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3rd march,2014 monday daily rice e newsletter by riceplus magazine


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3rd march,2014 monday daily rice e newsletter by riceplus magazine

  1. 1. Global Rice News by Riceplus Magazine 3rd March,2014 Unedited Version WB: Buyer nations subsidize rice farmers, but not in PHL Details Category: Agri-Commodities 03 Mar 2014 Written by Marvyn N. Benaning / Correspondent FARMERS, millers and irrigators associations (IAs) in the Philippines are disputing the claim of the top economist of the World Bank in the Philippines that protectionism is the reason rice prices in the country are 40 percent higher than global prices. The World Bank’s Dr. Rogier van den Brink said the policy on rice importation, which is regulated by the National Food Authority (NFA), has caused rice prices to zoom to P35,000 per metric ton (MT) compared to the world market price of about P23,000 per MT in 2013. Van den Brink’s position has been assailed by farmers’ organizations like the Kilusang Magbubukid ng Pilipinas (KMP), the Philippine Confederation of Grains Associations (Philcongrains), the IAs and even by studies conducted by the Philippine Rice Research Institute (PhilRice) and the Southeast Asian Regional Center for Graduate Study and Research in Agriculture (Searca.) He also wondered why the quantitative restrictions on rice stands even as it had expired in 2012. He added that by maintaining QR through the NFA, the country would be violating its agreement with the World Trade Organization (WTO.) Van den Brink also claimed the Philippines now has the second highest wage level in Asia and a high rice-price regime would punish workers who have to spend more for food. The KMP has criticized the World Bank for insisting on rice-trade liberalization even as it means opening the country to cheap subsidized rice from other countries that the WTO had never punished. Dismantling the so-called protectionist barrier would kill the Filipino peasantry, KMP claimed, and demanded that rice imports be scrapped altogether and the Philippines pull out from WTO.
  2. 2. KMP said the World Bank does not understand that the Philippines has the second highest power rates in Asia and prices of oil products are skyrocketing after the oil industry was liberalized, with their costs accounting for 25 percent per kilo of palay. Dr. Vo-Tong Xuan, who won the first D. L. Umali award for rural development in 2008, also warned that “farmers remain poor and may even get poorer with the sweeping force of globalization.” Dr. Sjarifudin Baharsjah, winner of the 2013 D. L. Umali award for agricultural development in Indonesia, has also called on Asian nations not to abandon rice-sufficiency and urged them to revolutionize their farm sectors, as well. He said the “opening of the domestic market to foreign produce caused the rise in poverty and unemployment in rural areas, a rural agriculture economic involution, even within a seemingly healthy national economy.” Herculano “Joji” Co, longtime president of Philcongrains, said Filipino rice farmers do not enjoy the subsidies heaped on rice producers in Thailand and Vietnam, both of which have surpluses of the grain. Co said in Thailand, the government of Prime Minister Yingluck Shinawatra had guaranteed farmers a return of 20 percent to their investments, pushing production levels higher and assuring Bangkok a large inventory that it had trouble disposing. Vietnamese rice producers sell their stocks to the state, which also guarantees a fair return, and the government sells the grain through two corporations, one with socialist countries and the other to the rest of the world. Thailand and Vietnam have been providing fertilizer, seed and irrigation subsidies to their farmers, with the National Food Authority Employees Association (NFAEA) claiming that the former gives each farmer a subsidy of $900 annually, while the latter provides $800 per year to each grower. In the Philippines the so-called subsidy is not even P400 yearly, or less than $10 annually. PhilRice’s recent study has confirmed that the so-called high-subsidy and protectionist regime in the country is a misnomer. For its part, a recently released Searca study on technical smuggling showed that milled rice is the top smuggled commodity with a total value of $1.2 billion from 1986 to 2009. The estimates revealed that the smuggling of rice was highest in 2008, which happened to be the year when former President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo lifted the quota on rice importation. Between 1986 and 1994—the pre-WTO period for the country—technical smuggling of milled rice was only about an average of 30,007 MT per year, valued at an average of $8.07 million per year. A 24-year data showed an estimated total amount of technically smuggled milled rice into the country at 4,349,546 MT or roughly 181,000 MT per year, valued at $1.196 billion at current prices or about $49.8 million per year. “Although rice continues to benefit from trade protection through a quantitative restriction on importation, rice importation was also the highest among the selected agricultural commodities over the last decade,” the study said. In effect, technical smuggling came with WTO and trade liberalization.
  3. 3. The statistics relating to the so-called subsidies, protectionism and agricultural credit policies are no match for the subsidies and highly protectionist policies of other rice-producing Asian countries. “The interest on agricultural loan is also more affordable in other countries. The government bank in India provides zero interest if agricultural loan is paid within six months, while the government bank in China offers interest of 5 percent per annum for agricultural loans, 80 percent of which is shouldered by the government,” PhilRice said. “Thailand’s Bank of Agriculture offers 6 percent per year, while the government bank in Indonesia and Agri Bank in Vietnam both charge 12 percent per annum,” it added. “Filipino farmers have to be content with 24 percent per year charged by cooperatives, which charge lower compared with informal money lenders.” Worse, Land Bank of the Philippines told the farmers to secure loans from a unit of the Department of Agrarian Reform (DAR), which is scandal-ridden as well. PhilRice said “subsidized” Filipino farmers pay $49 per hectare in irrigation fees during the wet season and spend $69 per hectare during the dry season. “In Indonesia, farmers pay only the laborer who opens and closes the main canal, but payment for the use of water is free,” the agency said. Filipino farmers can only plead for an exemption from the payment of irrigation fees only if calamities ruin their crops. In all other Asian countries like China, Thailand, Vietnam, Cambodia, farmers enjoy unlimited irrigation for free, unlike the “subsidized” Filipino rice farmers. PhilRice’s latest study showed that the farm-gate price of palay here is slightly higher than those of neighboring Asian countries like Indonesia and Vietnam. The average Philippine rice yield in 2012 was 3.84 MT per hectare (MT/ha) in 2012, much better than India’s (3.59 MT/ha) and Thailand’s (3.00 MT/ha), which are exporters of rice. On the average, said PhilRice, the labor cost for land preparation, crop establishment, harvesting and threshing in the Philippines totaled to an average of $484.50 per hectare. This figure is a mile removed from that of India ($268/ha), Thailand ($192/ha), and Vietnam ($198/ha), but is not so far from the $430.50/ha that farmers spend in West Java, Indonesia. “In these countries, most farmers practice direct seeding and use combine harvester-thresher, thereby minimizing their labor cost,” PhilRice argued. China should be condemned by the champions of globalization and trade liberalization for providing free seeds to large-scale farmers, while India and Indonesia should, likewise, be sanctioned for providing subsidy to their fertilizer industries and finding them markets in Java. “In the Philippines, fertilizers are unsubsidized. Urea is sold at $27.91 per bag, which is 67 percent and 82 percent higher than the subsidized price of India and Indonesia, respectively,” PhilRice said. “Except in Indonesia, where agricultural land is taxed heavily, the annual tax for agricultural land in the Philippines [$4.65/ha] is higher than in other countries,” it argued.
  4. 4. China and Vietnam decreed free tax on agricultural land, while land taxes in India and Thailand are less than a dollar per hectare. MORE: Indonesia 2013 Rice Output Estimated to Rise 3.24% By Eko Listiyorini Mar 3, 2014 10:52 AM GMT+0500 - Comments Email Print According to statement from Indonesia‘s statistics office released in Jakarta today. * Corn production may have fallen 4.54% to 18.51m tons * Soybean output may have declined 7.47% to 780,160 tons * Increased unhusked rice production because of rise in harvest area and higher productivity, according to statement * Corn and soybean drops because of decline in harvest area and lower productivity To contact the reporter on this story: Eko Listiyorini in Jakarta at To contact the editor responsible for this story: Neil Chatterjee at Food Price Watch, July 2013: Prices Continue to Drop, But Food Subsidies a Concern LATEST ISSUE: July 2013, No 14, Volume 4 Food prices remain high even after prices of internationally traded food decreased between February and June 2013, the third consecutive quarterly decline. Higher production, declining imports and increasing stocks pushed down export prices. Uncertain weather conditions and domestic policy decisions still warrant close monitoring going forward. Prices of internationally traded food declined for the third consecutive quarter since their historical peak in August of 2012. Increased production, declining imports and increasing stocks are exerting downward pressure on export prices, but international prices remain tight for maize. The long-held consensus regarding consumer food that when untargeted and poorly implemented, they are not effective in helping the poor. They can also distort market prices and agricultural production, while leaving nations with a hefty fiscal bill. Food Price Watch, 2013
  5. 5. The World Bank's Food Price Index The World Bank Prices remain high and with recent price increases in May and June, uncertainties surrounding unstable weather conditions and domestic policy decisions among key food producers warrant close scrutiny.Domestic policies worth watching include public procurement policies, but also consumer price subsidies, which, far from being a thing of the past, continue to be used – even though subsidies often bring meager benefits to the poor, high fiscal costs, corruption episodes and unproven nutritional effects.Recent decisions by the governments of India, Indonesia and Benin to extend consumer food subsidies indicate that such policies remain in vogue.Between the 1950s and 1970s, developing countries used universal food subsidies as major components of their poverty alleviation strategies. Lately, rising food prices and recurring price spikes have revived the popularity of such subsidies, leading countries with high poverty and weak safety nets to make food available at below-market prices – for example by subsidizing imports or giving vulnerable groups access to food discount stores.Yet, the long-held consensus regarding consumer food subsidies, just as with electricity and fuel subsidies, is that when untargeted and poorly implemented, they are not effective in helping the poor. They can also distort market prices and agricultural production, while leaving nations with a hefty fiscal bill.Data from the Middle East and North Africa, the region most dependent on generalized subsidies, illustrate the harmful equity and fiscal implications of consumer subsidies. According the International Monetary Fund estimates, only 35 percent of the amount spent on subsidies there reaches the bottom 40 percent of the population.Country-specific estimates also confirm that the share of benefits from food subsidies reaching the poor is a fraction of total benefits. Click here to access the July 2013 issue of Food Price Watch.
  6. 6. Great 2013 crop a positive harbinger for U.S. rice in 2014? A report from the 2014 Mid-South Farm and Gin Show Mar. 3, 2014David Bennett | Delta Farm Press The world rice supply and use shows production of 473 million metric tons. That‘s record production, something seen for the last several years.―We‘ve also had record disappearance‖ said Carl Brothers, Riceland Foods senior vice president at the Mid-South Farm and Gin Show in Memphis on Feb. 28. ―Because of that it has reduced ending stocks to 105 million metric tons.―If you go back to the late 1990s, we were flooded with rice in the world. The higher the stocks-to-use number, the more available rice there is in the world.‖Also from the Farm & Gin Show: Meet your federal crop insurance agent, ‗your new best friend‘At that time, Brothers told a full house, ―there were some problems with the Asian crops and the stocks-to-use ratio dropped down to a low of 16.9 percent in the 2007-2008 period. At that time, both India and Vietnam banned rice exports from their countries. But we‘re clawing our way out of that low stocks-to-use ratio, although that‘s still at around 20 percent in the world.‖What about major export shifts?.Considering 2010-2011, Thailand was the number one exporter. ―It had been the top exporter for a number of years – probably since the early 1980s.―If you look at export trade, it has increased dramatically. Back in 1980 the United States was the number one exporter in the world at something like 3.1 to 3.2 million metric tons. But the amount of rice traded in the world was quite small. Of all the rice produced at that time, only about 12 million tons that entered world trade. So, we were a significant supplier in the world.‖ Check Rough Rice Futures Prices Since then, the world rice trade has increased almost four-fold while the United States has remained rather flat. ―I made a presentation for the (Riceland) board a few years ago and said, ‗if you really think that through – if your market had grown three or four times and yet you remained flat – I‘d say you were in a dying business.‘―But in our case, we were seeing domestic disappearance. As more and more (immigrants) arrive, particularly in our coastal areas, we see much more rice consumption in the United States. It‘s also going into pet food, in beer, and almost every restaurant in the country. Back 30 years ago, you wouldn‘t have seen that.‖India exported 2.8 million tons in 2011 and is now number one at 10 million metric tons. ―That‘s a big shift.‖Thailand, at 10.7 million metric tons in 2011 and 8.5 million tons in 2013-2014, is typically in the top three rice exporters in the world. That drop to 8.5 isn‘t because Thais don‘t have the rice, said Brothers. Also from the Farm & Gin Show: Day of reckoning nears for China‘s cotton policy―The prime minister came in on a platform calling for increasing farmer income. She introduced a program similar to our loan program back in the 1980s when farmers were paid $4 per bushel for rice going into loan. It wouldn‘t clear out at $4, so the U.S. government took over rice left and right.―The same is happening in Thailand, except they paid the equivalent of $10 per bushel on a rough rice basis. On a milled rice basis it‘s about $850 per ton. That rice just won‘t clear the market and they‘re struggling to remain a main exporter. And they‘re building stocks, something we‘re concerned about.―What happened with prices when the international stocks-to-use ratio was at 35 percent and then they collapsed to 16.9? The price skyrocketed. On a milled rice basis, prices went over $1,000 per ton. That didn‘t last very long – remember India and Vietnam put on bans and everyone panicked.‖
  7. 7. U.S. and Asian rice prices are the widest in history. ―We‘re hanging around $600 to $650 per ton with the Asians at about $400 per ton.‖ Rice prices continue to fall Mon, 3 March 2014 Chan Muy Hong As buyers swoop in to purchase Thai rice at garagesale prices, Cambodian exporters are dealing with lower than usual rates, and the results are being felt all the way down the supply chain to the farmers themselves.New figures from rice industry publication Oryza show that the cost for Cambodia‘s jasmine rice has declined sharply in recent months, in tandem with falling prices in Thailand brought on by that country‘s failed rice-pledging scheme.―This is a concern for everyone in the rice industry now,‖ said Khan Kunthy, CEO of Battambang Rice Investment Company, adding that sales have also dropped. Kunthy said that export volume for the first few months of this year was largely based on orders from 2013.―There is no good sign of orders for this new year yet,‖ he said.In 2011, Thai Prime Minister Yingluck Shinawatra vowed to pay farmers above market rates for their rice.But stockpiles have accumulated to record levels, flooding the global market with new quantities of supply and driving down prices.Thai officials estimate that there are 15 to 18 million tons of stockpiled rice. Oryza reported that the Thai government planned to offload at least one million tons per month from January to March.Thai hom mali rice is now at $955 per ton, a decline of 17 per cent compared to the price in December last year, when it stood at $1,163.The latest figures from Oryza show that, at the end of February, Cambodia‘s jasmine rice cost $885 per ton, a 7 per cent decrease from $950 per ton in December. ―We have no other choice besides lowering our rice price, even if we have to put up with the loss if prices went even lower than they are now, or no one will buy from us,‖ Kunthy, of Battambang Rice Investment Company, said.Kunthy, who runs a newly established rice milling operation, is also under pressure to repay the bank for a loan he took out to help set up the mill.Lim Bun Heng, owner of Loran Company, one of the country‘s largest rice exporters, said declines in Cambodia‘s jasmine variety will squeeze margins for all involved.―Cheaper prices of milled rice also mean cheaper prices of paddy rice that the miller will buy from farmers too,‖ Bun Heng said, adding that ―we cannot buy expensive paddy rice and sell it at a lower price‖.Export volumes are also decreasing as buyers look for cheap stockpiled product. Bun Heng said his company experienced a 30 per cent decrease in exports over the first two months of this year.―The Thais are selling their rice very cheap, so the buyers are switching to Thailand,‖ he said.
  8. 8. Last year was a time of enormous gains for the rice industry, as export volumes doubled. But the rice scheme has upended the global market, setting back not just Thailand, which used to be the world‘s largest exporter, but its neighbours, too.In January of 2012, Cambodia exported 9,700 tons of rice. Exports for the same period in 2013 jumped to 25,700 tons. But in January, the pace slackened, with only 21,500 tons sent out of the country.Exporters and rice millers should keep their fragrant rice paddy and wait until the supply in the global market declines, advised Srey Chanty, an independent economist who focuses on agriculture issues.―I think in the next three or four months, the fragrant rice price will bounce back to normal,‖ he said. Image:A rice worker in Koh Dach commune‘s Koh Dach village last year. The cost of Cambodian jasmine rise has fallen dramatically. Hong Menea Commerce Ministry: Thailand never dumps rice in Indonesia Monday, 03 March 2014By NNT BANGKOK, 2 March 2014 The Ministry of Commerce has denied the rumor of rice dumping in Indonesia which allegedly affected rice prices in the global market and upset many rice producers. DirectorGeneral of the Department of Foreign Trade Surasak Reingkhrua on Sunday confirmed the ministry had not sold Thai rice under the rice subsidy program at less than normal value in Indonesia and other countries as the rumor said. Thai rice currently sold in Indonesia was more expensive than other rice and had better quality, the official said. Mr Surasak stated further that Indonesia had not bought rice from Thailand since 2013 due to the country‘s higher rice production. Before that, Thailand had exported higher-priced rice which Indonesia could not produced by itself such as jasmine rice, sticky rice and broken sticky rice.The official reiterated that the ministry sold rice from government warehouses at the prices in line with the market and quality of the produce. The average price of Thai rice is around 440 USD/ton, higher than rice from Vietnam and India, Thailand‘s competitors, who sell their grains at 400 USD/ton and 419 USD/ton respectively.
  9. 9. BAAC clarifies rice farmers’ fund ate : 3 2557 BANGKOK, 3 March 2014 (NNT) - The establishment of the rice farmers‘ fund is legal as it does not violate the BAAC royal decree, said the Bank of Agriculture and Agricultural Cooperatives (BAAC). BAAC President, Luck Wajananawat, has reaffirmed that the purpose of the fund is to lend financial aids to rice farmers currently affected by the rice pledging program payment delay, reiterating that the fund is within the boundary of the BAAC royal decree, given it is a short-term fund which only serves as an alternative for the farmers while they are waiting for the government to come up with the payment. The fund builds upon the foundation of the people‘s generosity, said Mr. Luck, adding that such a move has been done before when farmers were facing difficulty brought on by natural disasters and unfavorable economic situations. The BAAC President also pointed out that the fund‘s value of 20 billion baht was merely 20% of the total amount of what the government owed to the farmers, thus it was virtually risk-free. Mr. Luck also claimed that the rice farmers‘ fund is a good way to reduce household debts, to stimulate the public spending and to prevent the economic hiccups. Minister hints at possible opening of rice market EJONG, March 3 (Yonhap) -- South Korea will soon decide whether to open its rice market to foreign suppliers, the agriculture minister said Monday, a move that has been postponed for the past 20 years in exchange for a large import quota."The country must give its decision on whether to open its rice market to the World Trade Organization (WTO) by September," Lee Dong-phil said in an exclusive interview with Yonhap. "The government will make its decision by June."Under a 1993 agreement with the WTO, the country was allowed to put off liberalizing its rice market until 2004 in exchange for importing up to 4 percent of its annual rice consumption. The agreement was extended for another 10 years by a later agreement, in which the country agreed to expand its import quota to 7.96 percent of total consumption, which will translate into a little over 400,000 tons this year, according to the minister of agriculture, food and rural affairs. Lee said the country could try to again delay the liberalization, but such a move may not be accepted by other WTO members or benefit the country."If we had switched to opening the rice market with import tariffs 10 years ago, we would not have had to take on an additional 200,000 tons in import quota," he said. The minister also said the Philippines, which, too, is scheduled to liberalize its rice market in 2015, has offered to more than double its import quota from the current 350,000 tons to 800,000 tons to further delay opening the market, but other WTO members have refused to endorse such a move over the past two years."The government will carefully decide in a way that will best serve the country's national interest and its rice industry," he said.
  10. 10. Lee said the country's import duties will likely be set between 300 and 500 percent of import prices should the country decide to open its rice market."For us, a higher tariff rate will be better, but it must be able to pass WTO verification," Lee said. "We cannot just set the highest possible rate, but need to find one that is acceptable to the WTO." <All rights reserved by Yonhap News Agency> Copyright Yonhap News Agency, 20 Rice farmers now reliant on 'low' market prices Petchanet Pratruangkrai The Nation March 1, 2014 1:00 am Rice farmers wait yesterday to meet officials from the Office of the Attorney General, which agreed to submit their case taking the caretaker government before the Administrative Court for failing to meet its commitments under pledging contracts. Already hit by overdue payments from the caretaker government under its pledging scheme, rice farmers from today will suffer yet further by getting lower income from selling their produce at
  11. 11. market prices after the end of the project.According to the Thai Rice Mills Association, the market price for 100-per-cent white rice (15-per-cent humid) is quoted at Bt7,200-Bt8,500 a tonne, compared with the former pledging price of Bt15,000.The market price for 30-per-cent humid rice, meanwhile, is Bt11,600 a tonne. The Internal Trade Department unofficially reported that more than 11 million tonnes of paddy had entered the government's pledging programme, which ended yesterday. The government has issued pledging documents to about 1.91 million farmers, while only 546,780 have been paid in full under the project. As of Wednesday, a total 11.3 million tonnes of paddy had been pledged.A rice-miller source said farmers would from today get even lower payment from selling their produce, as the market had acknowledged that the government needed to release more rice to generate income from the pledged produce."Farmers will be the ones who suffer the most from lower rice prices. Millers cannot help much, as the market trend has responded to the high government stockpiles, while the world market recognises that Thailand needs to sell rice urgently to get some return from the pledging project to fulfil its overdue payments," said the source.He added that lower rice prices in the market had clearly shown that the pledging scheme - with its too-high subsidised prices - had not benefited farmers in the long run.Chanudpakorn Vongseenin, president of the Public Warehouse Organisation, said the agency would try to tot up the amount of pledged rice this week, before reporting the results to the National Rice Policy Committee. The total amount of pledged rice should not exceed 11 million tonnes of paddy, he said.Somporn Isvilanonda, an economist at the Knowledge Network Institute of Thailand, said he believed farmers would suffer yet more if the next government's plan to support their next crops was unclear. Moreover, the price of rice would continue to decrease as the government now holds more than 18 million tonnes in its stockpiles, he claimed.Meanwhile, the Office of the Attorney General has accepted a plea by rice farmers for a petition to take the caretaker government before the Administrative Court for failing to meet its pledging-contract commitments.The office will set up an area for farmers to register their names before filing the case before the court.In a related development, the Lawyers Council of Thailand, which will help farmers file the overduepayment case against caretaker Prime Minister Yingluck Shinawatra and other ministers and government agencies involved with the pledging project, will next week file the case with the provincial court.So far, about 24,000 farmers have registered their names to file a suit against the caretaker administration. 712 million Baht to be paid to 3,900 rice growers Sunday, 02 March 2014By NNT BANGKOK, 1 March 2014 The rice pledging scheme time frame cannot be extended after its last day on Friday as this would be in violation of the charter, according to the Commerce Minister Niwatthamrong Bunsongphaisan. The minister, also confirmed that the government has received an official reply from the Election Commission approving the use of
  12. 12. 712 million baht from the central budget to pay rice farmers who still have not received their money for the 2012/2013 production season; the farmers were supposed to have been paid in September. He said that over the next week, this group of 3,900 rice growers in five provinces will receive their money in full. Regarding the government's request for the EC to approve the use of 20 billion baht from the central budget to pay rice growers who were still waiting for their money under the rice pledging scheme, Mr. Niwatthamrong said the initiative was not considered a new debt burden for the government, as the money would be temporarily borrowed from the budget while the Finance Ministry procured loans.He added that the rice pledging period for the 2013/2014 season can''t be extended because according to Article 181 of the charter, the interim government cannot create new debt burdens for an incoming administration. Thai PM to hear charges over rice scheme Category: World 03 Mar 2014 Written by AP BANGKOK—Thailand‘s anti-graft commission on Thursday summoned the embattled prime minister to hear charges of negligence for allegedly mishandling a government subsidy program, as her supporters blocked access and chain-locked one of the gates to the agency‘s headquarters in Bangkok‘s outskirts.The charges from the National Anti-Corruption Commission (NACC) could lead to Prime Minister Yingluck Shinawatra‘s impeachment after three months of street protests by her opponents and mounting violence that has prompted fresh concerns from the US and the UN. Yingluck‘s opponents want to replace her government with an appointed council that would introduce vaguely described anti-corruption reforms, but she has refused to step down. The antigraft agency‘s officials said Yingluck would send a legal representative to hear the charges because she was visiting her home province of Chiang Mai in northern Thailand.―After hearing the charges, we will study them and then respond to the NACC within 15 days,‖ said Pichit Chuenban, the head of Yingluck‘s Pheu Thai Party.Yingluck‘s supporters, called Red Shirts, are copying the tactics of her opponents, who have blocked roads and government agencies since December to pressure her to resign. The Red Shirts believe the anti-graft agency is persecuting the prime minister. They built a stage at their demonstration site and said they would bar the anticorruption commissioners from their offices on Thursday. Several also chained themselves to the office‘s gates.The rice subsidy program—a flagship policy of Yingluck‘s administration that helped win the votes of millions of farmers—has accumulated losses of at least $4.4 billion and has been dogged by corruption allegations. Payments to farmers have been delayed by many months. Yingluck will be given 15 days to answer the accusations against her. She could eventually face impeachment by the Senate or criminal charges if the commission delivers a final ruling against her.The Red Shirts have generally kept a low profile during the antigovernment protests, but as Yingluck‘s government comes under greater threat of legal action that might force it from office,
  13. 13. they have said they will respond in force, if necessary.The volatile situation has worsened recently, with shootings and grenade attacks on antigovernment protest sites. Twenty-two people have died and hundreds have been hurt in the political violence.The deaths of four children in attacks this past weekend caused widespread shock and sorrow, but seem to have only hardened the positions of both sides.UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon expressed his increasing concern and reiterated his condemnation of the recent escalation of violence. He urged the parties to ―engage as soon as possible in meaningful and inclusive dialogue toward ending the crisis and advancing genuine reform,‖ UN Spokesman Martin Nesirky said. ―The secretary-general expresses his readiness to assist the parties and the Thai people in any way possible,‖ he said.A grenade believed to have been fired from a M79 launcher exploded in the parking lot of public TV broadcaster TPBS on Wednesday night, damaging several cars but causing no casualties. Thai media reported that another two grenades were apparently fired at the nearby offices of the government‘s emergency peacekeeping task force but failed to explode.In Washington State Department Spokesman Jen Psaki described the attacks that claimed the children‘s lives as ―inexcusable.‖―Violence is not an acceptable means of resolving political differences. We reiterate our call for all sides to exercise restraint and urge Thai authorities to investigate thoroughly and transparently all recent acts of violence,‖ she told reporters.Thailand‘s army, which is generally sympathetic to the current antigovernment protesters, announced on Wednesday that it would set up checkpoints in Bangkok to help maintain safety.Thailand has seen political conflict since 2006, when then-Prime Minister Thaksin Shinawatra, Yingluck‘s brother, was ousted by a military coup after being accused of corruption and abuse of power. Thaksin‘s supporters and opponents have since taken to the streets for extended periods in a power struggle. In Photo: Antigovernment supporters rally in support of peaceful protests during a memorial for the children killed in recent bomb blasts in Bangkok, Thailand, on Wednesday. Violence spread on Tuesday to another anti-government protest site in Thailand‘s capital, following weekend explosions that left five people dead, including four children, security officials said. (AP) Department of Internal Trade to discuss selling rice through AFET Date : 2 2557 BANGKOK, 2 March 2014 (NNT) - Mr Somchai Soithong, Director -General of the Department of Internal Trade, has revealed that his agency is preparing a report on whether or not a portion of the government's rice stocks should be sold through the Agricultural Futures Exchange of Thailand (AFET). The report will be presented to Niwathamrong Boonsongpaisan, the caretaker Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Commerce. About 110,000 tons of rice, valued at 1.3 to 1.4 billion baht, out of 230,000 tons of bid rice is deemed suitable for sale through AFET. There have already been 16 offers to purchase the rice. An additional 200,000 tons of government stockpiled rice is to be sold through bidding on March 12. There are also plans to sell rice continually up to four times every month. Additionally, Provincial Internal Trade officers
  14. 14. nationwide have been instructed to survey agricultural prices to determine the impact of drought in several areas. Initial surveys have shown that some produce, such as lemons and summer vegetables, have increased in price. Meanwhile off-season rice yields this year are expected to be lower due to drought. The Thai Rice Exporters Association has reported that rice exports in January 2014 totaled 696,000 tons, valued at 12.3 billion baht. The volume of exported Thai rice increased by 19.9% but the export value dropped by 0.9%. The top five nations importing Thai rice include Nigeria, the Ivory Coast, Japan, China, and the U Mandalay rice down on pest issue By Than Naing Soe | Monday, 03 March 2014 The price of rice in Mandalay is likely to remain high until April as an infestation of pests in the area’s main supplier, Sagaing Region’s Shwebo and Wetlet, has destroyed hectares worth of paddy, said rice experts. The price for high-end aye-yarmin has grown 15 percent to K30,000 per bag (one bag is the equivalent of 49 kilograms) since the beginning of the year due to rice stem borers, which destroy rice stocks at the seedling stage, said U Thein Zaw, chair of the Rice Wholesale Centre.―There has been a shortage of moderate quality rice for middle-class and low-income groups,‖ he said, adding that despite the price hike, prices for some brands remain lower than in Yangon due to their notoriously poor quality.―Demand for Yangon rice is also high even though it‘s cheaper than Shwebo rice,‖ he said.Nevertheless, prices are expected to drop once more come April when seasonal supply from Kawlin and Wuntho is expected to hit the market.As of last week, the price for Shwebo pawsan (new rice) in Mandalay reached K32,000 per bag, while the same bag sold for K38,000 in Yangon. Some experts are worried that the rice industry in Myanmar has become unsustainable as prices are mainly being driven by illicit trading in the north on the Chinese side of the border.Rice producers are currently withholding stock from its traditional trading partners in an attempt to secure more favourable prices from China, where traders are able to offer a higher price from dodging local taxes. – Translation by Zar Zar Soe Rice production in Bengal may cross 170 lakh MT by 2017: Assocham Udit Prasanna Mukherji, TNN | Mar 3, 2014, 01.51PM IST Rice production in West Bengal (WB) can reach 173 lakh million tonnes mark by 2017-18 from the current level of about 148 lakh million tonne through increased usage of high yielding varities, improving soil drainage, spreading rice-fish culture and taking other such measures, apex industry body Assocham said on Monday."Increasing the crop intensity by utilising kharif rice fallows for cultivation of rabi pulses and oilseeds, diversification of upland rice areas that are less productive to suitable crops like pulses, oilseeds and millets together with development
  15. 15. of on-farm irrigation resources through exploitation of abundant ground water potential are certain significant steps required to increase cropping intensity and crop productivity in West Bengal," according to a study titled, 'Towards Second Green Revolution in Eastern India: A Road Map,' conducted by The Associated Chambers of Commerce and Industry of India (Assocham). "Rice production in eastern region of India can reach about 670 lakh million tonne by 2017-18 from the current level of over 580 lakh million tonne as the region holds tremendous potential to emerge as 'Rice Bowl of India,' as every quintal increase in yield would push rice production by over two million tonnes," added the Assocham study. "Eastern India contributes almost 55 per cent area under rice i.e. over 23 million hectares, besides, this part of the country is also blessed with abundant natural resources including land, water and bio-diversity, thus an integrated holistic approach coupled with a well-planned strategy is imperative to reaslise targeted average agricultural growth rate of about four per cent in the eastern region." West Bengal spearheads the eastern India in paddy production to the tune of about 150 lakh MT followed by eastern UP (140 lakh MT), Odisha (70 lakh MT), Bihar (68 lakh MT), Chhattisgarh (63 lakh MT), Assam (47 lakh MT) and Jharkhand (34 lakh MT). If India is able to bridge the gap between potential yield and actual yield in rice, the eastern region can achieve a compounded annual growth rate (CAGR) of about 10 per cent in rice production, highlighted the Assocham study. "Rice and fish production needs to be up-scaled in eastern region as it plays a significant role in socio-economic structure of farmers in the region, beside increased production of rice and fisheries resources will also lead to growth in marketing infrastructure and spur job creation in post-harvest, marketing and other related spheres," said Mr D.S. Rawat, national secretary general of Assocham while releasing the study. "Greater dependence on unpredictable monsoon, recurring drought and floods, low intensity during Kharif season, poor growth in spread of high yielding varieties, injudicious use of fertilizers and other agri inputs, low seed replacement rate coupled with weak extension machinery and poor credit facilities are major challenges faced by the region as it grapples with sluggish productivity and production growth rate," said Rawat. In its study, Assocham has suggested for using hybrids, inter-cropping, increased mechanization, use of micro nutrients, extension support and demonstration centres that are key to raise productivity. "Apart from rice (paddy) suitable evaluation of promoting other crops like maize, pulses and oilseeds should be undertaken for optimum utilization of land and local needs in the region," said Rawat. "There is also urgent need for efficient management of water resources as Eastern India is prone to rampant drought and floods. " Assocham has recommended that focused research in evolving hybrid seeds in developing transgenic rice should be undertaken to address problem of nutrients, pests, diseases, drought and floods. Besides, objective evaluation of bio-products together with extension of necessary subsidy is imperative to make them cost-effective and favorable for farmers as they are environment friendly and help in reducing toxicity and carcinogens. Market linkages is yet another important factor highlighted in the Assocham study as increased production should be supported by remunerative price to the farmers, accompanied by suitable mechanism for procurement in identified eastern states. Infrastructure is a pre-requisite to achieve the second green revolution in India, as such Assocham has suggested for conservation and conversion of
  16. 16. water resources in the rural sector, timely and efficient flood control systems, production of lowcost bio-pesticides and farm equipment and centres for agro-machinery services and agri-inputs. Assocham has also suggested for creating a scientific storage, grading and cleaning centre as over 20 per cent of agricultural goods are wasted at various points when farm products move from farm till consumers' door-step. There is also a need to develop farmer friendly value addition process for better price realization, stabilization and consistency in quality. A cluster development approach is required to create modern marketing infrastructure for better realization for farmers with value addition and reduced agri wastage. Sri Lanka’s Paddy (rice) production will decline by 35 percent due to drought condition Sri Lanka‘s Paddy (rice) production will decline by 35 percent due to drought condition Sri Lanka‘s Paddy (rice) production will decline by 35 percent due to drought condition this year, according to Agriculture ministry of Sri Lanka. According ... 1 0 0Google +0 0 Receive 80% Bonus : On Any Deposit, No Daily Limits. Start Trading Forex with Mayzus! Ads by Google Sri Lanka‘s Paddy (rice) production will decline by 35 percent due to drought condition this year, according to Agriculture ministry of Sri Lanka. According toSri Lankagovernment Rice stocks are sufficient for few months, so no need to worry. But private Rice mill owners of the country may increase the rice prices, according to an expert.By: VACB detects corruption in Consumerfed rice purchase in Kerala At least five grain wholesalers profited from operations Forensic auditors working for the Vigilance and Anti-Corruption Bureau (VACB) have reported to the government that at least five ‗favoured‘ grain wholesalers in the State had ‗hugely profited‘ from Consumerfed‘s decision to procure rice at ‗higher than market rates‘ during 201213.The controversial decision, taken at a time when there was reportedly adequate rice production in the country, reportedly caused the State exchequer an estimated loss of Rs.1.6 crore in Kollam district alone. The auditing of Consumerfed‘s operations during the period in other districts was under way, VACB enforcers said.The VACB identified the main beneficiaries of the alleged rip-off as Andhra Pradesh Rice Corporation, Changanassery; Babu Stores, Nallila, and Venkateshwara Traders, Mathilil, both in Kollam; Balaji Corporation, Kochi; and Sree Krishna Traders, Mulankadakom. The VACB was investigating the traders on the charges of cheating and corruption.
  17. 17. It had also named the members of the Central Purchase Committee of Consumerfed, the apex body of consumer cooperative societies in Kerala, chiefly its then managing director Reji G. Nair, and chief purchase manager R. Jayakumar, as the main accused in the graft case (VC 4/13/SRT), sources said.The crux of the VACB‘s case was that the accused had ‗betrayed‘ Consumerfed‘s stated aim of making provisions, chiefly rice, pulses, and edible oil, available at the lowest rate possible to citizens and thereby caused undue financial advantage to the traders and consequent loss to the government.The auditors had chiefly examined Consumerfed‘s purchase of three popular varieties of rice; Jaya, Matta and raw rice. They found that the Kerala State Civil Supplies Corporation (Supplyco) had purchased the same varieties of rice from comparable wholesalers during the same period at a far lesser rates than Consumerfed.Last financial year, Consumerfed had reported accumulated loss of Rs.128.63 crore. Nevertheless, the institution, which operated on government grants and loans, had made ‗indiscriminate voucher payments to its staff on unverified expense claims.‘It had appointed persons with dubious qualification and little or no work experience in newly created, namesake, managerial posts of scarce consequence to the organisation‘s operations. The VACB said it found provisions ‗left unattended and spoiling‘ at Consumerfed warehouses in the State after secondary societies rejected the rations on the ground that they were highly priced or of inferior quality. Keywords: ‗favoured‘ grain wholesalers, Consumerfed, Kerala grain supplies, Consumerfed warehouses Prices of popular rice varieties dip Harish Murali, TNN | Mar 3, 2014, 04.22AM IST TRICHY: Though many seethe against escalating prices of essential commodities, the prices of several rice varieties have cooled in the region after a generous harvest in the region. In fact, the prices of popular rice varieties have gone down substantially, prompting hoteliers and caterers to pounce upon the chance to raise their provision stock.The price of one kg of Ponni rice, the most popular variety in the state, has come down by at least Rs 10 after the samba harvest season. The Ponni rice varieties, which started arriving in the market recently, are sold at prices between Rs 30 to Rs 35 per kg for the second quality. They were sold between Rs 33 to Rs 40 till a couple of months back. The first quality is sold at Rs 45 per kg, at least Rs 5 less than earlier. A 75 kg Ponni rice bag is being sold at a little over Rs 2,100, though the going rate till recently was Rs 2,250. The retail price of Karnataka Ponni, the Andhra Ponnni and the Adhanaloor varieties ranges between Rs 32 and Rs 37 per kg. Arrivals of paddy come to a halt at Karnal OUR CORRESPONDENT KARNAL, MARCH 3:
  18. 18. Arrivals of paddy have come to a halt at the Karnal Grain Market Terminal in view of lukewarm trading. Tara Chand Sharma, proprietor of Tara Chand and Sons said, though farmers still have ample stocks with them, they are not bringing their produce in view of slack buying.In view of lukewarm trade, prices of aromatic and non-basmati rice varieties ruled flat on Monday. Rice prices have been ruling flat since last weekend.The market has not seen any alteration in prices since last weekend and it‘s unlikely to see any major alteration over the next couple of days too, said Amit Chandna, Proprietor, Hanuman Rice Trading Company. Though the weather has turned favourable and traders are expecting good trading sessions this week, buyers are keeping themselves out of the market, he said. The market may witness some alteration later this week, said Amit Chandna. In the physical market, Pusa-1121 (steam) sold at ₹ 8,700-8,800, while Pusa-1121 (sela) quoted at ₹ 7,750. Pure Basmati (Raw) quoted at ₹ 12,200. Duplicate basmati (steam) sold at ₹ 7,000 a quintal. Pusa-1121 (second wand) was at ₹ 7,100, Tibar at ₹ 6,150 while Dubar at ₹ 5,000. In the non-basmati section, Sharbati (Steam) sold at ₹ 4,800 while Sharbati (Sela) quoted at ₹ 4,500. Permal (raw) sold at ₹ 2,320, Permal (sela) at ₹ 2,340, PR-11 (sela) sold at ₹ 2,700 while PR-11 (Raw) at ₹ 2,600. PR14 (steam) sold at ₹ 2,950 a quintal. (This article was published on March 3, 2014) Levy rice collection poor: CAG report ‘State incurred additional cost of Rs. 948.61 crore for procuring rice from Central pool’ The Comptroller and Auditor General of India on public sector undertakings has criticised the Karnataka Food and Civil Supplies Corporation and Karnataka State Warehousing Corporation for not taking any initiative to ensure compliance with the levy order in terms of rice procurement from mills since 2004-05.The CAG report for the year ended March 2013, which was tabled in the Legislative Assembly recently, termed the collection very poor and said that the extra cost to the government on account of the failure to meet the levy rice target was high.Procurement of the targeted quantity of levy rice would have made the State less dependent on the Central pool (Food Corporation of India) and reduced the cost of targeted public distribution system. The total quantum of mill point levy rice, which is collected for the Central public distribution system, not collected was 22.52 lakh tonnes during 2011-12 and 2012-13 and the government incurred an additional cost of Rs. 948.61 crore for procuring rice from the Central pool.The report said that the State had sufficient foodgrains, including paddy, and it could have avoided the additional cost.It said that 58.7 lakh tonnes of paddy was milled in 201112 and 56.42 lakh tonnes in 2012-13 (the assessment was based on the quantum of electricity consumed by the mills). According to the levy order, millers are required to make available 33.33 per cent of the quantity of rice milled for levy — 13.03 lakh tonnes and 12.11 lakh tonnes in 2011-12 and 2012-13, respectively.The State government, the report said, lowered the target for supply of levy rice to 3 lakh tonnes and 3.5 lakh tonnes for 2011-12 and 2012-13, respectively. It reduced the target for
  19. 19. 2012-13 further to 1.5 lakh tonnes. The levy order, however, did not have a provision to reduce the targets for levy collection. The actual collection from millers during 2011-12 was only 2.03 lakh tonnes and in 2012-13, it was 59,000 tonnes. Keywords: rice collection, levy collection, Karnataka State Warehousing Corporation, levy rice, rice procurement Food prices move both ways Updated 2014-03-03 12:34:52 Prices of wheat are on the rise despite imports of 377,000 tonnes during the last seven months ending January this year, chiefly due to fears about crop output size and smuggling to Afghanistan. Against the target of 25 million tonnes, latest estimates of SUPARCO indicate total wheat output this year would be just 23.84 million tonnes.Other estimates also show production would not reach the targeted level. Wheat and wheat flour demand is rising in Afghanistan and Pakistan has emerged as key major supplier due to Kazakhstan‘s absence from that market.Pakistan and Kazakhstan together meet more than 60pc of the Afghan requirement of wheat, says a KP-based flour-miller, adding that when supplies from one country is down the other‘s naturally increases.During the current marketing year, Afghanistan is set to import two million tonnes of wheat. Kazakhstan, facing wheat shortage at home, is not making big supplies. So, traders foresee larger wheat exports to Kabul on arrival of new crop, subject to government‘s policy.―Some flour millers of Balochistan and KP sell illegally to Afghanistan a part of subsidised wheat quotas they get from provincial food departments,‖ according to an official of Sindh Food Department.―And a few millers in Punjab and Sindh are selling subsidised wheat in the open market at higher rates, exploiting the shortage‖, he added.During February, prices of rice varieties either remained flat, after rising for several consecutive months, or showed little movement.―The reason is, exports of non-Basmati rice slumped during January due to cheaper sales by India and ongoing rice rout (a reference to price crash after huge inventory selling by Thailand),‖ a leading commodity dealer in Karachi told Dawn. Pakistan shipped out 297,000 tonnes of non-Basmati rice in January 2014, against 429,000 tonnes in January 2013.Major exporters and companies producing popular local brands had bought hundreds of thousands of tonnes of rice between October-January 2013-14.Market sources say a slump in exports in January reduced their buying requirements in February, keeping the prices flat.
  20. 20. Former Vice chairman of Rice Exporters Association of Pakistan Mr. Abdul Baseer says higher prices of Pakistani non-Basmati rice varieties have led to loss of several markets to Indian exporters.Traders say high costs of farming and processing keep prices from falling despite recent fall in exports volumes and amid a seven million tonnes plus rice production this year.Sugar prices remained stable in February on growing supplies from mills despite entry of state-run Trading Corporation of Pakistan for buffer-building purchases.One TCP-tender in the first week of February for buying up to 75,000 tonnes generated bids for supply of 236,000 tonnes, a reflection of strong supply lines. Sugar output this year is projected to reach 5.2 million tonnes, from less than five million tonnes in the last year.Top sugar dealers say that as the government refused to allow fresh sugar exports, in mid-February, wholesale prices went down slightly. But the reason why this didn‘t trickle down fully to retail level was that the market still expected that sugar lobby well-penetrated in the power corridors would convince the government to review this decision. The Economic Coordination Committee refused permission for fresh sugar exports on the ground that some sugar mills had still not exhausted previous export quotas.The ECC held that the estimated surplus of 667,000 tonnes would be helpful in stabilising prices at times of shortages and recommended state buying of half a million tonnes for this purpose.Prices of gram and gram pulse showed a rising trend during February. Traders cite rising cost of transportation from Punjab to wholesale markets in Punjab.For the year 2013-14, the government had set gram production target at 650,000 tonnes against 673,000 tonnes, a year earlier. But field reports reaching provincial agricultural departments suggest actual output may fall behind the target. Traders say this too has affected prices.Tea prices somewhat eased in February, reflecting the downward trend in global markets and also due to flooding of smuggled tea into domestic markets.A leading producer of famous brand also cut prices to exhaust its stocks as the mercury level began rising.Company officials say they did this also because loose tea prices were falling due to availability of large amounts of smuggled tea. 1kg tea pack of this particular brand was selling for Rs580 in February, down from Rs620 in January.Prices of poultry meat also witnessed a dip, particularly in Karachi and other parts of Sindh where early departure of winter has depressed its demand. Nagpur Foodgrain Prices Open- Mar 03 Mon Mar 3, 2014 3:44pm IST Nagpur, Mar 3 (Reuters) - Gram and tuar prices in Nagpur Agriculture Produce and Marketing Committee (APMC) reported down on lack of demand from local millers amid rain hit poor quality arrival. Fresh fall on NCDEX in gram prices and increased supply from producing regions also pulled down prices in thin trading activity, according to sources. * * * * FOODGRAINS & PULSES GRAM * Gram mill quality shot up here on renewed demand from local traders amid weak supply from producing belts. Fresh fall in Madhya Pradesh gram prices also affected sentiment.
  21. 21. TUAR * Tuar Fataka best and medium varieties recovered in open market on good festival season demand from local traders. Reports about crop damage because of unseasonal rains also boosted prices. * Batri dal and Lakhodi dal firmed up in open market on good buying support from local traders amid weak supply from producing regions. * In Akola, Tuar - 3,700-3,900, Tuar dal - 5,900-6,100, Udid at 6,000-6,300, Udid Mogar (clean) - 7,000-6,200, Moong - 8,100-8,300, Moong Mogar (clean) 9,500-9,700, Gram - 2,600-2,700, Gram Super best bold - 3,300-3,500 for 100 kg. * Wheat, rice and other commodities remained steady in open market in thin trading activity, according to sources. Nagpur foodgrains APMC auction/open-market prices in rupees for 100 kg FOODGRAINS Available prices Previous close Gram Auction 2,550-2,850 2,700-2,850 Gram Pink Auction n.a. 2,100-2,600 Tuar Auction 3,800-3,950 3,860-3,950 Moong Auction n.a. 6,100-6,300 Udid Auction n.a. 4,300-4,500 Masoor Auction n.a. 2,600-2,800 Gram Super Best Bold 3,750-3,900 3,750-3,900 Gram Super Best n.a. Gram Medium Best 3,200-3,400 3,200-3,400 Gram Dal Medium n.a. n.a. Gram Mill Quality 3,300-3,350 3,200-3,350 Desi gram Raw 2,950-3,100 2,950-3,100 Gram Filter new 3,000-3,500 3,000-3,500 Gram Kabuli 7,900-10,300 7,900-10,300 Gram Pink 7,700-8,100 7,700-8,100 Tuar Fataka Best 6,400-6,600 6,300-6,500 Tuar Fataka Medium 6,100-6,200 6,000-6,100 Tuar Dal Best Phod 5,800-6,000 5,800-6,000 Tuar Dal Medium phod 5,500-5,700 5,500-5,700 Tuar Gavarani 4,100-4,200 4,100-4,200 Tuar Karnataka 4,300-4,400 4,300-4,400 Tuar Black 7,200-7,400 7,200-7,400 Masoor dal best 5,400-5,500 5,400-5,500 Masoor dal medium 5,100-5,300 5,100-5,300 Masoor n.a. n.a. Moong Mogar bold 9,700-9,950 9,700-9,950 Moong Mogar Medium best 9,300-9,500 9,300-9,500 Moong dal super best 8,600-8,900 8,600-8,900 Moong dal Chilka 8,000-8,300 8,000-8,300 Moong Mill quality n.a. n.a. Moong Chamki best 8,200-8,700 8,200-8,700
  22. 22. Udid Mogar Super best (100 INR/KG) 7,400-7,600 7,400-7,600 Udid Mogar Medium (100 INR/KG) 5,800-6,600 5,800-6,600 Udid Dal Black (100 INR/KG) 4,700-5,000 4,700-5,000 Batri dal (100 INR/KG) 4,200-5,000 4,000-5,000 Lakhodi dal (100 INR/kg) 3,200-3,300 3,100-3,200 Watana Dal (100 INR/KG) 3,300-3,400 3,300-3,400 Watana White (100 INR/KG) 3,300-3,400 3,300-3,400 Watana Green Best (100 INR/KG) 4,400-4,700 4,400-4,700 Wheat 308 (100 INR/KG) 1,700-1,800 1,700-1,800 Wheat Mill quality(100 INR/KG) 1,840-1,890 1,840-1,890 Wheat Filter (100 INR/KG) 1,650-1,850 1,650-1,850 Wheat Lokwan best (100 INR/KG) 2,400-2,500 2,400-2,500 Wheat Lokwan medium (100 INR/KG) 2,000-2,200 2,050-2,200 Lokwan Hath Binar (100 INR/KG) n.a. n.a. MP Sharbati Best (100 INR/KG) 3,000-3,600 3,000-3,600 MP Sharbati Medium (100 INR/KG) 2,400-2,900 2,400-2,900 Wheat 147 (100 INR/KG) 1,600-1,700 1,600-1,700 Wheat Best (100 INR/KG) 1,700-1,750 1,700-1,750 Rice BPT new(100 INR/KG) 2,600-2,950 2,600-2,950 Rice BPT old (100 INR/KG) 2,800-3,300 2,800-3,300 Rice Parmal (100 INR/KG) 1,700-1,850 1,700-1,850 Rice Swarna old (100 INR/KG) 2,500-2,750 2,500-2,750 Rice Swarna new (100 INR/KG) 2,300-2,450 2,300-2,450 Rice HMT new (100 INR/KG) 3,800-4,200 3,800-4,200 Rice HMT Shriram (100 INR/KG) 4,700-5,200 4,700-5,200 Rice Basmati best (100 INR/KG) 11,000-13,500 11,000-13,500 Rice Basmati Medium (100 INR/KG) 6,300-7,600 6,300-7,600 Rice Chinnor (100 INR/KG) 5,500-6,000 5,500-6,000 Rice Chinnor new (100 INR/KG) 5,200-5,600 5,200-5,600 Jowar Gavarani (100 INR/KG) 1,400-1,600 1,400-1,600 Jowar CH-5 (100 INR/KG) 1,700-1,800 1,700-1,800 WEATHER (NAGPUR) Maximum temp. 28.6 degree Celsius (83.5 degree Fahrenheit), minimum temp. 16.5 degree Celsius (58.3 degree Fahrenheit) Humidity: Highest - n.a., lowest - n.a. Rainfall : 0.0 mm FORECAST: Mainly clear sky. Maximum and Minimum temperature likely to be around 30 and 14 degree Celsius respectively. Note: n.a.--not available (For oils, transport costs are excluded from plant delivery prices, but included in market prices.) Iraq issues tender for at least 30,000 T rice Reuters Middle East – Sun, Jan 19, 2014
  23. 23. BAGHDAD, Jan 19 (Reuters) - Iraq issued a tender to buy at least 30,000 tonnes of rice, from long-grain supplies which can be sourced from the United States, Uruguay, Argentina and Brazil, a trade ministry statement said on Sunday.The closing date for the tender is Feb. 2, and offers must stay valid until Feb. 6. (Reporting by Ahmed Rasheed; Editing by Pravin Char) Negotiations over resumption of rice exports to begin within next two weeks Doaa Farid / March 3, 2014 Minister of Supply to reconsider decision to suspend rice exports Newly-appointed Minister of Supply Khaled Hanafy said Sunday that he would reconsider a decision suspending rice exports (AFP Photo) Discussions with the Ministry of Supply over resuming rice exports will commence this week or next week, with the aim of reaching an agreement on the ―best‖ possible solution to export rice while benefiting all parties involved, Vice Chairman of the Rice Division in the Federation of Egyptian Industries Mostafa Atallah said on Monday.Newly-appointed Minister of Supply Khaled Hanafy said Sunday that he would reconsider a decision suspending rice exports, state-owned news agency MENA reported.Hanafy explained that there have been calls to rsume rice exports ―in order to open new rice markets abroad, and contribute to revitalising the economy‖.Minister of Industry and Foreign Trade Mounir Fakhry Abdel Nour announced last November a bid to export 100,000 tonnes of rice, set to take place from mid-November to January 2014. Abdel Nour said at the time that exporting rice would be ―beneficial‖, as global prices are high.However, rice exports were suspended in November due to a shortage in quantities ―intentionally‖ created by merchants who had attempted to monopolise the rice market, Atallah explained.According to Atallah, rice exportation was set to begin in September; however, ―merchants requested to postpone it to November‖. During those two months, merchants collected high quantities of rice in the market in order to control prices, he added.The Ministry of Supply could not determine an adequate quantity for exporting, Atallah said.Former Minister of Supply Mohamed Abu Shady, under Prime Minister Hazem El-Beblawi‘s cabinet, announced in October that rice exports will be halted ―until all ration needs of the grain are met‖. The government sells 1.4m tonnes of subsidised rice per year, at EGP 1.5 per kilogram, according to Abu Shady.―I will not pay heed to the interests of a few dozen rice exporters at the
  24. 24. expense of domestic markets,‖ Abu Shady told the Daily News Egypt in a November interview.The minister stated that rice exports will resume, adding that prices of rice hiked from EGP 1,800 a tonne to EGP 2,000.Egypt produces 6.5m tonnes of rice, of which it uses up 3.5m to 4m tonnes, according to Abu Shady.In 2012, Egypt exported 650,000 tonnes of rice to 58 countries in Europe and the Arab region, Atallah stated.Before leaving the ministry, Abu Shady decided on 22 February to refer the head of the central import administration at the General Authority for Supply Administration (GASC) to administrative prosecutors on charges of ―corruption‖ Rice payment next week Published: 1 Mar 2014 at 10.26 Online news: News The caretaker government will next week pay 3,917 farmers owed money under the rice pledging programme since September last year, Commerce Minister Niwatthamrong Bunsongphaisan said on Saturday.Caretaker Commerce Minister Niwatthamrong Bunsongphaisan (Photo by Tawatchai Kemgumnerd) Speaking on the Yingluck Government Meets the People weekly programme on state-run NBT television channel, Mr Niwatthamrong said the government has received a formal document from the Election Commission (EC), approving the use of 712 million baht from the Central Fund to pay rice growers in the five provinces of Chachoengsao, Phetchabun, Prachin Buri, Uthai Thani and Ayutthaya for the 20122013 crop year.The Budget Bureau will allocate the budget for the Bank for Agriculture and Agricultural Cooperatives (BAAC) to transfer the money to the farmers next week, he said.Mr Niwatthamrong said the government's request for the EC to approve the use of 20 billion baht from the state's contingency budget to pay off its debts to rice growers for the 2013-2014 crop year will not impose a new financial obligation on the next administration.The move is not intended to boost the Pheu Thai Party's popularity in the electorate, he added. Cambodian rice trade hit by Thai sales Published: 3 Mar 2014 at 18.14 Online news: Thailand's rice sales are quickly pushing down world prices, affecting Cambodia's industry and farmers, according to a report.New figures from rice industry publication Oryza show the price for Cambodia's jasmine rice has declined sharply in recent months, in line with falling prices in Thailand brought on by the failed rice-pledging scheme."This is a concern for everyone in the rice industry now," Khan Kunthy, CEO of Battambang Rice Investment Company, told the Phnom Penh Post, adding sales have also dropped.Mr Kunthy said export volume for the first few months of this year was largely based on orders from 2013. ―There is no good sign of orders
  25. 25. for this new year yet,‖ he said.But stockpiles have accumulated to record levels, flooding the global market with new quantities of supply and driving down prices.Thai officials estimate there are 15 to 18 million tonnes of stockpiled rice. Oryza reported that the Thai government planned to offload at least one million tonnes per month from January to March.Thai hom mali rice is now at $955 a tonne, a decline of 17% compared to the price in December last year, when it stood at $1,163.The latest figures from Oryza show that, at the end of February, Cambodia‘s jasmine rice cost $885 per tonne, a 7% decrease from $950 in December.―We have no other choice besides lowering our rice price, even if we have to put up with the loss if prices went even lower than they are now, or no one will buy from us,‖ Mr Kunthy of Battambang Rice Investment Company said.Mr Kunthy, who runs a newly established rice milling operation, is also under pressure to repay the bank for a loan he took out to help set up the mill. A Cambodian farmer drives an oxcart as he transports rice back home during rice harvesting season near Phnom Penh on Dec 13, 2013. (Photo by AP) Lim Bun Heng, owner of Loran Company, one of the country‘s largest rice exporters, said declines in Cambodia‘s jasmine variety will squeeze margins for all involved."Cheaper prices of milled rice also mean cheaper prices of paddy rice that the miller will buy from farmers too," Bun Heng said, adding that ―we cannot buy expensive paddy rice and sell it at a lower price".Export volumes are also decreasing as buyers look for cheap stockpiled product. Bun Heng said his company experienced a 30% in exports over the first two months of this year."The Thais are selling their rice very cheap, so the buyers are switching to Thailand," he said.Last year was a time of enormous gains for the rice industry, as export volumes doubled. But the rice scheme has upended the global market, setting back not just Thailand, which used to be the world‘s largest exporter, but its neighbours, too. In January of 2012, Cambodia exported 9,700 tonnes of rice. Exports for the same period in 2013 jumped to 25,700 tonnes. But this January, the pace slackened, with only 21,500 tonnes sent out of the country.Exporters and rice millers should keep their fragrant rice paddy and wait until the supply in the global market declines, advised Srey Chanty, an independent economist who focuses on agriculture issues.―I think in the next three or four months, the fragrant rice price will bounce back to normal,‖ he said. Protest pressure on rice investigation : 3 Mar 2014 at 12.29 Online news: Local News Anti-government protesters led by Luang Pu Buddha Issara marched to the Office of the Auditor General of Thailand and the Office of the Attorney General to apply pressure for a finding in the investigation into the corruption of the government‘s rice pledging scheme.Protesting farmers,
  26. 26. who have camped out at Commerce Ministry for weeks, marched to the Office of the Auditor General of Thailand on Rama 6 Road in the same compound as the Finance Ministry around 10am. They did not enter the ministry‘s grounds as all gates had been locked prior to their arrival. Luang Pu Budda Issara, who is overseeing the Chaeng Wattana protest site for the People‘s Democratic Reform Committee, have given the office seven days to explain the finding about irregularities of the delay in payment of money for pledged grain.He said Chaeng Wattana protesters would change their strategy and seek justice for farmers.The protesters planned to later march to the Office of the Attorney General situated in the Government Complex at Chaeng Wattana. As world faces supply glut, Philippines under pressure over high rice prices March 4, 2014 - 09:44 By Erik dela Cruz MANILA (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
  27. 27. 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) Reuters 8th Int’l Rice-Duck Conference set in Butuan BY: JENNIFER P. GAITANO Monday 3rd of March 2014 BUTUAN CITY, Mar. 3 (PIA) – The Philippine Agrarian Reform Foundation for National Development (PARFUND) with funding support from the Peace and Equity Foundation (PEF) will be conducting this year‘s 8th International Rice-Duck Conference on March 10-14, 2014 in one of the local hotels here.According to PARFUND Chief Operation Officer Jose Apollo Pacamalan, the said conference will gather integrated rice-duck farming system (IRDFS) experts and farmer practitioners and supporters, as well as development investors from all over Asia to share and exchange knowledge and innovations that highlight IRDFS as a climate-smart agriculture system and as a social enterprise business model that addresses rural poverty.―It will also facilitate the sharing of technologies and strategies across both the organic rice and duck industry value claims, such as duck meat product development and marketing," he said.Also, during the five-day conference, the following activities will be conducted: Philippine Cultural Show; Cooking/Duck Culinary Expo; Asian Cultural Night; and Balut-Eating Contest. (JPG/PIA-Caraga) Stakeholders Unite to Fight Smuggling of Rice, Others 03 Mar 2014 Bags of rice By Crusoe Osagie
  28. 28. Rice dealers in Nigeria have declared their intention to join the federal government in the combat against smuggling, stressing that it would no longer be business as usual for those who specialise in smuggling the commodity into the country.Rising from a stakeholders meeting in Lagos, the dealers, including Rice Millers, Importers and Distributors Association of Nigeria (RiMIDAN) key rice distributors, importers and other relevant stakeholders, made it clear that smuggling of rice into Nigeria has brought untold hardship to many Nigerians. The stakeholders issued a communiqué by which they stated their resolve to stop rice smuggling from neighbouring countries, particularly Republic of Benin, into Nigeria markets. The meeting equally resolved to alert government agencies and functionaries such as the Nigeria Custom Service, Special Fraud Unit of the Nigeria Police, and the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC, among others, on those dealing with smuggled rice so that the law would take its course.The stakeholders also resolved to ensure that in the next few days, every knotty issue about rice policy like high tariff, improved value chain, prosecuting the federal government‘s agricultural agenda especially in the areas of boosting food sufficiency and so on, would begin to take shape properly.It will be recalled that rice dealers under the auspices of RiMIDAN has been crying hoarse over the non-implementation of the 2013 benchmark of $190 per metric ton duty on imported rice, which in turn has resulted in the flooding of the Nigerian markets with smuggled rice from Republic of Benin. However, President of RiMIDAN, Mr. Tunji Owoeye, while explaining the reason behind the stakeholders meeting, disclosed that the federal government has assured that it would soon resolve every contentious issue in the rice business in order to boost economy and make those in the sector to survive.―We want zero-tolerance on rice smuggling. The leadership of the distributors are ready to work with us, importers can now import legally while millers and rice farmers should fully be back to business,‖ Owoeye stated.THISDAY learnt that resolutions at the stakeholders meeting would be sent to the various bodies and relevant government agencies for action. The rice dealers agreed to continuously collaborate and work together towards sanitising the sector which they said has been taken over by unscrupulous people due to the inaction of the federal government on the agreed duty.However, the rice dealers expressed joy that government has now started listening to them and has promised some incentives for millers as well as make the business competitive by encouraging local production of quality rice. The meeting was attended by RiMIDAN officials, Rice Market Leaders from major markets in Lagos, importers, as well as representatives of enforcement agencies from Special Fraud Unit of the Police, EFCC, and the Customs. They were unanimous that increased rice smuggling could
  29. 29. rubbish the federal government‘s Agricultural Agenda and therefore should not be allowed to continue.The sensitisation campaign against patronising smuggled rice would be carried out in other parts of the country especially areas where the products are being sold cheap to the detriment of legal dealers, the stakeholders equally agreed.Rice dealers provide employment for over 100,000 people including clearing agents, transporters and domestic staff. However, in the last one year, over 20 vessels have been trapped at high seas, due to non-take off of the agreed tariff regime. The dealers lamented that while Benin Republic raked in over N200 billion duty on rice in 2013 alone, over 3 million tons of parboiled rice was smuggled into Nigeria through Benin Republic, amounting to over N300 billion revenue loss to Nigerian government. Tags: Nigeria, Featured, Business, RICE Big rice mess, due to Alcala, Calayag GOTCHA By Jarius Bondoc (The Philippine Star) | Updated March 3, 2014 - 12:00am Agriculture Sec. Proceso Alcala is one of Noynoy Aquino‘s Cabinet favorites. That‘s because, as the President likes, Alcala reports solutions, not problems. But the boss is in for a big letdown soon. That‘s when he finds out that Alcala has created a looming rice crisis – for which there are no quick solutions.Signs of approaching storm are in sight. For one, Alcala has failed on his promise of Philippine rice self-sufficiency by last 2013. His excuse: the typhoons that hit riceproducing provinces. Predictable bad weather was precisely why agriculturists had cautioned Alcala in 2010 against over-ambition. He didn‘t listen.experts cited against Alcala‘s bold goal was government‘s slowness to boost harvests. This too Alcala ignored. Instead of irrigation, seedling propagation, fertilizer subsidies, and palay driers, he used scant government funds to import rice.The result is the present rice mess. Domestic prices doubled that in neighborcountries in 2013, according to the Philippine Rice Institute. The steepest price surge came last June, ironically right after the April bumper harvest. Subsidized retailing by the National Food Authority (NFA), which Alcala chairs, soared to P33 a kilo from P22. It has since dipped to P27 a kilo, still higher than before.Alcala and NFA administrator Orlan Calayag, blamed it all on a supposed cartel of rice hoarders-cum-smugglers. It did not compute. The NFA‘s first import shipment for 2013 of 205,700 tons had then just arrived from Vietnam. Either there still wasn‘t sufficient stock, or the NFA was too slow to distribute it. (Calayag, Alcala‘s ex-congressional aide and U.S. citizen, has no training or experience in food logistics.) Besides, if the hoarders were also smuggling in the staple, then there would have been a flood in the market, thus dampening prices, to the benefit of consumers. Yet prices not only NFA but also commercial rice spiked to P45 a kilo then and till today.At any rate, Alcala and Calayag neither identified nor indicted any supposed hoarder-smuggler, then or now. Recently Davidson Bangayan alias David Tan was exposed in a Senate inquiry as the ―Goliath of rice smuggling. ‖ Alcala and Calayag confirmed so. Yet they still have not charged him in court. Reports are that Bangayan is the head of a faction of cartelists that Alcala and Calayag are replacing with another
  30. 30. group. NFA records show, in fact, that Bangayan headed the list of 19 importers given special NFA permits in 2011 and 2012. Opinion ( Article MRec ), pagematch: 1, sectionmatch: 1 Alcala must be fudging the figures. He says rice production rose while consumption fell. That‘s not what NFA records infer. The food-security agency‘s direct and special-permit rice imports have in fact been rising. NFA and private licensees‘ total of 692,221 tons in 2012 swelled to 710,446 in 2013. For 2014 the NFA at first announced 800,000 tons of imports. In a stormy meeting of the NFA council last week, the import plan rose to one million tons.Alcala and Calayag‘s rising import volume mimics that of the hated past administration. Aquino alleges that the regime of Gloria Arroyo in 2005-2010 bloated rice imports at 1.8 - 2.4 million tons for the kickbacks. Alcala and Calayag‘s 705,700-ton purchase of Vietnam rice in 2013 allegedly was overpriced by $100 a ton, for a kickback of P3.2 billion. A plunder suit against them alleges that a certain privateer ―Buddy R.‖ brokered everything. Why an outsider was needed in a government-to-government deal between two rice agencies is a mystery.Could there be bigger kickbacks in this year‘s NFA imports? That leaves to be seen. What is perceptible, although Alcala and Calayag are trying to keep it secret, is their lack of legal basis to monopolize imports.The two are forum shopping. Late last year Alcala asked the Dept. of Justice to support his line that the NFA has monopoly right to impose rice import permits. Supposedly that power comes from the Agricultural Imports Tariff Act of 1996 (R.A. 8178). But Justice Sec. Leila de Lima opined on Dec. 16, 2013, that it is not the only applicable law for rice imports. The 1994 General Agreement on Tariffs and Trade, an international treaty signed by the President and ratified by the Senate, forms part of the law of the land, she said. In that pact all member-states shall no longer monopolize food imports, or require permits for private importers starting 2005. The Philippines negotiated a seven-year reprieve, which expired in June 2012. Thus, de Lima said, the NFA must scrap all its ―quantitative restrictions‖ and allow private imports under normal tariff, in this case 50 percent of the value of the rice import. Noncompliance could mean sanctions by the World Trade Organization, she warned. Indeed, other members could cut their imports of Philippine farm produce, like sugar, banana, and pineapple.Alcala was unsatisfied. So Calayag on Jan. 9, 2014, sought similar support from the Office of the Government Corporate Counsel. No go, the OGCC said on Feb. 3, 2014. While the OGCC agreed that the NFA could monopolize and thus license rice importers, it cited a fatal flaw in the implementing memo of March 2013. The NFA had failed to have it published first in the newspapers, thus invalidating it under Supreme Court jurisprudence.Meantime, on Jan. 21, 2014, Calayag sought de Lima‘s reconsideration. He said that negotiations are ongoing with Thailand, Canada, and the United States to allow a WTO extension of NFA restrictions till July 2017.It‘s unclear if de Lima found out about Alcala and Calayag‘s forum shopping. On Feb. 3, 2014, she elevated the matter for the President and the Cabinet economic cluster to decide.If that meeting convenes to discuss issues openly, two points will be brought to the fore. One, the National Economic and Development Authority, headed by the President, has long decided, and the NFA agreed, that the latter lift all restrictions on rice imports by June 2012.
  31. 31. Two, thenceforth the NFA shall focus on direct aid to farmers, and to stockpiling of 30 days‘ rice buffer. More so since the ASEAN Economic Community starting 2015 shall limit rice import tariffs to 20 percent max.Alcala and Calayag would be found to have left farmers unready for global competitiveness, and consumers unshielded from price spikes. * * * Catch Sapol radio show, Saturdays, 8-10 a.m., DWIZ, (882-AM). Gotcha archives on Facebook:, or The STAR website E-mail: 9 people, one organisation get Independence Day Award 2014 Tribune Report Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina is expected to distribute the awards at a ceremony on March 25 A rice research institute and nine personalities have been selected for this year‘s Independence Day Award.The government yesterday announced the names of the recipients, who include seven freedom fighters, an artist and an educator, said an order issued by the cabinet division.he awardees who were recognized posthumously for their contributions to the country‘s Liberation War and independence include former parliamentarian Mohammad Abul Khayer, martyred police officer Munsi Kabir Uddin Ahmed, former additional deputy commissioner of Barisal Kazi Azizul Islam, former sub-divisional officer of Kishoreganj Khasruzzaman Chowdhury, SBM Mizanur Rahman and Dr Haris Ali.Lt Col (rtd) Abu Usman Chowdhury, the commander of Sector 8 during the 1971 war, also receives the award in the same category.Principal M Kamruzzaman got the award posthumously for his contributions to education, while eminent artist Qayyum Chowdhury was awarded for his mark in the cultural arena. The Bangladesh Rice Research Institute, meanwhile, was chosen for the award for contributions to agriculture research.Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina is expected to distribute the awards at a ceremony on March 25.Each recipient will get Tk1 lakh, a gold medal and a certificate from the government.The Independence Day Award, Bangladesh‘s highest state award, was introduced by the government in 1977. The award recognises outstanding contributions to the Liberation War, the 1952 Language Movement and sectors such as education, literature, science and technology, medical sciences, journalism, public service, social science, cultural activities, sports, fine arts and rural development.A cabinet division source said the names of 28 people and 16 organisations were nominated for this year‘s awards.The cabinet committee on national awards, headed by Finance Minister AMA Muhith, finalised the names of the 10 awardees and the prime minister approved the final list.
  32. 32. Rice is piled high with health benefits By Andrea N. Giancoli Environmental Nutrition Newsletter on March 1, 2014 - 12:01 AM Rice is the most popular grain worldwide, feeding over half of the globe, according to the USA Rice Federation. In the U.S., consumption of this gluten-free grain has doubled over the last three decades, to more than 25 pounds per person per year. This is good news, as scientists report rice is tied to many health benefits.Research examining the dietary patterns of U.S. rice eaters reveals they tend to make healthier choices than nonrice eaters. A 2009 study published in the Journal of the American Dietetic Association found that compared to non-rice eaters, rice eaters had higher intakes of vegetables, fiber, iron and potassium, with lower intakes of total fat and saturated fat. The results of the study aren’t surprising to nutrition experts; you don’t usually eat rice all by itself.Most rice eaters in the U.S. choose refined white rice, with a mere 1.3 percent opting for whole grain brown rice, said Julie Jones, professor at St. Catherine University, St. Paul, Minn., and an international expert on grains. Brown rice is considered a healthier choice because the nutrient-rich germ and bran components are intact. They are removed in the refinement of white rice. Enriched white rice offers essential B-vitamins and iron, but whole grain rice contains more fiber, minerals and phytonutrients. One such phytonutrient in whole grain rice is oryzanol, which may have an important impact on lowering cholesterol, according to Jones. Dr. Michio Shimabukuro, professor at the University of Tokushima and co-author of a review on oryzanol and brown rice published recently in “Obesity Research and Clinical Practice,” goes further: “Oryzanol exerts a variety of biological effects, including cholesterollowering, anti-inflammatory, anti-cancer, anti-diabetic and antioxidant activities.” He reports that brown rice and oryzanol could play a role in treating obesity.Enjoy brown rice with steamed or stir-fried vegetables, in soups and salads, or top with fruit and milk for a brown rice breakfast. And know that rice goes far beyond brown and white. The USA Rice
  33. 33. Federation asserts there are more than 120,000 varieties, categorized by grain size – short, medium and long – as well as color and aroma. Among them: 1. Arborio: Named after the Italian town from where it originates, this typically refined white rice is traditionally used to make risotto. When cooked, it releases starch, yielding a creamy consistency. Arborio rice itself is bland but absorbs flavors exceptionally well. 2. Jade or bamboo: A white rice that has been dyed green with bamboo juice, jade rice is short to medium grain and has a sticky texture. You may see it added to sushi rice for a splash of color. It has a subtle flavor of green tea. 3. Basamati: Common in Indian cuisine, this long grain variety that gives off a flavor and aroma reminiscent of popcorn or roasted nuts; it can be found as a white or a whole grain rice and works well for pilaf, stuffing, salads or entrees. 4. Jasmine: Another aromatic long grain rice, it hails from Thailand. Great for curries or as a side dish, it has a mild flavor sometimes described as nutty or slightly sweet. Look for whole grain (brown) jasmine rice. 5. Glutinous: Also referred to as “sticky rice,” the short grains of this variety are plump and almost round; can be purchased as refined white or intact as a whole grain. It is perfect for sushi or desserts, such as the Asian delicacy, mochi. 6. Wild: Whole grain wild rice is from a different plant species than all other rice varieties, but is still a grain. It has a hardy flavor with a chewy texture; add to soups and salads for a gourmet flair. Andrea N. Giancoli is a registered dietitian. Image:There are thousands of varieties of rice, categorized by grain size short, medium and long as well as by color and aroma.