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28th March , 2014

TOP Contents - Tailored for YOU Latest News Headlines…  Upcoming Event …  Rice sumggling: Minister indicts Customs   Rice Farmers In Ghana Get Government Support  We won’t need to import rice in 2014, says ministry  Nagpur Foodgrain Prices Open- March 28  Rice exports surge by 22.5 percent during July-February period  How to stop rice smuggling? Price competitiveness is the answer – experts  8,000 bags of rice smuggled into Nigeria daily – Agriculture Minister  NACC insists on PM Yingluck's explanation on rice charges Monday  Thai rice prices tumble on rising supply; farmer protests continue  PM hits out at 'bias' in rice probe

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Upcoming Event Save the date for the 4th International Rice Congress (IRC2014)

Join about 2,000 rice scientists and industry players from world at the 4th International Rice Congress (IRC2014) in on 27-31 October 2014.The theme of IRC2014, “Rice for the guides its five principal events:

around the Bangkok World,”

 29th

International Rice Research Conference, incorporating 5th Temperate Rice Conference under the framework of the Global Rice Science Partnership(GRiSP)  Forum: Funding agricultural research: What does success look like?  Annual Meeting of the Council for Partnership on Rice Research in Asia(CORRA)  International Rice Industry Exhibition  IRRI Global Rice Market and Trade Outlook Conference (This event requires a separate registration, which will be open soon.)

See more information on the IRC2014 website. Also, follow the latest science stories for IRC2014 on our blog and on Facebook.

Call for papers and posters Share your most recent research findings with the world's top rice scientists, industry experts, and representatives from the public and private sectors. Submit your abstract online under one of the following categories and take a lead role at the IRC2014:  Genetic resources/pre-breeding  New varieties/rice breeding  Production/cropping systems  Value chain  Technology targeting/policy  Delivery  Temperate rice

View the complete list of main topics and subtopics or submit your abstract now.

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Important dates Timeline

Dates open

Submission of abstracts

Until 26 April 2014

Review of abstracts

6 May-21 June 2014

Notification on status of abstracts

1-14 July 2014

Early bird rates

Until 27 July 2014

IRC2014 Conference Secretariat PICO Building, 10 Soi Lasalle 56, Sukhumwit Bangna, Bangkok 10260 Telephone: +662 748 7881 | Fax: +662 748 7881 | Email: info@ricecongress.com

Event Shared by : Muhammad Maaz Sami, Assistant Director (IC) Dte. of International Cooperation Pakistan Agricultural Research Council, M/o National Food Security & Research. Government of Pakistan, Islamabad. Tele (Off): +92-51-8442180 (Fax): +92-51-9202968 Cell No. +92-334-5006067 E.mail: maazsami@gmail.com maazsami1@gmail.com

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NEWS DETAILS: Rice sumggling: Minister indicts Customs BY OUR REPORTER ON MARCH 28, 2014 ·BUSINESS

From Iheanacho Nwosu, Abuja

Minister of Agriculture, Dr. Akinwunmi Adesina, yesterday flayed the Nigerian Customs Service (NIS) over the smuggling of rice into the country. He disclosed that over 1.9 million metric tonnes were smuggled into the country last year , a development, which he said was a sabotage of government’s policy of encouraging local production The minister stated this at a two-day public hearing on The New Rice Duty Regime organised by the House of Representatives Committee on Customs and Excise.Insisting that the NIS has not done enough to stop rice smuggling, Adesina asked: “Is rice being smuggled by ghosts? Are those smuggling have the power to disappear? Do they put the rice on their heads and walk across border?He said, “the Customs must do its job. My job is not to police the border”.Adesina lamented that the rate of cancer cases is rising in the country because of illegal smuggling of dead fish and frozen chicken which are then sold to unsuspecting consumers.Defending the government policy aimed at discouraging rice import, Adesina said Nigeria has the capacity to be self-sufficient in rice. The minister said Nigeria spends N365 billion yearly on rice import making it world’s second importer, saying, it was unacceptable. He wondered what the countries that produce rice have that Nigeria doesn’t have.“Our country must not be a dumping ground for food. Poverty is not an industry because one day the farmers will revolt. We must not import what we can produce. “We must look at ourselves in the mirror and change our ways. The import apologist wants India and Thailand to be dumping rice here”According to him, the rice policy was the best the country has taken, noting that as a result of the policy, the local production got a boost by 1.4 million metric tonnes in 2012 which later increased to 2.9 million in 2013.Earlier, while opening the public hearing,the Speaker, Hon. Aminu Tambuwal, lamented that though the rice policy was a noble, smuggling had sabotaged the effort.Tambuwal who was represented by the Deputy Leader, Leo Ogor, noted that over N300 billion was lost to illegal smuggling of rice.“It is sad that in this country, we continue to abandon good policy because of our porous borders”, he said.In his welcome address, the Chairman, House Committee on Customs, Sabo Mohammed, said that it was absurd for an agrarian country like Nigeria to be totally depended on food importation to feed its teeming populace.

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Rice Farmers In Ghana Get Government Support By Ghana News -SpyGhana.com

As part of government’s efforts to reduce importation of rice into the country, the Ministry of Food and Agriculture (MOFA) through the Japanese government grant assistance has purchased machinery and equipments worth GH¢6.4 million to assist underprivileged rice farmers in the country.The machines and equipment purchased include 70 agricultural tractors with matching implements, 43 power tillers with attachments, 35 rice threshers, 20 rice reapers and 5 rice mills all to be distributed to rice farmers on hire purchase.The sector minister, Hon. Clement Humado, said in line with government’s vision of reducing the importation of rice into the country.It is therefore important that Ghanaians who are into rice production are empowered to grow more for consumption and export.It is in this regard that the machinery was acquired to assist farmers to achieve timely filed cultivation on a high level field bed that would help them achieve high yields. Source: Andrew Nettey

We won’t need to import rice in 2014, says ministry The Jakarta Post, Jakarta | March 28 2014 | 6:40 PM

The Agriculture Ministry says Indonesia will not import rice throughout 2014 as it predicts the country will see a surplus of 8 million tons of rice by the end of this year. "It is because of wet and dry conditions [which benefit the production of rice] and make more farmers plant paddy," Deputy Agriculture Minister Rusman Heriawan said in Jakarta on Friday as quoted by kontan.co.id.Previously at the beginning of March, the State Logistics Agency (Bulog) said the domestic rice supply was enough for the next six months.At that time, Bulog head Sutarto Alimoese said the agency had a supply of 1.7 million tons of rice."We don’t see that we will need to import rice at this moment. We’re going to have more supply from the domestic market," he said.Similar to Rusman, he said weather conditions would help the country produce more rice.

Nagpur Foodgrain Prices Open- March 28 Fri Mar 28, 2014 3:15pm IST

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Nagpur, Mar 28 (Reuters) - Gram and tuar prices in Nagpur Agriculture Produce and Marketing.Committee (APMC) reported down on lack of demand from local millers amid poor quality arrival.Easy condition on NCDEX in gram, increased overseas supply from tuar and fresh fall in MadhyaPradesh pulses prices also affected sentiment, according to sources. *

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FOODGRAINS & PULSES GRAM * Gram mill quality reported higher in open market here on good buying support from local traders amid thin arrival from producing belts. TUAR * Tuar gavarani showed firm tendency in open market here on renewed demand from local traders amid tight supply from producing regions. * Udid varieties reported down in open market here on lack of demand from local traders amid release of stock from stockists. * In Akola, Tuar - 3,900-4,100, Tuar dal - 6,100-6,300, Udid at 6,100-6,500, Udid Mogar (clean) - 7,200-7,700, Moong - 8,000-8,200, Moong Mogar (clean) 9,300-10,000, Gram - 3,200-3,300, Gram Super best bold - 3,800-4,200 for 100 kg. * Wheat, rice and other commodities remained steady in open market in thin trading activity, according to sources. Nagpur foodgrains APMC auction/open-market prices in rupees for 100 kg FOODGRAINS Available prices Previous close Gram Auction 2,120-2,800 2,200-2,800 Gram Pink Auction n.a. 2,100-2,600 Tuar Auction 4,200-4,300 4,250-4,400 Moong Auction n.a. 6,100-6,300 Udid Auction n.a. 4,300-4,500 Masoor Auction n.a. 2,600-2,800 Gram Super Best Bold 4,000-4,300 4,000-4,300 Gram Super Best n.a. Gram Medium Best 3,500-3,700 3,500-3,700 Gram Dal Medium n.a. n.a. Gram Mill Quality 3,700-3,750 3,650-3,700 Desi gram Raw 2,800-2,950 2,800-2,950

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Gram Filter new 3,300-3,600 3,300-3,600 Gram Kabuli 8,700-10,900 8,700-10,900 Gram Pink 7,900-8,300 7,900-8,300 Tuar Fataka Best 6,400-6,600 6,400-6,600 Tuar Fataka Medium 6,000-6,200 6,000-6,200 Tuar Dal Best Phod 5,900-6,000 5,900-6,000 Tuar Dal Medium phod 5,700-5,800 5,700-5,800 Tuar Gavarani 4,350-4,450 4,300-4,400 Tuar Karnataka 4,500-4,600 4,500-4,600 Tuar Black 7,700-7,800 7,700-7,800 Masoor dal best 5,800-6,000 5,800-6,000 Masoor dal medium 5,600-5,700 5,600-5,700 Masoor n.a. n.a. Moong Mogar bold 10,000-10,500 10,000-10,500 Moong Mogar Medium best 9,500-9,800 9,500-9,800 Moong dal super best 8,800-9,000 8,800-9,000 Moong dal Chilka 8,200-8,400 8,200-8,400 Moong Mill quality n.a. n.a. Moong Chamki best 8,400-9,200 8,400-9,200 Udid Mogar Super best (100 INR/KG) 7,400-7,400 7,500-7,800 Udid Mogar Medium (100 INR/KG) 5,700-6,400 5,800-6,500 Udid Dal Black (100 INR/KG) 4,800-5,000 4,900-5,100 Batri dal (100 INR/KG) 4,500-6,000 4,500-6,000 Lakhodi dal (100 INR/kg) 3,200-3,300 3,200-3,300 Watana Dal (100 INR/KG) 3,350-3,450 3,350-3,450 Watana White (100 INR/KG) 3,400-3,500 3,400-3,500 Watana Green Best (100 INR/KG) 4,800-5,100 4,800-5,100 Wheat 308 (100 INR/KG) 1,700-1,800 1,700-1,800 Wheat Mill quality(100 INR/KG) 1,850-1,900 1,850-1,900 Wheat Filter (100 INR/KG) 1,650-1,850 1,650-1,850 Wheat Lokwan best (100 INR/KG) 2,400-2,500 2,400-2,500 Wheat Lokwan medium (100 INR/KG) 1,900-2,100 2,050-2,200 Lokwan Hath Binar (100 INR/KG) n.a. n.a. MP Sharbati Best (100 INR/KG) 3,000-3,600 3,000-3,600 MP Sharbati Medium (100 INR/KG) 2,400-2,900 2,400-2,900 Wheat 147 (100 INR/KG) 1,600-1,700 1,600-1,700 Wheat Best (100 INR/KG) 1,700-1,750 1,700-1,750 Rice BPT new(100 INR/KG) 2,700-2,900 2,700-2,900 Rice BPT old (100 INR/KG) 3,200-3,500 3,200-3,500 Rice Parmal (100 INR/KG) 1,700-1,850 1,700-1,850 Rice Swarna old (100 INR/KG) 2,500-2,800 2,500-2,800 Rice Swarna new (100 INR/KG) 2,300-2,400 2,300-2,400

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Rice HMT new (100 INR/KG) 3,800-4,100 3,800-4,100 Rice HMT old (100 INR/KG) 4,400-4,600 4,400-4,600 Rice HMT Shriram (100 INR/KG) 5,300-5,800 5,300-5,800 Rice Basmati best (100 INR/KG) 12,000-13,500 12,000-13,500 Rice Basmati Medium (100 INR/KG) 6,500-9,000 6,500-9,000 Rice Chinnor (100 INR/KG) 5,600-6,000 5,600-6,000 Rice Chinnor new (100 INR/KG) 5,100-5,500 5,100-5,500 Jowar Gavarani (100 INR/KG) 1,400-1,600 1,400-1,600 Jowar CH-5 (100 INR/KG) 1,700-1,800 1,700-1,800 WEATHER (NAGPUR) Maximum temp. 38.7 degree Celsius (101.6 degree Fahrenheit), minimum temp. 22.0 degree Celsius (71.6 degree Fahrenheit) Humidity: Highest - n.a., lowest - n.a. Rainfall : nil FORECAST: Partly cloudy sky. Mainly clear sky. Maximum and Minimum temperature likely to be around 40 and 22 degree Celsius respectively. Note: n.a.--not available (For oils, transport costs are excluded from plant delivery prices, but included in market prices.)

Rice exports surge by 22.5 percent during July-February period March 28, 2014 6:36 am

Pakistan’s rice exports have surged by 22.57 percent to $1.4 billion during July-February FY13-14 against $1.1 billion during the same period last year. Pakistan has exported some 2185753 thousand ton rice during July to February 2013-2014 against 2142303 thousand tons during the same period of FY 12-13. Basmati rice exports increased by 6.08 percent to $411.992 million during July to February-14 compared with $388.380 million during the said period of previous year. However, basmati exports quantity was reduced by 9.06 percent as it was some 366136 thousand tons during the said time period as against 402612 thousand tons during July-Feb20122013.Similarly exports of non- basmati rice witnessed a massive surge as some $1.03 billion were earned during July to February against $794.723 million in the same period of last year. The non- basmati export quantity increased by 4.59 percent or 1819617 thousands ton in the said period compared with 1739691 thousands ton in the previous corresponding period.“Cost of doing business hit rice industry hard,” a rice exporter said. He said that prices of fertilizers and power tariff increased manifold

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How to stop rice smuggling? Price competitiveness is the answer – experts By Czeriza Valencia (The Philippine Star) | Updated March 29, 2014 - 12:00am Experts yesterday said striving to make domestic rice prices competitive with the prices of imported rice and strict implementation of government policies governing rice trade would result in long-term solutions to smuggling woes in the industry.Dr. Fordeliza Bordey, a socioeconomic researcher at the Philippine Rice Research Institute (PhilRice) said that at the supply and demand aspect, rice smuggling persists in the Philippines because domestic rice prices are uncompetitive to those of neighboring Southeast Asian countries as production cost is higher “Labor cost in the Philippines is high, comprising about 50 percent of the production cost. This is lower in other countries where farm mechanization rate is high,” she said during a forum on rice smuggling hosted by the Philippine Agricultural Journalists (PAJ) at the Coconut House in Quezon City yesterday.Bordey said the Philippines needs a strong mechanization program to lower the labor cost. Expenditures on other farm inputs like irrigation and fertilizer among others must also be lowered to reduce the cost of production per unit of Philippine-grown rice.The per kilogram production cost of palay in the Philippines is placed at P10 to P11 per kilogram while in Vietnam, the unit cost of production is currently placed at P5 to P6 per kilogram. In Thailand, the unit cost of production is placed at P8 per kilogram of unmilled rice.Lower production cost and more efficient postharvest techniques in Thailand and Vietnam enable these countries to sell rice at lower prices. The Philippines is also challenged by the larger rice production area Thailand and Vietnam has. “Smuggling stems from the huge difference in the prices of local and foreign rice. This will be stopped when there is parity between local and foreign prices,” said Bordey.Rice smugglers naturally exploit this opportunity to profit from cheap foreign rice, especially now when there is confusion on the country’s rice importation policy.The Philippines is currently petitioning before the World Organization (WTO) to be allowed to impose a high tariff on rice imports until 2017 to enable the government to build the production capability of farmers.At its present state, the country’s rice industry would lose to competition with neighboring Southeast Asian countries when free trade is enforced in the region by 2015 and tariffs on rice imports are lowered to 35 percent.The Philippine’s special restriction on rice imports expired in June 2012. Several rice importers are arguing that because of the expiration of the QR, they no longer need to secure import permits from the National Food Authority (NFA) so long as they pay the duties.Under the Philippines’ commitment to the WTO, 350,000

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metric tons (MT) of rice automatically gain access to the Philippine market under the Minimum Access Volume (MAV) scheme either as government-to-government tender or as country-specific quotas (CSQ). Imports within the MAV are levied a duty of 40 percent while a tariff of 50 percent is levied for out-quota imports. “Because negotiations are still ongoing, this (policy) is not clear and rice smugglers use this as an excuse. The policy should be clarified by the government,” said Bordey.The WTO Committee on Trade and Goods is expected to meet in April, during which the country’s petition for the extension of its special restriction on rice imports would be taken up.Agriculture officials engaged in negotiations have expressed confidence that the Philippines would win the consensus of countries seeking market concessions in exchange for the QR extension.NFA spokesman Rex Estoperez, maintains, however, that while the QR extension is still on appeal, import permits continues to be are still required for rice imports. “Our requirement is simple. All importations must have a permit, we coordinate with the Bureau of Customs on this,” he said during the forum. He noted that under Republic Act 8178—also known as An Act Replacing Quantitative Import Restrictions on Agricultural Products, Except Rice, with Tariffs, Creating The Agricultural Competitiveness Enhancement Fund, And For Other Purposes—the agency has the sole mandate to grant import permits upon assessment of the domestic supply situation.Bordey said unregulated importation harms domestic rice prices both at the producer and consumer level.The NFA buys clean and dry palay at P17 per kilogram (kg), with additional incentives such as graduated delivery fee up to a maximum P0.50/kg; drying incentive fee of P0.20/kg; and Cooperative Development Incentive Fund assistance of P0.30/kg.

8,000 bags of rice smuggled into Nigeria daily – Agriculture Minister Premium Times Published: March 28,2014 The Federal Government plans to establish rice levy fund to support local rice production.

The Minister of Agriculture and Rural Development, Akinwumi Adesina, said in Abuja on Thursday that about 8,000 bags of rice were smuggled into Nigeria daily from Benin Republic.Mr. Adesina made this known at a public hearing on the Federal Government new rice tariff regime organised by the House of Representatives Committee on Customs and Excise.He said smuggling of rice and other products such as chicken and fish were detrimental to the economy

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and should be stopped.Mr. Adesina called for stiffer penalties for illegal importers of frozen fish and chicken, which he said, were harmful to the health of Nigerians. “We owe it a duty to our country to make sure that these people are sent to jail,’’ he said.The minister also said the Federal Government would establish rice levy fund to support local rice production.The Federal Government increased levy on rice from 20 per cent to 100 per cent to encourage local production and help boost investors’ confidence in local rice production.The Finance Minister, Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala, however, recently said the government had decided to reverse the policy, because rice was still being smuggled into the country.

Mr. Adesina said the rice levy fund would be established from the proceeds generated from the new tariff on imported rice. He said that Nigeria had the capacity to be the sole exporter of rice to other countries if local production of rice was enhanced.Mr. Adesina noted that the continued importation of rice into the country had contributed to the high unemployment among Nigerians. He alleged that some unscrupulous Nigerians were conniving with importers of rice to frustrate the implementation of the new policy on rice.The minister maintained that the increased rice tariff regime was the best for the country as it would encourage and enhance local production of rice. “The policy is working, I believe our rice policy is working well,” he said.He alleged that some importers of rice buy the local rice which they label and sell to consumers as imported rice.He called on the National Assembly to support the ministry with legislation that would enhance its operations.Mr. Adesina also alleged that the Nigeria Customs Service under-reported the data of imported.In his presentation, the ComptrollerGeneral of Customs, Abdullahi Dikko, said 2. 9 million tonnes of rice were imported into the country in 2011 and not 342,000 tonnes as claimed by the minister.Mr. Dikko said that a memo requesting for the procurement of tracking devices to check activities of smugglers was before him. He attributed the success of smugglers to the connivance of local boarder communities who assisted them.Mr. Dikko said that the service was collaborating with such communities to check activities of smugglers. He called on the Federal Government to put in place an effective sanction for smugglers of rice into the country.The customs boss also identified the low tariff on rice in neighboring countries as one of the major factors contributing to smuggling of rice into the country. (NAN)

NACC insists on PM Yingluck's explanation on rice charges Monday Friday, 28 March 2014 By MCOT

Thailand's National Anti-Corruption Commission (NACC) has rejected a request by caretaker Prime Minister Yingluck Shinawatra to extend the deadline for her clarification over alleged malfeasance in the rice pledging

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scheme.She is subject to give her statement, either verbally or in writing, on Monday but she sought to extend it for 45 days, saying she needed more time to compile evidence and was awaiting documents from related government agencies.NACC spokesman Sansern Poljiak said the prime minister can provide additional evidence and documents in the hearing process and the NACC has already extended the original deadline by 15 days.Mr Sansern, NACC secretary general, said Ms Yingluck is required to personally acknowledge the charges and give her clarification, either verbally or in writing.Failing to do so is tantamount to her refusal to explain which will compel the NACC to consider the case with available information and evidence, he said.

Thai rice prices tumble on rising supply; farmer protests continue BY APORNRATH PHOONPHONGPHIPHAT BANGKOK, March 28 Fri Mar 28, 2014 3:46am EDT

(Reuters) - Thai rice prices have been tumbling and are expected to keep dropping over the next few weeks as more supply comes to market and after the government was forced to shelve a controversial scheme to support farmers.Falling prices, with the country's second harvest of the crop year being gathered and the government selling rice from its stockpiles, could prolong protests on the streets of Bangkok by farmers demanding outstanding payments from the canned subsidy programme.That would pile further pressure on the caretaker government of Prime Minister Yingluck Shinawatra, already reeling after months of unrest in the capital. The price of common grade 5-percent broken Thai white rice had fallen 12 percent from early this year to $390 per tonne on Friday, traders said. It stood at around $410 last week."Rising supply during the harvesting season and government rice stock sales have dragged prices down," said a Bangkok-based trader.Harvesting of the second crop began last month, with around 10 million tonnes of paddy expected to be reaped.The government has also offloaded 730,000 tonnes of rice from its stocks, saying it plans to sell more to raise funds."The government has no plan to help us," said Prasit Boonchoey, head of the Thai Farmers Association. "It's like we are set adrift as prices keep falling and the government does nothing."Yingluck dissolved parliament in early December, and has said her current caretaker government does not have the power to renew the rice-buying scheme, which expired on Feb. 28.She had swept to power in 2011 on the back of rural votes generated in part by the subsidies.Since the demise of the programme, domestic paddy prices have fallen sharply to 5,500 Thai baht ($170) per tonne. That is way below the 15,000 baht the government paid under the intervention scheme.Looking for

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outstanding payments and financial support from the government, farmers have been protesting in Bangkok since mid-February, blocking traffic in front of the Ministry of Commerce."We have nothing to do but protest to show that we have demands, otherwise we won't get any help," said Kittisak Waraha, a protest leader. ($1 = 32.5700 Thai Baht) (Editing byJoseph Radford)

PM hits out at 'bias' in rice probe Published: 28 Mar 2014 at 23.05 Newspaper section: News Caretaker Prime Minister Yingluck Shinawatra has come out swinging against the National Anti-Corruption Commission (NACC), accusing the graftbusters of unfair treatment in their probe of her involvement in the rice-pledging scheme.The NACC is expected to wrap up its investigation into the rice programme within 10 days after the March 31 deadline given to Ms Yingluck to testify over a dereliction of duty charge, a source said.The prime minister wrote about the case on her Facebook page on Friday. She said the NACC is required to comply with its legal duty to act objectively when considering such a case.However, she said she believed the NACC, which has brought the charge against her, can no longer act impartially. Caretaker Prime Minister Yingluck Shinawatra (Photo by Pattanapong Hirunard) Ms Yingluck questioned if the NACC uses the same legal standards and works at the same speed in handling cases against all political-office holders, or if it discriminates against certain groups.The premier complained that she was initially given only 49 pages of case documents to examine. She was given an additional 280 pages on Thursday, she said. This means she will only have three days to examine the additional 280 pages before she can defend herself on Monday.She said the constitution stipulates that proceedings in investigations of this kind must be based on the rule of law and there must be no unnecessary delays. This must apply to every group, including those holding political positions. Unlike with her case, she noted, no progress has been made in any of the cases made against the previous government, such as that involving the crackdown on the red-shirt protest in 2010 which resulted in deaths and injuries, as well as corruption cases that were filed against the Abhisit Vejjajiva administration.Ms Yingluck said she did not receive justice when she asked to examine evidence and witnesses. She also said the NACC spent only 21 days preparing the case and bringing its charge against her.The prime minister said she needs to exercise her rights as guaranteed by the constitution to examine any evidence and witnesses the NACC uses against her, which would then serve to add credibility to the NACC's investigation."I have no alternative but to conclude that as far as the examination of evidence and witnesses in this case is concerned, I have not been treated fairly or received any justice," she said.The NACC on Thursday rejected a request by Ms Yingluck's lawyer for another 45 days for her to explain herself.The source said the NACC has given the caretaker prime

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minister enough time, but she has still failed to testify to the NACC."The NACC can wrap up the case any time after Monday. The case should be concluded within 10 days," the source said. "If the prime minister fails to appear in person to testify [on Monday], the NACC can conclude on the case immediately. And if the prime minister comes to testify any day before the case is concluded, the NACC has agreed to hear her any time."However, Ms Yingluck can submit her testimony in a written document by Monday.Ms Yingluck went on to say yesterday that there are many witnesses and documents that need to be collected from numerous different agencies, and these documents and witnesses are vital for her defence.However, she said those agencies could not produce and release the documents in time. Therefore, she had to request the postponement of her defence for another 45 days in addition to the 15 days that have been allowed."But my request for the postponement was rejected by the NACC and not even a one-day extension was given," she wrote on Facebook. "On the other hand, the NACC said it had over a year to examine the documents to press ahead with the charges against me."Bancha Parameesanaporn, Ms Yingluck's lawyer, yesterday admitted that the legal team representing the premier is at a disadvantage as the lawyers have not yet obtained 19 important documents they have requested from the NACC.He said that since the NACC has rejected the request for the extension of the Monday deadline for Ms Yingluck to testify, the lawyers will have to present the written defence to the antigraft agency on Monday.The main thrust of the written defence is to explain that Ms Yingluck was not involved in any wrongdoing in the scheme, Mr Bancha said.

News shared by PhilRice Smart way to monitor weather conditions developed Smart phone, smart TV, smart chair. With everything becoming “smart,” the Philippine Rice Research Institute (PhilRice) collaborated with the Advanced Science Technology Institute of the Department of Science and Technologys (DOST) to automate the collection and retrieval of weather data.Through the partnership, the Philippine Real-Time Environment Data Acquisition and Interpretation for Climate-Related Tragedy Prevention and Mitigation or PREDICT project – an advanced data retrieval system for weather stations, was developed.

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Dr. Jasper Tallada, PhilRice consultant and engineer, said that “with climate change threats at fore, the road to smarter alternatives is the way to go.”“Documentation of weather or climate data is significantly important to help farmers and researchers plan their activities by looking at weather patterns. This includes temperature, wind speed and direction, soil temperature and moisture, groundwater level and temperature, solar radiation, ultraviolet index, rainfall, and other weather-related factors relevant to rice farming,” he said. Tallada said manual data gathering requires intensive field monitoring to ensure that weather conditions are well-recorded.“PhilRice has been collecting weather data since 1985. Retrieval of data was difficult since you have to personally go to the field and regularly record one-by-one the numerous climate parameters using various instruments. Once missed, the weather condition that has passed at a particular time is also gone. PREDICT now automates the collection of data and stores them in a computer database 24/7 in real-time, downloadable whenever needed,” he explained. With the new data logging and retrieval system, researchers will just download the information through http://fmon.asti.dost.gov.ph/weather/predict/ or via text messaging. The request will be sent to the agromet stations that will automatically respond to the sender.

Be RICEponsible campaign launched After President Benigno S. Aquino III has declared 2013 as National Year of Rice through Proclamation No. 494, the Philippine Rice Research Institute (PhilRice) launched the Be RICEponsible campaign, which aims to help the country continually increase its rice production.

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Hazel V. Antonio, PhilRice senior science research specialist, said that the campaign, presented to the public on March 28 at the GSIS Art Museum, aims to intensify efforts that each Filipinos can do for the country to ensure good rice supply. “In 2013, palay production was 18.44 million MT, which is 2.3% higher than the 2012 output of 18.03 million MT. This shows that Filipinos can still accomplish more amidst calamities that tested us last year,” the campaign director said.In the Be RICEponsible campaign, implementers will be reinforcing the behaviors that the National Year of Rice tried to impart to the public and policymakers. “We continually urge the public to be RICEponsible. That is, not to waste rice, consume brown rice, eat healthier sources of carbohydrates, and value the hard work of the rice farmers,” Antonio said. In terms of policies, Antonio said that some towns in La Union, Bohol, Aklan, and Ilocos Norte have recently passed the “half-rice” ordinance.Also recently, the Quezon City council passed a resolution urging major fast-food chains and restaurants to include brown ice servings. Isabela farmer exceeds average yield despite typhoons A contender in the Palayabangan: 10-5 challenge, a nationwide farming contest led by the Philippine Rice Research Institute (PhilRice), surpassed the average yield in Isabela and almost met the competition standard despite the onslaught of typhoons late last year. Job Sevilleja of Alfonso Lista, Ifugao, who joined the competition in Isabela, proved that 7.5 tons of rice harvest from a hectare at P 5/kg input cost is possible. Palayabangan aims to level up the rice production standard to 10-5, that is, 10 tons/ha yield (or 200 cav) at only P5 input cost per kilogram of palay. The current average input cost is pegged at P11/kg.

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The average yield in the country`s second largest province during last year’s wet season was 4.64 t/ha while farmers’ average yield in irrigated farms was 4.24 t/ha. Sevileja`s farm yield and input cost bested 56 other competitors from private seed companies, nongovernment organizations, and state universities.Dynapharm International Philippines Inc., attained 7.1 tons/ha at P6/kg while PhilRice Isabela produced 5.2 tons at P6/kg despite the wrath of Labuyo and Santi. Leylani Juliano, co-chairperson of the competition, said that Sevilleja “did not use any unique technology but only practiced right timing of application, and good resource and crop management.”The competition, now on its second season, was launched in nine sites: Agusan del Norte, Albay, Bukidnon, Ilocos Norte, Isabela, Laguna, Negros Occidental, North Cotabato, and Nueva Ecija. Rice breeder on scientists` list Dr. Norvie L. Manigbas, one of the breeders of NSIC Rc298 (Tubigan 23), the first released variety for direct wet-seeded rice, was recently conferred Scientist I by the Philippine Scientific Career Council.Manigbas, also a crop physiologist at the Philippine Rice Research Institute (PhilRice) for seven years, had bred and co-developed more than five elite breeding lines. He had published seven papers in the Institute for Scientific Information (ISI)- indexed science journals and four non-ISI scientific journals. He had co-authored a manual, five patents, and presented scientific papers and posters in international and national scientific conferences.He is also a recipient of grants, awards, and recognitions. On breeding direct wet-seeded rice, Manigbas said that direct seeding is advantageous to farmers as it requires fewer expenses without reducing yield.

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“Direct-seeded rice matures 7-10 days earlier than transplanted rice. So if a farmer plants early maturing varieties using direct seeding, he or she could cultivate rice in three cropping seasons if the condition is favorable. This means more income,” Manigbas said. Currently, his team is developing tropical japonica direct-seeded varieties with tolerance on drought, better seedling vigor, and resistance against lodging. These varieties will also be highyielding, pest and diseases-resistant, and will have good grain quality and high milling recovery. Joining the other five conferred scientists at PhilRice, Manigbas also leads and pioneers the project on breeding heat tolerant rice in the Philippines in collaboration with national rice research institutes in South Korea, Cambodia, Indonesia, Thailand, and Vietnam. The heat tolerant rice varieties are expected to sustain temperatures up to 400C.Manigbas said that his conferment as scientist is not one of his dreams, but was given to him as a result of his research work for 32 years. “Professional growth is just one thing, but helping farmers and seeing them prosper using the varieties that we breed is my ultimate goal,” Manigbas said.

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28th march,2014 daily global rice e newsletter by riceplus magazine