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24th March , 2014

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Drought Having Heavy Impact on Rice Farming Rice production looks to make a turnaround Agriculture stakeholders hail SC TRO on smuggled rice Thailand back to world's No 1 rice exporter - CP Annual rice production expected to reach 26 million tons Thai rice price expected to drop further after rice pledging scheme Agri Buzz : Thailand Rice Exports Decline by 26% During January 1 - March 16, 2014 Water scarcity affects paddy cultivation Ivory Coast eyes rice self-sufficiency with foreign firms' help Rice seen ruling at current levels NACC calls on six over rice charges Farmers urge end to rice scheme rallies

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Drought Having Heavy Impact on Rice Farming SACRAMENTO – Rice farmers still don’t know how much water they will get to grow their crop this year.Farmers in Natomas have been told they will only get 40 percent of what they normally get, meaning more than 100,000 acres in our area will look like dry dirt instead of a luck crop of rice.Rice in the Sacramento valley is a $5 billion industry. Next year that will be cut by 20 percent. Farmers say if we don’t start investing in more water storage like reservoir’s we will see more and more farm land turn to dry dirt instead of lush crops. Our community is growing and they say so much the water we save for droughts like this one.

Rice production looks to make a turnaround

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The almost stalled growth of the country's crop production observed over the last couple of fiscal years is likely to end in the current fiscal, officials said making an estimate banking on the record rice output achieved in immediate past Aman season. Rice outputs from both the Aman and the Aus seasons in the fiscal increased significantly compared to that of the previous fiscal, and the country can also expect a boost in the output from the ongoing Boro season as the acreage target has already been exceeded, they said. Bangladesh Bureau of Statistics (BBS) has recently disclosed the final data on Aman production in the current fiscal (2013-2014) which showed that despite a slight decrease in the acreage of Aman, the production stood 15.3 million (130.23 lakh) tones, a 0.96 percent increase compared to that of the fiscal 2012-2013. According to the satellite image-based calculation by Bangladesh Space Research and Remote Sensing Organisation (Sparso), the Aman acreage achieved this fiscal was 5.33 million hectares, which is slightly lower than the acreage of the previous fiscal, said BBS deputy director (agriculture wing) Bidhan Baral. Last year, Aman rice production was over 12.8 million tonnes from 5.6 million hectares that means the yield was 2.29 tonnes per hectare. "This year per hectare yield has increased to 2.357 tonnes, thanks to the cultivation of local high yielding rice varieties (HYV)," he said. "The overall acreage has reduced, but increase in per hectare yield has helped boost the production," he added, according to UNB.

Agriculture stakeholders hail SC TRO on smuggled rice By Edu Punay (The Philippine Star) | Updated March 21, 2014 - 12:00am

MANILA, Philippines - Stakeholders in the agriculture industry have lauded the Supreme Court (SC) for stopping the release of a rice shipment seized at the Port of Manila last year.The shipment was seized for lack of the required import permit from the government.Speaking to reporters, Rosendo So, Samahang Industriya ng Agrikultura (Sinag) chairman, said the temporary restraining order (TRO) enjoining the Manila regional trial court from implementing an order for the Bureau of Customs (BOC) to release the 189,540 bags of rice was “a victory for the local rice industry. This is also a relief to the millions of rice farmers whose livelihoods have been threatened by the rampant smuggling of rice,� he said.Sinag had been asserting that the quantitative restriction (QR) on rice that the country enjoys has nothing to do with the domestic law on import permits.So said the SC action will serve as a

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stern warning to judges who think that they can get away easily with rulings benefiting smugglers.Headlines ( Article MRec ), pagematch: 1, sectionmatch: 1“With or without the QRs, the authority to issue import permits by the National Food Authority remains valid unless we enact new legislation or adjust our administrative processes that will remove our QR on rice. It is not the WTO or the expiration of the QR that will automatically remove the authority of the NFA,” he said.Sinag executive director Jayson Cainglet said: “Regardless then of our QR status, the NFA has the sole authority to import rice and to authorize private entities to import rice. Without such authority from the NFA, bringing rice to the country is clear smuggling.” Sinag had filed administrative charges before the SC against Manila RTC Branch 11 Judge Cicero Jurado Jr. for ordering the release of the rice shipment.In the TRO released last Wednesday, the SC ordered Jurado to suspend hearing the case pending resolution of the petition that the BOC and Department of Agriculture (DA) have filed. The TRO is effective immediately and until further orders from the SC, which was consolidated with a similar petition that the BOC and DA had filed earlier in connection with another seized shipment in Davao City.The shipment was consigned to Bold Bidder Marketing and General Merchandise owned by Ivy Souza. It was later sold to Danilo Galang, owner of St. Hildegard Grains Enterprises who questioned the BOC’s orders before the RTC.The SC ordered Galang and Souza to answer the petition within 10 days from receipt of notice.Last Jan. 23 and Feb. 27, the Manila RTC restrained the BOC and the district collectors for the Ports of Manila, North Harbor (Manila International Container Port) and South Harbor from alerting, seizing and holding not only the rice shipments of Galang but also of Bold Bidder Marketing and General Merchandise owned by Souza, the original consignee of the rice shipments.Sinag also filed similar charges against the other judges who favored alleged rice smugglers – Batangas RTC Judge Eutiquio Quitain, Manila RTC Judge Maria Paz Reyes-Yson and Davao RTC Judge Emmanuel Carpio – for gross misconduct and knowingly rendering an unjust judgment. Alcala challenged to a face-off Agriculture Secretary Proceso Alcala was challenged yesterday to a face-off over his accusations that rice smugglers are backing his critics in an alleged demolition job.Kilusang Magbubukid ng Pilipinas (KMP) secretary general Antonio Flores said Alcala can “pull cheap shots” and resort to name-calling anytime, but that he cannot cover up the fact that his name, signature, and approval are all around the evidence, and that he is principally liable in the plunder of agricultural funds.“We challenge Alcala in a face-off so that, right to his face, we can tell him that he is a plunderer,” he said.“Alcala is the number one protector and beneficiary of rice smugglers. Alcala who maintained Napoles NGOs in the DA and established his own empire of fake NGOs in connivance with the Quezon Mafia. – With Ding Cervantes

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Thailand back to world's No 1 rice exporter - CP Thai News Agency March 24, 2014 1:30 pm Thailand has reclaimed its title as the world's top rice exporter after having shipped out 1.5 million tonnes of grain in the last two months, reported CP Intertrade Company.Sumet Laomoraporn, Chief Executive Officer of CP Intertrade Co, said Thailand's rice export in January- February was higher than two closest competitors India which exported 1 million tonnes and Vietnam 800,000 tonnes, Thai News Agency reported Saturday.The United States has predicted Thailand will surge back to world's No 1 rice exporter this year given higher quality of rice and declining prices, he said, adding that Thailand will possibly export 8.5 million tonnes of rice this year.He said the global rice prices are approaching the lowest level with 5 per cent rice sold at US$400/tonne and the prices will fall to US$360-380/tonne in March-April which is the harvest season in major rice producing countries, including Vietnam and India.Rice prices will surge higher in the second half of the year as buyers import rice to be stocked and the El Nino phenomenon will affect rice production in the third quarter, pushing up grain prices, he said.Sumet said the termination of the government's rice pledging scheme has pushed down rice price to Bt7,000/tonne, resulting in declining prices of packaged rice.The price of packaged rice has been 10 per cent lower since early this year and is on a declining trend, he said.

Annual rice production expected to reach 26 million tons Date : 24 มีนาคม 2557 BANGKOK, 24 March 2014 (NNT) – Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Agriculture and Cooperatives Yukol Limlaemthong has expressed belief that the 2014 rice yields will total 26 million tons and hopes that the rice market will return to its normal state. Based on the estimation of the Office of Agricultural Economics, Mr Yukol said the amount of rice to be harvested this year could be about 26 million tons, dividing into 8 million tons from off-season cultivation and 18 million tons from in-season. Of that total, 10-11 million tons will be sold domestically. Since the government might not carry on the rice mortgage scheme, the deputy premier indicated that the sales of rice in the market should be able to return to the way they were before the scheme was implemented. He said all provincial governors had been instructed to establish a new panel, of which members would come from rice-related agencies, in order to supervise the management, production and distribution of rice in their areas.

An understanding of the market mechanism and rice price trend will be instilled among farmers while useful advice will be given by exemplary farmers whose productivity exceeds 700 kilograms per rai. As for the agricultural zoning program, Mr Yukol reported that out of the current 70 million rai of paddy fields

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nationwide, 43 million rai was found to be suitable for growing rice, whereas the other 27 million was not. The latter group is being gradually turned into land for cultivating other cash crops, such as sugarcane.

Thai rice price expected to drop further after rice pledging scheme Date : 23 มีนาคม 2557 BANGKOK, 23 March 2014 (NNT) – The Office of Agricultural Economics (OAE) has warned that price of Thai rice from April to May this year might plummet after the rice pledging scheme ended and rice from Vietnam entered the market. Secretary-General of the OAE Khanit Likhitwithayawut said Thai rice price had continuously dropped since the beginning of 2014 in part due to the termination of the rice subsidy program. The government’s urgent rice distribution, rice from Vietnam and lower quality February rice were also the causes of the price drop. On the positive side, the price decrease would help boost Thai rice exporters’ competitiveness, the official said. An average price of husked rice with 15% moisture content in March is 7,644 baht/ton, lower in comparison to 10,158 baht/ton in the same period last year.

Agri Buzz : Thailand Rice Exports Decline by 26% During January 1 - March 16, 2014 Capital Markets 09:41:00, Mar 24, 2014 As per the latest release of USDA, Thailand's unofficial rice exports (excluding premium white rice and fragrant rice) for March 10-16, 2014 totaled 66,101 metric tons, up 3,254 metric tons from the previous week and down 7,013 metric tons from the four- week moving average of 73,114 metric tons.Rice exports from January 1 March 16, 2014 totaled 676,959 metric tons, down 26 percent from 911,620 metric tons in the same period last year. Powered by Commodity Insights

Water scarcity affects paddy cultivation The HinduStudents

of the NSS unit of Sree Chithra Thirunal Engineering College, Pappanamcode, watering the paddy fields which they cultivate.

When they set out to revitalise a fallow piece of land, hardly did they expect the problem of water scarcity to put a spanner in their works. A group of students, part of the National Service Scheme (NSS) unit at the Sree Chitra Thirunal College of Engineering, Pappanamcode, who have taken up cultivation in 30 cents of land near their college, are now facing a water crisis owing to a blocked canal, part of the Neyyar irrigation project.

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The students started cultivation on a part of the Koliyakkode paddy fields, stretching to 7 hectares, last December. They took up the entire work of preparing the field, which has been lying uncultivated for the past two years, and sowing. But since February, they have been facing a severe shortage of water. They have been depending on a garbage-filled waterbody and wells in nearby houses for watering the crop. But now with water level in the wells reducing rapidly, the students are doubtful whether they can harvest the crop as expected in April.They say that the main reason for the stoppage of paddy cultivation here was the clogging of the Neyyar irrigation project canal a few years ago with garbage. At present the water reaches only till Nemom and due to two major blocks at the Vellayani studio and the Vidhyadhiraja Homoeo College, the water does not reach till Pappanamcode.In what is seen as an after effect of the clogging of the canal, as many as 11 ponds in the Nemom area have almost dried up in the past few years. Though an amount of Rs.14 lakh was allocated to clean up the clogged canal, the contractor who took up the work left it half way through. Re-tendering processes has also not happened.The students fear that the continuing water scarcity will result in the entire paddy field going back to the fallow state, which might pave the way for real estate lobbies to fill it up. Keywords: Water scarcity in Kerala, Kerala paddy cultivation, paddy production

Ivory Coast eyes rice self-sufficiency with foreign firms' help Tue Feb 25, 2014 1:09pm EST

By Gus Trompiz

PARIS, Feb 25 (Reuters) - Ivory Coast aims to end its reliance on imports and become self-sufficient in rice within three years by using foreign firms to drive a jump in output, officials said on Tuesday.The ambitious plan is part of a $4 billion investment programme in agriculture to 2016 that calls for 2.4 million new jobs, diversification beyond the dominant cocoa sector and greater domestic processing of commodities.Africa's dependence on rice imports became marked during a global surge in agriculturalcommodity prices in 2007-2008 that fuelled protests in some countries."What has changed since the crisis of 2007-2008 is the consciousness among African countries that we should exploit our natural potential," Ivory Coast Agriculture Minister Mamadou Sangofowa Coulibaly told reporters at the annual Paris farm show.

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"In Ivory Coast, we're talking about 63 kilos per inhabitant per year, it's considerable," he said of rice consumption.The country is pinning its hopes on foreign companies, like trading giant Louis DreyfusCommodities, with which it has signed agreements under which the firms will oversee rice output and marketing in 10 production zones.Alongside Louis Dreyfus, which unveiled a year ago plans to invest up to $62 million jointly with the Ivorian government in raising rise output, the authorities have signed investment agreements with foreign firms including Cevital, Export Trading Group and Ameropa, said Yacouba Dembele, head of the Ivorian rice office.To meet annual demand of around 1.5 million tonnes from an Ivorian population of 24 million, the government plans to raise milled rice output to 1.9 million tonnes in 2016, opening the possibility the country could become a rice exporter, he said.Ivory Coast has in recent years imported as much as 1 million tonnes annually. The foreign companies would expand milling capacity and coordinate marketing of local production, he said, noting that a rise in paddy rice output last year on the back of new seed varieties had strained processing capacity.Provisional estimates for 2013 already showed that domestic output rose to just over 1 million tonnes while imports fell to 800,000 tonnes, he said.Rising rice consumption would mean meeting demand would be challenging enough without also attempting exports, he said."Demand in 2016 could be above the 1.9 million tonnes we are aiming for. We have to move faster." (Editing by William Hardy)

Rice seen ruling at current levels OUR CORRESPONDENT KARNAL, MARCH 24: KARNAL, MARCH 24: After witnessing a downtrend last week, prices of Pusa-1121 and Sharbati varieties improved by ₹50-150 a quintal while all the other aromatic and non-basmati rice varieties ruled flat on lukewarm trading.Amit Chandna, proprietor of Hanuman Rice Trading Company, told Business Line that fresh trade enquiries mainly pushed Pusa-1121 and Sharbati varieties marginally up.Market has been ruling in a tight range since the beginning of March and prices may continue to rule around current levels with marginal fluctuation even in the next few days.In the physical market, Pusa-1121 (steam) improved by ₹150 and sold at ₹8,900-9,000, while Pusa-1121 (sela) went up by ₹100 and quoted at ₹7,900. Pure Basmati (Raw) quoted at ₹12,200. Duplicate basmati (steam) sold at ₹7,000. Pusa-1121 (second wand) was at ₹7,100, Tibar at ₹6,150 while Dubar at ₹5,000 a

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quintal.In the non-basmati section, prices of Sharbati (Steam) increased by ₹50 and sold at ₹4,850 while Sharbati (sela) quoted at ₹4,300. Permal (raw) sold at ₹2,330, Permal (sela) at ₹2,350, PR-11 (sela) sold at ₹2,700 while PR-11 (Raw) at ₹2,600. PR14 (steam) sold at ₹2,950 a quintal.After witnessing a downtrend last week, prices of Pusa-1121 and Sharbati varieties improved by ₹50-150 a quintal while all the other aromatic and non-basmati rice varieties ruled flat on lukewarm trading.Amit Chandna, proprietor of Hanuman Rice Trading Company, told Business Line that fresh trade enquiries mainly pushed Pusa-1121 and Sharbati varieties marginally up. Market has been ruling in a tight range since the beginning of March and prices may continue to rule around current levels with marginal fluctuation even in the next few days.In the physical market, Pusa-1121 (steam) improved by ₹150 and sold at ₹8,900-9,000, while Pusa-1121 (sela) went up by ₹100 and quoted at ₹7,900. Pure Basmati (Raw) quoted at ₹12,200. Duplicate basmati (steam) sold at ₹7,000. Pusa-1121 (second wand) was at ₹7,100, Tibar at ₹6,150 while Dubar at ₹5,000 a quintal.In the non-basmati section, prices of Sharbati (Steam) increased by ₹50 and sold at ₹4,850 while Sharbati (sela) quoted at ₹4,300. Permal (raw) sold at ₹2,330, Permal (sela) at ₹2,350, PR-11 (sela) sold at ₹2,700 while PR-11 (Raw) at ₹2,600. PR14 (steam) sold at ₹2,950 a quintal.

NACC calls on six over rice charges Published: 24 Mar 2014 at 07.18,Newspaper section: News

The National Anti-Corruption Commission (NACC) has issued summons notices for six people, including former commerce minister Boonsong Teriyapirom and his then deputy Poom Sarapol, after they failed to turn up to acknowledge malfeasance charges in the government's rice sale last month.The other four accused officials are Ratthanit Sojirakul, Somkid Euansupha and Lit Phojai, representatives of the private firms, and Manas Soiploy, director-general of the Department of Foreign Trade.The group was accused by the anti-graft agency of malfeasance in the sale of paddy rice under the government-to-government (G-to-G) deal.Mr Ratthanit, Mr Somkid, Mr Lit, Mr Manas and Mr Poom were summoned to the office to acknowledge the charge on Feb 11, while Mr Boonsong was asked to hear it on Feb 21. All failed to show up at the NACC office.The summons will be shown at the NACC offices in Chiang Mai for Mr Boonsong, Khon Kaen for Mr Poom and Phrae for Mr Lit.The summons of the rest will be displayed at the NACC office on Sanambin Nam Road in Nonthaburi.The anti-graft agency on Feb 18 also charged caretaker Prime Minister Yingluck Shinawatra with dereliction of duty over alleged irregularities in the rice-pledging scheme.Ms Yingluck failed to meet the NACC to acknowledge the matter late last month.The premier's lawyer asked the NACC on March 12 to delay submitting her defence for the case by 45 days, but the agency gave Ms Yingluck 15 more days to present it.If the NACC indicts her, she will have to leave office.Speaking about the effort carried out by Ms Yingluck's lawyers to file the impeachment motion against NACC commissioner Vicha Mahakhun, NACC secretary-general Sansern Poljiak said Mr Vicha was undeterred and disregarded the move.The NACC vowed to adhere to the laws and evidence concerning every case, he said.Mr Sansern also

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shrugged off concerns over the red shirts' threat to lay siege on the NACC office if it rules to indict the premier.He said people should adhere to the laws.

Farmers urge end to rice scheme rallies Published: 23 Mar 2014 at 00.12,Newspaper section: News

AYUTTHAYA: Protracted protest against the caretaker government’s delayed payments for pledged rice would only worsen the problem and further disadvantage farmers, a group of Ayutthaya growers say.Some farmers in the central province, a stronghold of the Pheu Thai Party, say they disagree with farmers’ rallies that have taken place in Bangkok since last month, and are worried the protests could lead to the end of the rice-pledging scheme.They also fear the prolonged political conflict might further delay payments for the pledged rice.“I’m afraid that political conflict would delay rice-pledging payments for the next harvesting season,” said Samree Pakkanikorn, 47, a rice farmer in Bang Pa-in district.Ms Samree is now growing an off-season rice crop in her 37-rai field. She said that despite some delay in the payments, she preferred to join the rice-pledging scheme rather than selling to a private rice mill.“A rice mill would pay me only 5,000 baht per tonne of rice,” she said.“With the rice-pledging scheme, I can earn more than 10,000 baht a tonne,” she said, adding that most of her fellow farmers had already received money for their pledged rice for the previous harvesting season.Because of this, Ms Samree decided not to join protests at the Commerce Ministry and other state authorities in Bangkok, instead choosing to tend her paddy in the hope that she would earn money from the next round of pledging.Her green paddy, located just behind her house, will feed her whole family, including her 77-year-old parents.“Protests made the [caretaker] government unable to secure funding to pay farmers,” said Pakorn Saitong, 50, a Bang Pa-in farmer. “I think it’s better for farmers to be patient and wait.”He was referring to protests by rice farmers led by Rawee Rungreung, who encouraged the farmers to join the People’s Democratic Reform Committee protest against the government of caretaker Prime Minister Yingluck Shinawatra.The farmers joined the PDRC on March 12 to force the Commerce Ministry to postpone its planned auction of 240,000 tonnes of stockpiled rice on the Agriculture Futures Exchange of Thailand. Mr Pakorn is one of more than a million farmers waiting for the pledged rice payment. The caretaker government owes Mr Pakorn about 100,000 baht for his rice.He has borrowed from loan sharks to pay his operating debts and has taken a part-time job on a building site to earn extra income. Despite the delay in payments, Mr Pakorn said he still supported the rice-pledging scheme, which he joined two years ago when it was launched.“My family used to live in a small wooden cottage, but now we are living in a new concrete house, thanks to money received from the rice-pledging scheme,” he said.“I think many farmers don’t care about the causes of delayed rice-pledging payments. They just want to have more money to improve their lives,” said Veerayuth Pakornsil, 30, whose father is a rice farmer in Ayutthaya.“Rural farmers are the ones who lose from the anti-government movement. It delays the rice-pledging payments. Protests get us nowhere.”An Ayutthaya farmer who identified himself only as Pramote, 56, said: “I’m thinking about leaving my rice field for other jobs if this government steps down. I’m sure the rice-pledging scheme will not survive then.”

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