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17th december,2013 daily international rice e newsletter by riceplus magazine
17th december,2013 daily international rice e newsletter by riceplus magazine
17th december,2013 daily international rice e newsletter by riceplus magazine
17th december,2013 daily international rice e newsletter by riceplus magazine
17th december,2013 daily international rice e newsletter by riceplus magazine
17th december,2013 daily international rice e newsletter by riceplus magazine
17th december,2013 daily international rice e newsletter by riceplus magazine
17th december,2013 daily international rice e newsletter by riceplus magazine
17th december,2013 daily international rice e newsletter by riceplus magazine
17th december,2013 daily international rice e newsletter by riceplus magazine
17th december,2013 daily international rice e newsletter by riceplus magazine
17th december,2013 daily international rice e newsletter by riceplus magazine
17th december,2013 daily international rice e newsletter by riceplus magazine
17th december,2013 daily international rice e newsletter by riceplus magazine
17th december,2013 daily international rice e newsletter by riceplus magazine
17th december,2013 daily international rice e newsletter by riceplus magazine
17th december,2013 daily international rice e newsletter by riceplus magazine
17th december,2013 daily international rice e newsletter by riceplus magazine
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17th december,2013 daily international rice e newsletter by riceplus magazine

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  • 1. 17th December , 2013 Share developments in RICE and allied sectors, Promote the Concept of Knowledge Economy Dear Sir/Madam, Daily Rice E-Newsletter by Rice Plus Magazine www.ricepluss.com News and R&D Section mujajhid.riceplus@gmail.com Cell # 92 321 369 2874
  • 2. YOUR IDEA has a great worth---JUST share it through RICE PLUS 10000+ stakeholders of rice industry read & apply various ideas and analysis written by the authors. Be the part of Rice plus authors Visit: www.ricepluss.com,www.publishpk.net mujahid.riceplus@gmail.com riceplus@irp.edu.pk TOP Contents - Tailored for YOU Latest News Headlines…             Plunder rap filed over rice import Commercial rice trials go missing up north VIETNAM PRESS-Vietnam's rice exports drop 14 pct y/y - Tuoi Tre Minister Yukol expects rice exports to reach 7 mil tons next year EU rice sector struggles with the increase of rice imports TDRI proposes disposal of rotten pledged rice As millers strike, rice prices may go up Nigeria: Ghana, India to Procure Rice Seeds From Kebbi Hold talks with rice mill owners, KRRS urges government Thai rice struggles to find buyers Rice farmers spar over dam release Call for independent rice inspectors Daily Rice E-Newsletter by Rice Plus Magazine www.ricepluss.com News and R&D Section mujajhid.riceplus@gmail.com Cell # 92 321 369 2874
  • 3.     Rice grown in Maryland? Farmer sees a future that doesn’t involve flooding. DOST's rice fortification gains support Mississippi researchers find rice seed treatments work Second day of rice mill strike prompts govt to act NEWS DETAILS: Plunder rap filed over rice import By Cynthia D. Balana:Philippine Daily Inquirer 4:40 am | Tuesday, December 17th, 2013 MANILA, Philippines—Agriculture Secretary Proceso Alcala and National Food Authority (NFA) Administrator Orlan Calayag are facing a plunder complaint in the Office of the Ombudsman in connection with the importation last May of 205,700 metric tons of rice from Vietnam, which was allegedly overpriced by P457.2 million. In his complaint-affidavit filed on Monday, lawyer and public interest advocate Argee Guevarra described the importation deal between the governments of the Philippines (represented by Alcala and Calayag) and Vietnam as a ―cash cow‖ because of ―overpricing, unauthorized addition of 18,700 metric tons of rice, and the government monopolization of rice retail.‖The rice importation in May, according to Guevarra, was valued at $50.75/metric ton, or $10.439 million for the entire 205,700 MT of rice. (Guevarra used P43 per dollar as conversion rate; the rate on May 15 this year was P41.16 to the dollar—Ed.) Guevarra also accused the NFA of a new wave of rice importations from Vietnam beginning this month, and said the agency had imported 500,000 MT of rice to beef up the Philippines‘ rice supply following the onslaught of Supertyphoon ―Yolanda.‖ The lawyer said the respondents had ignored the expiration by June 30, 2012, of the quantitative restrictions (QRs) imposed on private rice importations when they proceeded with the deal.―The diabolical plan is to preserve the government monopoly over rice importations to earn large kickbacks for themselves,‖ Guevarra said.He said the country was a signatory to the Marrakech Agreement establishing the World Trade Organization and was committed to remove QRs on rice imports, among other provisions.However, the country was allowed an accommodation in 1994 to regulate the volume of rice importation via trade quota to protect the price of domestically produced goods. In 2005, this was extended to June 30, 2012. No legal impediment ―With the expiration of the QRs on June 30, 2012, there should no longer be any legal impediment for the private sector to import rice,‖ Guevarra said.―However, the Department of Agriculture‘s anomalous policy ensured respondents‘ exercise of untrammeled discretion over the purchase and entry of imported rice, which Daily Rice E-Newsletter by Rice Plus Magazine www.ricepluss.com News and R&D Section mujajhid.riceplus@gmail.com Cell # 92 321 369 2874
  • 4. they in turn used to enrich themselves with billions of pesos in illegal profits,‖ the complaint said.Guevarra said that based on the prevailing market price of low-grade Vietnam rice, the overprice of the December rice imports could be as high as P1.9 billion.He added that although the NFA had said that it was importing high-quality rice, Alcala through Calayag had allegedly sold NFA rice of the lowest quality. Barely edible ―I recently did the rounds of the market to check the current quality of NFA rice, and all I can say is that it‘s barely edible. It‘s practically kanin baboy (pig swill). Is this what Alcala plans to feed to the Filipino masses, aside from lies and excuses?‖ Guevarra said.The complainant described the agriculture official as the ―biggest scammer‖ in the Aquino Cabinet for using Yolanda as an excuse to import overpriced rice instead of rehabilitating farmlands to restore the agricultural livelihood of farmers in the affected Visayan region.Guevarra said all the elements of plunder were present in the complaint: The respondents are both public officials; the P457.2 million allegedly representing the overprice of imported Vietnam rice is beyond the P50 million threshold for plunder; the offense was allegedly committed through a combination or series of overt criminal acts by misappropriation, conversion, misuse or malversation of public funds. Commercial rice trials go missing up north ABC Rural ;By Matt Brann:Updated Tue 17 Dec 2013, 5:55pm AEDT PHOTO: Rice being trialled under netting at Tortilla Flats near Adelaide River, NT (Matt Brann) AUDIO: Mixed results for northern rice trials (ABC Rural) MAP: Darwin 0800 For the first time in many years, there were no commercial rice trials planted in the Northern Territory or Western Australia.For growers in the Ord irrigation scheme (WA), the threat of a fungal disease known as rice blast is still an issue.And for Bruce White at Mt Keppler Station in the NT, he simply didn't have enough water to produce a crop after a poor wet season."We didn't think we had enough water (in our dam), so consequently we didn't grow any rice, it was too much of a risk," he said."But it's given us time to develop better levy banks, better water gates, and we're all geared up for next season. "Mr White says heavy rain in November means his dam already has more water in it than at the end of last year's wet season.He says the plan is to grow about 60 hectares of rice in 2014."It's still very experimental and it might not be successful, but if you don't have a go, you'll never know," he said.Although there were no commercial rice trials in the Northern Territory or Kimberley this year, small research trials were still carried out by the WA Department of Agriculture (DAFWA) and the NT's Department of Primary Industry (NTDPIF), with crops grown near Adelaide River (NT), Katherine (NT) and Kununurra (WA).Northern Territory researcher, Nick Hartley, says a warmer than average dry season and some early rain in October, provided Daily Rice E-Newsletter by Rice Plus Magazine www.ricepluss.com News and R&D Section mujajhid.riceplus@gmail.com Cell # 92 321 369 2874
  • 5. mixed results for the trial near Adelaide River."Yields were looking good, especially the Vietnamese varieties, but in the later part of the season we had rain and things didn't eventuate like we wanted it to."Mr Hartley says the crop yielded around 8 tonnes per hectare, but in the past has reached over 11 tonnes per hectare. He says none of the NT rice was affected by rice blast and ongoing research into the disease is paying off."That's the first priority, getting varieties that are resistant to rice blast," he said."The producers in Kununurra are very wary of this disease and that's understandable, but they can see there's some promise, especially because there's now a funded project happening, which is looking at rice blast throughout the Top End."Growers have told me that maybe in five years time they might delve back into rice."Research from DAFWA suggests a strong yielding rice crop in the Ord Valley this year would have been a viable crop for local growers (see graph below). PHOTO: Analysis by DAFWA shows that a commercially achievable rice yield of 8 tonnes per hectare, the gross margin at $317 per tonne is $298 per hectare. (DAFWA) VIETNAM PRESS-Vietnam's rice exports drop 14 pct y/y - Tuoi Tre December 16, 2013 8:38 PM Vietnam's rice exports are likely to reach 6.6 million tonnes in2013, a drop of 1.1 million tonnes from last year, due todecreasing demand from Indonesia, the Philippines and Malaysia,according to the Vietnam Food Association, the Tuoi Tre (Youth)newspaper reported.Rice exports in 2013 were also hurt by a fall in price ofabout $14.5 per tonne, it said.NOTE: Reuters has not verified this story and does not vouchfor its accuracy. (Hanoi Newsroom; Editing by Prateek Chatterjee) Daily Rice E-Newsletter by Rice Plus Magazine www.ricepluss.com News and R&D Section mujajhid.riceplus@gmail.com Cell # 92 321 369 2874
  • 6. Minister Yukol expects rice exports to reach 7 mil tons next year Published on December 17, 2013 by TFP · No Comments BANGKOK, 17 December 2013 (NNT) â€‖ The Ministry of Agriculture and Cooperatives predicts that Thailand will export 7 million tons of rice next year, while rice production in the country will be as high as 38 million tons.According to Minister of Agriculture Yukol Limlamthong, there are over 3 billion rice consumers around the world, mostly in Asia. As the market has a tendency to grow wider and wider, it is essential that Thai farmers have the knowledge to enhance rice productivity in order for Thailand to be more competitive in the world market, says Mr. Yukol.Thailand, according to the minister, is more advantageous than its competitors in terms of research which has helped add the value to Thai rice.The minister believes that Thailand will next year export 7 million tons of rice, an amount close to this year s figure, adding that the country‘s total rice output in 2014 will be 38 million tons.The minister is also calling for grouping of rice producing countries in order for them to gain higher negotiating power in the world stage. (NNT: Thammarat Pramotmaneerat) EU rice sector struggles with the increase of rice imports At the last Council meeting on Agriculture and Fisheries held in Brussels on 16 and 17 December 2013, the Italian delegation, supported by Bulgaria, Greece, Spain, France and Portugal, underlined the difficult situation that the EU rice sector is facing in particular with the increase of EU imports of this product (17559/13).Italy noted that in some EU regions, rice cultivation represents the most important agricultural activity of the area but, over the past few years, this sector has gradually been losing profitability and the rice cultivated surfaces are progressively reduced. This situation is made worse by the increase of EU imports of milled rice from least developed countries (LDCs) and from other countries with which the EU has bilateral agreements.While taking note of the concerns of Italy and some member states, the Commission recalled that for some rice varieties, the EU is largely dependent from its imports. It noted also that in a first assessment no brutal imbalance has yet been observed in the rice market. However, the Commission said it was ready to initiate formal action on the basis of convergent data showing a risk of major crisis. Source: Council of the European Union TDRI proposes disposal of rotten pledged rice Daily Rice E-Newsletter by Rice Plus Magazine www.ricepluss.com News and R&D Section mujajhid.riceplus@gmail.com Cell # 92 321 369 2874
  • 7. Date : 17 2556 BANGKOK, 17 December 2013 (NNT) – The Thailand Development Research Institute (TDRI) has proposed that a new government issue a law requiring warehouse owners to burn rotten pledged rice found in their silos, in order to prevent corruption in the scheme. The TDRI also pointed out the upcoming government can discard the rice pledging program, but the process must be done gradually, otherwise rice prices would drop sharply. Mr. Nipon Puapongsakorn, a TDRI honorary member, made the comments at a recent seminar on 'Future of Thai rice in the Global Arena', organized by the Thai Rice Foundation under the Royal Patronage. He stated that the new government needs to urgently examine the amount of stockpiled rice, saying without the exact figure of rice in store, the country would have to unnecessarily spend higher amount of money on maintenance and face depressed prices for the whole stock. He also said that the lack of reliable pledged rice inspections would likely attract corruption. Thus, he advised the government to check the stockpiled rice both in lists and in silos, to ensure the accuracy of the data which would be used to formulate an efficient rice clearance plan. As millers strike, rice prices may go up TNN Dec 17, 2013, 05.59AM IST Tags:rice|Karnataka State Rice Mill Owners‘ Association|indefinite strike BANGALORE: The cost of rice is likely to go up in the coming days if the indefinite strike by the Karnataka State Rice Mill Owners' Association continues. The strike began on Monday in protest against the government's decision to procure five lakh tonnes of levy rice from them to meet the requirements of the flagship Anna Bhagya scheme of 30 kg of rice to BPL families."The impact of the indefinite stir will be felt in the next couple of days particularly in Bangalore, where 20 lakh tonnes of rice come everyday . All rice millers in the state have stopped procuring paddy from farmers and hulling it. Once the rice stock goes down in the market , prices will go up,'' association president H S Rudraswamy told TOI.The disagreement between the government and millers over the levy rice quota had been brewing for months after the Anna Bhagya scheme was launched. According to the association's general secretary N Srinivasa Rao, the mill owners have been trying to convince the government that five lakh tonnes per annum was an "unscientific requirement ,'' and the minimum support price (MSP) of Rs 2,400 per quintal to procure the same be hiked to Rs 2,650.According to Rao, the levy rice quota was 1.5 lakh tonnes for the past two decades . The target has been hiked four-fold now.The cabinet meeting last week decided to stop buying rice from Chhattisgarh for Anna Bhagya and solely depend on local market.The government was buying rice at Rs 29 per kg from Chhattisgarh and the subsidy component for giving rice to 87 lakh BPL families worked to Rs 450 crore per month.The association is also unhappy with the MSP of Rs 1,600 for procuring Sona Masuri paddy. "In Karnataka, 80% of rice produced is Sona Masuri for which there is a huge export demand. Except old Mysore area, Sona Masuri dominates other regions ,'' Rao said.According to Mysore region rice millers association president YK Siddaramu the millers consume 40 to 50 units of power per tonne of paddy hulling, which had now increased to 110 units due to Daily Rice E-Newsletter by Rice Plus Magazine www.ricepluss.com News and R&D Section mujajhid.riceplus@gmail.com Cell # 92 321 369 2874
  • 8. technical reasons."It cost Rs 2,650 per quintal of rice against the government's fixed price of Rs 2,400,'' the association president added. TIMES VIEW Just after the sugar crisis was resolved comes the rice issue. With millers stopping procurement of paddy, it won't be long before the tillers too protest. As this cycle plays out, it's obvious the government didn't do its arithmetic right when it launched the Anna Bhagya scheme. It's also true that such issues get amplified during an election year. But this robbing Peter to pay Paul syndrome that afflicts most governments who love sop stories is not the solution. Social welfare schemes must be backed by sound fiscal management so that states don't fall deeper intodebt traps Govt: It's a legal requirement Food and civil supplies minister Dinesh Gundurao said the government will try to resolve the issue in two or three days."They were giving three lakh tonnes earlier, which has now been hiked to five lakh tonnes. Giving levy rice is a legal requirement. We earlier wanted 13.5 lakh tonnes,'' he added. Food and civil supplies commissioner Harsh Gupta maintained that the five lakh tonne target was a small percentage.Gundurao said all these years, levy rice was being given to the Food Corporation of India, which had stopped pursuing it after began to get good quality rice from Haryana and Punjab. But now rice is needed for government schemes, the minister said. Hopcoms' outlets to reopen today Hopcoms outlets across the city will reopen on Tuesday, after the day-long protest on Monday against the state government's failure to respond to their demand for a wage revision in accordance with the Sixth Pay Commission. "We decided to give the government one more week, following which we'll start an indefinite strike," said IR Nadaf, honorary president, Hopcoms' Employees Union. TNN Nigeria: Ghana, India to Procure Rice Seeds From Kebbi BY GARBA MUHAMMAD AND BIRNIN KEBBI, 17 DECEMBER 2013 Ghana and India are to procure rice seeds from Kebbi State to boost their internal production, the Programme Manager, Kebbi Agricultural and Rural Development Authority (KARDA) Alhaji Yahaya Haruna Jega, has said."Ghana and India have identified the variety rice seeds from the Kebbi State as one of the best in terms of quality and yield. Agricultural experts from the two countries were in the state on a mission to obtain rice seeds for demonstration and possible adoption of the variety by farmers in their countries," he said while addressing newsmen on activities of parastatals over the weekend in Birnin Kebbi.He said research also showed that the seeds used in the state when cultivated could yield about seven to nine tones per hectare compared to other varieties that hardly produce three tones per hectare. "Many countries have declared their intention to come down and procure our seeds which is also attributed to a good soil fertility and method of handling," he added. Daily Rice E-Newsletter by Rice Plus Magazine www.ricepluss.com News and R&D Section mujajhid.riceplus@gmail.com Cell # 92 321 369 2874
  • 9. Hold talks with rice mill owners, KRRS urges government The HinduThe State Cabinet has decided to procure 5 lakh tonnes of levy rice before March 31 next to meet the requirements of the Anna Bhagya scheme In view of the closure of rice mills in protest against the State government‘s decision to procure levy rice, the Karnataka Rajya Raitha Sangha (KRRS) has urged the government to hold discussions with mill owners to sort out the differences.The State Cabinet has decided to procure 5 lakh tonnes of levy rice before March 31 next to meet the requirements of the Anna Bhagya scheme.Apart from seeking abolition of the levy system, the KRRS has appealed to the government to purchase rice in the open market for the Anna Bhagya scheme. Support price Sangha president Kodihalli Chandrashekar told presspersons here on Monday that although the support price announced by the government for paddy was Rs. 1,600 a quintal, the market price ranges between Rs. 1,200 and Rs. 1,300 a quintal.―Paddy price would fall further in view of the strike. Hence, the government should convene a meeting of rice mill owners immediately and sort out the issue,‖ he said.Mr. Chandrashekar also said that the government could procure rice for the scheme within the State. ―Over 35 per cent of the rice produced in Karnataka is going to neighbouring States. The government should ensure that it is utilised within the State by purchasing it for the scheme,‖ he said. He also pointed out that the government had earlier purchased rice from Chhattisgarh at Rs. 28 a kg. Keywords: Anna Bhagya scheme, Karnataka rice mills protest, Karnataka State Rice Millers‘ Association, rice production in Karnataka Thai rice struggles to find buyers Published: 17 Dec 2013 :Newspaper section: Business Rice buyers remain reluctant to purchase Thai rice even though prices are now competitive with Vietnamese grain."This is unusual, as Thai rice prices are now quoted at about the same price as Vietnamese rice," said Daily Rice E-Newsletter by Rice Plus Magazine www.ricepluss.com News and R&D Section mujajhid.riceplus@gmail.com Cell # 92 321 369 2874
  • 10. Chookiat Ophaswongse, honorary president of the Thai Rice Exporters Association. "The free-on-board prices of 5% white rice, for instance, are only US$420 per tonne, but we still can't find buyers. This has never happened in Thai rice trading."Mr Chookiat said this could be because rice buyers and traders are betting Thai rice prices will drop further as the Thai government is under pressure to accelerate the sales of its rice stocks to fetch proceeds and honour its payment promises to farmers taking part in the rice pledging programme.Most who pledged under the main crop are waiting for a late payment, as the government failed to resolve its funds shortage before the House dissolution.Moreover, the state-owned Bank for Agriculture and Agricultural Cooperatives (BAAC) has refused to use its own liquidity to advance money to farmers without the National Rice Policy Committee's approval to widen the 500-billion-baht limit on outstanding spending.The bank also said recently it has a mere 22 billion baht on hand until the end of 2013 to pay farmers who pledged rice for the current main crop, making an extra 51 billion baht necessary to fund the scheme. Since the main crop began in October, about 5.5 million tonnes of paddy worth 90 billion baht has been pledged. The main crop runs to the end of February.Mr Chookiat said Vietnam is expected to have a bumper rice crop for the winter-spring season, due to be leased next February, while Indonesia has not shown any intention of wanting to buy rice.The winter-spring crop is Vietnam's biggest and most of the grain is exported. The harvest often peaks in March.Vietnam's rice exports between January and November rose 9.7 % from a year ago to an estimated 7.44 million tonnes, the Agriculture Ministry said, led by Chinese purchases. The exports set a record for annual shipments with a month to go.Thai rice shipments for the year are estimated at only 6.5 million tonnes, far below the 8.5 million goal of the Commerce Ministry, said Mr Chookiat. For the first 11 months, Thailand shipped only 5.9 million tonnes, with shipments in December estimated at 300,000 tonnes. "This is regarded as a holiday period," he said. "We expect rice trading will become more active from next February." Rice farmers spar over dam release Published: 17 Dec 2013 at 08.25:Online news: UTHAI THANI : Rice farmers are fighting over the management of water from Thap Salao reservoir in Lan Sak district.Water has been released from the reservoir since Nov 21 to supply paddy fields in several districts where rice was dying from drought.The water failed to reach about 100 farms in Thap Than district, and with the reservoir due to close its sluice gates this Friday, time was running out.After making inquiries, the farmers with dry land found out that their counterparts in tambon Nong Yai Dam had blocked the waterway with sandbags to keep the water for themselves.The farmers who were missing out tried to remove the sandbags, which prompted a quarrel between them and the farmers in tambon Nong Yai Dam.Farmers in tambon Nong Yai Dam have now agreed to remove some sandbags to allow the water to run through to the areas where water is needed to save the dying rice. Water has now started reaching the farmers who have gone without. Daily Rice E-Newsletter by Rice Plus Magazine www.ricepluss.com News and R&D Section mujajhid.riceplus@gmail.com Cell # 92 321 369 2874
  • 11. Call for independent rice inspectors Published: 17 Dec 2013 at 16.00:Online news: Local News The next government should set up a committee unaffiliated to any political party to scrutinise the last administration‘s rice-pledging policy, an academic at the Thai Development Research Institute (TDRI) suggested on Tuesday.Nipon Phuapongsakorn, the former president of the TDRI, said an independent panel should be tasked with finding out exactly how much rice is left in state stockpiles and revealing the figure to the public, to make the scheme more transparent.Similar investigations had been conducted on several occasions, he said, but the information obtained had never been revealed.The new government must also determine how much rice has been sold by the previous administration to validate state-to-state rice deals that ministers claim to have signed, said Mr Nipon.He said many of the deals were dubious because the Bank for Agriculture and Agricultural Co-Operatives had yet to receive money from the state to pay farmers who pledged crops under the rice scheme. Rice grown in Maryland? Farmer sees a future that doesn’t involve flooding. View Photo Gallery — Maryland rice, flood not included: An innovative farmer produces a short-grain rice without the paddy fields.  More By Tim Carman, Wednesday, December 18, 3:15 AM E-mail the writer When Heinz Thomet decided in 2011 to plant rice, perhaps the first farmer in more than 130 years to do so in the Chesapeake region, he remembered a magazine article he had read nearly two decades earlier. It concerned a Jamaican man who‘d moved to Albany, N.Y., and adopted a practice that deviated from those of virtually every rice farmer in America: He grew his plants without flooded or swampy land.―I thought, ‗If they can do it in Albany, we can grow it here,‘ ‖ recalled Thomet, co-owner ofNext Step Produce in Newburg.A Swiss native who grew up on a farm, Thomet, 54, knew that the porous sandy soil in Charles County would never hold water for a traditional rice paddy, at least not without major expense. So he did research and relied on his 40 years of farming experience to cobble together his own idiosyncratic method for growing rice, unaware that some of his practices would place him squarely in Daily Rice E-Newsletter by Rice Plus Magazine www.ricepluss.com News and R&D Section mujajhid.riceplus@gmail.com Cell # 92 321 369 2874
  • 12. the middle of a low-rumbling debate on the best way to produce the grain.Thomet has unwittingly aligned himself with a small group of experimental U.S. farmers and hobbyists, probably no more than 50, who are breaking with a tradition that dates to colonial America. They‘re rejecting paddy rice in favor of an increasingly accepted agricultural system that promises to increase crop yields while decreasing water use, chemical dependency and even the amount of arsenic in our grains. The beauty of the system, advocates say, is its emphasis on education, not technology. Any rice farmer can reap the benefits just by reading about the sustainable methods and incorporating them. Growers often need no proprietary seeds, herbicides or fertilizers, effectively marginalizing the companies that profit from current rice production methods. Is that why Big Ag has turned a cold shoulder to the system? Heinz Thomet is the antithesis of Big Ag. Partly surrounded by conventional farms that raise crops common to Maryland — corn and soybeans mostly — Thomet is a certified organic farmer with an experimental streak as wild as the graying beard that engulfs his face. Next Step has, over the years, sold young ginger, miniature kiwis, persimmons, figs and a variety of grains beyond the winter wheat that‘s popular in the state. In that sense, rice aligns perfectly with Thomet‘s unorthodox, free-thinking approach to agriculture.As he began experimenting with rice, Thomet tried a few different seeds, including a jasmine variety and the famous Carolina Gold, which was resurrected in South Carolina in the 1980s after being all but left for dead. Yet it was a Japanese variety, Koshihikari, that responded best to the particular soil, climate and agricultural practices at Next Step. This fall, Thomet harvested more than 400 pounds and started selling the short-grain brown rice for $12 a pound at the FreshFarm Market at Dupont Circle.It‘s not clear when a farmer last grew rice in the Chesapeake region for commercial sale, export or personal use. If anyone has planted the grain in recent decades in either Maryland or Virginia, the effort wasn‘t enough to be mentioned in the USDA‘s Census of Agriculture, which is conducted every five years. In his 24 years at Virginia Tech, Carl Griffey, professor of crop genetics and breeding, says no one has ever called him with questions about rice.Yet, despite its rich connection to the Carolinas, rice does have a modest history in Virginia. In the 1600s, colonists at Jamestown carried out early experiments in rice farming, ―not without some temporary success,‖ wrote Lewis Cecil Gray in his 1933 volume, ―History of Agriculture in the Southern United States to 1860.‖ The grain, in fact, was spotted in Virginia as late as 1781, when a soldier marching to Daily Rice E-Newsletter by Rice Plus Magazine www.ricepluss.com News and R&D Section mujajhid.riceplus@gmail.com Cell # 92 321 369 2874
  • 13. Yorktown noticed a field of rice, ―which I thought was a great curiosity,‖ Lt. William Feltman wrote in his journal.But by and large, Virginia was considered an inhospitable place for rice ―not because it won‘t grow, but from an idea that it requires in order to yield large crops, a hotter sun,‖ noted the author of an 18th-century volume titled ―American Husbandry. ‖Wayne Randolph, an agriculture specialist at Colonial Williamsburg, has an alternate theory on why Virginia and its farmers never blossomed into rice producers: ―I suspect that it was because they were competing with tobacco and [rice] in the low country.‖In 1880, the U.S. Department of the Interior released its Report on the Productions of Agriculture, which noted that ―the single state of South Carolina produces nearly one-half‖ of the rice grown in the United States (more than 52 million pounds out of a total production of 110 million pounds). Even so, Rockville-based culinary historian Michael Twitty says that rice probably was grown in Maryland as late as the 1880s, mostly for home consumption or trade with neighbors.―With the emergence of railroads, it was becoming a lot less necessary‖ to grow backyard rice, Twitty says. Current rice production has shifted to other parts of the United States, namely Arkansas and Louisiana, but it has little in common with the way rice was apparently grown in Virginia in the 1600s: ―There is some reason to believe that it was upland, or ‗dry,‘ rice; that is, rice raised more or less as are other grains,‖ wrote the late Karen Hess in her book, ―The Carolina Rice Kitchen.‖If you ask Thomet why he decided to grow rice in a region not known for it, he‘ll look you dead in the eye and give you the same answer you might have heard from a 17th-century colonist: ―I eat rice.‖For the most part, rice in the United States is grown in flooded fields or the boggy lands near rivers or other bodies of water, after practices that date back millennia to rice farming in China and Southeast Asia. The floodwaters serve a purpose: They control weeds that otherwise would compete with the rice plants, which have a unique ability to survive the oxygen-less environment of a paddy field. But as water becomes a precious resource and as consumers fret over arsenic levels in rice (which are higher in plants grown in paddies), some advocates have been promoting an alternative method: It‘s called system of rice intensification, or SRI. What exactly is SRI? Erika Styger, director of programs at the SRI International Network and Resources Center at Cornell University, lays out four practices that broadly define the system. They are transplanting seedlings at a young age (to promote disease and pest resistance); reducing plant density (to decrease competition); adding organic matter such as compost to the soil (to increase fertility); and eliminating flooded fields (to allow the roots to breathe better).―A lack of oxygen — rice can tolerate it, but rice is not thriving in Daily Rice E-Newsletter by Rice Plus Magazine www.ricepluss.com News and R&D Section mujajhid.riceplus@gmail.com Cell # 92 321 369 2874
  • 14. it,‖ Styger says. ―Usually when you flood the fields, the roots are basically rotting away, because roots need to breathe as well.‖By adopting those methods, or some of them, farmers can produce higher yields (between 20 and 100 percent higher than conventional harvests) with up to 50 percent less water and 90 percent less seed, Styger and her colleagues say. What‘s more, SRI can eliminate fertilizers, reduce the methane gases that scientists say contribute to global warming, and dramatically lower the levels of inorganic arsenic, the most toxic form. The latter issue has been a particular concern for the U.S. Food and Drug Administration; the agency‘s scientists have determined that arsenic in rice (and rice products) poses no short-term risk but are now focused on any potential long-term effects.In flooded fields, farmers create the oxygen-depleted conditions in which rice plants can absorb more of the arsenic found naturally in some soils, says John Duxbury, a professor of soil science and international agriculture at Cornell. The SRI approach, conversely, creates a more aerobic or oxygen-rich environment that can lower the amounts of arsenic in a plant, he adds. Duxbury has conducted a handful of preliminary tests that show rice grown with SRI practices have inorganic arsenic levels as low as 5 parts per billion, compared to 100 parts per billion for some U.S. rices grown in paddy fields. One of the SRI rices tested was Lotus Foods‘ organic Madagascar pink rice.SRI advocates say they also have the field evidence that the system delivers on its promises. Since its introduction in the 1980s in Madagascar, SRI has been adopted by farmers in more than 50 countries. The SRI Center‘s Web site is rife with research papers and journal articlesanalyzing the success and occasional setbacks of these practices overseas.The evidence has been conclusive enough to attract significant endorsements. Over the years, SRI has been championed by a diverse list of organizations, officials and potential funders. Among them: Oxfam America, Africare, Worldwide Fund for Nature, the administrator for the U.S. Agency for International Development, the immediate past president of the World Bank and at least two state agricultural ministers in India. SRI‘s success has also inspired farmers to adapt the practices to other crops.SRI has even attracted the attention of Jim Carrey. Yes, that Jim Carrey, the actor better known for his comedic turns in ―Ace Ventura: Pet Detective‖ and ―Dumb & Dumber.‖ Through his Better U Foundation, Carrey has given more than $4 million of his own money to launch and fund the SRI Center at Cornell, which is the epicenter of international SRI research, networking and promotion. After its initial three-year grant, Better U is now helping the center raise money for its annual operations.Despite its acceptance overseas and its high-profile endorsements, SRI has barely made an Daily Rice E-Newsletter by Rice Plus Magazine www.ricepluss.com News and R&D Section mujajhid.riceplus@gmail.com Cell # 92 321 369 2874
  • 15. impression on U.S. rice growers, aside from sustainability mavericks such as Thomet and Glenn Roberts, founder of Anson Mills, the heirloom grain company in Columbia, S.C. Roberts, in fact, is an even rarer breed: He‘s raising paddy rice and experimenting with SRI trials in his fields.―I‘m not going to go away from flood rice,‖ says Roberts, who employs intermittent flooding. ―I‘m just going to grow twice as much rice.‖Major U.S. rice growers may never even get to the experimentation phase with SRI, which they view as better suited for subsistence farmers in Africa, Asia and Latin America. ―It‘s more appropriate for other parts of the world, where land is at a premium and workers are not,‖ says Michael Klein, vice president of marketing and communications for the USA Rice Federation, an advocacy group for the America rice industry.―It‘s not a method that lends itself to feeding several billion people,‖ Klein adds. It‘s an economic issue: Large-scale rice farmers, Klein says, simply would not be able to afford the labor to weed their fields.What‘s more, the U.S. rice industry is already developing seeds and refining agricultural techniques to increase yields and reduce water use. The industry, for example, has devised ways to limit flooding with the application of herbicides and the use of herbicide-resistant rice varieties, says Steve Linscombe, director of the Louisiana State University AgCenter Rice Research Station near Crowley, La. Linscombe says such systems have helped reduce water use by 15 to 20 percent.Rice researchers are also developing seed varieties that, one day, may be drought resistant or grown with less water or even tolerant of higher-salinity water. ―Water resources are the most limiting resource,‖ says Linscombe. ―You can absolutely grow rice with less water. . . . It‘s coming down the road in 10 years,‖ at the earliest.SRI advocates scratch their heads over such high-tech research. Norman Uphoff, professor of government and international agriculture at Cornell and senior advisor of the SRI Center, often wonders why major U.S. rice growers don‘t just adopt SRI practices instead of wasting time on expensive systems that SRI proponents contend are ultimately unsustainable. If growers need evidence, Uphoff can point them to a large-scale, mechanized farm in Pakistan that has had success incorporating SRI practices into a number of crops. The Pakistani experiment, Uphoff notes, ―really opened up the door for large-scale production.‖Some rice farmers have no motivation to investigate SRI because water prices remain affordable — or because the system isn‘t applicable in their area, says Susan McCouch, professor of plant breeding and genetics at Cornell. She is also the co-organizer of a National Science Foundation-funded project to support small-scale organic rice production in the northeastern United Daily Rice E-Newsletter by Rice Plus Magazine www.ricepluss.com News and R&D Section mujajhid.riceplus@gmail.com Cell # 92 321 369 2874
  • 16. States. McCouch says flat-out that SRI doesn‘t work in the northern temperate zone; flooding, for example, is mandatory in those climes to help buffer against cold temperatures early in the season. ―There is no one size fits all,‖ she says.McCouch sees SRI as more a belief system than a collection of practices that can be adopted anywhere in the world. SRI, she says, is a trust in the individual farmer — and not Big Ag — to decide what seeds and what agricultural practices are best for his land. In a sense, McCouch is describing a farmer much like Heinz Thomet, who through his own investigations stumbled upon some SRI practices. To McCouch, Thomet may be the perfect embodiment of SRI, which can serve as a symbol for the future of American agriculture.―We need something like that to believe in agriculture again,‖ she says DOST's rice fortification gains support BY: DANILO E. DOGUILES Wednesday 18th of December 2013 KORONADAL CITY , South Cotabato, Dec 18 (PIA) -- The Department of Science and Technology is expecting more stakeholders in Soccsksargen Region to promote iron-fortified rice (IFR) as staple.This after IFR has captured the attention of government agencies, local government units, rice millers and dealers, and food chain business owners in forums specifically dealing on the agency's rice fortification program.Early this month, DOST 12 and the Food and Nutrition Research Institute (FNRI) conducted such forums in General Santos City and Tacurong City in Sultan Kudarat.Emphasized in these gatherings were scaling up of rice fortification program via technology transfer, rice fortification technology, technology transfer and business planning, and guidelines and policies on food fortification.DOST's flagship program, Small Enterprise and Technology Upgrading Program (SETUP) was also presented.DOST 12 Regional Director Dr. Zenaida Laidan, in her message, emphasized iron-fortified rice is one of the most significant ways to address malnutrition.Encouraged by the information they learned from the forum, the management of CLG Enterprises in General signified intentions to adopt extrusion technology in producing iron premix. They are proposing a project entitled "Upgrading of Iron Rice Premix and Fortified Rice Production."Based on data released by the Bureau of Agricultural Statistics (BAS) and considering the ratio of 1 gram of premix in every 200 grams, a distributor that owns a prototype machine for the production of premix with a capacity of 200 kg per batch could supply all the millers in the region, she said.IFR, a technology developed by DOSTFNRI, contains 6 mg of iron premix per 100 grams of rice.Consumption of IFR, according to FNRI could build healthy red blood cells, improve physical and mental performance, prevents anemia, and strengthens body against infections.Meanwhile, Engr. Felix Canoy, manager of National Food Authority in Sultan Kudarat noted that the taste and color of the FNRI-developed IFR are better than the previously developed iron-coated rice. Moreover, assistant scientist Dr. Imelda Agdepa of FNRI said that in clinical trials conducted to 173 schoolchildren over 6 months, results showed greater increase in hemoglobin in children who consumed IFR than this who did not.In response to the support DOST 12 got for popularization of IFR, Daily Rice E-Newsletter by Rice Plus Magazine www.ricepluss.com News and R&D Section mujajhid.riceplus@gmail.com Cell # 92 321 369 2874
  • 17. Director Laidan thanked the National Food Authority and other agencies who have contributed or have promised to back the program up.She also vowed continuous advocacy through conduct of forums, social marketing, as well as information, education and communication campaigns for the commercialization of the IFR technology.Laidan added that fortification of rice will be implemented via mill enrichment and home enrichment.For home enrichment program, she explained, the iron premix will be made available through retail stores. This is aimed at making iron-fortified rice available to rural households and communities where access of mill-enriched rice is limited. (DEDoguiles-PIA 12 with BTagitican-DOST 12) Mississippi researchers find rice seed treatments work Mississippi State University | December 17, 2013: After testing scores of samples taken from rice fields across the state, Mississippi State University scientists found that seed treatments are effective in managing the crop‘s most troublesome insect pests.―In Mississippi, we‘ve been evaluating seed treatments for about five years,‖ said Jeff Gore, entomologist with the Mississippi Agricultural and Forestry Experiment Station and MSU Extension Service. ―Our research has shown that rice grown with a seed treatment typically yields from 8 to 12 bushels more per acre than untreated rice. The main reason for that yield increase is rice water weevil control.‖Gore said seed treatments are effective in both conventional rice varieties and hybrids.―Although they do not provide 100 percent control of rice water weevil, seed treatments do provide significant benefits in rice,‖ he said. ―Because control is not absolute, a foliar insecticide application may be necessary to maximize control in some situations.‖ Insect management… Gore works at the Delta Research and Extension Center in Stoneville. He said researchers take core samples about 4 inches in diameter and 8 inches deep from farms across the Delta, wash them and count the rice water weevil larvae.―An infestation of one larva per core will result in about a 1 percent yield loss,‖ Gore said. ―Typical infestations in the Delta range from 10 to 25 weevils per core in untreated fields, resulting in a 10 to 25 percent yield loss.‖Gore said that seed treatments provide other benefits to rice producers, too.―Seed treatments provide good control against a whole complex of other rice pests,‖ he said. ―Seed treatments help manage chinch bugs, grape colapsis, thrips and soil insects, such as wire worms and white grubs, and get the plants off to a good, healthy start.‖ Performance under flood… Seed treatments for row crops, such as corn, cotton or soybean, target early-season pests that are in the soil when the seed is planted. But rice seed treatments are different.―We‘re targeting primarily rice water weevils, and they only move into the field when producers establish the permanent flood about three to six weeks after planting,‖ Gore said. ―So seed treatments for rice have to last longer than in other crops, because they are sitting in the field a lot longer.‖Gore said all of the seed treatments are water soluble, and water can have both positive and negative effects on seed treatments. Daily Rice E-Newsletter by Rice Plus Magazine www.ricepluss.com News and R&D Section mujajhid.riceplus@gmail.com Cell # 92 321 369 2874
  • 18. Second day of rice mill strike prompts govt to act Bangalore, December 17, 2013, DHNS: As rice millers entered their second day of indefinite strikes, the State government has initiated the first steps to resolve the issue by scheduling a meeting on Wednesday in Bangalore. Minister for Food and Civil Supplies Dinesh Gundu Rao said on Tuesday that the government was ready to hear any legitimate pleas by rice millers and resolve the issue.Earlier in the day, Chief Minister Siddaramaiah expressed confidence in their pricing of rice at Rs 2,400 per tonne, and said that the government is in constant touch with millers.The Federation of Karnataka Chambers of Commerce and Industry (FKCCI) urged the government to settle the millers‘ problems in an ‗amicable‘ manner. In a statement, FKCCI has said that the outcome of the settlement should be a win-win situation for both the government and millers. The industry body has said that the idefinite strike has caused hardships to both the millers and the workers employed there. The millers had begun their indefinite strike on Monday, across 23 districts in the State, to oppose the levy target fixed by the government. There are as many as 1,800 rice mills in the State. For Advertisment & Specs Contact : Mujahid Ali +92 321 3692874 mujahid.riceplus@gmail.com Daily Rice E-Newsletter by Rice Plus Magazine www.ricepluss.com News and R&D Section mujajhid.riceplus@gmail.com Cell # 92 321 369 2874

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