Friday, July 28, 2017

28th July,2017 daily global,regional and local rice e-newsletter by riceplus magazine

Mekong Delta sees drop in Fall-Winter rice areas

VNA THURSDAY, JULY 27, 2017 - 16:35:00
Farmers in Vinh Loi district, Bac Lieu province (Photo: VNA)
Hanoi (VNA) – Mekong Delta provinces cultivated 355,400 hectares of Fall-Winter rice crops by mid-July, an 8.7 percent drop from the same period last year, according to the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development.

The largest rice areas were reported in Dong Thap, Kien Giang, Hau Giang and Long An provinces and Can Tho City.

Some provinces advised farmers to only grow rice in lands surrounded by good embankments to escape floods; and to ensure a proper period of time between crops.

Vietnam has cultivated more than 2.12 million hectares of Summer-Fall rice crops during the period, up 2 percent year on year. Southern provinces contributed to approximately 90.6 percent of the total area and those from the Mekong Delta accounted for 77.6 percent, down 2.3 percent year on year.

The contraction was largely due to farmers shifting to grow annual and perennial plants.

The later-grown Summer-Fall rice areas have reached the stages of heading and flowering while the early-grown crops have been harvested in an area of 663,700 hectares, accounting for 34.5 percent of the total areas, including 654,300 hectares in the Mekong Delta.The yield was estimated at around 58.7 quintals per hectare.Northern Vietnam has finished cultivating its winter rice crop with the early-grown areas in the stage of tillering.-VNA

Traders seek to recoup losses on K5 billion in seized rice

By Khin Su Wai   |   Thursday, 27 July 2017
Myanmar rice traders are seeking the recoup of K5 billion worth of rice they say was seized by China last month in a bust that also resulted in the arrest of their trading partner, Ma Nan Aye Lu.
About 50 rice traders from Mandalay Region and Katha, Banmauk, Htigyaing and Kawlin townships in Sagaing Region said their partner’s detention for the past two months has hurt their business.
Their meeting at the Banmauk rice traders association office on Wednesday was attended by National League for Democracy MPs from Banmauk. U Aung Thein, who represents Banmauk in the Pyithu Hluttaw, told the meeting that for the sake of good bilateral relations, China should follow the example of Myanmar, which set free within eight days Chinese who were detained for smuggling timber in 400 vehicles.
U Mike, a rice trader from Mandalay, said he lost 640,500 yuan (K130 million) in missed rice exports to China due to Ma Nan Aye Lu’s arrest.
“Twenty-six rice traders from Banmauk have suffered losses. Mandalay has three. U Aung Thein told the rice traders that the NLD will try its best to free Sai Aiak Thar and Ma Nan Aye Lu. They will report the case to State Counsellor Daw Aung San Suu Kyi through the Kachin State Hluttaw chairman, who was at the meeting,” he said.
Ma Nan Aye Lu was detained by Chinese authorities when she passed through Muse border crossing in Shan State on June 11. The Chinese bust was aimed at 27 gangs suspected of smuggling about 300,000 tonnes of rice from Myanmar and Vietnam, according to a statement by China’s General Administration of Customs (GAC). The GAC on June 12 dispatched over 400 police officers to more than 20 locations in Chongqing municipality and the provinces of Yunnan, Guangdong, Hubei and Shaanxi in a crackdown on rice smuggling, according to Xinhua News Agency, and seized an estimated 300,000 tonnes of smuggled rice worth about 1.25 billion yuan (US$184 million/K252.2 billion). Preliminary investigations showed that since 2014, the gangs had purchased rice in Myanmar and Vietnam before smuggling it across the borders into Yunnan and Guangxi Zhuang autonomous region, according to the GAC.
“She was detained for suspected gambling. We have known Ma Nan Aye Lu for 10 to 15 years. She is honest. She is ethnic Shan and works for money-delivery services as well as the China rice trade,” he said.
U Mike denied a rumour that Ma Nan Aye Lu holds identification cards for China as well as Myanmar. “She has a Myanmar ID only,” he said.
“We could recover 30-45 percent of our losses, according to the Banmauk rice association. If Ma Nan Aye Lu is freed, she could collect payment for the rice from the traders in China,” U Mike said.
The rice price declined by K30,000 per tonne soon after the bust in June, and the rice trade almost stopped in the border area.
“Small-scale traders also suffered losses. We can stand the loss, but some small-scale traders have to repay loans. The impact is being felt by rice millers and rice farmers,” he said.
According to Myanmar traders, Chinese border officials began seizing cargo from nearly every truck, launching a crackdown three times a year on a trade that had been steadily growing in importance.
“This was a big bust for rice smuggling to China. Merchants in Mandalay and Banmauk, Kawlin and Wuntho in Sagaing lost because of their ties to the smuggler in China. They haven’t the staff for selling rice in China, so they contacted her,” said U Sai Kyaw, secretary of the Rice Merchants Association of Mandalay.
Myanmar has exported rice to China under a quota system since fiscal year 2014-15, but most merchants haven’t seen any benefits because of a high tax imposed by China.
“The Chinese tax on rice is K8000 on a K20,000 50-kilogram bag. That’s why traders do not prefer legal shipping. The tax is too high for us,” he said.U Mike said Myanmar rice traders also pay a 2 percent tax to Myanmar authorities. “The Chinese know when the rice comes into their region. There are 800 CCTVs at the border gate. They detain whoever they want.”
According to export data, roughly 12.2 million tonnes of rice was exported in FY2015-16.
Myanmar’s rice exports are generally of lower quality than those of its competitors Vietnam, Thailand and Pakistan. However, buyers, particularly in remote Yunnan province, have been willing to pay top dollar for even poor-quality Myanmar rice for use in food processing, so Myanmar’s rice exports to China have grown since 2011.

Locally milled rice to be released to the market soon

A huge quantity of locally milled rice that usually garners strong domestic appeal is to hit the markets immediately-perhaps as early as next week.“Now we have decided to get local paddy stocks to the market as well” said the Minister of Industry and Commerce Rishad Bathiudeen on 26th July. Minister Bathiudeen was reviewing the latest rice market status in Colombo with his officials.
 “Due to stocks from overseas suppliers, rice shortage is ending” said Minister Bathiudeen and added: “Now we have decided to get local paddy stocks to the market as well. Based on the earlier directions of President Maithripala Sirisena and Cost of Living Committee’s decision of Tuesday 25th July, the Cooperative Wholesale Establishment (CWE/ Sathosa) under our Ministry will purchase 55,000 MT paddy stock from the Paddy Marketing Board (PMB) immediately. This stock will be milled by local millers and CWE’s two own mills, will then be released to Lanka Sathosa.”
 Accordingly, CWE is to publish public/newspaper notice to millers this week to bid for milling of the 55,000 MT purchased from the PMB. Bulk of the stock to be milled shall be red raw rice and the rest in other varieties. If milling is completed fast, then this local rice, which is in high demand, can come to Lanka Sathosa for consumer purchase as early as first week of next month. CWE officials revealed that in the first six months of 2017, they milled 50,000 MT rice and released to Lanka Sathosa to be sold to domestic consumers. The rice were in many varieties but the bulk of it was red raw. The stocks were milled by CWE mills as well as private sector millers. In Sri Lanka, around 200,000 MT of rice of various types are consumed on a monthly basis.

India Monsoon Rain Seen Close to Normal as El Nino Threat Fades

By Pratik Parija
July 27, 2017, 2:51 PM GMT+5
Monsoon rain resulting in higher crop sowing: Weather Office
Rainfall break likely for 7 to 10 days during the rainy season
A flooded Kolkata street on July 24.
 Photographer: Dibyangshu Sarkar/AFP via Getty Images
India’s southwest monsoon that waters about half of the country’s farmland is likely to be near normal this year even as the four-month rainy season may see a weak spell during the remaining two months, according to the country’s weather forecaster.
Precipitation in the four-month rainy season will be close to 89 centimeters, a 50-year average, in the absence of El Nino, K. J. Ramesh, director general of India Meteorological Department, said. The agency had upgraded its forecast in June to 98 percent of the long-term average from 96 percent predicted in April. The weather office defines a monsoon as normal when cumulative rain during the period, which generally begins on June 1, falls between 96 percent and 104 percent of the long-term average.
The monsoon is critical to India’s farmers as it accounts for more than 70 percent of the total annual rainfall and recharges water levels in reservoirs that help irrigate crops. The country recorded normal rainfall last year, after two consecutive years of drought, boosting food grain productionto a record high. The prediction follows forecasters in the U.S. and Australia reducing the odds of an El Nino forming this year.
“The monsoon is fairly active so far and it hasn’t taken a break yet,” Ramesh said in an interview on Wednesday in New Delhi. Higher sowing of crops shows that the performance of the monsoon is very satisfactory, he said.
Indian farmers planted monsoon crops such as rice, pulses and cotton in 68.53 million hectares (169 million acres) as of July 21, up 1.8 percent from a year earlier, according to the agriculture ministry.

Monsoon Lull

“The monsoon could take a break definitely in August and some time in September which could last for about a week to 10 days,” said Ramesh. "The weakening of monsoon is expected in the northern parts, while the peninsular region should get more rain.”
Australia’s Bureau of Meteorology said in June that El Nino’s development has stalled and any event is likely to be weak. The U.S. last month lowered its odds for the weather pattern, which often brings dry weather to parts of Asia and Australia.
Rainfall in August is likely to be between 90 percent and 99 percent of the average, Ramesh said. Rain has been 5 percent above normal between June 1 and July 26, according to the department.
“Most of the rain so far is concentrated over the north, while peninsular India is not getting adequate rain,” Ramesh said. “Some cereal crops will be affected in southern region.”
The weather department’s monsoon prediction compares with a March forecast of 95 percent from Skymet Weather Services Pvt., a private forecaster. Rain was 97 percent of a 50-year average last year, meeting the department’s definition of a normal monsoon. Showers were 14 percent below the average in 2015 and 12 percent below the average in 2014, data from the India Meteorological Department show."About 15 percent to 20 percent area will still remain rain deficient even if monsoon is normal or above normal and that’s in-built characteristics of monsoon,” Ramesh said.


By My Pham and Ruma Paul
HANOI/DHAKA, July 27 (Reuters) - Bangladesh's plan to importrice from Thailand could be suspended due to high prices, thecountry's food ministry said on Thursday, after the government'sdeal with India fell through for the same reason.Bangladesh, the world's fourth-biggest rice producer, hasemerged as a major importer of rice this year due to depleted
stocks and record local prices following flash floods.
"We could not finalise the deal with Thailand as their offerwas too high," said a senior food ministry official, who askednot to be quoted as he is not authorised to talk to the media.This would not hamper import plans, he said, adding, "we are
going to Cambodia next week."
However, Badrul Hasan, the head of the state grains buyer,told Reuters that the deal was still open."We'll go for it if their new offer is competitive," hesaid.The fifth tender by Bangladesh's state grains buyer toimport 50,000 tonnes of parboiled rice, which opened onThursday, drew the lowest offer from Olam at $419.51 a tonne,CIF liner out.Its sixth tender since May for a similar quantity of ricewill close on Aug. 8.The possible suspension of the deal with Thailand came after
the government deal with India failed to materialise due to highrates, though private traders have been importing the grain fromits neighbour since last month after the government cut import
A Thai delegation was in Dhaka early this week to finalisethe deal to export up to 200,000 tonnes of rice."Thailand will submit a new offer. The deal is not totallyoff," Chookiat Ophaswongse, honorary president of the Thai RiceExporters Association told Reuters.
The price band on country's benchmark 5-percent broken rice<RI-THBKN5-P1> widened slightly at $395-$408, free-on-board(FOB) Bangkok.Traders in Bangkok cited weak demand and slow trade, but thesmall rise in quotes was due to the appreciation of the Thaibaht against the dollar.The baht was trading at 33.32 against the dollar, thestrongest in more than two years.In Vietnam, the world's third biggest rice exporter,domestic prices edged up after Vietnamese rice suppliers wondeals for selling a total volume of 175,000 tonnes.
"Local prices rose slightly but FOB prices couldn't as theyare high already," said a trader in Ho Chi Minh City.The country's benchmark 5-percent broken rice <RI-VNBKN5-P1>
stayed flat at $400-$405 a tonne, FOB Saigon.Trade was thin as export prices were too high, with themarket now mostly focusing on government-to-government deals."Commercial trade can only be more vibrant once the pricesdrop further, which is not likely to happen soon," the trader
added.India also saw sluggish export demand which caused its 5percent broken parboiled rice prices <RI-INBKN5-P1> to ease by$5 per tonne to $400 to $403.
"Still, demand is weak. There is no improvement in demandfrom African buyers," said an exporter based in Kakinada in thesouthern state of Andhra Pradesh.India, the world's biggest rice exporter, mainly exportsnon-basmati rice to African countries and premier basmati rice
to Middle East.
"The appreciating rupee has been making it difficult for usto lower prices," said another exporter based in Kakinada.(Reporting by My Pham in HANOI, Ruma Paul in DHAKA, Patpicha
Tanakasempipat in BANGKOK and Rajendra Jadhav in MUMBAI; Editing
by Vyas Mohan)

Developments in Iran’s Agriculture Sector and Prospects for U.S. Trade

Outlook for U.S. Agricultural Trade No. (AES-100) 27 pp, July 2017
Iran's agriculture sector following sanctions relief and prospects for U.S.-Iran agricultural trade.
Keywords: Iran, Middle East, agricultural trade, sanctions
In this publication...

Rice research centre opens at KU

July 27, 2017
KARACHI: A state-of-the-art rice research centre was inaugurated on Wednesday at the International Centre for Chemical and Biological Sciences (ICCBS), Karachi University (KU).Named the Sino-Pakistan Hybrid Rice Research Centre, the facility is equipped with the latest equipment including nuclear magnetic resonance spectroscopes and will be supported by Chinese experts through technology transfer and capacity building.
Speaking at the inaugural ceremony organised at the Prof Salimuzzaman Siddiqui Auditorium at the ICCBS, KU Vice Chancellor Prof Mohammad Ajmal Khan said: “We should learn from China that has set an excellent example in the field of science and technology and made tremendous progress in a short time.”
Development of any country or nation, he said, was associated with the commitment of its leadership, which should translate into meaningful investment in scientific research and technology.
Prof Atta-ur-Rahman, the ICCBS patron-in-chief and former Higher Education Commission chairman, spoke about the need for educating and training the youth.He said, “Pakistan has huge youth strength — about 100 million young people below the age of 20. They need to be educated and trained, if we really want to take advantage from this strength.”According to him, natural resources have lost their importance and have been replaced by refined human resources that contribute towards high-tech industrial development.
He regretted the drastic cut in the higher education budget and said it’s unfortunate that the finance ministry had slashed the development budget of all universities of Pakistan by more than 60 per cent, which had adversely affected research projects.
“In fact, the government has left the universities in a state of shock and disarray by massively reducing their budget. The country must realise that progress can’t be made without excelling in high-quality education, science and technology, innovation and entrepreneurship,” he pointed out.Chinese Consul General Wang Yu praised the Pakistani rice and said that China was a major importer of Pakistani high-quality rice.
“The ICCBS is represented by some great scholars and I am sure the opening of this research centre will benefit both countries. It’s a significant event reflecting the deep bond we share.”Director ICCBS Prof Mohammad Iqbal Choudhary said that the centre was another landmark in the long and exemplary relationship between the two neighbouring countries.
Director general CNRRI Prof Cheng Shihua said that food security was affecting both China and Pakistan and the centre would help tackle it.Governor Sindh Mohammad Zubair, who had been invited to the programme in his capacity as the chancellor of all public sector universities in the province, couldn’t make it to the event.

Published in Dawn, July 27th, 2017

Rice procurement target fixed higher at 37.5 MT for 2017-18

Thu, 27 Jul 2017-08:33pm , PTI
The Centre today fixed higher rice procurement target at 37.5 million tonnes for the 2017-18 marketing season beginning October on hopes of good production.The government's rice procurement has touched 34.35 million tonnes (MT) in the ongoing 2016-17 marketing season (October-September). The procurement has already crossed the target of 33 million tonnes set for this year.Higher target for the 2017-18 was fixed after discussing with state food secretaries in a meeting chaired by Union Food Secretary Preeti Sudan here today.
The target for each rice producing states was also fixed in the meeting: Punjab to procure 115 lakh tonnes, Chattisgarh (48 lakh tonnes), Uttar Pradesh (37 lakh tonnes), Haryana and Odisha (30 lakh tonnes each), Andhra Pradesh is 25 lakh tonnes and West Bengal (23 lakh tonnes), an official statement said.The Centre reviewed with states the kind of arrangements been put in place for procurement of paddy in producing states, particularly in decentralised procurement states and other non-traditional states.
State-run Food Corporation of India (FCI) and state agencies undertake procurement operation. The paddy is procured at the minimum support price (MSP).For the 2017-18 season, the government has fixed paddy MSP of 'common' grade variety at Rs 1,550 per quintal, while that of 'A' grade variety at Rs 1,590 per quintal.As per the Agriculture Ministry's data, farmers have sown paddy in 177.04 lakh hectare till last week of the kharif season of this year, which is higher than 169.23 lakh hectares in the same period last year.
(This article has not been edited by DNA's editorial team and is auto-generated from an agency feed.)

Monsoon in India hits West Bengal paddy crop hard as seeds get washed away

In some cases, crop intensity might reduce while in other cases crop yield might be low or the yield might be of very poor quality as to be not marketable. However, heavy rains during the Amon season often result in good Boro or winter crop but that is only 30% of the total production.

By: Indronil Roychowdhury | Published: July 27, 2017 4:35 AM

Continuous heavy showers have flooded the fields more than that it was required. This has put farmers in a suspect that their sow has been washed away.Heavy showers have flushed away paddy seeds from most of the agricultural land across the districts of Hooghly, Burdwan, Nadia, Purulia West & East Midnapore and Howrah, adversely affecting Amon production, the second crop of the Kharif season. Continuous heavy showers have flooded the fields more than that it was required. This has put farmers in a suspect that their sow has been washed away. “This shower could have been better after a few days after our sow got stabled and the shoots got a little longer and stronger. However, there is still opportunity to sow afresh if we are able to drain out the excess water from our fields,” Baidyanath Ghosh, a farmer, in Mamudpur of Hooghly district said. While Bikash Mukherjee of the same village felt the situation was flood-like and a release of water from the Damodar Valley Corporation (DVC) will overflow the canals and flood the lands spreading across districts. West Bengal chief minister Mamata Banerjee said the situation was not grave enough to declare the state as flood affected.
West Bengal irrigation minister Rajiv Banerjee said the government has asked DVC to release water within a limit of 10,000 cusec from the dams of Panchet and Maithon, which can prevent the state from floods. According to a DVC statement, heavy showers have raised the water level in rivers and dams, adding 28,500 cusec water in Panchet and 9,500 cusec in Maithon. This has necessitated release of water, for which the catchment areas within the district of Burdwan, Hooghly and some parts of West Midnapore may get affected.
“Cultivable land getting partly flood-affected may lower Amon paddy production by 10-15%,” Arun Bose, scientific assistant in West Bengal Rice Research Centre said, adding that with seeds sweeping away, many farmers might not get an opportunity to sow again. In some cases crop intensity might reduce, in some cases crop yield might be low and in some cases the yield might be of very poor quality as to be not marketable. However, heavy rains during the Amon season often results in good Boro or winter crop but that is only 30% of the total production.
West Bengal produces an average of 105 million tonne rice per annum from 5.8 million hectares. The districts of Burdwan, Hooghly, Nadia and Birbhum have the highest rice productivity with 32% share of the state’s total rice production and about 27% of acreage. Paddy production spreads across three seasons — Aus and Amon , the two kharif crop and Boro the winter crop. Crop intensity is as high as 176%. West Bengal produced 104.32 MT of paddy in 2015-16, lower by 1.17 MT of production than the preceding year in a scenario of failed Amon.
But Aus and Boro yields were successful, Pradip Majumdar, chief minister’s agricultural advisor said. While it would be too early to comment on whether the paddy of the current season will be successful or not and what may be the production scenario at the end of the entire crop cycle, the government has targetted yield of above 105 MT with more cultivable land bought under irrigation and improved variety of seeds given to farmers, Majumdar said.
However, selling the produce has become easier with the paddy taken directly to mandis. “I got Rs 830 per 60 kgs including my carrying cost to the mandis from my field,” said Gurudas Mukherjee of Mamudpur. The government had offered minimum support price (MSP) of Rs 1,470 per quintal (100 kgs) for common grade and Rs 1,510 per quintal for higher grade in 2016-2017. This has been increased by Rss 80 per quintal in FY18, West Bengal agriculture department officials said.

Singapore 'food sharing' pioneer Tony Tay of Willing Hearts among winners of Philippines' Magsaysay awards

Willing Hearts founder Tony Tay is among the six winners of the Philippines' Magsaysay awards this year.PHOTO: ST FILE
JUL 27, 2017, 7:04 PM SGT
MANILA (REUTERS) - The Singaporean founder of a volunteer group providing hot meals to the poor is among this year's six winners of the Philippines' Magsaysay awards, the foundation responsible for the awards said on Thursday (July 27).Mr Tony Tay's "Willing Hearts" group distributes thousands of meals every day in the wealthy city-state, where about 10 per cent of a population of 5.7 million live in poverty, the Ramon Magsaysay Awards Foundation said in a statement.
The winners of the awards, widely seen as Asia's equivalent of the Nobel prizes, will receive a sum of US$50,000 (S$67,880) at a ceremony set for late August.
"The Magsaysay awardees are all transforming their societies through their manifest commitment to the larger good," said Ms Carmencita Abella, president of the Manila-based foundation."All are unafraid to take on larger causes. All have refused to give up despite meagre resources, daunting adversity and strong opposition," Ms Abella said in the statement.
Mr Tay, born in poverty, abandoned at age five and put in care at an orphanage with a sister, was recognised for "sharing food with others" after having organised a group of 300 volunteers in 2009 to provide meals to those in need."We are just sharing, sharing all that we have in life to make a better society," the 70 year-old businessman, who had to drop out of school to work, was quoted as saying in the foundation's statement.
Also honoured were Japan's Mr Yoshiaki Ishizawa, cited for having empowered Cambodians to preserve their culture, and Indonesia's Mr Abdon Nababan, who worked to support the rights of indigenous people in a country that is home to the world's largest Muslim population.
Among the winners were Sri Lanka's Ms Gethsie Shanmugam, who helped rebuild the war-scarred lives of women and children; and Ms Lilia de Lima of the Philippines, who led the country's economic zone authority for many years.The Philippine Educational Theatre Association was also recognised for its "bold, collective contributions in shaping theatre arts as a force for social change", setting an example in Asia.
The awards, named after a popular Philippine president who was killed in a plane crash, were set up in 1957 by the trustees of the New York-based Rockefeller Brothers Fund.About 300 people and 25 organisations, including Asean and the International Rice Research Institute, have been recognised since 1958.

Research calls for enhancing long-term benefits of Farm Bill programs

July 27, 2017

Many farmers, ranchers, and landowners rely on voluntary conservation incentive programs within the Farm Bill to make improvements to their land and operations that benefit them, the environment, and society.According to a recent study by researchers from Virginia Tech's College of Natural Resources and Environment and Point Blue Conservation Science published in the scientific journal Conservation Letters, it is necessary to find ways to sustain the benefits from these practices after the incentive program ends. This finding is crucial as Congress discusses the reauthorization of the Farm Bill.In the United States, federal incentive programs aimed at promoting private land conservation fall under the umbrella of the Farm Bill, a package of legislation that promotes conservation efforts on farms and private lands, among other purposes. Typically taking the form of cash payments, tax credits, or cost-share agreements, these incentive programs allow landowners to participate in conservation activities while maintaining ownership of their land.

Persistence, a term introduced in this context by the authors of the study, is the continuation of a conservation practice after incentives from voluntary conservation programs end.According to lead author Ashley Dayer, assistant professor of human dimensions in Virginia Tech's Department of Fish and Wildlife Conservation, some conservation practices like tree planting are more likely to continue providing benefits without active management by landowners, while other practices, such as conservation crop rotation, would require a more hands-on approach by landowners. In the latter cases, supporting landowners' behavioral persistence is essential to maintaining environmental benefits.
Dayer worked with Seth Lutter, a master's student in fish and wildlife conservation, and Kristin Sesser, Catherine Hickey, and Thomas Gardali from Point Blue Conservation Science, a California-based wildlife conservation and research nonprofit, to examine the existing research literature on landowner behavior after incentive programs ended to determine what factors contributed to landowners continuing conservation efforts on their own. "We often hear assumptions about how landowners gain a stewardship ethic due to involvement in these programs that may lead them to continue conservation activities after the programs end, but there's been very little empirical research to support this assumption," explained Dayer, who is affiliated with the Global Change Center, housed in Virginia Tech's Fralin Life Science Institute.
According to Gardali, director of the Pacific Coast and Central Valley Group at Point Blue Conservation Science, understanding and promoting persistence is vital to successful conservation efforts."Our efforts to provide habitat for water birds in California, in partnership with conservation organizations and rice growers, illustrate the need to have better information on if, when, and why landowners continue to implement a conservation action after the payments end," Gardali said.
"We recently watched as rice growers who implemented conservation projects were unable to re-enroll for incentives due to program limitations," he continued. "Bird habitat provision became uncertain and dependent on landowner behavior persistence."In this study, supported by the S.D. Bechtel, Jr. Foundation, the authors developed five research-based explanations for whether or not persistence outcomes could be expected. The pathways include landowners' attitudes toward the conservation practices, landowners' motivations for participating in incentive programs, habit formation, access to resources, and social influences.
The researchers offer several suggestions for improving conservation program outcomes, including:
•           Removing limits on the number of re-enrollments allowed for individual landowners if there are a limited number of landowners interested in the program;
•           Removing limits on the number of re-enrollments for programs where landowners must continually apply a practice for conservation outcomes;
•           Prioritizing projects where landowners enroll for the long term; and
•           Considering the likelihood of persistence when designing programs.
Additionally, Lutter notes, "More research is needed in this social science side of landowner conservation incentive programs. American taxpayers are investing billions in these programs, so it's essential to understand how to promote the programs' long-term effectiveness."
Ultimately, incentive programs that assist landowners with conservation efforts benefit the population as a whole.
"Private lands conservation is critical," Dayer said. "Often when we think about land for wildlife, we think about national parks or protected areas, but those are a small proportion. In the U.S., 60 percent of the land is privately owned."
"A disproportionately high amount of wildlife is found on private lands, so having landowners engaged in managing their land is critical to having benefits like wildlife habitat or water quality that all of us enjoy beyond the boundaries of that landowner's property. It's beneficial to everyone when landowners are willing to do this work," she concluded.
  Explore further: Investments in conservation easements reap benefits for Colorado
More information: Ashley A. Dayer et al, Private Landowner Conservation Behavior Following Participation in Voluntary Incentive Programs: Recommendations to Facilitate Behavioral Persistence, Conservation Letters (2017). DOI: 10.1111/conl.12394
Journal reference: Conservation Letters  
Provided by: Virginia Tech
Confusion prevails over Kerala’s request for Jaya variety rice
G.V.R. Subba Rao
VIJAYAWADA,JULY 28, 2017 00:41 IST
Andhra Pradesh stopped growing the variety introduced in 1965
A week after in-principle agreement between Andhra Pradesh and Kerala, confusion prevails over the supply of Jaya variety of rice. It turns out that Andhra Pradesh has stopped growing Jaya variety of rice. As Andhra Pradesh officials asked their counterparts to send a few samples of rice, which Kerala presumed as Jaya variety, it appears that Kerala knocked the doors of a wrong State ahead of Onam festival in September.
Farmers in East Godavari district cultivate MTU 3626 (Bondalu in local parlance) in large area. Cultivation of Jaya, a variety from International Rice Research Institute (IRRI), was introduced way back in 1965 and was discontinued long back following introduction of many other high yield varieties. Farmers in East Godavari district prefer cultivating MTU 3626, which is also known as Prabhat, in view of high yield and returns.Kerala prefers boiled rice for variety of reasons, including long shelf life after cooking. The prices of boiled rice have shot up significantly in view of fast approaching festival. It necessitated a meeting between Kerala Civil Supplies Minister P. Thilothaman and his team with their counterparts here a week ago.
The Supplyco, a grocery arm of Kerala government, is procuring boiled rice through e-tenders at 35 a kg, and if Andhra Pradesh supplies the same at a lesser price, it is ready to sign an agreement with AP Civil Supplies Corporation.When contacted, Special Chief Secretary (Agriculture, Civil Supplies) B. Rajasekhar said, “Jaya is a very old variety. It is not being cultivated now. What they (Kerala) refer to Jaya could be MTU 3626. We asked them to send a few samples so that we can compare it with the rice grown here.”
Andhra Pradesh was one of the States that used to grow Jaya variety and process and despatch it as Jaya boiled rice to Kerala. Bondalu has taken over its place many years ago and that is what is being sent to Kerala.“The farmers have switched over to the Prabhat or Bondalu variety, which is grown in large area in East Godavari district. Lodging resistant varieties such as MTU 1061, MTU 1075 are gaining momentum in Godavari delta,” explained Agriculture Deputy Director (Planning) Z. Venkateswara Rao.
However, Andhra Pradesh Rice Millers Association (APRMA), Upland Area Rice Millers Association (UARMA) disagree. APRMA president Gummadi Venkateswara Rao and UARMA president Valluri Suribabu continue to contend that “Jaya variety of rice is being sent to Kerala”. But, they insist that the farmers were cultivating Bondalu

Nigeria rice production looking stronger in 2017, Ministry say

Michael Oduor with AFP
Nigeria is expecting to be self sufficient in rice production by November and prices are also expected to fall, the Minister of Agriculture and Rural Development said.The Industry Reports also shows the fluctuation of the local commodity production to be between 2,400 to 3,600 in the past five years. The import rates have also increased to 5,850 from 4,800 during the same period of time.
Meanwhile the country is also experiencing a rise in consumption rate of the same commodity. The consumption rate has risen to 7 million Metric Tons according to government statistics with only 2.7 million metric tons produced by Nigerian farmers.
In 2016, Nigeria projected to reach 2.7 million metric tons in 2017 if government policy of restricting importation was strictly adhered to.According to the Nigeria rice production statistics, the imports have started to make up 50% of the local consumption rates
Man held forsmuggling rice
VELLORE ,JULY 27, 2017 23:56 IST
UPDATED: JULY 27, 2017 23:56 IST
Detained under Black Marketing Act
A 35-year-old habitual offender has been detained for six months under the Prevention of Black Marketing and Maintenance of Supplies of Essential Commodities Act for smuggling ration rice.
A team led by S. Senthil Vinayagam, inspector of police, Civil Supplies CID, Vellore district, nabbed Saravanan, a resident of Kuttigoundanur in Natrampalli taluk, his brother Sathish and accomplice Thangaraj during a vehicle check at Vellakalnatham Koot Road on National Highway 48 on July 8.
“Based on information, we were conducting a vehicle check at 10 p.m. when we stopped a van with Aavin’s label and two tailing cars. We found 4.5 tonnes of rice meant for the public distribution system being smuggled in the three vehicles, and nabbed the trio. They were arrested and remanded,” he said.
A fake sticker of Aavin was pasted on the van. Following Saravanan’s arrest, Director-General of Police of Civil Supplies CID K. Radhakrishnan found that there were more than 10 cases of smuggling against him. In fact, he was detained under the Act during 2012 and 2015 in Krishagiri, he said.
Sonal Chandra, Superintendent of Police, Civil Supplies CID, recommended Saravanan’s detention under the Act to Vellore Collector S. A. Raman

NCS Impounds 3,200 Bags Of Rice, Poultry Products
July 26, 2017
The Nigeria Customs Service (NCS), Seme Command, on Wednesday said it had impounded 3,200 bags of rice, 1,000 cartons of frozen poultry products, 25 kegs of vegetable oil and 57 bales of second-hand clothing worth N54.4million.The command’s spokesperson, Mr Taupuyen Selchang, disclosed this in Badagry, Lagos State.
The statement revealed that the Controller of the command, Compt. Mohammed Aliyu, said that the command had intensified and renewed its anti smuggling efforts.“We have recently engaged in renewed efforts against smuggling activities by tightening the land border and all illegal routes, to ensure that our mandate is vigorously pursued.
“The economic activities at the border have become low-keyed, to curb smuggling, prevent revenue leakages and boost revenue generation for the Federal Government.“A total of 3,200 bags of rice, 1,000 cartons of frozen poultry products, 25 kegs of vegetable oil and 57 bales of second-hand clothing worth N54.465 million were recently impounded and the poultry products have been destroyed, in accordance with the law.
“Our officers must maintain this tempo in combating smuggling activities across the frontier,’’ he said.The controller urged the public to give intelligence to the command, in order to enable the NCS to effectively curb smuggling.“Smuggling is dangerous to the economy, so in curbing it, we need the help of the public because stemming smuggling is a team effort.“The public should, therefore, share intelligence with the command, as this would help in safeguarding the borders and improving the national economy,’’ he added

Companies take too much profit from rice

News Desk
The Jakarta Post
Jakarta | Wed, July 26, 2017 | 05:21 pm
Business Competition Supervisory Commission (KPPU) chairman Syarkawi Rauf (from left), National Police chief Gen. Tito Karnavian, Agriculture Minister Andi Amran Sulaiman and Trade Ministry secretary-general Karyanto show premium rice seized from a rice warehouse in Bekasi, West Java owned by PT Indo Beras Unggul (IBU) on July 20. (Antara/Risky Andrianto)
National Police chief Gen. Tito Karnavian has said rice firms took too much profit from the unhusked rice they bought from farmers, who received subsidies to grow the crop.“Around 56 million farmers get about Rp 60 trillion [US$4.49 billion] from the commodity, while the traders get Rp 130 trillion,” Tito said at the State Palace, recently.
Last week, the police raided a rice warehouse in Bekasi, West Java, owned by PT Indo Beras Unggul (IBU), a producer of allegedly bogus premium-quality rice.National Police Criminal Investigation Department (Bareskrim) economic crimes chief Brig. Gen. Agung Setya said the company had bought unhusked rice from farmers for Rp 4,900 per kilogram.It reportedly sold it as medium and premium rice at Rp 13,700 and Rp 20,400 per kilogram, respectively. Meanwhile, the retail price set by the government was Rp 9,500 per kilogram.
Agriculture Minister Andi Amran Sulaiman said this year the government had allocated Rp 30 trillion for subsidized fertilizers and Rp 50 trillion to Rp 60 trillion for rice seeds and tractor purchases for farmers.PT IBU spokesman Jo Tjong Seng said the government subsidized farmers so that they could increase their productivity, while his company bought rice from any farmer whether they were subsidized or not.
Tito stressed the government wanted the farmers to get more benefit from the crop, while traders were also allowed to get a fair margin from their business.“Even though it is justified by market mechanisms, the government still needs to intervene in the rice distribution,” he said. (dis/bbn)

High food prices lead to 'chickens dying in a rice barn': The Jakarta Post columnist

People buy food at a food market in Jakarta.PHOTO: REUTERS
JUL 26, 2017, 12:55 PM SGT
Julia Suryakusuma
JAKARTA (THE JAKARTA POST/ASIA NEWS NETWORK) - We Indonesians pride ourselves on being a nation of plenty.From elementary to high school, our textbooks depict how wondrously beautiful, lush and fertile our nation is. It is obviously a source of national pride. The Javanese have a saying for it: gemah ripah loh jinawi.
Unfortunately, this saying is fraught with ironies, manifested in Indonesia's ills as a nation. Unemployment forces 6.5 million people - 85 per cent of whom are women - to work abroad. There is an ever-widening income disparity. The wealthiest 1 per cent of the population comprise nearly half of total national wealth while over 28 million people, almost 11 per cent of the population, live below the poverty line.Last but not least, there are high food prices. So why are food prices in Indonesia so high, especially compared with neighbouring countries?
The Center for Indonesian Policy Studies (CIPS) publishes a monthly household index, the Indeks Bulanan Rumah Tangga (Indeks Bu RT), comparing the prices of basic commodities in middle and high income neighbouring countries.According to the June index, shallots at 42,000 rupiah (S$4.29) are more expensive in Indonesia than in New Zealand (S$3.93), Australia (S$2.06), Singapore (S$1.87), the Philippines (S$1.84), Thailand (S$1.16), Malaysia (S$0.31) and India (S$0.26).
I was in Malaysia recently. I should have filled my suitcase with a ton of shallots and sold them in Indonesia. It is almost 14 times more expensive here - I would have made a killing.Even the price of rice is higher than in Singapore, India, Malaysia and Thailand. In Indonesia, the Indeks Bu RT puts it at 11,000 rupiah while in Thailand, it stands at 5,398 rupiah.CIPS calculated that because of these high prices, Indonesian households spend 564,500 rupiah more per month on some sembako (excluding kerosene, LPG, liquefied pretroleum gas and some other items) than their counterparts in neighbouring countries.
Sembako is the abbreviation of sembilan bahan pokok (nine basic commodities): rice, sago and corn; sugar; vegetables and fruit; beef, chicken and fish; cooking oil and margarine; milk; eggs; kerosene or LPG; and iodised salt.The reasons for these high prices are incredibly complex: the length of the distribution chain, the role of the middlemen, the existence of food cartels, the proliferation of illegal levies, patterns of planting and harvesting, smuggling, a national agricultural policy that does not favour farmers, weather conditions, pests, declining availability of arable agricultural land due to conversion (for example, for industrial purposes) and a decline in the number of farmers.
Between 2003 and 2013, around five million farmers changed professions because of low earnings. Shallots, for example, cost 42,000 rupiah but the farmers get a fraction of this.In 2017, there was a time when they only received 2,000 rupiah for 1kg of onions. This is certainly a reason to cry - and not because the farmers were chopping the onions.Winarno Tohir, head of Kontak Tani Nelayan Andalan (National Outstanding Farmers and Fishermen Association), estimated in 2016 that, in 12 years, Indonesia would lose 14 million farmers. Well, if they keep getting the raw end of the deal, why would they want to commit to a profession that gives them insufficient returns to living a decent life?
About 80 per cent of Indonesians eat rice as a staple. Obviously, the ratio between earnings and expenditure on rice differs widely. With the high rice price, low-income groups could be spending a major part of their earnings on rice alone.How do you reduce prices? Well, by increasing supply to meet demand. If you cannot increase the supply by producing it yourself, then get it elsewhere. Rice, for example, produced in Indonesia costs around two and a half times more (4,079 rupiah per kilogram) compared with Thailand (1,619 rupiah per kg).
Food is a political and populist issue and it is related to national pride.The government has not been entirely successful in the measures it has introduced to attain food self-sufficiency. The last time Indonesia enjoyed rice self-sufficiency was in 1984. Then President Soeharto delivered a speech announcing the achievement at the 40th anniversary of the Food and Agriculture Organisation (FAO) in Rome.But, up to now, we have not returned to such a state because of insurmountable obstacles. So at what price do we want to attain it again?
The team at CIPS is of the opinion that Indonesia should engage in food trade liberalisation to provide sufficient food to the people, thus allowing for the engagement in more productive activities.It is like me trying to make my own gado-gado (mixed cooked vegetables with peanut sauce) - one of my favourite dishes. I love to cook, but this one dish I usually buy at Mang Budy's, my local gado-gado vendor who sells it from his wooden push-cart. It costs a mere 10,000 rupiah.
If I made it from scratch, it would take me hours just to produce one dish, which would not even taste as good as Mang Budy's. Imagine the opportunity cost for my creative time as a writer if I spent two to three hours making gado-gado for myself. What a waste.CIPS' proposal for food trade liberalisation would go against the grain of our national food self-sufficiency pride, but it is worth looking into.
Lucky for us, CIPS is offering a massive open online course (MOOC) on food trade from July 26 to Sept. 26. This will enable us to understand the issues in a rational way. The topics discussed will include agriculture in Indonesia, regional value chains, the political-economy of agriculture in Indonesia and domestic consumption.
The course is intended for laypersons, whether students, policymakers or business people - in short, anyone without a background in economics, trade or agriculture, interested in the issue of food trade. That would include me. I'm in, especially since the course takes only two hours a week and can be downloaded on your device for free.
We have another saying in Indonesia that is the opposite of gemah ripah loh jinawi: seperti ayam mati di lumbung padi (like chickens dying in a rice barn).This speaks to the fate of too many poor people, including farmers, in Indonesia.Let us gain more knowledge and become wiser so that we can at least get closer to the state of gemah ripah loh jinawi and not end up like hungry chickens when, in fact, resources abound.
NFA: Negrenses consume less rice
Thursday, July 27, 2017
 THE National Food Authority (NFA) in Negros Occidental said that starting June this year, the average daily rice consumption of the province has dropped by almost seven percent. From the previous 21,800 bags, the province's daily rice consumption reduced to 20,800 bags, it added. Marianito Bejemino, provincial manager of NFA-Negros Occidental, on Wednesday, July 26, said the decrease in rice consumption can be attributed mainly to the health concerns and lifestyle of Negrenses.
Bejemino said many local consumers, especially adults, have lessened their rice intake believing that too much consumption would trigger health problems. “Many professionals have also changed their lifestyle, particularly on food preferences. Most of them resort to ready-to-eat products and easy-to-prepare food due to limited time," he added. The NFA also cited the increase in production of other crops, which are also potential sources of carbohydrates. The Department of Agriculture is also working on increasing agricultural productivity for other commodities like root crops. Bejemino said despite the decrease in consumption, rice is still the number one staple food in the province.
He added that lower consumption requirement is not relative to the movement in supply and price of the commodity in the market. “Lower consumption could mean an increase in stock inventory, but it was not a result of lower supply or market higher price," Bejemino said. In terms of available stocks, NFA-Negros Occidental on Tuesday reported that there is a current inventory of about 1.4 million bags. With the province’s new average daily consumption requirement, it can last in the next 69 days. Prices of commercial rice, meanwhile, remain competitive with the P27 per kilogram of NFA rice, it added.
Trump Administration Early Release on Regulatory Agenda 
 WASHINGTON, DC -- Last Thursday the Trump Administration released the fall Unified Agenda laying out the regulatory and deregulatory actions they intend to pursue in the coming year. The Unified Agenda is published twice a year, in the spring and fall, to provide transparency around regulatory and deregulatory actions underway by over 60 federal government departments, agencies, and commissions.  It not only outlines upcoming new regulatory actions, but also lists actions that are ongoing or were proposed under the previous administration, but will not be addressed in the coming year.  

The Administration is using the document to take credit for reducing regulations and signal what actions they will prioritize.According to the White House, "the agenda represents ongoing progress toward the goals of more effective and less burdensome regulation," and includes withdrawal of 469 actions originally proposed in the Fall 2016 agenda, reclassification of 391 active actions which will allow for further review, and the decrease of economically significant regulations to 58, or about 50 percent less than Fall 2016.

Additionally, for the first time, agencies will post and make public their list of 'inactive' rules - providing notice to the public of regulations still being reviewed or considered."The U.S. rice industry has always been supportive of reducing regulatory burdens for farmers and businesses, and we are pleased to see this Administration follow through with their promise to do just that," said Ray Vester, Arkansas rice farmer and chairman of the USA Rice Regulatory Affairs and Food Safety Committee.
Items of interest to the U.S. rice industry are EPA's upcoming actions to rescind and then revise the "Waters of the U.S." rule, known as WOTUS, and the decision to move the New Source Performance Standards (NSPS) for Grain Dryers amendments to inactive status.  "By moving the NSPS for Grain Dryers to the list of inactive rules, it signals to us that EPA will likely not finalize or revise those amendments in the near future," said Vester.  "This would be a definite win for the rice industry and others affected by the rule.

Asia Rice-Bangladesh may call off Thai import deal over high prices
My Pham and Ruma Paul
HANOI/DHAKA, July 27 (Reuters) - Bangladesh's plan to import rice from Thailand could be suspended due to high prices, the country's food ministry said on Thursday, after the government's deal with India fell through for the same reason.
Bangladesh, the world's fourth-biggest rice producer, has emerged as a major importer of rice this year due to depleted stocks and record local prices following flash floods."We could not finalise the deal with Thailand as their offer was too high," said a senior food ministry official, who asked not to be quoted as he is not authorised to talk to the media.
This would not hamper import plans, he said, adding, "we are going to Cambodia next week."However, Badrul Hasan, the head of the state grains buyer, told Reuters that the deal was still open."We'll go for it if their new offer is competitive," he said.The fifth tender by Bangladesh's state grains buyer to import 50,000 tonnes of parboiled rice, which opened on Thursday, drew the lowest offer from Olam at $419.51 a tonne, CIF liner out.Its sixth tender since May for a similar quantity of rice will close on Aug. 8.The possible suspension of the deal with Thailand came after the government deal with India failed to materialise due to high rates, though private traders have been importing the grain from its neighbour since last month after the government cut import tariffs.
A Thai delegation was in Dhaka early this week to finalise the deal to export up to 200,000 tonnes of rice."Thailand will submit a new offer. The deal is not totally off," Chookiat Ophaswongse, honorary president of the Thai Rice Exporters Association told Reuters.The price band on country's benchmark 5-percent broken rice RI-THBKN5-P1 widened slightly at $395-$408, free-on-board (FOB) Bangkok.
Traders in Bangkok cited weak demand and slow trade, but the small rise in quotes was due to the appreciation of the Thai baht against the dollar.The baht was trading at 33.32 against the dollar, the strongest in more than two years.In Vietnam, the world's third biggest rice exporter, domestic prices edged up after Vietnamese rice suppliers won deals for selling a total volume of 175,000 tonnes."Local prices rose slightly but FOB prices couldn't as they are high already," said a trader in Ho Chi Minh City.
The country's benchmark 5-percent broken rice RI-VNBKN5-P1 stayed flat at $400-$405 a tonne, FOB Saigon.Trade was thin as export prices were too high, with the market now mostly focusing on government-to-government deals."Commercial trade can only be more vibrant once the prices drop further, which is not likely to happen soon," the trader added.
India also saw sluggish export demand which caused its 5 percent broken parboiled rice prices RI-INBKN5-P1 to ease by $5 per tonne to $400 to $403."Still, demand is weak. There is no improvement in demand from African buyers," said an exporter based in Kakinada in the southern state of Andhra Pradesh.India, the world's biggest rice exporter, mainly exports non-basmati rice to African countries and premier basmati rice to Middle East.
"The appreciating rupee has been making it difficult for us to lower prices," said another exporter based in Kakinada. (Reporting by My Pham in HANOI, Ruma Paul in DHAKA, Patpicha Tanakasempipat in BANGKOK and Rajendra Jadhav in MUMBAI; Editing by Vyas Mohan)

Rice importation down by 80 per cent – Osinbajo

Daily Post Staff@dailypostngr

The Acting President of Nigeria, Yemi Osinbajo, yesterday said Nigeria’s rice importation has dropped by over 80 per cent and that the country would be self-sufficient by next year.He stated this while declaring open the 16th Conference of Speakers and Presiding Officers of the Commonwealth (CSPOC), Africa Region in Abuja. Osinbajo said the success was attained s a result of the collaboration of the two arms of government who had worked harmoniously in the past two years.“In the last two years, Nigeria, which is the largest producer of rice in West Africa and the second largest importer of rice in the world has changed that story. Our rice import bill in 2014 was N1billion a month.
“Today, by a combination of progressive legislative appropriation to agriculture, and providing single digit credit, under our anchor borrowers programme for the purchase of right fertilizer quality and other inputs and credit, many rice farmers moved from getting yields of 3.5 metric tons per hectare to 7.5 mt per hectare”, he said.
The Acting President also stressed that the media don’t see the struggle to make things better in the nation but that they only see the trouble between the executives and legislature.
“On a lighter note, I don’t know the experience and belief the Presiding Officers from other nations present here have of the relationship between the executive and the legislature as a result of the portrayals by the press.“Here in Nigeria what makes the news is conflict between the executive and the legislature”, he added.

Gluten-free rice flour plant planned in Industrial Park

Western Foods has acquired the 56,000 square foot building that was the former home of U.S. Sugar before that company closed and relocated to Louisiana to be closer to its supplier. Special to the Commercial/Joe Dempsey
Western Foods has acquired the 56,000 square foot building that was the former home of U.S. Sugar before that company closed and relocated to Louisiana to be closer to its supplier. Special to the Commercial/Joe Dempsey
A California-based company is looking to cash-in on Americans’ desire to eat healthier and has picked Pine Bluff as the place to do it. Western Foods announced Wednesday that they will take over a vacant building in the Jefferson Industrial Park and establish a gluten-free rice flour and “ancient grain milling business.”The announcement was made during a meeting of the Economic Development Corp. of Jefferson County, also known as the tax board, the group that administers the three-eighths cent sales tax approved by Jefferson County voters in 2011 for economic development.
With no dissent, the board approved a $280,750 incentive package for Western Foods. The company will receive a $5,000 credit on that package for each job they create within five years once the plant is in full operation, up to 50 new jobs at a salary of $18 per hour plus benefits. Western Foods has acquired the 56,000 square foot building that was the former home of U.S. Sugar before that company closed and relocated to Louisiana to be closer to its supplier.
Lou Ann Nisbett, President and Chief Executive Officer of the Economic Development Alliance for Jefferson County, said she began working with Western Foods last August but that they were looking for a “food-grade” facility. When U.S. Sugar closed, she said she contacted them, and representatives of the company came to Pine Bluff again to look at that building before deciding that it was what they were looking for.
Shan Staka, the chief financial officer for Western Foods, who flew to Pine Bluff from California Tuesday, said, “We’re excited to come to Arkansas.”
A press release from the company said its growth over the past five years has allowed the expansion into Arkansas.“The Delta Region facility will expand WF’s position in the long grain rice flour market and allow WF to better serve its Midwest and East Coast customers,” Tom Andringa, vice-president of sales and business development, said. “By opening our second mill in Pine Bluff, we will have an excellent logistical flow to important markets such as Chicago only 10 hours away by truck.”
Staka told the board that the company is currently looking at infrastructure improvements to the building before bringing in the equipment needed to produce the rice flour but predicted that they would be shipping product in January 2018. The facility, located at 5215 Industrial Drive South, sits on nine-acres of land.According to the press release, it “has ample room for future growth.”
In addition to the incentive package from the tax board, Caleb McMahon, the director of Economic Development for the Alliance, said the Arkansas Economic Development Corp. had committed to a $280,000 investment.
“They matched us almost dollar for dollar,” McMahon said.The company’s other facility is in Woodland, California. Their parent company is Western Milling, which is described as “one of the largest privately held feed companies in the world.

2017 Join our rice webinar on Thursday, July 27
Author: Bobby Coats, Professor of Economics
By Bobby Coats, Professor of Agricultural Economics
 Join us on Thursday, July 27, 2017 for the latest in the Food and Agribusiness Webinar Series where the discussions will include the U.S. rice supply and projected prices with Dr. Nathan Childs, ag economist with USDA’s economic research service, as well as a rice crop update from Extension rice agronomist Dr. Jarrod Hardke.  To register for the webinar, simply follow the link:  You will receive a confirmation email with instructions for joining the session once registered.
New Rice Webinar:
Date and Time: Thursday July 27, 2017 2:00 PM in Central Time (US and Canada)
Connect with Computer or Smartphone by Internet or Dial-in and Listen by Phone
Host: Dr. Bobby Coats, Professor in the Department of Agricultural Economics and Agribusiness, University of Arkansas System, Division of Agriculture, Cooperative Extension Service. E-mail:
Producer: Mary Poling, Coordinator for Interactive Communications, University of Arkansas System Division of Ag, Cooperative Extension Service, E-mail:

Topic: U.S. Rice Supplies Expected to Tighten in 2017/18; U.S. Prices Projected Higher (45 minutes)
Presenter: Dr. Nathan Childs, Agricultural Economist with USDA’s Economic Research Service
Description: The June NASS Acreage report indicated a 20-percent decline in U.S. harvested rice area in 2017/18 to 2.5 million acres. Assuming trend yields, the U.S. rice crop is projected to drop 15 percent from a year earlier to 191.3 million cwt, pulling total supplies down 11 percent. Both domestic use and exports are projected to contract in response to the tighter supplies and resulting higher prices. Despite smaller use, U.S. stocks are expected to drop to a more normal level after three consecutive years of abnormally high ending stocks. Globally, rice trade is expected to increase, with China remaining the largest rice importer and India and Thailand remaining the largest exporters. Global rice stocks are projected to increase to the highest level since 2001/02.
Topic: Arkansas Rice Crop Update – (10 – 15 minutes)
Presenter: Dr. Jarrod Hardke, Associate Professor and State Rice Extension Agronomist, Crop, Soil & Environmental Science Department, University of Arkansas System-Division of Agriculture
Webinar Registration Link:
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