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4th march ,2014 daily global rice e newsletter by riceplus magazine

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Daily Rice Global Rice e-Newsletter shared by Riceplus Magazine …

Daily Rice Global Rice e-Newsletter shared by Riceplus Magazine
Riceplus Magazine shares daily International RICE News for global Rice Community. We publish daily two newsletters namely Global Rice News & ORYZA EXCLUSIVE News for readers .You can share any development news with us for Global readers.
Dear all guests/Commentators/Researchers/Experts ,You are humbly requested to share One/Two pages write up with Riceplus Magazine .
For more information visit (www.ricepluss.com + http://publishpk.net/index.php/riceplus).
Share /contribute your rice and agriculture related research write up with Riceplus Magazine to riceplus@irp.edu.pk , mujahid.riceplus@gmail.com
For Advertisement & Specs mujahid.riceplus@gmail.com

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  • 1. 4th March , 2014 Share developments in RICE and allied sectors, Promote the Concept of Knowledge Economy Dear Sir/Madam, YOUR IDEA has a great worth---JUST share it through RICE PLUS 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. 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…                 Do you eat the straight tailed crawfish? Are you going to start? Super-rice defies triple whammy of stresses Agricultural exhibition As world faces supply glut, PH under pressure over high rice prices Some Rice Farmers in Thailand to Get Relief Struggle for rice funds continues Measures to help farmers affected by rice mortgage scheme BAAC’s rice farmers’ fund raises 121 million baht Paddy makes late gains in rabi sowing; maize area up Struggle for rice funds continues BAAC Launches Fund to Help Rice Farmers As world faces supply glut, Philippines under pressure over high rice prices Thailand may extend state of emergency despite scaled-back protest EC approves B20bn in rice payments B20bn must be repaid by May 31, says Election Commission Nigeria, Benin on the Brink of Economic War over Smuggling Nigeria: Govt Eyes 13 Million Tons of Rice Production in 2018 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. NEWS DETAILS: Do you eat the straight tailed crawfish? Are you going to start? Are you really going to eat that? LSU AgCenter researchers have given crawfish lovers the green light to eat straight-tailed crawfish. This goes against the long-held belief that a straight tail signifies the crawfish was dead prior to going into the boiling pot and, thus, inedible.WWL reported on the study yesterday. Ray McClain, a crawfish researcher at the AgCenter'™ Rice Research Station, says straight tailed crawfish are not necessarily bad.WWL quotes McLain s from an AgCenter news release: "Research at the LSU AgCenter showed that the degree of tail curl in cooked crawfish was not significantly different between crawfish alive at the time they were cooked and those that had been dead... prior to cooking."McLain continues: "The results suggest that the age-old adage of avoiding straight-tailed crawfish at a crawfish boil, as a means of ensuring safety and quality, may not be reliable and certainly has little to do with knowing the living status of the animal at the time of cooking." I happened to be at J & J Seafood in Gretna this morning (Feb. 27), along with photographer/videographer David Grunfeld. J & J will celebrate its 23rd anniversary on March 1. When I told Carl Jackson, one of J & J'™ owners, about the AgCenter study, his initial response was a one-word synonym s for both "nonsense"• and "œfertilizer."• "They'™re dead,"• he continued, referring to the straight tailed bugs. "œThey'™re going to be mushy. You don'™t want to eat that."Jackson later elaborated on the subject. (See the video above.) There weren't any straight tails in the three pounds I had from J & J at lunch. But I'™m certain to come across some soon, as the mudbug season shifts into high gear and I continue my quest to find the best boiled crawfish in the New Orleans area.Jackson's response made me wonder: Are the AgCenter's findings enough to get you to change what you do and don'™t eat from the crawfish pile? As much as I'™m inclined to respect scientific studies, I avoid straight tailed crawfish mainly because I, like Jackson, find their meat to be inferior. Super-rice defies triple whammy of stresses 16:38 28 February 2014 by Andy Coghlan 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. For similar stories, visit the Food and Drink , Climate Change and GM Organisms Topic GuidesFor the first time, a single strain of genetically modified rice has been developed to handle drought, salty soils and lack of fertiliser. The aim is to "climate-proof" rice farms in Asia and Africa so that they can grow the same variety each year, regardless of the conditions.Crops have previously been developed that cope with individual environmental stresses such as drought and salt, but this rice is the first to counter three at once."Considering the impact of climate instability on crop yields and food security, trait combinations such as our triple-stack technology will play a critical role in sustaining future generations," says Eric Rey, president of Arcadia Biosciences in Davis, California, which developed the rice. The salt-tolerance gene came from Arabidopsis thaliana, a type of cress widely used in plant research, and the drought-tolerance gene came from a common soil bacterium called Agrobacterium tumefaciens. The gene that enables the plant to use nitrogen more efficiently, so that it doesn't need fertiliser, came from barley.According to the International Rice Research Institute, drought affects 23 million hectares of rice in south and South-East Asia and costs $13 billion a year globally. In some states in India, it can reduce rice yields by 40 per cent. Salt is similarly problematic. According to the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations, about 800 million hectares of land are affected by salt, costing agriculture an estimated $1 billion per year. Passed the test On 21 February, Arcadia announced it had completed two years of trials on the rice. The company compared the performance of its super rice with that of the unmodified parent rice in different environments.Under a range of drought conditions, the yield of the modified rice was 12 to 17 per cent greater than that of the parent rice. With low levels of fertiliser, its yield was 13 to 18 per cent greater. When exposed to both of these stresses at once, the yield of the modified rice was 15 per cent more than that of the unmodified rice. Trials using a range of salty conditions showed the altered rice had a yield that was as much as 42 per cent more than the parent rice. "This sounds very promising," says Jonathan Jones of the Sainsbury Laboratory in Norwich, UK. "It is the first public claim I've heard of a stack of three different environmental tolerance traits, though I'm sure other companies are attempting something like it too." Jones's team recently developed and tested potatoes resistant to blight, the disease that caused the Irish potato famine."This looks good from the press release, but I'd like to see it pass peer review," says Matthew Paul of Rothamsted Research in Harpenden, UK.Arcadia is in the process of submitting its results to a peer-reviewed journal, says spokesman Ken Li. 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. Lots of genes Arcadia is working to advance the technology in Asia and in Africa, collaborating with the African Agricultural Technology Foundation in Nairobi, Kenya. "In Africa, rice plants with some of these genes have completed initial trials already," says Li. Arcadia is also developing wheat and maize with the climate-stress resistance genes.Last year, drought-resistant maize became available in the US for the first time. Around 2000 farmers in the Corn Belt planted it on 50,000 hectares,according to the International Service for the Acquisition of Agri-Biotech Applications, a monitoring group funded by the biotechnology industry. The ISAAA also says the world's first drought-resistant sugar cane is due for commercial release in Indonesia later this year.Many genetically modified crops with "stacked" traits have been developed, says the ISAAA. But most are resistant to weedkiller, insects or diseases, rather than environmental stresses. Image:Drought is no problem for super-rice (Image: Getty Agricultural exhibition LAHORE AN exhibition ―Best Agricultural Produce‖ has been organised at Expo Centre to enhance agricultural production. Department of Agricultural Information Punjab, Ayub Agricultural Faisalabad, Agricultural Department, Institute of Rice Research Kala Shah Kaku and many other research institutes are participating in the exhibition. Information is being given to the farmers for protecting their crops, including wheat and cotton, from diseases. The methods to preserve fruit and vegetables are also the part of the exhibition. The visitors to the exhibition are being guided thoroughly. Agricultural experts talking on the occasion said that Pakistan’s economy largely depended on agriculture. Different research institutions, including Punjab Agriculture Department, were busy to increase production by use of latest technology. The experts said farmers could not get more production as they were unaware of use of modern technology. As world faces supply glut, PH under pressure over high rice prices By Erik dela Cruz, Reuters Posted at 03/04/2014 5:25 PM | Updated as of 03/04/2014 5:35 PM MANILA - Rice prices in the Philippines have risen for six straight weeks, piling pressure on the government to import more of the national staple to stabilize markets and curb inflation already at two-year highs.While bumper harvests in other countries have stoked a global rice glut, prices in the Philippines have climbed around 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. 4 percent in the last three months after Typhoon Haiyan devastated key growing regions and as the government clamps down on smugglers looking to avoid hefty taxes.Increased purchases by the Philippines, one of the world's largest rice buyers, would help ease global oversupply, with Vietnam and Thailand likely to bid aggressively for any new deal from their Southeast Asian neighbor. National Food Authority spokesman Rex Estoperez confirmed media reports that Manila has since late January doubled the amount of rice it has been releasing into markets from stockpiles most days, looking to curb price gains."Private traders are running out of stocks, that's why we have released (more) rice into the market from our warehouses," he said.That has further drained NFA stocks that had dwindled to around 275,000 tonnes at the start of the year - equivalent to 8 days' worth of consumption, nearly half normal levels. Figures for January are due to be released next week.The U.S. Department of Agriculture has already said it expects Philippine imports to hit 1.4 million tonnes in 2014, which would be the highest in four years. The country has yet to confirm any purchases beyond 500,000 tonnes it bought from Vietnam in a government-to-government deal in November.Vietnam, the world's second-biggest rice exporter after India, is traditionally the Philippines' biggest supplier as it usually offers cheaper rice.For Thailand, a deal to sell rice to the Philippines would help offload some of its huge reserves and raise much-needed money to pay farmers that participated in a controversial subsidy scheme. GOING UP The average retail price of well-milled rice in the Philippines rose a further 1.2 percent in February from the previous month to P40.12 ($0.90) per kg, and was up 13.7 percent from a year ago, data from the Bureau of Agricultural Statistics showed on Tuesday.Estoperez said the NFA had doubled the rice allocated each day to government accredited outlets to 2,500 kg per location. Details on the number of accredited outlets in the Philippines were not immediately available.He also noted that government moves to crack down on smugglers had pushed prices higher. Philippines' customs have been on a drive to curb smuggling that has been rife as some importers look to avoid a whopping 40 percent duty on private shipments of rice and to get around a quota system.Critics have long argued the tariff should be reduced to encourage legal imports, but President Benigno Aquino's government says it is necessary to support local farmers.Climbing rice and fuel costs have driven up inflation in the Philippines, with its central bank predicting annual inflation to have reached its highest in more than two years in February Some Rice Farmers in Thailand to Get Relief Government Payment Expected to Give Yingluck Some Breathing Room March 4, 2014 8:18 a.m. ET Yingluck Shinawatra leaves a defense meeting in Bangkok on Tuesday. Reuters BANGKOK—Thailand's Election Commission on Tuesday approved the government's request to disburse $616 million to pay farmers for rice bought months ago in a now-troubled subsidy program.The move is expected to give the government some breathing room as it struggles to secure funds to pay angry farmers, many of whom are key 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. supporters of Prime MinisterYingluck Shinawatra. The caretaker prime minister's chance of returning to power is threatened by legal challenges and street protests.The payment is about a sixth of the approximately $3.7 billion that the government owes domestic rice growers for the wet crop production season that began in October and expired last month. The funds will be paid to farmers who sold their crops since November, Election Commissioner Somchai Srisutthiyakorn said Tuesday.Prasit Boonchuey, president of the Thai Farmers Association, said the disbursement of funds is good news but the government still has to address when and how it will pay the remaining rice growers. "The majority of farmers still haven't been paid and many are broke. Each day of a delay in payment means a lot of distress for them," Mr. Prasit, who led rallies in the capital last month, said.The funds will be temporarily borrowed from the country's central budget, which is used to cover government expenses, such as bonuses or financial aid to state officials, and emergency or special-project expenses.The government has to return the money by the end of May, which it is expected to earn from selling its rice stocks, Mr. Somchai said.Ms. Yingluck dissolved parliament in December and has led a caretaker government since then. Major decisions, such as budget disbursements, have to be approved by the Election Commission. The independent agency is given this responsibility to prevent governments from using purse strings to influence elections.Last week, the commission approved a $21.8 million expenditure to pay about 3,900 farmers who were supposed to have been compensated in September.Ms. Yingluck launched her multibillion-dollar rice subsidy program after she took office in October of 2011. She said the plan would increase consumer spending in rural Thailand. The program bought rice from Thai farmers at up to 50% over the market rate and the government withheld its stockpiles from the world market with hopes of driving up global prices.But the subsidy ran into trouble when rice producers such as India and Vietnam increased exports, while major importers such as the Philippines began increasing their own production. A global glut of rice put pressure on prices and made it difficult for the Thai government to sell its stockpiles without incurring losses. Thai rice farmers gathered on Monday at the Finance Ministry in Bangkok. narong sangnak/European Pressphoto Agency 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. Several hundred farmers rallied in Bangkok last month to demand that authorities pay up on delayed rice payments. Some farmers said they hadn't been paid in months. Others blocked roads and threatened to drive hundreds of tractors to Bangkok's international airport. That prompted a promise from the government to speed up payment in an effort to halt their plan.The farmers' fury threatened to alienate Ms. Yingluck's from her key base of support as her opponents took to the streets to try to topple her and derail the Feb. 2 legislative vote. Her Pheu Thai Party was widely expected to win in those elections.Ms. Yingluck's problems mounted Tuesday after Thailand's criminal court agreed to look into a complaint that Ms. Yingluck and her key security aides were responsible for the death of two antigovernment protesters who were killed in gunfights between protesters and the police last month. Six people, including two police officers, were killed when police tried to retake a protest site in the capital's old quarter on Feb. 18. The complaint was filed by relatives of the victims and the court will decide whether the complaints have sufficient grounds to warrant a trial.Deputy government spokesman Lt. Sunisa Lertpakawat said the government and security forces strictly followed international protocol in dealing with the protest. "We have followed the rules of laws. We're ready to prove that violence wasn't caused by our side." Write to Warangkana Chomchuen at warangkana.chomchuen@wsj.com Struggle for rice funds continues Petchanet Pratruangkrai, Suphannee Pootpisut The Nation BANGKOK: -- The Finance Ministry continues making a strong effort to raise funds to pay farmers in arrears under the rice-pledging programme through the issuance of Bt20 billion worth of saving bonds despite the remaining doubts over their legality. Meanwhile, the Commerce Ministry has accelerated sales of rice from the government's stockpile to as much as 800,000 tonnes a month, hoping to earn Bt80 billion in nine months.In the short term, there are only a few 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. choices left for the government to obtain money either from the Farmers' Assistance Funds announced last week or from the sale of rice to pay the farmers.The Finance Ministry has failed twice to raise the needed money via short-term loans. First it held an auction for a bridge-financing loan of Bt20 billion from financial institutions. Then it called for bids for Bt20 billion in promissory notes for general investors. No one participated in either auction. The main reason for the lack of bidders was the lack of assurance that a caretaker authority can legally raise funds via bond issuance. Another reason was that many state enterprises were reluctant to take part because of strong opposition from their employees."One of many ways to seek funds that the authorities are discussing is issuance of bonds. So far, there has been no conclusion on whether the Finance Ministry will guarantee the bonds. However, this is expected to be finalised in the next few weeks," Luck Wajananawat, president of the Bank for Agriculture and Agricultural Cooperatives (BAAC), said yesterday. He said the bonds should be guaranteed by the ministry, but "if the bonds are to be guaranteed by the BAAC instead, the matter will be discussed by the bank's board first, considering the legal issues and risks". The Commerce Ministry is expected to release about 800,000 tonnes of rice a month from the government's stockpiles this year. It also expects China to sign another government-to-government contract with Thailand for rice purchase, while many other countries will order more from the Thai private sector.Srirat Rastapana, permanent secretary of the Commerce Ministry, said a Chinese government agency had shown high interest in signing a G2G rice contract with Thailand soon.According to a ministry source, China will this week sign a contract for purchase of about a million tonnes of rice. The contract will be signed by Chinese state-owned enterprise COFCO and the Thai Foreign Trade Department.Previously, Thailand had to cancel a similar G2G contract with China, after that deal was suspected of being falsified and was investigated by the National AntiCorruption Commission.Srirat said Thailand should also be able to export more rice in the following months as many countries had placed orders with private exporters. Given the upcoming drought season, the government should be able to release more rice from the stockpiles, as many private traders needed it to supply foreign buyers, she said.Meanwhile, the ministry has ordered the Thai Trade Representative in Indonesia to hold talks with that country's Trade Ministry on reported dumping allegations against Thailand on the rice price. Measures to help farmers affected by rice mortgage scheme Tuesday, 04 March 2014By NNT KHON KAEN, 3 March 2014 Khon Kaen Governor Somsak Suwansucharit said the Khon Kaen Bank for Agriculture and Agricultural Cooperatives (BAAC) has launched measures to help farmers affected by the rice mortgage scheme. Farmers can 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. now take 20 percent of the value of their warehouse receipt on loan and extend their existing debt for up to 12 months.The bank also offered the farmers additional credit to pay for the new agricultural season and for household expenses while waiting for money from the rice mortgage scheme. Interested BAAC clients who are farmers can ask for more details at their BAAC branch or local BAAC branches. BAAC’s rice farmers’ fund raises 121 million baht Date : 4 มีนาคม 2557 BANGKOK, 4 Mar 2014, (NNT) - According to the Bank of Agriculture and Agricultural Cooperatives (BAAC), the bank’s rice farmers’ fund was able to raise 121 million baht on its first day of operation. Of that initial total, the bank reported that 10.51 million baht was in donations, 108.96 million baht was deposited in a fund that will be returned without interest, and the remaining 1.84 million baht went into a fund that will be returned with interest. The BAAC invites all to donate, explaining that the non-return fund accepts all amounts, while the fund that would return the deposit without interest and the fund offering interest have a minimum deposit of 1,000 baht. The funds would stop accepting deposits on June 30th and would conclude at the end of this year. BAAC President Luck Watjanawat stated that the bank has prepared mobile units to assist those who want to donate or participate in the deposit funds, but live in areas that don't have a BAAC branch. The bank plans to raise 20 billion baht, he said, adding the bank would forward every 1 billion baht raised to the branches responsible, to make the rice mortgage support payments. Paddy makes late gains in rabi sowing; maize area up KV KURMANATH HYDERABAD, MARCH 4: As the rabi season draws to a close, farmers in Andhra Pradesh seem to have overcome some setbacks that affected them in the season early on.Paddy, the main rabi crop that suffered heavily initially, managed to cross the average area of 14.31 lakh hectares (lh) in Andhra Pradesh at 16 lh.Farmers in Nellore and Chittoor districts, were paddy was sown pretty early, have started harvesting. Other crops that 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. witnessed reverses included maize with coverage of 4.48 lh against the average of 3.36 lh.The increase in acreage is due to the shift in favour of maize from sugarcane in some coastal areas. Oilseeds Sunflower (85,000 ha) and sesamum (24,000 ha) couldn’t make any gains as their acreage fell by about 50 per cent.―We thought groundnut would see a rout this year. But late gains helped the farmers improve crop health. It just fell short of the average of 2.74 lh to close at 2.59 lh,‖ a Government executive said. Three cyclones – Phailin, Helen and Lehar – not only ravaged the kharif crop on 20 lakh hectares but also delayed rabi sowings, casting a shadow on the crop year.The loss was so huge that the Government had pared foodgrain production target for the year from 225 lakh tonnes to achieve 207 lakh tonnes.Late gains in rabi could help increase in the production of rice. The official estimates had forecast a reduction of 10 lakh tonnes in rice production at 137 lakh tonnes. (This article was published on March 4, 2014) Struggle for rice funds continues Petchanet Pratruangkrai, Suphannee Pootpisut BANGKOK: -- The Finance Ministry continues making a strong effort to raise funds to pay farmers in arrears under the rice-pledging programme through the issuance of Bt20 billion worth of saving bonds despite the remaining doubts over their legality. Meanwhile, the Commerce Ministry has accelerated sales of rice from the government's stockpile to as much as 800,000 tonnes a month, hoping to earn Bt80 billion in nine months.In the short term, there are only a few choices left for the government to obtain money either from the Farmers' Assistance Funds announced last week or from the sale of rice to pay the farmers.The Finance Ministry has failed twice to raise the needed money via short-term loans. First it held an auction for a bridge-financing loan of Bt20 billion from financial institutions. Then it called for bids for Bt20 billion in promissory notes for general investors. No one participated in either auction. The main reason for the lack of bidders was the lack of assurance that a caretaker authority can legally raise funds via bond issuance. Another reason was that many state enterprises were reluctant to take part because of strong opposition from their employees."One of many ways to seek funds that the authorities are discussing is issuance of bonds. So far, there has been no conclusion on whether the Finance Ministry will guarantee the 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. bonds. However, this is expected to be finalised in the next few weeks," Luck Wajananawat, president of the Bank for Agriculture and Agricultural Cooperatives (BAAC), said yesterday. He said the bonds should be guaranteed by the ministry, but "if the bonds are to be guaranteed by the BAAC instead, the matter will be discussed by the bank's board first, considering the legal issues and risks". The Commerce Ministry is expected to release about 800,000 tonnes of rice a month from the government's stockpiles this year. It also expects China to sign another government-to-government contract with Thailand for rice purchase, while many other countries will order more from the Thai private sector.Srirat Rastapana, permanent secretary of the Commerce Ministry, said a Chinese government agency had shown high interest in signing a G2G rice contract with Thailand soon. According to a ministry source, China will this week sign a contract for purchase of about a million tonnes of rice. The contract will be signed by Chinese state-owned enterprise COFCO and the Thai Foreign Trade Department.Previously, Thailand had to cancel a similar G2G contract with China, after that deal was suspected of being falsified and was investigated by the National Anti-Corruption Commission.Srirat said Thailand should also be able to export more rice in the following months as many countries had placed orders with private exporters. Given the upcoming drought season, the government should be able to release more rice from the stockpiles, as many private traders needed it to supply foreign buyers, she said.Meanwhile, the ministry has ordered the Thai Trade Representative in Indonesia to hold talks with that country's Trade Ministry on reported dumping allegations against Thailand on the rice price. BAAC Launches Fund to Help Rice Farmers Tuesday, 04 March 2014By MCOT BANGKOK, 3 March 2014 A shortterm Rice Farmer’s Fund has been established in order to pay farmers while they wait to be fully funded by the government. This fund has been made possible by donations and contributions based on the generosity of Thai people, said Suwimol Aonin, manager of the Ubol Ratchathani branch of the Bank of Agriculture and Agricultural Cooperatives (BAAC).The fund’s value of 20 billion baht merely covers 20 percent of the total debt that 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. the government owes the farmers. The fund can be divided into two types: with 0.63% interest, and another type without interest. In addition, there is a fund open for people to donate to the farmers directly, she said.BAAC will manage the fund while waiting for money allocation to farmers. This is a way to help farmers and also triggers domestic consumption during the economic slowdown. Edited by Joel Gershon As world faces supply glut, Philippines under pressure over high rice prices BY ERIK DELA CRUZ MANILA Tue Mar 4, 2014 8:44am GMT (Reuters) - Rice prices in the Philippines have risen for six straight weeks, piling pressure on the government to import more of the national staple to stabilise markets and curb inflation already at two-year highs.While bumper harvests in other countries have stoked a global rice glut, prices in the Philippines have climbed around 4 percent in the last three months after Typhoon Haiyan devastated key growing regions and as the government clamps down on smugglers looking to avoid hefty taxes.Increased purchases by the Philippines, one of the world's largest rice buyers, would help ease global oversupply, with Vietnam and Thailand likely to bid aggressively for any new deal from their Southeast Asian neighbour.National Food Authority spokesman Rex Estoperez confirmed media reports that Manila has since late January doubled the amount of rice it has been releasing into markets from stockpiles most days, looking to curb price gains. "Private traders are running out of stocks, that's why we have released (more) rice into the market from our warehouses," he said.That has further drained NFA stocks that had dwindled to around 275,000 tonnes at the start of the year - equivalent to 8 days' worth of consumption, nearly half normal levels. Figures for January are due to be released next week.The U.S. Department of Agriculture has already said it expects Philippine imports to hit 1.4 million tonnes in 2014, which would be the highest in four years. The country has yet to confirm any purchases beyond 500,000 tonnes it bought from Vietnam in a government-to-government deal in November.Vietnam, the world's second-biggest rice exporter after India, is traditionally the Philippines' biggest supplier as it usually offers cheaper rice.For Thailand, a deal to sell rice to the Philippines would help offload some of its huge reserves and raise much-needed money to pay farmers that participated in a controversial subsidy scheme. GOING UP 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. The average retail price of well-milled rice in the Philippines rose a further 1.2 percent in February from the previous month to 40.12 pesos ($0.90) per kg, and was up 13.7 percent from a year ago, data from the Bureau of Agricultural Statistics showed on Tuesday.Estoperez said the NFA had doubled the rice allocated each day to government accredited outlets to 2,500 kg per location. Details on the number of accredited outlets in the Philippines were not immediately available.He also noted that government moves to crack down on smugglers had pushed prices higher. Philippines' customs have been on a drive to curb smuggling that has been rife as some importers look to avoid a whopping 40 percent duty on private shipments of rice and to get around a quota system.Critics have long argued the tariff should be reduced to encourage legal imports, but President Benigno Aquino's government says it is necessary to support local farmers.Climbing rice and fuel costs have driven up inflation in the Philippines, with its central bank predicting annual inflation to have reached its highest in more than two years in February. (Editing by Joseph Radford) Thailand may extend state of emergency despite scaled-back protest BY AMY SAWITTA LEFEVRE AND PRACHA HARIRAKSAPITAK BANGKOK Tue Mar 4, 2014 5:21am EST (Reuters) - A state of emergency in Bangkok could be extended until anti-government protests end completely, Thailand's foreign minister said on Tuesday, adding that he feared more violence even though calm has returned to the capital in the past few days.Protests aimed at overthrowing Prime Minister Yingluck Shinawatra are in their fifth month but at the weekend the remaining activists closed down several big protest sites and moved to a central Bangkok park.The protests are led by Suthep Thaugsuban, once a senior member of the main opposition Democrat Party, which boycotted a general election last month."If Suthep continues with his protest and there are more violent incidents, including grenades thrown, shootings and acts of violence by provocateurs, the emergency law will have to stay until the situation improves," Foreign Minister Surapong Tovichakchaikul told reporters."We will wait for security forces, the army and the cabinet to decide before the emergency expires on March 22," he said.The government imposed the 60-day emergency in Bangkok on January 21 in a bid to contain the latest unrest in an eight-year conflict that broadly pits Bangkok's middle class, southern Thais and 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. the royalist establishment against mostly rural supporters of Yingluck and her brother, ex-premier Thaksin Shinawatra.The protests began in November with attempts to occupy government buildings and spread in January when major roads in the capital were blocked. Those roads reopened on Monday after most of the protesters withdrew and regrouped in Lumpini Park.The protesters have lost faith in elections, which parties of the populist Thaksin keep on winning, and want to change the political system to end the influence of the former telecoms tycoon whom they accuse of being a corrupt crony capitalist.Thaksin has lived abroad since 2008 to avoid a jail term for a graft conviction he says was politically motivated.Labour Minister Chalerm Yoobumrung, in charge of enforcing the state of emergency, said the protests were unlikely to end soon and the demonstrators were banking on intervention by courts widely seen as hostile to Yingluck to bring her down."The protests will go on for a while because Suthep has not reached his target ... but I don't believe he can reach his goal so demonstrators are waiting for some sort of intervention by independent organizations," Chalerm told reporters. READY TO MOBILISE Yingluck faces several legal challenges, the most immediate coming from charges of negligence relating to a disastrous rice subsidy scheme that has run out of funds, prompting unpaid farmers to demonstrate in Bangkok.She has been given until March 14 by the National Anti-Corruption Commission to defend herself. It will then decide whether there is a case to pursue and, if it goes ahead, she may be forced to step down.Her caretaker government has only limited spending powers but, providing some relief, the Election Commission approved the use of 20 billion baht ($614 million) from the central budget on Tuesday to help pay rice farmers.As of February 27, the Bank for Agriculture and Agricultural Cooperatives, which manages the rice scheme, had paid farmers 67.5 billion baht for rice bought during the main 2013/14 crop from October, with 112 billion baht outstanding. Some farmers are demanding that the scheme, which ended on February 28, be extended as they still have rice to sell.The Commerce Ministry has said that could not be done until a new government is in office, which may be months away because the February 2 election was inconclusive because of disruption by protesters.At least 23 people have been killed in the unrest since November 30, including four children in Bangkok and the eastern province of Trat. Hundreds of people have been injured.The violence is the worst since 2010 when Suthep, at the time a deputy prime minister, sent in troops to end demonstrations by pro-Thaksin "red shirt" activists.Suthep faces murder charges related to the crackdown. More than 90 people were killed during that period of unrest.Thaksin's supporters, largely based in the north and northeast, have threatened to defend Yingluck if she is removed from power, adding to fears of civil strife. 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. Thanawut Wichaidit, a spokesman for the red shirts' United Front for Democracy against Dictatorship, said the group had practised over the weekend how to mobilize people in the northeast to get down to Bangkok."We rehearsed how to move large groups from one city to another to warn anti-government forces not to do anything that destroys democracy. The elite have killed red shirts like pigs and dogs in the past and we'll make sure they never do that again," he told Reuters. ($1 = 32.5650 baht) (Additional reporting by Raybould and Robert Birsel) Panarat Thepgumpanat and Pairat Temphairojana; Editing byAlan Image: 1 OF 3. A group of anti-government protesters and some farmers sit on the main road outside the headquarters of the Royal Thai Police in central Bangkok March 4, 2014. CREDIT: REUTERS/DAMIR SAGOLJ EC approves B20bn in rice payments B20bn must be repaid by May 31, says Election Commission EC approves B20bn in rice payments B20bn must be repaid by May 31, says Election Commission Published: 4 Mar 2014 at 15.56Online news: News The Election Commission (EC) has given approval for the caretaker government to disburse 20 billion baht from the Central Fund, a contingency budget, to pay farmers longoverdue money for pledged rice crops, election management commissioner Somchai Srisuthiyakorn postedon his Facebook page on Tuesday. However, Mr Somchai said, the government must pay back all the money, to be taken from the advanced payment made to the Foreign Trade Department, before May 31, 2014. The use of the 20 billion baht must not impose a financial obligation on the next administration, he said. Nigeria, Benin on the Brink of Economic War over Smuggling 04 Mar 2014 Seme Border station Crusoe Osagie discusses the likely breakdown of diplomatic relations between Nigeria and Benin Republic over grave allegations of 'state-sponsored smuggling" perpetrated by the latter 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. That Nigeria has to fight a survival battle on varied social, political and economic fronts within its borders is common knowledge. But the fact that the smaller neighbours around it now subtly sponsor economic sabotage against her is a relatively fresh development that requires scrutiny.In the last decade, it has been one issue after the other, militancy in the South-south leading to mind-boggling crude oil theft; kidnapping for ransom in the South-east and South-west and crude killings and maiming in the name of terrorism in the North. However, there is a new worry on the plate as the nation's neighbour, Benin Republic, is being fingered as sponsoring smuggling of goods into the country.Nigeria's Massive Loss to Smuggling. At the moment, the conservative estimate of Nigeria's revenue loss to smuggling is a staggering $2.5 billion, an amount that has invariably tempted an entire nation to make smuggling to Nigeria one of its major sources of revenue.Unfortunately it is innocent Nigerian who pays the price for this economic savagery allegedly carried out by the Republic of Benin, Nigeria's West African neighbour from the south west area. Factories in the largest country in the west African sub region are losing capacity due to smuggling and bread winners are being kick out of their jobs. In the case of rice smuggling alone, Nigeria loses an average of N120 billion annually to smuggling and almost 100 percent of rice smuggling into Nigeria happens through the borders with Benin Republic.An Alarm Against Sabotage. The Chemical and Non-Metallic Products Employers Federation (CANMPEF) last week called on the federal government to take extreme measures to stop what it described as the 'state-sponsored smuggling' by the Republic of Benin, which is taking a devastating toll on Nigerian businesses.The President of the CANMPEF, Mr. Devakumar V.G. Edwin, said the menace of smuggling of goods into Nigeria through Cotonou, which their investigation has shown to be directly encouraged by the government of the Republic of Benin, has led to the shut down of 53 out of its 145 member companies. To this end, the association of industrialists sent out a save our soul message to the federal government to shut the borders between the two countries in order to save businesses and employment of Nigerians."We are aware 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. of the other challenges, which face our businesses in Nigeria such as power deficiency and other infrastructural issues, but the problem of smuggling particularly one supported by the government of the Republic of Benin is the primary killer of manufacturing efforts in Nigeria," he said. Edwin noted that the association's executive council has recommended that the federal government should take far reaching measures such as shutting all border points between the two countries, to make a strong statement against the criminal act. He explained that elements within the government of the francophone nation, which borders Nigeria from the west are firmly behind the intractable problem of smuggling that has engulfed virtually all arms of the nation's productive sector.He said one does not need to look too hard to see the devastation that smuggling has brought to hitherto vibrant sectors in the country such as the tyre industry, where the two main indigenous manufacturers- Michelin and Dunlop-have since closed shop. He pointed out that the smuggling malady is also primarily responsible for the catastrophe that hit the textile industry, which various government intervention funds have been unable to address effectively."The textile industry used to be the most vibrant sector in Nigeria, employing the highest number of people after government but it was damaged by this hydra-headed problem of smuggling, which we have come to see is supported directly or indirectly by the government of Benin Republic," he said.Edwin said till date member companies of his association have had to layoff over 270,000 people either due to complete closure or massive reduction in capacity utilisation. Theory of Benin's ComplicityThe situation in the case of rice aptly demonstrates the involvement of the authorities of the Benin Republic in the massive smuggling into Nigeria, otherwise, how do you explain the situation where the francophone country would import 2.3 million tonnes of parboiled rice yearly, when its people culturally do not consume it."In the Republic of Benin, what they consume is raw rice and it is a cultural thing for them. So all the approximately 2.3 million tonnes of rice that lands at their ports are targeted at the Nigerian market and they ensure that most of this rice comes in through illegal channels, thereby knocking off locally produced Nigerian rice from the market," the president of Rice Millers, Importers and Distributors Association of Nigeria (RIMIDAN) Mr Tunji Owoeye explained. If the Benin Republic is not benefitting in one way or the other from the smuggling of parboiled rice into Nigeria, then it should have long began to question the rationale behind the landing of millions of tonnes of a product that has almost zero market potential within its borders. The government of Benin should have devised measures for recording the volumes of parboiled rice entering their country at its ports and the volume that goes 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. out through legitimate export channels between the two countries because clearly, the difference between these two figures represents the amount of rice smuggled into Nigeria. Owoeye also noted the existence of an intense anti-Nigerian sentiment in the Benin Republic, stressing that while the West African neighbour sponsor smuggling of goods imported to their country into the Nigerian market, they impose extremely prohibitive tariff on goods manufactured in Nigeria.He lamented Benin Republic's relentless effort towards preventing the implementation of the ECOWAS Trade Liberalisation Scheme (ETLS), which mandates all countries in the ECOWAS subregion to allow the movement of indigenously produced goods freely from country to country without inhibition, particularly when the destination country does not produce such items locally."They make frantic efforts to prevent our locally produced goods from entering their market and even when the goods are simply passing through their country to other West African nations, they still insist that their high tariffs are paid before the goods can go through," he pointed out. Effectiveness of Border Sutting In August 2003, Olusegun Obasanjo, the then president of Nigeria, closed its western border with Benin and said it would remain shut until the Beninois government took tougher action against rampant smuggling and banditry along the 700 km-long frontier.Thousands of travellers were stranded at the main border crossing at Seme, 60 km west of Lagos, after President Olusegun Obasanjo's government ordered the border gates to be shut. However, eyewitnesses said cars with diplomatic plates were still being allowed through.Nigeria's surprise action effectively cut the main highway along the coast of West Africa that is used to exchange goods between countries as far apart as Cote d'Ivoire and Cameroun.The Nigerian foreign ministry said in a statement the border would remain closed until Benin's President Mathieu Kerekou took firmer action against smuggling and banditry.For years cars stolen in Nigeria have turned up on sale in Benin and large quantities of cheap Nigerian petrol have been smuggled across the border. Before the closure of the border in 2003, many complaints had been made to the Beninois authorities on the economic sabotage but it failed to elicit the appropriate and satisfactory response, but when the decision taken in Nigeria's overriding national interest, visible steps were seen to be taken by Benin, whose president promptly visited Obasanjo to resolve the issue. After the resolution of the diplomatic breakdown, the smuggling malady 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. abated but about a decade after, the menace has returned and similar drastic steps may be needed for Nigeria to stave off the malignant problem. Tags: Business, Nigeria, Featured, Smuggling Nigeria: Govt Eyes 13 Million Tons of Rice Production in 2018 BY OJOMA AKOR, 4 MARCH 2014 The Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development is working hard to increase rice production in Nigeria from 3.4 million tonnes of paddy in 2007 to 13.27 million tons by 2018.This is to meet the goal of the Coalition for African Rice Development (CARD).Permanent Secretary of the ministry Mrs. Ibukun Odusofe stated this at the stakeholder's workshop on pilot initiative for improved rice seed sector in the CARD countries in Abuja.The CARD was established in 2008 by the Japanese International Cooperation Agency (JICA), Growing Africa's Agriculture (AGRA) and the New Partnership for Africa's Development (NEPAD) with the aim of doubling rice production in Sub-Saharan Africa by 2018.Odusofe said Nigeria was happy to be included in the pilot phase of the initiative which involves 10 countries from Africa drawn from both Anglophone and Francophone countries. The Technical Coordinator of the CARD Secretariat, Hiroki Watanabe, said stable and timely supply of quality seed is key to increasing rice production and productivity, adding that most CARD member countries identify seed sector as one of the top priorities to be tackled.He said the overall objective of the Pilot Initiative for Improved Seed Development is to identify strategy for improving rice seed supply.Earlier, Mr Ishiak Khalid of the Seeds Certification and Quality Control Department of the National Agricultural Seeds Council, said the strategic approaches towards the realisation of the project include presidential assent on the National Agricultural Seed Law, upgrading of available seed testing laboratories to meet international standards, consistency in agricultural policies, increase in the annual budget of seeds to meet the growing demand for seeds and among them timely release of budgetary provisions etc. 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