, said the ministry would allow entrepreneurs to export rice in November temporarily to help farmers cover their production costs. The commerce ministry held talks with rice organisations and export companies on declining prices. The ministry decided to allow rice exports for a limited time and tonnage.

RiceBran Technologies' (RIBT) CEO Robert Smith on Q3 2016 Results - Earnings Call Transcript

Nov.11.16 | About: RiceBran Technologies (RIBT) 

RiceBran Technologies (NASDAQ:RIBT)
Q3 2016 Earnings Conference Call
November 10, 2016 16:30 ET
Fred Sommer - Investor Relations, Ascendant Partners
Dale Belt - Chief Financial Officer
Robert Smith - Interim Chief Executive Officer
Michael Goose - President, USA Ingredients
Tony Vendetti - Maxim
Harry Ghoshal - Private Investor
Good day, ladies and gentlemen and thank you for standing by. Welcome to the RiceBran Technologies’ 2016 Third Quarter Results Conference Call. [Operator Instructions] As a reminder, this conference is being recorded. I would now like to introduce your host, Mr. Fred Sommer of Ascendant Partners. Please go ahead, Mr. Sommer.
Fred Sommer
Thank you, operator good afternoon listeners. Welcome to the RiceBran Technologies’ 2016 Q3 financial results conference call. With us today are Dr. Robert Smith, Interim Chief Executive Officer of RiceBran Technologies, Dale Belt, Chief Financial Officer; and Michael Goose, President of USA Ingredients. Mark McKnight, President of Contract Manufacturing is not with us today as he is traveling internationally on business.
Before I turn the call over to Robert, I want to remind listeners that during the call management’s prepared remarks may contain forward-looking statements that are subject to risk and uncertainties. Management may make additional forward-looking statement in your response to your question today. Therefore, the company claims protection on the safe harbor for forward-looking statements contained in the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995. Actual results may differ from the results discussed today and therefore we refer you to a more detailed discussion of these risks and uncertainties in the Company’s filings with the SEC.
In addition, any projections as to the Company’s future performance represented by management include estimates as of today, November 10, 2016, and the company assumes no obligation to update these projections in the future as market conditions change. This webcast and certain financial information provided in this call, including reconciliations of non-GAAP financial measures to comparable GAAP financial measures are available at on the Investor Relations page.
At this time, I would like to turn the call over to Dr. Robert Smith, Interim CEO of RiceBran Technologies. Dr. Smith, please go ahead.
Robert Smith
Thanks Fred and thanks to all of our listeners for joining today. As many of you are aware, there have been a number of significant changes that have taken place at our company in the past several months including a reconstitution of the board of directions, might be [ph] have named interim CEO, and the addition of Michael Goose to head up our ingredients sales efforts. During that time, management has been working diligently with close support from the board to take a fresh look at our long term business plan and adjust our comprehensive strategic plan.
Our guiding principle and goal is to capitalize on the significant value potential of our proprietary technology were deemed appropriate. Before Dale goes into the numbers and our strong performance in the U.S., I would like to take some time to lay out our strategic vision to transform the future of RBT in order to maximize the value of our company for the benefit of our shareholders. Let me start by saying that I am very excited to have been given the opportunity to lead this company and that I am committed to building this business for spectacular revenue growth.
I joined RBT in 2012 after spending the better of 20 years working in the agricultural and food industries as a Director of Business Development of HerbalScience Group and directing research and product development at Dekalb Genetic, Monsanto; PhycoGen and Global Protein Products. My past work related responsibilities were focused primarily on the discovery, development and marketing of plant derived products for applications in the agricultural, food and nutraceutical industry. What attracted me to RBT was that the huge untapped nutritional and marketing potential of rice bran. Our company is technology rich and has a vast experience in transforming a byproduct of rice milling with marginal value into high value nutritional ingredients for the food and animal nutrition market


Smugglers kill 70 Customs officers

Nov 10 2016 - 11:44pm
 Colonel Hameed Ibrahim Ali, Customs boss
The Comptroller-General of Customs, retired Col. Hameed Ali, says the service has lost 70 officers to smugglers this year.Ali said this when members of Rice Millers Association of Nigeria visited on Wednesday in Abuja.He said the biggest problem Nigeria Customs Service had was the issue of smuggling.According to him, rice smuggling is  counterproductive to health, adding that the life span of rice is two years.He said most of the smugglers re-bagged the rice and changed their life span to three to five years.“The borders are porous and they are long.
“All the smugglers and rice millers are targeting December, and I can assure you that we have alerted all our men and also working with police, military and para-military to make sure that smuggling is reduced to the barest minimum.“All we need from you is information, because it is key to what we do; we cannot achieve much without correct information.“You (Millers) have said that you have identified some routes; all we need is the correct information about this route to track these smugglers,’’Ali said.“I was in Benin Republic few months back to speak with Benin customs and identify areas of collaboration and see what can be done to make sure that the trade between us does not jeopardise Nigeria’s economy.“ The Benin economy is dependent on Nigeria and the only thriving business there is the port.Ali urged rice millers to work effectively with customs to complement the area of information.
“Customs will deploy every possible means to fight because most of these smugglers are highly technically organised.“Some are within us; some part of us because some of them have dual dealings; they work as farmers and at the same time smuggled rice; we are narrowing down on this people and surely the law will take its course.He said the issue of buying off farm produce before they were harvested should be stopped.“We know that our farmers are looking for money, so immediately someone offers good money they sell but there is danger to it.Ali urged the millers to create awareness, educate farmers on the right channel of getting their commodities sold to the right millers.“At your own level, you can create an association that will link up with these farmers so that they know the genuine industrialists who are going to buy these products from them.
“This will help stop people from coming to buy these products before they are being harvested. If this is done, it will encourage farmers and will be providing this great nation the opportunity to grow our industry.’’According to him, customs has increased the tempo of raiding not only to warehouses but also to market with regard to rice.
He said that recently some warehouses were sealed in Ibadan, adding that machines used to re-bag rice were also seized.
Ali asked millers to advertise their products and carry out aggressive marketing to help boost production.The Chairman of the association, Alhaji Ibrahim Abubakar, said with the efforts of the current administration, rice production in the country had doubled.He said more than 25 major farmers were into rice production.Abubarkar said the aim of the visit was to discuss issues of rice smuggling and provide strategic ways to solve the problem.He commended the efforts of customs in reducing rice smuggling, adding that what the millers had achieved within his era was something that had never been recorded in the last 10 years.
According to him, Nigeria is heading towards self-sufficiency in rice, adding that in the next three years the issue of rice insufficiency will be history.“One of the things we need to do as millers is to alert the customs on our experiences as regard to rice smuggling.“This rice is not coming into the country from one angle; but from almost all our borders in the north, especially from Daura in Kastina, Jigawa, Ilorin, Ibadan and from the creeks in the south-south.“This is affecting not only us but the whole rice value chain,’’Abubakar said. (NAN)

Govt will buy Sanna rice, says Etela

By Express News Service  |   Published: 13th November 2016 01:54 AM  |  
Last Updated: 13th November 2016 03:31 AM  |   A+A A-   |  

KAMAREDDY: The government is ready to purchase Sanna varieties of paddy if the rice millers decrease the price in the Agricultural Market Yards (AMYs) across the state, finance minister Etela Rajender said. 
The minister attended several developmental programmes in Jukkal Assembly constituency on Saturday.
While speaking to mediapersons, the minister said that the Union government has included BPT and Sanna varieties of paddy in B-grade quality. “Taking this as an advantage, the rice millers have been purchasing paddy at lowest price creating loss for the farmers,” he said


Japanese agency donates rice processing machines to millers/dealers association

JAPAN International Cooperation Agency (JICA), has donated 27 rice de-stoning machines and other accessories to rice millers and dealers associations in Nasarawa state to boost quality rice production in the state.

 Mr Kodama Hiroshi, Senior Representative of the agency in Nigeria donated the machines and other accessories in Lafia on Friday. He said that the provision of the machines was part of the agency’s Rice Post-Harvest Processing and Marketing Pilot Project in the country.The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that 27 powered generating sets were also donated by the agency to power the rice de-stoning machines.
He said the objective of the project was to improve the quality of post-harvest rice, through the introduction of simple technologies to enhance processing activities of small and medium scale millers.Hiroshi expressed optimism that the gesture would increase the productivity of the rice millers and dealers, transform their businesses and boost the state`s revenue profile.In his remark, Mr Masaya Otsuka, Deputy Head of Mission, Embassy of Japan in Nigeria, said that the involvement of Japanese government in promoting agriculture in Nigeria was to discourage over-dependence on oil.Otsuka said that Japan had implemented 154 projects across the country since 1998 to the tune of over eight million US Dollars.
Alhaji Yusuf Lawee, the Commissioner for Agriculture and Water Resources, lauded the agency`s effort at encouraging rice production in the state.Lawee said the gesture would go a long way in increasing the patronage of locally produced rice in the state, given its quality.He reiterated the government`s commitment to partnering both local and international organisations, willing to tap into the state`s enormous agricultural potential.Adamu Ibrahim, Chairman, Millers/Dealers Association, Lafia branch, thanked the agency and expressed optimism that the machine would improve the production of quality rice in the state

Thailand farmers open free community rice mill to cut expenses

November 13, 2016

It’s harvest time in the rice fields of Thailand. But this year the crop is bringing not joy, but gloom. The price farmers are being paid is the lowest in 10 years.CCTV’s Martin Lowe reports from Phitsanulok, Thailand.

rice mill to cut expenses

This year’s rice crop in Thailand is brining gloom. The price farmers are being paid is the lowest in 10 years. But one group of farmers in central Thailand believes it has the a With  state grant, they've opened their own community mill.Farmers sell their crop to private mills, which dry the rice and remove a husk from the grains. But it’s claimed some mills are offering less than it costs to grow. Thailand’s military government has sent soldiers to mills to ask why the price is so low.Millers insist it’s because of a global surplus.But one group of farmers in central Thailand believes it has the answer. With a state grant, they’ve opened their own community mill.Rice is milled for free – with the mill selling the by-product. They say it’s the only way they can make their crop pay.

Currently, private mills are offering as little as $142 per tonne of rice. Some farmers say it costs at least $171 to produce. By milling the rice themselves they hope to earn $420. But that’s still less than half the 2008 peak of 1,080 dollars a tonne.“Prices are low this year but by bringing their rice to the community mill, the farmers can earn more. They can also choose a wider range of customers to sell to,” said Wiruch Thongdonyod of the Bo Thong Community Mill.
Thailand’s prime minister Prayuth Chan-o-Cha has authorized the payment of a one and a half billion dollar subsidy, in the form of loans and top-up payments.“Today it’s just about solving the problem. I understand that we have to act legally and not affect any market mechanism,” Thailand’s Prime Minister Prayuth Chan-O-Cha said.He’s choosing his words carefully. As the former army chief, Prayuth took power after removing the previous government, in part claiming they paid too much to farmers.The prime minister he displaced, Yingluck Shinawatra, says the new subsidy is little different from her own. She’s facing a one billion dollar compensation claim and possible prison over her scheme’s losses.
The people who dictate the price of rice here in Thailand are the millers, the buyers, the exporters and the market speculators. Those who usually don’t have a say … are the ones who grow it.It’s one reason why Thailand is one of the world’s top-two rice exporters, but its farmers remain in poverty. Farmers here, hope owning their own mill can be a first step in bringing change.

Politics of rice

Posted By: Editorialon: November 14, 2016: 

Combined cultivation of rice and talapia fish in a paddy field

Federal Govt should ignore this and rather stay focused in its drive for self-sufficiency
RICE importation into Nigeria must rank only second to petroleum products as the chief gulper of foreign exchange. For over three decades or so, Nigeria had imported about 3-6 million metric tonnes of rice annually, costing her about N1 billion naira daily. Those were the years of petrodollars and oil boom. Those days may have gone for good now and just as well.Today, Nigeria is poised to grow her own rice. She cannot afford foreign long grain specie anymore anyway. The oil boom is over so she is forced to look inwards and diversify. And rice, being Nigeria’s number one staple, she is faced with the option to either grow rice or forgo it.
The efforts to rekindle the huge but latent rice industry actually gained ample fillip in the last couple of years. Huge investments have been made across every link of the rice chain – improved seedlings, funding, planting, harvesting, paddy management and processing. Large, glistening modern rice mills have been planted in many parts of the country. And the last (wet) planting season may well signal the expected fruitful culmination of these concerted efforts – a harvest of about three million tonnes is expected.
However, a recent report suggests that some rice exporting countries may quietly be mounting opposition to Nigeria’s sufficiency in rice production. That reaction from Nigeria’s former suppliers of rice is to be expected considering that she is the second largest importer of the commodity in the world. Major rice industries in countries like India, Brazil, Thailand and even USA are sustained by Nigeria’s imports; many of these will lose huge revenues or pack up entirely if sufficiency is achieved and sustained here. There is, therefore, no doubt that the Federal Government must remain resolute and stay focused in its laudable drive to reclaim Nigeria’s lost glory in rice production.
And it is not enough for government to focus on the need for local production alone but it must also watch every move of the erstwhile suppliers, the smuggling barons and their network of operators, the Nigeria Customs Service (NCS) and all the neighbouring countries that have made a lucrative business of shipping rice into their countries for the sole purpose of smuggling same into Nigeria through her porous borders.
For instance, a report late last week indicates that about one million tonnes of rice is stacked in warehouses across Nigeria’s borders waiting for the peak consumption period. This alarm was raised by the Rice Processors Association of Nigeria (RIPAN). According to its chairman, Abubakar Mohammed: “Information at our disposal shows massive smuggling of finished rice into Nigeria. Our investigation showed that these products are berthed and warehoused in Republic of Benin, Niger and Cameroun at very little import duties and pushed into Nigeria where the perpetrators make unconscionable profits having paid zero duties at our borders.”
Mohammed corroborated his assertion by stating that shipping records show consignments in question were parboiled rice and only Nigeria is reputed to consume such rice on the West Coast of Africa.
While we commend the efforts of the federal and state governments so far in Nigeria’s rice production resurgence, we aver that the greatest opposition to Nigeria achieving self-sufficiency in that major staple commodity is Nigeria herself. Government must continue to whip the NCS into place to make it deliver on this crucial and strategic duty to the nation.
There is urgent need to begin to invest in border security infrastructure because the NCS can only do so much manning a vast stretch of porous borders. It must be understood that becoming self- sufficient in such all-important commodity as rice production is not a sprint. It requires years of focused, painstaking efforts in efficient management of every link in the rice value chain.
This requires a lot of discipline, hard work and sufficient presence of mind. It is a tough task reversing about four decades of malaise but that is the only option left

PhilRice turns 31, fetes 100 rank-and-file employees

posted November 11, 2016 at 12:01 am by Ferdie G. Domingo

SCIENCE CITY OF MUÑOZ, Nueva Ecija—At least 100 staff members and employees of the Philippine Rice Research Institute were honored as the institute marked its 31st anniversary as the country’s sole research agency on rice Tuesday.This year’s anniversary celebrations, themed “Rice science and innovation for inclusive growth,” kicked off Monday at its central experiment station in Barangay Maligaya with the opening of the National Rice Awareness Month and the Santiago R. Obien seminar series on research management and institution.
The seminar was named after the former PhilRice executive director.Dr. Sailila Abdulla, PhilRice executive director, said the employees were honored during the “Dangal ng PhilRice” recognition day on Tuesday.Dr. V. Bruce J. Tolentino, deputy director general for communication and partnerships of the International Rice Research Institute, awarded plaques and certificates to the awardees who included those who excelled in external fields, scientific productivity, scholastic, loyalty, and as outstanding employee.Abdulla said as a research institution, PhilRice had advanced rice science by producing scientific publications written by its researchers and scientists.
These were later on published in some of the most reputable journals such as the Journal of Food Agriculture and Environment, International Journal of Ecology and Conservation, Philippine Journal of Crop Science, and the Philippine Agricultural Scientist.PhilRice is a government corporate entity attached to the Department of Agriculture and created through Executive Order 1061 in 1985.
It is mandated to help develop high-yielding and cost-reducing technologies for farmers through research and development work in its central and six branch stations, coordinating with a network that comprises 57 agencies and 70 seed centers located nationwide.

Focus on agricultural machinery

Update: November, 14/2016 - 09:00
HCM City – Automation and mechanisation in rice and vegetable production in the Mekong Delta is expected to sharply reduce losses and increase value, the Agriculture and Rural Development Ministry has said.The losses in rice production stand at 5-6 per cent (3 million tonnes a year or US$760 million), according to the ministry’s Department of Processing and Trade for Agro-Forestry-Fisheries Products and Salt Production.“If the proportion falls to around 3 per cent, farmers’ incomes could rise to VNĐ1 million ($45) per hectare,” a representative of the department said.
Automation and mechanisation in rice planting and harvesting remains low.The Mekong Delta has more than 5,500 harvesters being used on 40 per cent of farmland, while rice-planting machines cover only 30 per cent.Automation and mechanisation in vegetable production is much lower than in rice production.In general, the Mekong Delta has 1.6-horse power per hectare, while the figure in Thailand is four, China eight and South Korea 10.“Automation and mechanisation in agricultural production will increase labour productivity, reduce costs and increase competitiveness for farmers,” Dr. Võ Hùng Dũng, director of the Việt Nam Chamber of Commerce and Industry’s Cần Thơ branch, told the Thời báo Kinh tế Việt Nam (Việt Nam Economic Times) newspaper.“The potential for development of automation and mechanisation in Việt Nam’s agricultural production is huge,” he added.Most agricultural machines are based on production of small workshops with outdated technologies, design and post-sale services.
Preferential policies
From 2004 to 2008, the Government allowed provincial authorities to subsidies the interest rate for farmers who bought machines for agricultural production.
After five years of the programme, tens of thousands of agri-motors and tractors are now in use.
Since 2009, the Prime Minister has released a series of decisions to subsidise interest rates for farmers to buy machines equipment, and material for agricultural and fisheries production as well as house construction in rural areas.
The Government and the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development have developed strategies to promote investment for machine automation in agricultural production with preferential policies on tax, credit and land. – VNS

Nigeria produces 3.5m tonnes of rice, needs 7m tonnes – Ogbeh


Chief Audu Ogbeh, the Minister of Agriculture and Rural Development, says the country has deficit in the supply of food commodities. The minister said this while receiving a team of Russian investors led by the country’s Ambassador to Nigeria, Udovicnenko Nikolai who visited him in Abuja on Friday. Ogbeh said that the present administration was ready to evolve flexible policies that would promote agricultural investments. He said that the country’s demand for rice was currently at seven million tonnes but the local production was at about 3.5 million tonnes, adding that there was a deficit of four million tonnes.

The minister also said that the country had a deficit of three million tonnes in fish production. According to Ogbeh, we are encouraging potential investors to come to Nigeria and invest, apart from production, we encourage processing of agricultural produce. He appealed to potential investors, particularly the Russians to take advantage of the existing huge market in the production of rice, wheat, maize, fish, dairy, vegetables and other food crops to invest in Nigeria. “We will evolve flexible policy that will promote investment and when we see your willingness to invest, we will create enabling environment. “Nigeria being one of the largest economies in Africa has millions hectare of arable land for agricultural production and any investment in Nigeria is a gateway to other African countries.

“The policy thrust of this administration is to enhance local production of agricultural produce thereby creating wealth and jobs for the teeming youth,’’ Ogbeh said. He called for the support of the Russian Government in areas of agricultural machinery and technical expertise to boost agricultural yields. Earlier, the Russian Minister of Agriculture, Mr Tkachev Alexander, who spoke on behalf of the delegation, said they came to explore areas of collaboration with the Nigerian government in the development of agriculture sector. “Nigeria has huge potential in agriculture like Russia and we are interested in contributing to the economic development of Nigeria through agriculture. Alexander said that Russian companies were ready to contribute to the nation’s dairy, beef and poultry production as well as provision of machinery and technology if given the opportunity.

Agri machines big and small at trade show

Published November 11, 2016, 10:00 PM
By Zac B. Sarian

Attending Korea’s biennial agricultural machinery trade show can be overwhelming. You are overwhelmed by the size of the exposition as well as the number of farm machines for almost every purpose.This is the KIEMSTA 2016, the Korea International Exhibition for Machinery Equipment, Science and Technology for Agriculture, staged by the Korea Agricultural Machinery Industry Cooperative (KAMICO) headed by chairman Shin Gil Kim.Imagine seven exhibition halls, each almost as big as the indoor exhibit area of Agrilink at the World Trade Center in Pasay City. And each exhibit hall is filled with nothing but machines and equipment for mechanizing agriculture. The machines come in very big as well as very tiny ones.
The big ones include the Robotractor which is a massive machine that can perform big jobs like excavating fields with its giant buck hoe, or picking up giant bales of  hay for livestock and other heavy materials. The machine is really big but is very maneuverable as we have witnessed at the demo site. The other big machines are the giant Branson tractors of Kukje Machinery Company and other international exhibitors.
Of course, there are more machine of more modest sizes that are more  suitable for developing economies like the Philippines and other Asian countries where there are many small landholdings. These include the versatile tillers that are excellent for preparing land for planting vegetables and other high-value crops. One of the biggest manufacturers of this versatile tiller is the Asia Tech headed by Jae-Won Uhm. Aside from the small tillers, Asia Tech boasts of a ride-on small tractor to which can be attached implements like rotavator, sprayer, weeder, fertilizer spreader and direct grain seeder. Being a ride-on type, it is very comfortable for the operator.
One very small and simple gadget that can be used by rice farmers is an implement that can be attached to a conventional grass cutter. This consists of a blade ($8 in Korea) that can be used as a weeder in single-row rice fields. It does not only eliminate the weeds, it also cultivates near the root zone at the same time.
Another very small machine is used in grafting seedlings of vegetables. In a matter of one or two seconds, the scion of a desirable vegetable seedling is grafted unto a rootstock that is resistant to diseases and other stresses. In the Philippines, one company is grafting ampalaya on a rootstock of patola. The grafted seedling costs R17 each but the extra expense is more than recovered by the increase in yield.
Many multi-purpose drying machines (not for rice) were showcased at the trade show. They are useful in producing high-quality processed foods. The dryers can dry vegetables, fruits, marine products, herbal materials, and many others. What most fascinated Eugene Gabriel of Agricom (from Isabela) is a mini dryer for household use. It can be a useful gadget in the household for drying food products that include mushroom, peppers, tomato, ampalaya, cucumber, radish, carrots, beans, and fruits like mango, jackfruit, chico, pineapple and many others.
There are many other machines that can do a lot of other things but then space is limiting. We’ll reserve those for some other time.

Myanmar government plans paddy purchases

•           11 Nov 2016 at 15:00 5,070 viewed0 comments

Myanmar farmers winnow paddy traditionally to remove sand and other impurities before transport as they harvest rice in a rice field in Nay Pyi Taw on Saturday. (AP photo)

The Myanmar government has formed special working groups to organise state purchases of paddy amid a slump in market demand.Vice President Henry Van Thio held a coordination meeting at the President’s Office on Wednesday to discuss plans to purchase paddy directly from farmers, the Myanmar Times reported on Friday.A Chinese crackdown on border imports has resulted in a surplus of rice and paddy that has pushed prices down. Heavy rainfall has made things worse, soaking harvests and lowering prices further.Myanmar’s Law of Protection of the Farmer Rights and Enhancement of their Benefits allows for the creation of an agricultural produce management body and a price purchasing supervisory working group to organise the purchase of crops by the state.

Both of these have been formed in order to help manage the situation, Henry Van Thio said. The two groups will decide in which regions paddy purchases are required and organise the purchases after submitting the region list to the leading committee, which is formed by the agriculture and commerce ministries, he added.
Henry Van Thio said that warehouses and rice mills should be used as sales centres, but that there would also need to be a plan for transporting, storing, milling and distribution after the government buys the paddy.
According to Chapter 7 of the law, the leading committee can apply for the required funds from the central government, which is able to allocate financing from federal revenue. The paddy can be bought by “suitable means” including a tender system, according to the law, but issue of how to purchase the paddy was not raised at the meeting.

Purchasing rice in addition to paddy was also not discussed, although  Ye Tint, director-general of the agricultural department, who attended the meeting, said that would be considered later.Agriculture associations have recommended using the National Rice Reserve Supervisory Committee to support rice prices in the past.Ye Tint Tun also told the Myanmar Times that the issue of long-term price stability and infrastructure investment had come up during the discussion.“We discussed investing in paddy drying machines and building warehouses,” he said.Henry Van Thio said that paddy-drying facilities were important for the entire rice sector.

Maung Soe, a farmer from Nay Pyi Taw, said that farmers are face paddy wastage because of heavy raining saturating the crop during harvesting season and lowering the quality.“When it was raining during harvesting season, the amount of the wastage of paddy was high and farmers had to relocate paddy,” he said. “The worst situation is that relocating paddy increases labour costs.”Ko Nay Soe, a rice miller, said rain continues to cause issues.“It’s still raining so the humidity causes problems and rice millers and traders who store paddy dare not buy,” he said.The government has also announced plan to allow a temporary export of paddy, which is usually prohibited, in November only.