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11th April , 2014

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Rice planting in the Mid-South moving ‘in slow motion’ Niwatthamrong cries foul over ‘incorrect’ rice losses FAO Food Price Index shows rise in global prices New varieties of sushi rice put to the test at Sydney Royal Easter Show Thai rice farmers face double whammy 5pc jump in world trade of rice likely Thailand to export 8.7m tonnes of rice MOC to auction off 400,000 tons of rice today China may buy more rice from Thailand Drought Seen Hurting Thai Farm Output as El Nino Risk Climbs Exporters fret over entry of new basmati variety in AP Tanzania: Govt Pushes to Improve Rice Productivity Rice Production to Boost Nation’s GDP by $9bn, Says Adesina 5pc jump in world trade of rice likely Agriculture dep’t touts farm tech, credit help Nigeria: Rice Tariff Hike - Nigeria's Loss, Others' Gain Govt pushes to improve rice productivity - Daily News

News Detail… Rice planting in the Mid-South moving ‘in slow motion’ Apr 11, 2014Elton Robinson | Delta Farm Press

Rice planting was off to a roaring standstill for much of the Mid-South in early April as wet weather and cold temperatures slowed progress considerably. Here‟s more from state rice specialists and agronomists: Louisiana According to Johnny Saichuk, Extension rice specialist, the state was about 60 percent planted in south Louisiana by the end of the first week in April, but barely started in northeast Louisiana. “This has been a season of slow motion. We‟re just crawling along, not getting a lot done.”Saichuk says rains “have been just

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frequent enough to keep farmers out of the field and just cold enough to keep the crop from progressing. The worst thing for us right now is cloud cover. We‟re just not getting the hours of sunlight that we need.”There‟s no need to hit the panic button in south Louisiana just yet, according to Saichuk, although northeast Louisiana was significantly behind in planting progress in early April. Plus plenty of sunshine was in the forecast for the weeks ahead.In response to higher prices, Louisiana producers are planting a lot more medium grain rice spring, Saichuk said. “There is a whole lot more interest in medium grain than we‟ve had in many years. If we get up over 10 percent to 15 percent in medium grain plantings, that‟s a big medium grain crop.” Mississippi Mississippi rice producers simply didn‟t had a lot of days suitable for planting in late March and early April, noted Lee Atwill, research associate for the rice research program at the Delta Research and Extension Center in Stoneville.“Some rice was planted in the past couple of weeks, but it‟s been so wet. Here at the research station, we have a very small percentage of our research plots planted, around 5 percent. We have six off-station locations on farms, and we‟ve only planted one of those so far.”Typically at this time of the year, planters would be rolling statewide. “If any rice has been planted, it‟s been on lighter textured soils. Our clay soils have not dried out near enough yet to get any planting done.”Atwill has observed a lot of acreage under water from Tunica to the research station. “The ditches were full, so it‟s not draining off quickly either. I suspect that if we get nice weather later in this week, there may be rice going in on the lighter textured soils.” Southeast Missouri Sam Atwell, agronomy specialist for rice in Butler County says very little rice planting has occurred in the state. “It‟s just been cold. Most of the fields have been burned down, most look perfect, ready to plant. We‟re in fine shape, but things just need to warm up a little bit.”Atwell expects rice acreage to rise in the Bootheel this year, to as much as 180,000 acres, compared to 150,000 acres last year. “The farmers I talked to this week are sitting on ready. Just as soon as it warms up, hopefully the latter part of this week, they‟ll plant a lot, and it will go fast.”Growers are showing an interest in medium grain rice in the Bootheel, too, Atwell said. “Everybody‟s keeping an eye on California. If they cut them out of medium grain acres because of water shortages, there is a market there.” Arkansas

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Jarrod Hardke, Extension rice agronomist for Arkansas, said rice planting “has been very slow at this point, to say the least. I think we‟re about 5 percent planted at this point. Most of that is isolated around hot spots in the central portion of the state.”Hardke said some producers took advantage of warm weather and dry fields to plant rice as early as March 10 this year. “These were not isolated to the very southern end of the state. A lot of that happened farther up the Delta too.”As a general rule, Arkansas rice planting begins around March 15 in the southern part of the state, March 22 up to I-40 and late March to April 1 for the northernmost of the state‟s rice acreage. Had dry weather prevailed the last few weeks, the state would likely have been as much as 25 percent to 30 percent planted by the first week in April. “But it‟s not, and they‟re calling for more rain tomorrow,” Hardke said.Hardke doesn‟t believe the delays will end up reducing rice acres. “Everybody wants to get rolling now. We were really hoping that today, April 7, would have been a nice dry, warm sunny day. Instead we had anywhere from 1 inch to 3 inches of rain, in some cases a lot more than that.”Hardke said 10 years ago, planting rice in late April was considered an early planting. “But the culture has changed, and farmers had have begun to see what their yields can do if they plant earlier than that. The proof has been in the research and the results. If you can get it in and get it up, the yields are higher .“Most all of our information says that that a late March to very early April planting window is when your highest grain yield is going to occur. It‟s a gradual trend downward in yield from there until early June, where you get a 20 percent to 25 percent yield reduction.”Hardke said Arkansas producers will also increase medium grain rice acres, but those acres will probably likely cap out below 200,000 acres because of seed availability.“The state has been at 200,000 acres of medium grain rice before, but not in the last five or six years. There‟s really no reason for the seed supply to be there to support a jump to 200,000 acres.”

Niwatthamrong cries foul over ‘incorrect’ rice losses Published: 11 Apr 2014 at 07.17 Newspaper section: News

Caretaker Deputy Prime Minister and Commerce Minister Niwatthamrong Bunsongphaisan attributed significant losses in the rice-pledging scheme to incorrect figures from a Finance Ministry subcommittee.Caretaker Deputy Prime Minister and Commerce Minister Niwatthamrong Bunsongphaisan arrives at the National Anti- Corruption Commission office in Nonthaburi yesterday to give a testimony in defence of

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caretaker Prime Minister Yingluck Shinawatraâ€&#x;s role in the ricepledging scheme. The premier is accused of dereliction of duty in relation to alleged graft in the rice scheme. TAWATCHAI KEMGUMNERD The loss figures are being used by the National Anti-Corruption Commission (NACC) as evidence to back up charges against caretaker Prime Minister Yingluck Shinawatra for dereliction of duty in failing to stop the rice scheme despite huge losses and reports of corruption.Mr Niwatthamrong yesterday gave his testimony to the NACC in defence of Ms Yingluck.He said a sub-panel for rice scheme accounts failed to document inventories of pledged rice. The reported loss figures would be lower if this sum is included, he said.For example, there were about 2.9 million tonnes of rice worth between 50 and 80 billion baht not included the second time the accounts were tallied in January last year, he said. Additionally, three possible methods can be used to calculate the value of rice stocks, and the sub-committee chose to use the method which suggested the lowest figure, he said.He said losses within the scheme do not amount to 220 billion baht as reported by the sub-committee, but are half as much.Meanwhile, NACC secretary-general Sansern Poljiak yesterday agreed to allow Pol Lt Col Thawat Bunfueng, deputy secretarygeneral to the prime minister, to act as another witness to defend charges levelled at Ms Yingluck.Mr Sansern has dismissed reports shared on social media that an NACC member had dinner at the house of a former Pheu Thai minister.He said NACC initial investigations found the information groundless, but it could affect public confidence in the NACC.

FAO Food Price Index shows rise in global prices By RFD-TV News Staff - email April 11, 2014 UNITED NATIONS (RFD-TV) The United Nationâ€&#x;s Food and Agriculture Organization Price Index rose sharply for March, reaching its highest levels since May of last year.According to the agency's latest report, the index was up nearly five points, a 2.3 percent increase.Food price increases were seen in all groups except dairy, which fell 2.5 points. The greatest gains were seen in sugar, with a nearly 8 percent increase, and in cereals, with a 5.2 percent increase.Read the full summary from the U.N. below: "The FAO Food Price Index rose sharply in March, up 4.8 points, or 2.3 percent, to an average of 212.8, the highest level since May 2013."The Index was influenced, as expected, by unfavourable weather conditions in the US and Brazil and geopolitical tensions in the Black Sea region," said Abdolreza Abbassian, FAO Senior Economist. These and other influences are reviewed in greater detail in theAMIS Market Monitor report, the monthly synopsis of the major food crops prepared by the G-20 Agricultural Market Information System (AMIS), which is hosted at FAO headquarters in Rome."The Food Price Index looks at March trends. Since then, the initial fear over disruptions in grain shipments from Ukraine has subsided. Also, markets have started to discard any negative impacts that the current difficult domestic economic conditions may bear on plantings or harvests in

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2014," Abbassian said.Abbassian pointed out that AMIS has an important role to play in reassuring international markets, by promoting close dialogue among its participating countries. The Index, based on the prices of a basket of internationally-traded food commodities, saw prices increase in all groups except dairy, which fell for the first time in four months (-2.5 percent). The greatest gains were seen in sugar (+7.9 percent) and cereals (+5.2 percent).The FAO Cereal Price Index averaged 205.8 points in March, up as much as 10 points from February. Wheat and maize prices surged and imports were strong amid concerns over the effects of dry weather conditions on winter wheat in the United States, unfavourable weather in Brazil, and tensions in the Black Sea region.While in March the Index rose to its highest value since August 2013, it remained well below (34.6 points or 14.4 percent) its value in March 2013. Rice prices were generally stable.The FAO Vegetable Oil Price Index averaged 204.8 points in March, up another 7 points from February and the highest level seen in 18 months. The rise in the index mainly reflected a surge in palm oil, on continued concerns over the impact of protracted dry weather in Southeast Asia. The FAO Dairy Price Index averaged 268.5 points in March, a fall of 6.9 points, as purchases by China declined, and amid uncertainty over trade with the Russian Federation. Good production in New Zealand and the northern hemisphere also influenced prices.The FAO Meat Price Index averaged 185 points in March, up 2.7 points. Once again, weather came into play as higher beef prices were associated with dry weather conditions affecting production in both Australia and the United States. Pork also rose, in part on concerns over the effect of the Porcine Epidemic Diarrhea virus on export supplies in the United States.The FAO Sugar Price Index averaged 253.9 points in March, up 18.5 points amid concerns of declining availability from Brazil and Thailand, due to drought and reduced sugarcane output, respectively. The expected, potential impact of El Ni単o conditions later this year also contributed to the price surge. Cereal supplies and trade up in 2013/14 FAO also released its Cereal Supply and Demand Brief, with improved outlooks for global cereal supplies and expectations of record trade in the 2013/2014 marketing season.The Brief also reported a higher estimate for world cereal production in 2013, which has been raised by 6 million tons to 2 521 million tonnes. The latest adjustments reflect higher estimates for production of coarse grains and rice in several countries.The FAO's forecast for ending stocks has also been raised and world trade is set to increase by significantly more than earlier expected. Early outlook for cereal crops in 2014 "It is still too early to make accurate production forecasts for cereals, as many crops have yet to be planted and weather remains the key factor influencing harvests," said FAO's Abbassian.World wheat production in 2014 is forecast at 702 million tonnes, down 2 million tonnes from FAO's first forecast published in March. This would be 2 percent lower than last year's record harvest.FAO's first forecast for global rice production in 2014, published in today's report, points to a modest 0.8 percent increase, to 500.7 million tonnes (milled basis), as growth is likely to be dampened by falling world prices and fears of a recurring El Ni単o event.Even though the outlook for rice is up slightly, increases might not be sufficient to match population growth. As a result, inventories in the next season could see a decline, albeit from very high levels."

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New varieties of sushi rice put to the test at Sydney Royal Easter Show NSW Minister for Primary Industries, Katrina Hodgkinson, said the NSW Government and rice growers are helping to meet Australia‟s growing demand for sushi, by increasing production of shortgrain varieties to be used in the popular Japanese dish.Ms Hodgkinson, who has this week meet with industry officials and rice growers at the Sydney Royal Easter Show to discuss opportunities for the important sector, said the Department of Primary Industries (DPI) has been working closely with SunRice to develop suitable and sustainable varieties of sushi rice in response to increased demand.“NSW consumers are following the international trend of swapping sandwiches for sushi,” Ms Hodgkinson said.“Ninety-nine per cent of all rice grown in Australia is grown in NSW, contributing more than $1 billion to the State‟s economy. “It is estimated Australians enjoy more than one million serves of sushi each year and it is now a hugely popular take-away food option as people seek a healthy, alternate low GI, low salt and low-fat diet.“This huge increase in sushi consumption has bolstered demand for sushi rice production, which is why the NSW Liberal and Nationals Government has increased research in this area to ensure our growers are properly equipped to meet this demand. ”Ms Hodgkinson said researchers at DPI‟s Yanco Agricultural Institute are developing two short grain replacement varieties of sushi rice that will be earlier maturing, with good yield potential and can be sown later giving growers more options.“This kind of research is vital to maintain the State‟s outstanding reputation in producing rice which meets domestic and global market requirements and is seen as a clean and green product,” Ms Hodgkinson said.“The research is part of a partnership between DPI, Rural Industries Research and Development Corporation and SunRice, which funds rice breeding, molecular markers and grain quality research for the Australian rice industry. ”SunRice general manager consumer markets, David Keldie, said Australia has seen an increase in demand for sushi style rice varieties that will continue to grow in response to worldwide adoption of sushi as a healthy and convenient food.“There are about 65,000 sushi outlets internationally, far outstripping the growth of fast food restaurants,” Mr Keldie said.Colleambally rice grower, Sharon Breed, NSW Minister for Primary Industries, Katrina Hodgkinson, and SunRice general manager consumer markets, David Keldie, at the Sydney Royal Easter Show.

Thai rice farmers face double whammy ANG THONG: A severe drought sweeping Thailand, combined with the political impasse over a troubled government rice subsidy scheme, is set to cripple rice farmers‟ incomes.The dried-up rivers and waterways in

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central Thailand means rice farmers have to dig deep underground to pump water to cultivate their crops.This in turn will drive up production costs and reduce the yield in the current harvest.The squeeze in the overall amount of rice produced over the next few months is set to hurt the rice farmers' incomes. Adding to the burden, the farmers face political uncertainty, as well as the government‟s troubled rice pledging scheme.The government rice subsidy programme ran into financial trouble towards the end of last year.They were unable to pay farmers the promised US$457 per tonne of rice – that is about 40 per cent above the market rate.The political stalemate has also put a break to the scheme indefinitely, leaving rice farmers to cope on their own.Without government assistance, the farmers are getting paid as low as US$190 per tonne of rice for their crops during the dry spell.Sumet Putpong, a rice farmer in Ayutthaya, said: "Without the rice pledging scheme, we are unable to bear the production cost. We barely get any money from selling our harvest.“For now, the price of rice is very low, and the drought is very severe. We need to use ground water for the paddy and it is costly. It is creating a lot of debt for us."As the household debts of farmers increase, the strain is evident on the long-term feasibility and competitiveness of rice farming in Thailand.Wichien Puanglamjiek, president of Thai Rice Farmers Association, said: "Many farmers who are in debt are forced to sell their land and this raises questions on what will happen to Thailand and Thai consumers in the future.“I think this is very worrying and everyone should discuss ways to raise the living standards of Thai farmers. We never had laws to protect us."Many rice farmers are fighting for legislation and public policies that would help them better cope with the rising cost of production and their regional competitors.But as the political instability in Thailand continues, it looks like the farmers will not be getting any help, any time soon. File photo: A Thai farmer works in a rice field in Yala province, southern Thailand. (AFP PHOTO / MUHAMMAD SABRI)

5pc jump in world trade of rice likely Published 2014-04-11 07:29:22 ISLAMABAD: The Food and Agriculture Organisation (FAO) said on Thursday that Pakistan, Thailand and Vietnam being the major rice exporting countries continue to build up their reserves which will be compensated globally by a drawdown in US and India, the two other major exporters.Combined, the five major rice exporters remain projected to end their individual 2013-14 marketing years with three per cent more on reserves, or 48.4 million tonnes, says the „Rice Market Monitor‟.As a result of these changes, the world stock-to-use ratio, a key indicator of food security, is predicted to rise from 35.7pc in 2012 to 35.9pc in 2013-14, according to the monitor.

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The Ministry of National Food Security and Research says rice production at national level is estimated to be 6.7 million tonnes in 2013-14, higher by 21.3pc than last year‟s production of 5.5 million tonnes, according to the second estimate for the Punjab, Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa and Balochistan.The increase in production has mainly resulted in increase in area by 19.4pc as yield increased slightly by 1.6pc.The FAO monitor says that despite climatic shifts and natural disasters plaguing some rice producing countries, the 2013 season has produced more rice than expected, adding to the ninth straight year of rice surplus or „carry over‟.FAO is predicting that 2014 will experience a 5pc jump in international trade of rice. That is an increase of more than one million tonnes on the 38 million tonnes foreseen just four months ago – a new high, according to FAO Regional Representative for Asia and the Pacific, Hiroyuki Konuma.Since its last report in November, the rice monitor has lifted its estimate for global rice utilisation in 2013-14 by one million tonnes to more than 490 million tonnes (on milled basis), an increase of 2.5pc on the previous year.

Thailand to export 8.7m tonnes of rice 11.04.2014

Thailand will export about 8.7 million tons of rice this year, ranking it the second largest exporter after India, the UN Food and Agriculture Organization said yesterday.The figure would put Thailand‟s exports “200,000 tons more than last projected and 2 million tonnes above the 2013 poor performance,” the FAO‟s Rice Market Monitor said its quarterly report.Indian exports would reach 9.5 million tonnes, and Vietnam‟s 7.2 million tonnes, it said.Thailand was world‟s largest rice exporter for three decades until the government‟s rice subsidy scheme hiked the price of its rice in 2012, making it uncompetitive on the global market.India and Vietnam surpassed the kingdom‟s exports in 2012 and 2013.After losing an estimated 400 billion baht ($12.5 billion) to the program, and failing to pay farmers for their last crop in the late 2013 season, Thailand is now selling its rice at market prices. Thailand‟s current stockpiles of rice are estimated at 18 million tons.“Amid sustained efforts to curb its public inventories, Thailand is expected to capture much of the expansion in world demand, although most of the other rice exporters are also forecast to export more,” the FAO report said.The FAO has forecast a 5 per cent increase in global demand for rice this year, especially from China, which is expected to import 3.3 million tons, and the Philippines and Indonesia are expected to import 1.2 million and 1.1 million tonnes, respectively.Despite the higher demand, prices may not be on the rise because of an anticipated increase in supply this year.“Global paddy production in 2014 could reach 751 million tons (or 500.7 million tonnes of milled rice), 0.8 per cent more than currently estimated for 2013,” the report said.

MOC to auction off 400,000 tons of rice today Date : 11 เมษายน 2557

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BANGKOK, 11 April 2014 (NNT) – 400,000 tons of rice in the government's stockpile will be auctioned off today (April 11), with as many as 15 companies having expressed interest in the auction by submitting their bids on Thursday. The bidding envelopes will be received by the Department of Foreign Trade, Ministry of Commerce, and the final approval of the auction winner will be endorsed by the minister of commerce. 424,000 tons of the following types of rice will be auctioned off: 100% B-grade Hom Mali rice, Hom Changwat rice, Pathumthani rice, 5% white rice, 10% white rice Hom Mali broken rice and A-1 rice. Commerce Ministry officials expect that more than 200,000 tons of rice will be sold today. The ministry was also considering whether to launch another round of auction at the end of the month.

China may buy more rice from Thailand Friday, 11 April 2014By MCOT 2 0 0 0

BANGKOK, April 10 – China will possibly sign deals to buy one million tonnes of rice from Thailand after its specialists inspected a rice warehouse in Suphan Buri, according to the Thai Commerce Ministry.Surasak Riangkrul, director general of the Foreign Trade Department, said rice inspectors from China National Cereals, Oils and Foodstuffs Corporation (COFCO) – China‟s state-owned food processing holding company – were satisfied with the quality of Thai rice.Besides China, some Middle Eastern countries including Iraq have shown their interest in buying Thai rice, he said.The Foreign Trade Department yesterday launched a new round of auctions for seven categories of rice from the 2013/2014 crop under the rice pledging scheme to be sold locally and exported, totaling 169,327.99 tonnes from 24 warehouses. There were eight bidders.It was the first time the government held a regional auction, and in Suphan Buri where a large number of state-owned warehouses are located.Auctioned rice will be packed into packaged rice for further distribution.Mr Surasak said the department will hold similar regional auctions in other provinces which will help release rice from state stockpiles. (MCOT online news)

Drought Seen Hurting Thai Farm Output as El Nino Risk Climbs By Supunnabul Suwannakij Apr 11, 2014 1:42 PM GMT+0500 Rice, sugar and rubber output in Thailand is at risk because of prolonged drought, according to the government forecaster, which warned that the dry conditions may be aggravated by the development of an El Nino this

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year.The dry weather has already spread to 38 of 77 provinces since September, Anan Lila, secretary-general of the Office of Agricultural Economics, said in an interview today. The minor rice crop that‟s now being harvested may drop 12 percent to 10.74 million metric tons, said Anan.The warning from Anan highlights the risks to agricultural output across Asia from drier-than-usual weather even before the possible onset later this year of an El Nino event, which can affect weather worldwide and parch Southeast Asia. Forecasters in Australia and the United states boosted their forecasts for the chances of an El Nino this week. Thailand ranks among the world‟s top two exporters for rice, sugar and rubber.“If drought persists until the start of the planting season in May, it will delay rice plantings, possibly curbing output,” Anan said in Bangkok. Should an El Nino develop, that could cut rainfall, worsening the drought and hurting the farm sector, he said.A prolonged drought in Thailand would lower the quality of sugar cane, cutting the crop‟s sugar content, while also reducing the volume of rubber latex, said Anan. It would cut production from oil palms, he said. Revised Forecasts Dry weather devastated 329,978 rai (52,797 hectares) of rice land, equivalent to production of 195,301 tons, data from the office show. Damage to other crops is being assessed and revised output forecasts should be released in June, he said.The chances that an El Nino will develop are growing, the U.S. Climate Prediction Center said yesterday, boosting the odds to 65 percent from 52 percent. The probability is seen as over 70 percent, Australia‟s Bureau of Meteorology said on April 8.El Ninos, triggered by a warming of the tropical Pacific Ocean, can roil agricultural markets as farmers contend with drought or too much rain. In Southeast Asia, the events can curb rainfall. The last El Nino occurred in 2009 to 2010.World food prices surged in March to the highest level in 10 months, according to the Rome-based United Nations‟ Food & Agriculture Organization. The agency‟s 55-item gauge is at its highest level since May after dry weather across the globe lifted the cost of everything from beef to wheat. Record Reserves While the dry weather may hurt output of rice in Thailand, the country is holding record stockpiles after a statebuying program from farmers. The reserves will increase to 14.1 million tons this year from 12.8 million tons in 2013, according to the U.S. Department of Agriculture.“Production declines may boost prices, but the upside is limited because of ample supplies in domestic and world markets,” said Anan. The FAO yesterday raised its estimate of global rice output for 2013, highlighting a world surplus.Agricultural accounts for 8.3 percent of gross domestic product in Southeast‟s Asia‟s largest economy after Indonesia, according to the central bank.

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GDP may expand 3 percent this year amid a political crisis, 1.5 percentage points lower than seen six months ago, the World Bank said this week. To contact the reporter on this story: Supunnabul Suwannakij in Bangkok atssuwannakij@bloomberg.net

To contact the editors responsible for this story: James Poole at jpoole4@bloomberg.net Jake LloydSmith, Thomas Kutty Abraham

Exporters fret over entry of new basmati variety in AP Sandip Das | New Delhi | Updated: Apr 11 2014, 04:20 IST

New short-duration and high-yielding basmati rice variety PUSA 1509, introduced for the first time in specific areas of Punjab in the 2013 kharif season, has found its way into the fields of Andhra Pradesh.Rice exporters are, however, worried that „large scale‟ multiplication of seeds without prescribed protocol, grown outside basmati growing areas, would eventually impact the quality of grain.India, the world's biggest basmati rice exporter, ships the long-grained aromatic rice to mainly West Asian countries, including Iran, Saudi Arabia and the UAE, as well as the European Union and US. Basmati is largely grown in Punjab, Haryana and western Uttar Pradesh.The All India Rice Exporters Association (AIREA) has told the agriculture ministry „there is large scale multiplication of Pusa 1509 variety in Karimnagar, Warragal, East and West Godavari and Krishna districts of Andhra Pradesh and the crop is at different stages of growth”. They have stated that the seed for the new variety has not gone through „systematic seed production protocol‟ and the seed produced from Andhra Pradesh would go back to basmati growing areas in northern India next season.KV Prabhu, deputy director of Indian Agricultural Research Institute (IARI), told FE that it is desirable that seed multiplication take place within the confines of the basmati growing area, and that seed corporations in key growing states must ensure systematic production protocol.PUSA 1509, developed by IARI, takes 110-120 days to mature whereas the widely grown PUSA 1121 (which has more than 70% share in exports) takes 140 days to get ready for harvest. The new variety was sown in about 5,000 hectare in Punjab last kharif season. Under the seed production protocol, breeder seeds produced by IARI are transferred to certified farmers only for multiplication, after getting approval from the agriculture ministry. In subsequent years, state governmentowned seed corporations are entrusted with multiplication of seeds.Expressing concern over rampant malpractices in seed production, AIREA has noted that "such practices are going to damage the prospects of

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this promising new variety, resulting in losses to farmers and exporters".“Owing to early maturity, cultivation of 1509 variety can save up to five-six irrigations, which implies 33% saving in irrigation water. As transplanting is carried out in the last week of July, a lot of groundwater is saved as the monsoon rains would have arrived,� Prabhu, who led the group of scientists in IARI that developed the new variety, noted. According to an AIREA estimate, more than 3.9

Tanzania: Govt Pushes to Improve Rice Productivity BY ALVAR MWAKYUSA, 11 APRIL 2014

AS part of realizing the Big Results Now (BRN) initiative in the agriculture sector, the government plans to promote 25 commercial farming deals and enhance 78 smallholder rice irrigation schemes countrywide.Gracing the 1st Agritech conference with the theme; "Leverage technology in agriculture transformation," the Minister for Livestock and Fisheries Development, Dr Titus Kamani, said the State will also develop 275 collective maize warehouses linking farmers to the market. Agriculture is among six sectors of the economy that have been earmarked for the BRN which aims at accelerating the country to middle-income economy by the year 2025.In the sector, the country looks forward to attain specific targets in increasing production and productivity of rice, maize and sugar, which are critical in addressing food insecurity and growth in the country. "To accelerate agricultural development and rural transformation in Tanzania, a number of initiatives have been implemented in collaboration between local and international private sector, the government and development partners," Dr Kamani noted.Through the Kilimo Kwanza (Agriculture First), Dr Kamani said the government aims at strengthening the capacity of the National Food Reserve Agency (NFRA) to buy and store sufficient grains consistent with national food requirements."Establishing and reviving agro-processing industries with private sector participation and improving access to credit by setting up the special window for agriculture at the TIB Development Bank are among initiatives that have been taken to improve the sector," the minister noted.Adding; "The natural resources that we are endowed with are abundant, and much of the arable land is yet to be utilized. It is my hope that this conference opens doors to local and international investors as well as the young generation will transform the agriculture sector."He was also optimistic that the young generation and graduates in technology and innovation have the capability to transform agriculture as a key sector and the source of means of sustainable livelihoods, business opportunity and entrepreneurship with global perspective.Agriculture is a key driver of social and economic development in Tanzania contributing to about 26.8 per cent of the gross domestic product (GDP) and 33.9 per cent of the country's export earnings.It employs about 80 per cent of the population and contributes to about 95 per cent of national food requirements.

Rice Production to Boost Nationâ€&#x;s GDP by $9bn, Says Adesina ARTICLE | APRIL 11, 2014 - 7:58AM | BY LARA ADEJORO

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Minister

of

Agriculture

and

Rural

Development, Dr. Akinwumi Adesina, has projected that when new investments on facilities for rice production and processing become fully operational, the staple food rice would be adding about $9 billion yearly to the nation‟s

Gross

Domestic

Product

(GDP).Adesina made the projection in Rukubi, near Doma, Nasarawa State, during the inspection of the 420-hectare rice farm and mill belonging to Olam Nigeria. He said with about 2.9 million metric tonnes of high quality milled rice from local sources in the 2014 season, Nigeria would soon become self-sufficient in rice production and also a potential exporter of the crop.The minister said 1.9 metric tonnes of the commodity was produced in the 2013 dry and wet seasons, contributing N320 billion to the GDP and creating 670,000 jobs in the process. According to him, the Federal Government‟s “rice revolution” is gaining momentum with a projected 2.9 million metric tons of rice in 2014, adding that with importation at about 1.9 to 2.0 million metric tons per annum, Nigeria is “going to be Thailand of Africa in terms of rice production and export”.He added that the government was creating the enabling environment for production of rice on small, medium and large-scale, through the Growth Enhancement Support scheme (GES) for the rice value chain under the Agriculture Transformation Agenda (ATA). He listed some of the initiatives being adopted to achieve the target to include the development of high-yielding long grain Farro 45 and 52 rice varieties, with yield capacity of 6 to 7 metric tons per hectare as against the traditional variety farmers used to cultivate with a yield of 1.5 to 2 million tons per hectare. Adesina disclosed that these new varieties have revolutionised rice production in Nigeria, as the Ministry through seed companies - has consistently multiplied and distributed seeds to farmers for cultivation since 2011 when the implementation GES commenced.In addition to seed and extension support to farmers, the minister

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listed the development and strengthening of other elements of the rice value chain, including subsidised inputs, mechanization services through Agricultural Equipment Hiring Service (AEHE) for which financing support is accessible through the Bank of Agriculture (BOA) and Bank of Industry(BOI). The minister, who was visibly impressed with the wide hectar under cultivation, the growing stockpile of millready paddy rice, mechanized planting and harvesting operations and land preparation for new planting, all going on simultaneously with the installation of the 600 metric ton capacity mill, stated that all the factors favourable for growing and processing large quantities of rice were not only already in place in the country but effectively working.Adesina said prior to the launch of the ATA in 2011, only one integrated rice mill was in place but that in addition to 12 others, the 60, 000 ton Olam Farm mill expected to commence milling in June brings the number of mills to thirteen within three years.

5pc jump in world trade of rice likely THE NEWSPAPER'S REPORTER Published 2014-04-11 07:29:22

ISLAMABAD: The Food and Agriculture Organisation (FAO) said on Thursday that Pakistan, Thailand and Vietnam being the major rice exporting countries continue to build up their reserves which will be compensated globally by a drawdown in US and India, the two other major exporters.Combined, the five major rice exporters remain projected to end their individual 2013-14 marketing years with three per cent more on reserves, or 48.4 million tonnes, says the „Rice Market Monitor‟.As a result of these changes, the world stock-to-use ratio, a key indicator of food security, is predicted to rise from 35.7pc in 2012 to 35.9pc in 2013-14, according to the monitor. The Ministry of National Food Security and Research says rice production at national level is estimated to be 6.7 million tonnes in 2013-14, higher by 21.3pc than last year‟s production of 5.5 million tonnes, according to the second estimate for the Punjab, Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa and Balochistan.The increase in production has mainly resulted in increase in area by 19.4pc as yield increased slightly by 1.6pc.The FAO monitor says that despite climatic shifts and natural disasters plaguing some rice producing countries, the 2013 season has produced more rice than expected, adding to the ninth straight year of rice surplus or „carry over‟.FAO is predicting that 2014 will experience a 5pc jump in international trade of rice.That is an increase of more than one million tonnes on the 38 million tonnes foreseen just four months ago – a new high, according to FAO Regional Representative for Asia and the Pacific, Hiroyuki Konuma.Since its last report in November, the rice monitor has lifted its estimate for global rice utilisation in 2013-14 by one million tonnes to more than 490 million tonnes (on milled basis), an increase of 2.5pc on the previous year

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Agriculture dep’t touts farm tech, credit help ISULAN, SULTAN KUDARAT -- The Agriculture chief is confident a successful program on farm mechanization and postharvest assistance for farmers will significantly reduce local rice production cost.A farmer checks rice plants at the International Rice Research Institute (IRRI) in Laguna, in this Oct. 21, 2010 photo. -- AFP Agriculture Secretary Proceso J. Alcala cited reports from studies by the Philippine Rice Research Institute and the International Rice Research Institute that the high expenses incurred by Filipino rice farmers are largely influenced by manual operation -- from land preparation to harvesting, as well as the “cost of money.

”“With right interventions on farm mechanization and postharvest facilities, we could lessen the production and labor costs,” Mr. Alcala said, adding that the concern on excessive charges and interests on farm supplies and loans are being addressed through the Sikat Saka program.Sikat Saka is a credit assistance initiative of the department in coordination with the Land Bank of the Philippines, to support the department‟s Food Staples Self-Sufficiency Program.The government failed to reach its rice self-sufficiency target last year.In Central Mindanao, Sikat Saka was piloted in North Cotabato in 2012. Last year, the credit facility was expanded to benefit rice growers in Sultan Kudarat and South Cotabato. Under this program, rice farmers are allowed borrow up to P41,000 per hectare if they grow inbred rice and P50,000 per hectare if they grow hybrid rice.“Compared with other countries in the ASEAN (Association of Southeast Asian Nations) like Vietnam and Thailand, we are lagging behind because of our high rice production cost,” Mr. Alcala said in a statement.This is compounded further by the excessive amount that traders add to the cost of farm inputs as well as the uneven interest that loan sources charge, he added. “If we could lower the cost of production to P5 per kilogram, Filipino farmers can really be competitive,” he said.Amalia J. Datukan, Agriculture department regional director, said that with the application of farm mechanization, activities such as planting and harvesting could be shortened while the number of workers needed would also decrease.While farmers generally sell their palay produce from P12 to P18 per kilogram -- converted to P18 to 24 in rice terms after milling -- rice is retailed from P32 to P38 per kilogram. -- Louie O. Pacardo

Nigeria: Rice Tariff Hike - Nigeria's Loss, Others' Gain BY JOHN IWORI, 11 APRIL 2014The

hike in import duty on rice has turned out to be a great blessing to Nigeria's neighbouring countries.There is no doubt that the hike in the import duty on rice, one of Nigerians staple foods, is a

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good policy. It is on record that as part of fiscal policies of the federal government the duty tariff on rice was kept at 110 per cent. Again, the extant law on rice importation into Nigeria prohibits its entry through the land borders. Though rice is not one of the items on the Import Prohibition List (IPL), by the provisions of the extant laws it cannot be imported by land into the country through any of Nigeria's borders. This is a deliberate policy put in place by the federal government to ensure that Nigeria's neighbouring countries do not become avenues through which rice can be imported into the country. Besides boosting local rice production, the 110 per cent duty tariff was meant to generate employment and eventually make Nigeria sufficient in its production. On paper, no one can fault this policy which has been described as a "laudable federal government policy" to address Nigeria's penchant for importation of virtually everything including toothpick instead of encouraging local production of goods. Good as the policy may look, analysts said the fact of the matter is that the policy cannot work. According to them, even if heavily armed Customs officers man every corner of our borders, it won't stop smuggling. The simply reason is that local production cannot match local demand which creates a recipe for smuggling. There is a lot of pressure on Customs because the quantity of rice manufactured locally can only satisfy 30 per cent of local demand. Already, our neighbouring countries are profiting from the policy by reducing their own tariffs on rice. Due to the fact that they are benefitting, the government of these neighbouring countries give tacit support to these smugglers. Not a few stakeholders in the maritime sector of the economy have opined that the 110 per cent hike on rice import policy will not encourage local production but rather stifle it due to the high rate of smuggling across the borders. Nigeria Loses, Neighbours Gain However, there are indications that since the 110 per cent duty tariff on rice took effect last year,the policy formulators did not take into cognisance some pertinent issues in its execution. Certain variables that are germane to the effective implementation of the policy were not taken into consideration in its formulation. As a result, Nigeria, nay Nigerians, are now holding the short end of the stick while the citizenry of neighbouring countries are now smiling to the banks.

Govt pushes to improve rice productivity - Daily News AS part of realizing the Big Results Now (BRN) initiative in the agriculture sector, the government plans to promote 25 commercial farming deals and enhance 78 smallholder rice irrigation schemes countrywide. Gracing the 1st Agritech conference with the theme; "Leverage technology in agriculture transformation," the Minister for Livestock and Fisheries Development, Dr Titus Kamani, said the State will also develop 275 collective maize warehouses linking farmers to the market.Agriculture is among six sectors of the economy that have been earmarked for the BRN which aims at accelerating the country to middle-income economy by the year 2025.In the sector, the country looks forward to attain specific targets in increasing production and productivity of rice, maize and sugar, which are critical in addressing food insecurity and growth in the country.

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"To accelerate agricultural development and rural transformation in Tanzania, a number of initiatives have been implemented in collaboration between local and international private sector, the government and development partners," Dr Kamani noted.Through the Kilimo Kwanza (Agriculture First), Dr Kamani said the government aims at strengthening the capacity of the National Food Reserve Agency (NFRA) to buy and store sufficient grains consistent with national food requirements."Establishing and reviving agro-processing industries with private sector participation and improving access to credit by setting up the special window for agriculture at the TIB Development Bank are among initiatives that have been taken to improve the sector," the minister noted.Adding; "The natural resources that we are endowed with are abundant, and much of the arable land is yet to be utilized. It is my hope that this conference opens doors to local and international investors as well as the young generation will transform the agriculture sector."He was also optimistic that the young generation and graduates in technology and innovation have the capability to transform agriculture as a key sector and the source of means of sustainable livelihoods, business opportunity and entrepreneurship with global perspective.Agriculture is a key driver of social and economic development in Tanzania contributing to about 26.8 per cent of the gross domestic product (GDP) and 33.9 per cent of the country's export earnings.It employs about 80 per cent of the population and contributes to about 95 per cent of national food requirements. Image:The Minister for Livestock and Fisheries Development, Dr Titus Kamani.

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11th april,2014 daily global rice e newsletter by riceplus magazine  

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