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27th january,2014 daily global rice e newsletter by riceplus magazine

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  • 1. 27th January , 2014 TOP Contents - Tailored for YOU Latest News Headlines…      Flood-Tolerant Rice Shows Improved Yields In India  Gov’t consent seen in rice smuggling  Rice imports overprice reached P825 million — NBI, BOC  Rice trade show, meetings canceled  NFA: Vietnam rice arrives in Oro  BAS notes slight rise in palay prices  Excise office denies report of illegal rice import  Thai red-shirt heartland backs government despite rice fiasco  We want our rice back, plus compensation, angry farmers say  Bridge loans to get payments to rice farmers back on track  Palay marketing program for LGUs takes off  Fresh enquiries may drive up rice prices  Agri Buzz : Thailand Rice Exports Down 3.7% During January 1-15, 2014  Agri Buzz : Thailand Government Using Future Trading Platform To Liquidate Their Rice Stocks Bank of Agriculture launches lending package to help farmers in rice pledging scheme Farmers block road in Nakhon Sawan to demand rice payment Canada, Pakistan frown at India’s foodgrain exports, farm subsidies TABLE-India Grain Prices-Delhi-Jan 27  More farmers join protests over rice debt  NACC probes PM on rice  Paddy farmers block roads, demand delayed payments 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. NEWS DETAILS: Flood-Tolerant Rice Shows Improved Yields In India By Science and Development Network |Featured Research January 28, 2014 A flood-tolerant hybrid rice that improves yields in India by almost half has been found to benefit marginalized people living in flood-prone areas.AsianScientist (Jan. 28, 2014) – A flood-tolerant hybrid rice that improves yields in India by almost half has been found to benefit marginalized people living in flood-prone areas.Researchers from the International Rice Research Institute (IRRI) and the University of California, Berkeley, US, conducted randomized field trials in 128 villages in the eastern Indian state of Odisha, on SwarnaSub1 – a new variety that they developed by transferring a gene for flood tolerance, which allows plants to survive under submerged conditions, intoSwarna, a rice variety commonly cultivated in India. The trials showed that yields of Swarna-Sub1 could be 45 percent higher, even when it was submerged under water for one to two weeks, compared to Swarna. The results were reported in the journal Scientific Reports.The scientists used an advanced genetics technique called ‗marker assisted selection‘ in which they select the precise gene of interest (in this case flood tolerance), by zeroing in on a marker linked to it, which could be a chemical molecule or a piece of genetic material.The report says that low-lying flood-prone areas tend to be more heavily occupied by people belonging to socially disadvantaged groups. So, a policy-relevant implication of the findings is that ―flood-tolerant rice can deliver both efficiency gains, through reduced yield variability and higher expected yield, and equity gains in disproportionately benefiting the most marginal group of farmers. ‖Flash floods are common in 44 million hectares where rice is grown in India; and Swarna Sub-1 would prove beneficial if grown in 12-14 million hectares, or almost a third of the rice cultivated area, the report 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. says.Although other flood-tolerant rice varieties were developed earlier, Swarna-Sub1 is the first to be released to farmers for cultivation, said Manzoor Dhar, lead author of the study and senior associate scientist at IRRI‘s New Delhi unit.Since late 2009, the seed is being provided to randomly-selected farmers in Odisha‘s coastal districts, which are mainly rainfed lowlands and prone to floods.The variety has also been released in Bangladesh and Nepal, and in some South-East Asian countries.J K Roy, former joint director of India‘s Central Rice Research Institute, in Cuttack in Odisha and currently nodal scientist with a non-government organization aid, which works with IRRI on flood-tolerant rice projects in Odisha, says that the success in Odisha‘s coastal districts is being replicated in some other districts in the state, and also in Bihar and Assam states. The article can be found at: H. Dar M et al. (2013) Flood-tolerant rice reduces yield variability and raises expected yield, differentially benefitting socially disadvantaged groups. —— Source: SciDev.Net; Photo: IRRI/Flickr/CC. Disclaimer: This article does not necessarily reflect the views of AsianScientist or its staff. Gov’t consent seen in rice smuggling Posted on January 27, 2014 09:45:49 PM RICE SMUGGLING happened with government consent as traders linked to the illegal activity are the same people issued with importation permits by the Department of Agriculture (DA) and the National Food Authority (NFA), a lawmaker said on Monday.In a hearing by the House committee on agriculture and food on the issue of rice smuggling yesterday, Party-list Rep. Fernando L. Hicap (Anakpawis) said the government‘s policy of rice importation also intensified illegal activity in the country.―Agriculture Secretary Proceso J. Alcala and NFA Administrator Orlan A. Calayag has a lot of explaining to do. The same entities alleged by the National Bureau of Investigation (NBI) as rice smugglers are the same entities that were granted importation permits by the NFA,‖ Mr. Hicap said.Heads must roll at the DA and NFA over rice smuggling. Massive rice smuggling happened right under their noses and they didn‘t do anything to stop it. By the looks of it, rice smuggling happened with government consent,‖ he added.Mr. Hicap said the rampant rice smuggling in the country is an effect of the government‘s rice importation policy that was intensified by the previous and current administrations. -- Imee Charlee C. Delavin Rice imports overprice reached P825 million — NBI, BOC By Jerry E. Esplanada Philippine Daily Inquirer 9:16 pm | Sunday, January 26th, 2014 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. MANILA, Philippines — The government‘s rice imports from Vietnam in 2013—which totaled 705,700 metric tons or around 14.1 million bags of 50-kilogram long grain white rice—were allegedly overpriced by as much as $18.8 million (around P825.4 million), according to National Food Authority and Bureau of Customs insiders.Documents furnished the Philippine Daily Inquirer showed that some 205,700 MT of rice imports in April 2013 were overpriced by $34 per MT, while 500,000 MT imported in November were overpriced by $23.69.―Multiplying an unexplained difference of $34 by 205,700 MT amounts to $6,993,800. At the prevailing exchange rate of P43.50 to $1 at the time of purchase, we have a peso value of P304,230,300,‖ said the NFA source.The source, who asked not to be named for not having been authorized to speak to media, also said that in the November shipment, ―if we multiply the $23.69 overprice by 500,000 metric tons, the unexplained difference would be $11,845,000.‖When the government entered into rice supply contracts with Vietnam Southern Food Corp. (Vinafoods II), the prevailing import prices for Vietnamese rice in April and November were $425.70 and $438.56 per MT, respectively. These amounts included additional costs for freight ($25/MT), insurance ($5/MT) and delivery from the port of entry to the NFA warehouse ($30.70/MT). Vinafoods II is a Vietnamese government-owned corporation.But the NFA paid Vinafoods II $459.70 and $462.25 per metric ton for the shipments.Several NFA insiders pointed out that in the US Department of Agriculture‘s Grains Agricultural Information Report in late April 2013—the same period as NFA‘s rice importation contract with Vinafoods II. ―Vietnam rice averaged only $358.57 per metric ton.‖The NFA Council, headed by Agriculture Secretary Proceso Alcala, approved the importation of 205,700 MT of rice in March 2013 and an additional 500,000 MT in November to ―serve as a buffer stock for the December 2013-March 2014 period.‖ At this writing, Alcala had yet to respond to the Inquirer‘s request for an interview.Copies of official documents obtained by this paper also pointed to other possible irregularities covering the shipments:* In three memorandums, lawyer Ramon Cuyco, customs director for collection service, observed that at least three rice shipments under the NFA‘s regular rice importation program ―arrived in the Philippines more than 30 days‖ before their importation documents were submitted to the Bureau of Customs.Two of the memos, both dated Sept. 16, were addressed to the customs district collector in the Port of Cebu. The third memo, also with the same date, was addressed to the district collector at the Port of General Santos City. All three shipments were promptly released by the BOC.* The rice shipments had already been ordered and shipped before the NFA secured the required approval from the government‘s Fiscal Review Incentives Board (FIRB), which includes the Department of Finance, Department of Trade and Industry, Department of Budget and Management, and the National Economic and Development Authority. Under its rules and regulations, the NFA cannot order rice imports until the FIRB gives the go-ahead for the tariff exemption.Said the source: ―The fact that the NFA allowed the shipment even without prior clearance from the council or the FIRB is an indication of either a fear of a rice shortage or something anomalous.‖* In the 2013 rice importation, the NFA limited the bid participants to only two countries, Vietnam and Thailand, both of which had earlier entered into rice supply agreements with the Philippines.The official added: ―Clearly, the actions of the NFA were disadvantageous to the Philippine government.‖ 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. Early this month, Alcala was accused by Sanlakas party-list president Argee Guevarra with receiving kickbacks from the April 2013 Vietnam rice importation.Sometime in January 2011, then NFA head Angelito Banayo disclosed that the rice imported during the last three years of the Arroyo administration were overpriced by $125 per metric ton.Citing an audit of the 10-year importation record of the agency, he said its rice imports were overpriced by an average of $60 per metric ton.In a report to President Aquino, Banayo said the overprice from 2008 to 2010 accounted for 83.6 percent of the total amount of overprice in the 10-year period.He also said that fictitious cooperatives and corporations that took part in the purchase of cereals from abroad piggybacked smuggled rice on the agency‘s importation program.The huge overprice and excessive importation of rice pushed up the NFA debt to P177 billion, Banayo added. RELATED STORIES Rice trade show, meetings canceled ADVOCATE STAFF REPORT January 27, 2014 CROWLEY — Louisiana Rice Council and Louisiana Rice Growers meetings scheduled Tuesday in Crowley have been canceled because of a winter storm watch issued by the National Weather Service Forecast Office in Lake Charles. The trade fair and meetings were scheduled to be held at the International Rice Festival Building in Crowley. With predictions of snow, ice and sleet for the region, organizers said the responsible thing to do was cancel the event. NFA: Vietnam rice arrives in Oro By Anjo Bacarisas Tuesday, January 28, 2014 SOME 12,550 metric tons (MT) of imported rice from Vietnam, earlier reported by a national daily as ―overpriced‖, had been unloaded in the local port last Saturday, the National Food Authority in Northern Mindanao (NFA-10) said Monday.The bags of rice were transported by MV Song Ngan bearing 5,590 metric tons and MV Dong An carrying 6,600 MT, said NFA-10 information officer Chuchie Gaabucayan.Gaabucayan said the region expects to receive 340,000 bags of rice thisyear.―12,550 is equivalent to around 250,000 bags of rice, so this year we will be expecting around 90,000 bags,‖ said Gaabucayan.In an article published in a national daily Monday, the 705,700 MT of rice from Vietnam was allegedly overpriced by ―as much as $18.8 million‖ or around P825.4-million.―Some 205,700 MT of rice imports in April 2013 were overpriced by $34 per MT, while 500,000 MT imported in November were overpriced by $23.69,‖ the article stated. Camilo Magtrayo, assistant regional director of NFA-10, said the NFA rice that arrived last Friday and was unloaded last Saturday came from Vietnam.Gaabucayan also said the imported rice will be allocated to the provinces of Northern Mindanao including Lanao del Sur.Magtrayo said the imported rice that reached the region were part of the deal on the later part of last year.―This is part of the latest volume that was imported,‖ 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. Martrayo furthered.The article said the government entered into a contract with Vietnam Southern Food Corp. (Vinafoods II) sometime in April and November in 2013. When asked if the NFA rice that reached the region last week were part of the alleged overpriced deal, Gaabucayan said: ―I cannot comment on that.‖Magtrayo furthered that the importation of rice went through a bidding process, and the procedures of the bidding were transparent.―The bidding process was transparent. It was covered by the media focusing on the documents,‖ said Magtrayo.Gaabucayan said the transactions were done by the governments of Vietnam and the Philippines.He furthered that the government of the Philippines through the Legislative-Executive Development Advisory Council (Ledac) had called for the bidding. Rice sufficiency Gaabucayan said there is sufficient rice for the entire region.With regard to the trend of the demand of NFA rice, she said there were no changes in the pattern.She added though that some rice retailers have been requesting for some increase on their allocation of NFA rice to sell in the market.Magtrayo added that the summer crops (March and April) would also add to the supply of rice in the region.Sun.Star Cagayan de Oro tried to get comments from the Bureau of Customs around 11 in the morning on January 27, but the guard denied entry to the reporter since the paper doesn't have an accreditation.District collector Ruby Claudia Alameda or any of her office's representative has not sent any information that the media should have an accreditation to gain entrance or get comments from BOC. On January 24, Alameda was seen interviewed in a local TV report on rice smuggling issue. BAS notes slight rise in palay prices By Czeriza Valencia (The Philippine Star) | Updated January 26, 2014 - 12:00am MANILA, Philippines - Farmgate prices of palay (unhushed rice) rose while those of yellow and white corn fell in the third week of January, according to the Bureau of Agricultural Statistics (BAS). In a report released during the weekend, BAS said the average price of palay from Jan. 15 to 21 rose 0.50 percent to P18.49 per kilogram from the previous week and 13.55 percent from last year. The farmgate price of yellow corn grain at P12.01 per kilogram during the reference week fell 0.63 percent from the previous week and 2.74 percent from the same period last year. Farmgate prices of white corn grain at P14.81 per kilogram fell by 2.08 percent from last week and 8.14 percent from last week‘s quotation.Yellow corn grain is 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. primarily used as a component of animal feed while white corn it consumed as an alternative food staple. Upward movements in the prices of both wholesale and retail prices of well-milled rice was seen during the reference week. The average wholesale price of well-milled rice at P37.28 per kilogram was higher 1.07 percent from the previous week‘s price. Year-on-year, this was higher by 13.72 percent. The average retail price of well-milled rice rose 0.92 percent to P39.76 per kilogram week-on-week. Year-on-year, prices rose by 12.82 percent. Wholesale and retail prices of regular-milled rice also rose week-on-week and year-on-year. The average wholesale price of regular rice rose by 0.52 percent to P34.55 per kilogram week-on-week. This was up by 15.92 percent from P29.81 per kilogram in the same period last year.The retail price of regular-milled rice at P36.46 per kilogram was up by 0.05 percent week-on-week and by 13.85 percent from the same period last year. Wholesale and retail prices of yellow corngrain rose week-on-week. The average wholesale price at P16.47 per kilogram rose by 1.48 percent from the previous week and by 3.29 percent from the same period last year. Excise office denies report of illegal rice import Sun, January 26 2014 23:05 | 664 Views Jakarta (ANTARA News) - The Directorate General of Customs and Excise has denied a report that 16.9 tons of rice have been imported illegally from Vietnam."The importation of the rice from Vietnam has been carried out with recorded importation activities (83 times)," Susiwijono Moegiarso, a director of the Customs and Excise Office, said here on Sunday.He said that the Vietnamese rice which had flooded the Pasar Induk Cipinang Wholesale Market did not come from smuggling activities but from importation through Tanjung Priok and Belawan ports, after a license had been obtained from the ministry of trade.Susiwijono said the imported rice had complete documents. (A014) Editor: Jafar M Sidik COPYRIGHT © 2014 Thai red-shirt heartland backs government despite rice fiasco BY AMY SAWITTA LEFEVRE CHAIWAN, Thailand Sun Jan 26, 2014 11:34pm EST (Reuters) - Rice farmer Thiwakorn Chomchan hasn't been paid in 2 months, but he is not angry with Thai Prime Minister Yingluck Shinawatra, whose flagship policy is meant to guarantee him an above-market price. Instead, he blames anti-government protesters in Bangkok."Some farmers in the north and northeast of the country who are part of the rice scheme are not upset. 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. They know the government has its hands tied," said Thiwakorn, 51.Elsewhere across Thailand thousands of farmers, many of whom are owed 4 months' pay, are demonstrating against the multi-billion dollar scheme they say is riddled with corruption and have threatened to join the protests disrupting the capital.In the northeastern heartland of Yingluck's Puea Thai Party and her brother, ousted former Prime Minister Thaksin Shinawatra, nobody is switching sides.A meeting convened by Thiwakorn around a smoky fire in Chaiwan, a district in the northeastern province of Udon Thani, captured the mood: the 20 assembled farmers decided unanimously that they would not be joining the demonstrations. "We're loyal people. We have faith in the government's policies," said Sunanta Wimasee, who owns 9 rai of rice fields.The rock solid support of the poorer but populous north almost certainly guarantees Yingluck will win a February 2 election if legal challenges escalating violence do not force its postponement.But the erosion of rural support elsewhere leaves her increasingly reliant on the electoral bastion built by Thaksin - further polarizing an already deeply divided country where a protest movement based in Bangkok and the more prosperous south is determined to drive her from office. ESCALATING TENSIONS The protests are the latest chapter in an 8-year conflict that broadly pits the Bangkok-based middle class against the mainly poorer supporters of Yingluck and Thaksin, who was toppled by the military in 2006.Ten people have been killed since the protests began in November. In a sign tensions are escalating, an anti-government protest leader was shot and killed in Bangkok on Sunday as demonstrators blocked polling stations set up for early voting.Last Wednesday, Kwanchai Praipana, an outspoken leader of the pro-government "red shirt" movement, was seriously injured after an unidentified gunman opened fire as he sat reading a newspaper on his front porch.Just a day earlier, he had told Reuters a nationwide "fight" would ensue if the military launched another coup."We won't accept them seizing power, if we need to divide the country then we will," Kwanchai, who leads thousands of red-shirted supporters in Udon Thani. "We won't send people to Bangkok to fight empty-handed." REALLY MAD" Thailand's central plains, the country's main rice-growing region, have traditionally been up for grabs at election time, with no party dominating and constituencies keenly contested.In 2011, voters there helped Yingluck sweep to power after she promised to kick-start the rice intervention scheme. Out of the 265 seats won by Yingluck's party in 2011, more than 39 percent were from northeast, while 15 percent came from the central "swing" region.The rice policy, however, has been a fiasco, with losses of 136 billion baht ($4.14 billion) in the 2011-2012 crop year. 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. Critics of the scheme, including former Central Bank Governor and Finance Minister Pridiyathorn Devakula recently estimated the total at 425 billion baht ($12.93 billion).As financing strains mount on what has been a centerpiece of the government's program, unpaid farmers are getting angry."The government took our rice and they haven't paid us and those poor farmers can barely make a living," Prasit Boonchoy, head of the Thai Farmers Association, told Reuters, adding that more than 10,000 farmers would march to Bangkok.Over the past week protesting farmers in 26 of the country's 76 provinces blocked major roads demanding compensation."Almost everyone in the northeast has been paid because they've already harvested their rice. Elsewhere that's not the case," said Nipon Poapongsakorn from the Thailand Development Research Institute."It's life and death for them and the farmers that are protesting now are really mad. The government will certainly lose a few farmers' votes in the next election."Unlike in "Isaan", as the northeast region of the country is called, provinces in central Thailand are well-irrigated. Farmers there can grow rice as much as three times a year.But a long dry season in northeastern Thailand means farmers harvest rice once a year and diversify by growing other crops including sugar-cane, rubber and cassava. POPULIST POLICIES Thaksin, who lives in Dubai to avoid a corruption sentence handed down in his absence in 2008, remains a hero to many in the mostly poor, rural north and northeast for his big-spending populist policies, including free healthcare and cheap loans.In interviews with Reuters, farmers in Udon Thani blamed the protesters in Bangkok for delayed payments for their rice.Donning a green cap with a five-pointed red star as he erected campaign signs for Yingluck's Puea Thai Party, Thongpoon Promying, 61, said the government's critics were deliberately discrediting the scheme."It isn't the government's fault," said Thongpoon, a former member of the Thai Communist Party."There's money but the farmers' bank is playing politics. They call themselves a bank for grassroots people but they bend to the will of the elite," he added, referring to the state-owned Bank for Agriculture and Agricultural Cooperatives (BAAC). Under the scheme, the government uses loans from the BAAC to fund the purchases, and is supposed to repay the loans by selling rice on the world market.The bank's labour union has threatened an investigation against the government if it continues to use its reserves to pay farmers. Many of the bank's clients, fearing their savings will be used to pay off the scheme, have withdrawn their money. FLAWED SCHEME 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. Prasert Satitthammanit, owner of "Udorn Permsin" rice mill in Udon Thani, admits the scheme is flawed."It's the government's fault. The policy is fine, it's the way officials execute it. It should be first in, first out. They shouldn't leave rice to rot over three years," said Prasert.Thailand now sits on stockpiles of 18 million tons, almost double a normal year's exports and nearly half of annual global trade of 38 million tons, and has had little success in offloading its mountains. The government has even resorted to storing rice in airport hangars.The anti-corruption agency says it will investigate allegations Yingluck was negligent in her role as head of the National Rice Policy Committee. She could eventually face charges and be banned from public office.Bangkok's protesters have urged farmers to join them - but the offer finds few takers 450 km (280 miles) away in Udon Thani."The protesters are stunting the country's growth," said farmer Somboon Pansa, 61. "This is the old way of thinking... keep the power in Bangkok and keep us poor." ($1 = 32.8800 Thai baht) (This version of the story corrects second dollar conversion figure in paragraph 16) (Additional reporting by Apornrath Phoonphongphiphat and Panarat Thepgumpanat; Editing by Alex Richardson) We want our rice back, plus compensation, angry farmers say A GROUP of farmers in Phitsanulok are demanding that the government return paddy submitted to the government's rice pledging scheme, plus financial compensation for delayed payments for rice. Instead of waiting for payment of Bt15,000 per tonne for paddy from the tainted scheme, some 150 farmers said yesterday they now want to get their paddy back to sell to normal rice millers, who are ready to immediately give them Bt9,000 per tonne."And because of the delay in payments under the scheme, the government should pay affected farmers Bt3,279 per rai of paddy fields as compensation," said Chatree Ampoon, a farmer leader in Phrom Phiram district.The government has repeatedly postponed payments to farmers who participated in the scheme in recent months. The delay has forced many farmers to turn to loan sharks to get money.Some 150 farmers rallied at the Indochina Intersection in Phitsanulok 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. yesterday to press for their demands. Protests by farmers were also being staged in several other provinces. Kittisak Rattanawaraha, who chairs the Network of Northern Farmers, said if the government failed to pay farmers, it should no longer stay in power."We will rise against the government," he warned, adding that if his group managed to get money for a trip to Bangkok, they might join the People's Democratic Reform Committee (PDRC) in its efforts to overthrow the current administration.The PDRC has demanded that the caretaker government resign to pave way for reform before an election. Its supporters have now occupied major intersections in the capital.In Tak, a number of farmers have joined hands with PDRC supporters in blocking the City Hall. Lawyers showed up there yesterday also to help farmers prepare lawsuits against relevant authorities over the troubled rice scheme, which has also incurred massive financial losses.In Nakhon Ratchasima, farmers from some 20 provinces in the Northeast gathered yesterday to prepare their next move, after the government failed to respond to their demand last Friday for immediate payment.The government is now struggling to secure a loan to finance the scheme, one of the most controversial of Pheu ThaiParty's populist policies. Bridge loans to get payments to rice farmers back on track Suphannee Pootpisut,Sucheera Pinijparakarn The Nation January 28, 2014 1:00 am Farmers can finally be paid for their crops next month after the Public Debt Management Office opens bidding to domestic financial institutions for funds to shore up the rice-pledging scheme. "We will gradually borrow in small batches of no more than Bt30 billion each. This is expected to reach farmers' hands within one month from now," Suwit Rojanavanich, an adviser for the PDMO, said yesterday.The PDMO is waiting for formal advice from the Council of State on whether borrowing Bt130 billion for the scheme would contravene Article 181 of the Constitution. With the Council's preliminary interpretation that the government can borrow for the scheme, the PDMO will take out short-term bridge loans from commercial banks, he said.Bidding for loans is the PDMO's normal process to manage its financing costs. "After borrowing from commercial banks, the PDMO will gather the proceeds to back the issuance of Bank for Agriculture and Agricultural Cooperatives bonds. The Finance Ministry will be the guarantor. That will later be converted into long-term debt," Suwit said.The PDMO has already guaranteed BAAC's three-year, Bt32.59billion bonds. The proceeds were used to refinance BAAC bonds that had matured and to prepay debt. The new bidding is the reopening of existing bonds with a 3.53-per-cent coupon rate. That is high compared with samematurity government bonds, whose coupon rate is 2.77 per cent. The reopening allows the PDMO to gain a discount from the bidding, which allows this issue of bonds to carry a coupon rate of 3.14 per cent.Commercial banks will have to wait for clear regulations before saying they will 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. join the bidding.Caretaker Finance Minister Kittiratt Na-Ranong said last weekend that his ministry would be the guarantor of the BAAC's loans of Bt130 billion from commercial banks. The ministry will ask the 33 commercial banks in Thailand to join the bidding for loans of Bt130 billion.Deja Tulananda, vice chairman of Bangkok Bank, said it had not received the request yet, but if the process is legal, the bank had no problem with considering joining the bidding.Arthid Nanthawithaya, senior executive vice president of Siam Commercial Bank, said the issue would have to be carefully considered by the board of directors.Plakorn Wanglee, senior executive vice president and head of wholesale banking at Standard Chartered Bank (Thai), said it would consider risk as a priority, but if the Finance Ministry is a guarantor, such a loan would be regarded as low-risk by commercial banks. However, Standard Chartered Thai has also not received the ministry's request yet.In a related development, Krungthai Bank president Vorapak Tanyawong insisted yesterday that the bank had not already approved a loan for the rice-pledging scheme. There was a rumour last week that KTB would lend more than Bt100 billion to fund the project. Vorapak said the bank's board of directors had never considered this issue and that the government had never asked KTB for such a loan. Palay marketing program for LGUs takes off BY: ELSA S. SUBONG Monday 27th of January 2014 ILOILO CITY, Jan 27 (PIA) – The National Food Authority-Iloilo and the town of Barotac Viejo had entered into a marketing agreement under the Palay Marketing Assistance for Legislators and Local Government Units (PALLGU) program.Barotac Viejo is the first in the province to adopt the program, allocating some P300,000 or P1 for every kilo of palay on top of the support price of P17 given for rice purchase by the NFA.Barotac Viejo Mayor Niel C. Tupas III said the amount of P300,000 is equivalent to 6,000 bags of palay for the NFA to buy from the municipality through mobile procurement.Tupas said the LGU allocation under the program will be used by the NFA to buy palay at a price higher than that offered by the commercial traders. ―This is expected to increase the income of our farmers,‖ Tupas said.NFA-Iloilo Manager Marianito B. Bejemino said he was grateful to the LGU of Barotac Viejo for entering in such agreement. ―The PALLGU Program is very advantageous to the farmers, as the additional premium will encourage the farmers to plant more,‖ Bejemino said.He asked the farmers, local leaders and officials to support the program to ensure its success.The event in Barotac Viejo held on January 21, was set as the launching of the PALLGU Program in the province of Iloilo. (JCM/ESS/PIA-Iloilo) 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. Fresh enquiries may drive up rice prices OUR CORRESPONDENT KARNAL, JANUARY 27: Fresh trade enquiries and hopes of good buying in the coming days kept rice prices firm on Monday.Rice prices have been ruling firm due to trade enquiries and steady domestic demand, said Amit Chandna, Proprietor of Hanuman Rice Trading Company.Prices of aromatic varieties are unlikely to see any downtrend now and they may continue to witness a steady to positive trend in the coming days.Non-Basmati varieties may continue to be range bound, he said. In the physical market, Pusa-1121 (steam) sold at Rs 9,100-9,150 a quintal, while Pusa1121 (sela) quoted at Rs 8,100. Pure Basmati (raw) quoted was at Rs 12,500. Duplicate basmati (steam) sold at Rs 7,000. Pusa-1121 (second wand) was at Rs 7,050, Tibar at Rs 6,100, while Dubar at Rs 5,000. In the non-basmati section, Sharbati (Steam) sold at Rs 5,000; while Sharbati (Sela) was quoted at Rs 4,800. Permal (raw) sold at Rs 2,300, Permal (sela) at Rs 2,350, PR-11 (sela) sold at Rs 2,900, while PR-11 (raw) was at Rs 2,800 a quintal. PR14 (steam) sold at Rs 3,200. Paddy Arrivals About 7,000 thousand bags of different paddy varieties arrived at the Karnal grain market terminal. About 5,000 thousand bags of Pusa-1121 arrived and went for Rs 4,225 a quintal; 1,000 bags of Sharbati sold at Rs 2,2002,250 a quintal, while 1,000 bags of PR sold at Rs 1,300. (This article was published on January 27, 2014) Keywords: Rice rates Agri Buzz : Thailand Rice Exports Down 3.7% During January 1-15, 2014 Capital Market/ 10:03 , Jan 27, 2014 As per the latest release from United States Department of Agriculture (USDA), the unofficial rice exports of Thailand (excluding premium white rice and fragrant rice) for January 13-19, 2014 totaled 67,805 metric tons, up 18,079 metric tons from the previous week and up 16,448 metric tons from the four- week moving average of 51,357 metric tons.Rice exports from January 1 - 19, 2014 totaled 139,563 metric tons, down 40 percent from 231,706 metric tons in the same period last year. Total rice exports (including premium white rice and fragrant rice) from January 1 through December 16, 2013 amounted to approximately 6.4 million metric tons, down 3.7 percent from the same period last year. Powered by Commodity Insights 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. Agri Buzz : Thailand Government Using Future Trading Platform To Liquidate Their Rice Stocks Capital Markets 09:56:00, Jan 27, 2014 The government's latest effort to sell its rice stocks through the Agricultural Futures Exchange of Thailand (AFET) attracted up to 19 potential buyers.Wichai Nawakul, vice-president of the Thai Rice Millers Association, attributed the good response mainly to new grains put up for auction and more flexible conditions.The new conditions do not stipulate that rice bought by the winners must be slated either for export or domestic sales.The government has also provided a guarantee of rice quality and supplies, making bidders more confident.The government on 22nd January 2014 put up 148,940 tonnes of rice stocks from seven state warehouses in five provinces for sale through AFET.Of the total, 110,480 tonnes are 5% white rice available from the 2012-13 season and 2013-14 new harvest, while 38,460 tonnes are 100% grade B Hom Mali rice from the 2013-14 harvest. A total of 27 interested participants including exporters, millers and packed-rice manufacturers registered to participate in the auction yesterday, but only 19 were qualified.Names of the buyers participating in the selling plan are likely to be revealed next week, with delivery due in March, April and May.This is the fourth batch the government has sold through AFET. It sold 110,000 out of 400,000 tonnes put up for sale in the previous three auctions.AFET is now considered one of the key channels for the government to dispose of its rice stocks to raise proceeds to honour its payments to farmers under the rice pledging scheme. Powered by Commodity Insights Bank of Agriculture launches lending package to help farmers in rice pledging scheme Sunday, 26 January 2014 By NNT – BANGKOK, 24 January 2014 The Bank of Agriculture and Agricultural Cooperatives (BAAC) has come up with measures to relieve the plight of farmers who have so far not been paid by the government for the rice pledged under the mortgage scheme.According to the bank's executive vice president Songserm Saksit, the board on Friday agreed to help those farmers struggling with their own debts, by extending 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. higher amounts of loan, up to 80% worth of the face value of vouchers issued for the rice pledged, up from the 20% previously extended, as well as cutting loan rate from 7% to 3-5%.The bank will earmark 40 billion baht for its new lending packages. Songserm said about 1.4 million farmers have not yet received their money from the government's rice pledging scheme.There are about 1.4 million farmers holding rice vouchers valued about 130 billion baht altogether at present, and over 100,000 farmers have been in arrears for their payments. To help the latter group, the bank will extend their loan repayment for another 6-12 months and waive the 3% fine for defaulting on payment. Farmers block road in Nakhon Sawan to demand rice payment Monday, 27 January 2014 By MCOT AKHON SAWAN, Jan 25 -- Farmers from five provinces have blocked Asian Highway at Nakhon Sawan to pressure the caretaker government to pay them for rice they sold under the rice pledging scheme.The farmers said that during the last five months, many rice farmers in many provinces did not receive their money so they wanted the caretaker government to send representatives to negotiate with the farmers.Some 4,000 farmers from Sing Buri, Chai Nat, Uthai Thani, Kamphaeng Phet and Nakhon Sawan have blocked the Asian Highway in both directions, causing traffic jams for kilometres.They have threatened to intensify their protest by blocking more roads and stay overnight on the road if the caretaker government failed to send representatives for talks. Canada, Pakistan frown at India’s foodgrain exports, farm subsidies AMITI SEN WTO to take up questions on India‘s wheat stocks, export price, rice subsidies NEW DELHI, JANUARY 27: Rice and wheat exporting countries have raised fresh concerns about India‘s food stocks and farm subsidies at the World Trade Organisation (WTO).This comes less than two months after Western countries promised India that no action would be taken against it for breaching food subsidy levels prescribed by the multilateral body at 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. least for the next four years. The WTO‘s Committee on Agriculture (CoA) will take up the questions raised by Canada and Pakistan on India‘s wheat and non-Basmati rice exports, existing levels of stocks and the subsidies extended, in a meeting scheduled on January 29, a Commerce Department official told Business Line.Canada has asked India to give details on the volume of wheat stocks held by the Food Corporation of India (FCI) in the light of recent reports that the country would be exporting up to 20 lakh tonne of wheat due to surplus stocks.In a representation to the CoA, Canada has also asked India to specify how it calculates the floor price (minimum price) for wheat exports. ―Reports (news) indicate that the Government of India has lowered the floor price for wheat to $260 per tonne from $300 per tonne which is lower than the price of the same quality wheat from Canada (and other countries) sold in the range of $270 to $275 per tonne,‖ the representation said. WTO concession India and a number of other developing countries have been granted a reprieve by the WTO against legal action for breaching farm subsidy limits, fixed at 10 per cent of total produce, on items covered under the country‘s food security programmes.This was part of the deal struck at the WTO Ministerial meet in Bali, Indonesia, in December. Members are now supposed to work on a permanent solution to the problem. India is likely to breach the prescribed subsidy limits once it fully implements its Food Security Programme which offers 5 kg of subsidised foodgrain to about two-thirds of its population. The reprieve, however, would not be applicable if the subsidised foodgrain is released in the export market and affects global prices. India is also obligated to supply all data related to production, pricing, procurement and subsidies demanded by WTO members who would want to ensure that subsidised food was not distorting the global market.A number of civil society organisations, such as Right to Food Campaign, Action Aid and Third World Network, had earlier warned that the temporary reprieve, called the Peace Clause, would lead to insufficient protection and onerous data sharing obligation.Pakistan, in its representation to the CoA, has asked India to furnish details of rice exports in the last two years. It has also asked the country to clarify if all non-Basmati rice varieties were eligible for market price support. ―India will get some time to reply to the questions,‖ the official said. (This article was published on January 27, 2014) Keywords: Rice and wheat expor, fresh concerns, food stocks, farm subsidies, World Trade Organisation TABLE-India Grain Prices-Delhi-Jan 27 Mon Jan 27, 2014 3:10pm IST Rates by Asian News International, New Delhi Tel: 011 2619 1464 Indicative Previous Grains opening close (in rupees per 100 kg unless stated) ---------------------------------------------------------Wheat Desi 2,250-3,000 2,250-3,000. 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. Wheat Dara 1,850-2,050 1,650-2,000. Atta Chakki (per 10 Kg) 215-240 215-240. Roller Mill (per bag) 1,960-2,060 1,960-2,060. Maida (per bag) 1,900-2,100 1,900-2,100. Sooji (per bag) 1,900-2,000 2,000-2,050. Rice Basmati(Sri Lal Mahal) 12,000-14,000 12,000-14,000 Rice Basmati(Lal Quila) 12,000-14,000 12,000-14,000 Rice Basmati(Common) 8,500-9,500 8,500-9,500. Rice Permal 2,100-2,400 2,100-2,400. Rice Sela 2,800-3,000 2,850-3,000. I.R.-8 1,850-2,025 1,850-2,025. Gram 3,150-3,300 3,150-3,300. Peas Green 3,050-3,550 3,050-3,550. Peas White 2,800-3,000 2,850-3,050. Bajra 1,250-1,550 1,250-1,550. Jowar white 1,400-2,250 2,400-2,600. Maize 1,420-1,450 1,420-1,450. Barley 1,350-1,450 1,350-1,450. Guwar 3,300-3,900 3,300-3,900. Source: Delhi grain market traders. More farmers join protests over rice debt Published: 26 Jan 2014 Newspaper section: News Rice farmers in the 20 northeastern provinces have threatened to stage a mass road-blocking protest today to pressure the government into paying them for rice they have pledged.Along with the threat of mass protests, the network of rice farmers also announced yesterday they would file formal complaints with the Lawyers Council's offices in their provinces to seek financial compensation.The moves come as farmers are angry about the lack of payments under the rice-pledging scheme while the government is in caretaker mode.A meeting of the network was held in Surin yesterday, chaired by Thongyod Sorot, the kamnan of tambon Mo in Surin's Prasat district.Affected farmers in other provinces, meanwhile, yesterday began blocking roads in separate demonstrations. More than 3,000 farmers from Nakhon Sawan, Uthai Thani, Chai Nat, Sing Buri, and Kamphaeng Phet stopped traffic on Highway No1 in Nakhon Sawan's Phayuha Khiri district at midday yesterday resulting in severe congestion.They started by blocking the north-bound lanes with about 20 tents.The protesters demanded that caretaker Prime Minister's Office Minister Varathep Rattanakorn receive a petition from them in person within 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. three hours or they would block the remaining lanes.In Ratchaburi, more than 100 rice farmers blocked one part of Phetkasem Road in the morning but they later agreed to disperse after negotiations.At about 9am, more than 100 protesters started to block the north-bound lanes of Phetkasem Road in tambon Bo Kradan in Pak Tho district. Northbound motorists were directed onto south-bound lanes to avoid the blockade.Two hours later, Ratchaburi governor Nisit Jansomwong met with protesters and negotiated a deal by which they would disperse, but could reassemble the blockade if they did not receive their money by next Sunday.On another part of Phetkasem Road in Phetchaburi's Khao Yoi district, more than 200 protesters from Ratchaburi, Phetchaburi, Prachuap Khiri Khan and Samut Songkhram gathered on all lanes of the road at about 11am. They blocked the road with trucks and cars, paralysing traffic and causing a 10km tailback.Later in the afternoon, Phetchaburi governor Monthian Thongnit met with protesters and held negotiations with them.He assured the protesters that he would arrange for the government to pay them for their pledged rice by Friday.If he failed to do as promised, he would allow the protesters to besiege Phetchaburi's city hall until they received payment. NACC probes PM on rice Published: 28 Jan 2014 Newspaper section: News The National Anti-Corruption Commission (NACC) will launch an impeachment probe against caretaker Prime Minister Yingluck Shinawatra on Tuesday, piling the pressure on her administration.As caretaker Prime Minister Yingluck Shinawatra meets the Election Commission on Tuesday, the anti-graft agency will launch an impeachment probe against her. (Photo by Chanat Katanyu).The move comes ahead of Sunday's snap election which the government has vowed to press ahead with despite a Constitution Court ruling saying that it can be postponed.Ms Yingluck and key caretaker cabinet members will meet the Election Commission (EC) on Tuesday to discuss the possibility of delaying the election The EC was reportedly prepared to propose in the discussion that the caretaker prime minister issue a royal decree to reschedule the election date.However, several key figures in the caretaker government have reiterated their official position that the election must proceed.The NACC has scheduled a meeting on Tuesday to initiate impeachment proceedings against Ms Yingluck for alleged negligence of duty in the rice-pledging scheme, a 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
  • 19. process that could be concluded in a month.According to NACC member Vicha Mahakhun, the NACC board will fast-track the launch of the impeachment probe against Ms Yingluck, who chaired the National Rice Policy Committee.The process would bypass the investigation process of an NACC sub-panel which was earlier supposed to be set up and take one or two months to investigate before submitting its findings to the NACC's nine commissioners. But the commissioners are expected to take up the case for consideration by themselves.Mr Vicha said the process would take much less time than the original plan because it is not a criminal investigation.The initial ouster bid was submitted to the NACC via Senate Speaker Nikhom Wairatpanich by then opposition leader Abhisit Vejjajiva as part of the opposition's no-confidence against Ms Yingluck in November.The anticorruption law allows the NACC board to undertake the impeachment process if the case is of significance.According to Mr Vicha, the impeachment investigation will make the NACC's inquiry, which was set up earlier into Ms Yingluck's role, "unnecessary". On Jan 16, the NACC agreed to launch an inquiry into the role of Ms Yingluck when a probe panel decided to bring formal corruption charges against 15 people involved in government-to-government rice deals, including former commerce minister Boonsong Teriyapirom and former deputy commerce minister Poom Sarapol.The Civil Court will issue a ruling later this week on whether to nullify the state of emergency and prohibit the use of force to disperse anti-government protesters who are determined to oppose Sunday's general election.The NACC's move coincides with a meeting on Tuesday between Ms Yingluck and the EC at the Army Club on Vibhavadi Rangsit Road.The meeting is scheduled for 2pm. The caretaker government representatives include caretaker Deputy Prime Minister Surapong Tovichakchaikul, caretaker Deputy Prime Minister Phongthep Thepkanchana, caretaker Justice Minister Chaikasem Nitisiri and caretaker Labour Minister Chalerm Yubamrung. EC member Somchai Srisuthiyakorn said the agency will ask the government to issue a decree cancelling the polls.If the government agrees, a decree can be drafted within half an hour.Mr Somchai said he thinks the polls should be delayed for 120 to 150 days, with four months considered to be the most appropriate timeframe.According to Mr Somchai, it is not good for a government to stay on in an administrative capacity for too long because it has limited authority, which could end up hampering national administration and development."A postponement is likely to help solve the problems. The political chaos would not spiral out of control," he said.However, a senior government source told the Bangkok Post that the government is likely to insist that Sunday's elections go ahead as scheduled. The government's reasoning is that even though the Constitution Court has ruled that the elections can be postponed and that the government and the EC should consult each other, there is still no legal precedent that the government can follow to achieve this.The planned election cannot be postponed unless there is a court order nullifying the general election as was the case in 2006, it believes."The Constitution Court was not clear on this issue," the source said, adding that there were fears within the government that if it proceeds along these lines it would fall into a "legal trap".The government has consulted with the Council of State and the conclusion is that there is no legal loophole for the government to proceed and postpone the poll.Its recommendation to the government is that it proceeds with the election and if there is a petition to the Constitution Court to nullify the poll then a new date can be set. 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
  • 20. The caretaker government has remained defiant over the election proceeding despite disruptions to the advance voting last Sunday.Mr Surapong said it depends on the EC whether the main vote will take place. He also criticised the Constitution Court for not making it clear what the government should do.He said the court's decision on the poll deferment is not a "ruling" but a recommendation.According to Mr Surapong, the election should not be postponed because in the advance voting it was clear that in 66 provinces it proceeded without disruption. Paddy farmers block roads, demand delayed payments Demo urges govt to pay for rice or return it Published: 28 Jan 2014 at 00.00 Newspaper section: News Farmers in several provinces yesterday blocked roads to demand the government resolve the delayed payment problem with the rice-pledging scheme.Farmers drive to Khiri Mat district office in Sukhothai yesterday to protest against the government‘s delayed payments under the rice-pledging scheme. PHUBES FAITES.In Phitsanulok's Muang district, about 150 farmers from Phrom Phiram district shut the Indochina intersection at tambon Samo Khae.Protest leader Chatree Ampool said the group demanded farmers be given back their rice and the government should take back the bai pratuan _ a document which farmers can exchange for cash at the state-owned Bank for Agriculture and Agricultural Cooperatives (BAAC). Mr Chatree insisted the group's protest was not politically motivated.Under the rice-pledging programme, the government is committed to buy the grain from farmers at 15,000 baht a tonne for paddy and 20,000 baht for Hom Mali rice, which is well above market prices.In Sukhothai, about 500 farmers from Khiri Mat district rallied and set up a protest stage in front of the district office.They demanded the government quickly solve the delayed payment as they have not been paid under the rice-pledging scheme for five months. Of the 7,773 farmers in Khiri Mat district entitled to payment under the scheme, only about 700 have been paid, said protester Jarun Porn-noi."The government always lies to us and focuses only on the election," Mr Jarun said.The farmers have also collected their bai pratuan and identification cards in preparation to file a lawsuit against the government for the delay in payment, he said.In Phetchabun, about 100 farmers from Muang, Lom Kao and Lom Sak districts blocked a road in Muang municipality to demand payment.The group earlier set a 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
  • 21. deadline for the government to pay the owed money by Saturday.Chaiyan Yodkam, chief of the Office of Commercial Affairs in Phetchabun, later assured farmers they will be paid once the caretaker government can secure a loan.Naowarat Buaban, deputy chief of Phetchabun BAAC, said the government had promised all farmers will be paid by March 15.Farmers from Chai Nat and Nakhon Sawan's Takhli district blocked a section of the outbound lane of the Asian Highway in Manorom district of Chai Nat yesterday. They asked the government to tell them when they will receive their money, and they threatened to block another lane if the government failed to address their concerns in a cabinet meeting yesterday.Meanwhile, National Anti-Corruption Network secretary-general Mongkonkit Suksintharanont yesterday submitted a petition with the National Anti-Corruption Commission (NACC), asking it to lodge a civil suit against the government for its handling of government-to-government rice deals. The petition was handed to NACC deputy secretary-general Wittaya Akompitak.The petition asked the NACC to freeze and confiscate the assets of cabinet members involved, including caretaker Prime Minister Yingluck Shinawatra, 74 former MPs and some senators.Mr Mongkonkit said the network found no evidence that government-to-government rice deals took place between Thailand and China. Only private deals were discovered, he said. For Advertising SPECS & RATES Contact: Advertising Department Mujahid Ali mujahid.riceplus@gmail.com +92 321 369 2874 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