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Daily Global Rice E-Newsletter by Riceplus Magazine Contact us for Advertisement & Specs: Today’s News Headlines… Drought Sucking California‘s $5 Billion Rice Harvest Dry Rice Exports From India Seen Plunging 30% as Harvest Contracts Gambia's Annual Rice Import Bill Stands At U.S.$50 Million Rice Extends Losses After Drop to Four-Year Low on Ample Supply Nagpur Foodgrain Prices Open- October 29 No backtracking on rice exports at EGP 2,000 per tonne Don‘t go for paddy in rabi, Telangana Govt tells farmers Thai rice audit shows 70 pct of stocks deteriorating Rice audit finds 90% substandard Most Popular MyPlate Download Prominently Features Rice U.S.-Grown Rice at Paris Food Show Tender Invitation of CSQ-Normal USA Rice and Australia Rice Tender CCC Announces Prevailing World Market Prices CME Group/Closing Rough Rice Futures Thailand Takes Bids on Stockpiled Rice California drought takes bite out of rice harvest, reducing wildlife habitat and sushi grains Sacramento Valley farmers are asked: Help the ducks Drought costs residents thousands Natural protein in rice helps keep arsenic out in grains Greenpeace Says Its GMOs Are Better Than Science's GMOs, Still Hates Golden Rice Rwanda: Embrace Technology, Kirehe Rice Farmers Told Kingdom regaining rice crown Contact & Visit www.ricepluss.com mujahid.riceplus@gmail.com 7 th Floor,Suite 11 Central Plaza New Garden Town Lahore-54600 Landline :92 3584 5551 For Advertisement Specs & Rates: Contact: mujahid.riceplus@gmail.com 92 321 3692874 Daily Global Rice E-Newsletter 29 th October, 2014 www.ricepluss.com
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  • Daily Global Rice E-Newsletter by Riceplus Magazine

    Contact us for Advertisement & Specs: mujahid.riceplus@gmail.com +92 321 369 2874

    Todays News Headlines

    Drought Sucking Californias $5 Billion Rice Harvest Dry

    Rice Exports From India Seen Plunging 30% as Harvest

    Contracts

    Gambia's Annual Rice Import Bill Stands At U.S.$50 Million

    Rice Extends Losses After Drop to Four-Year Low on Ample

    Supply

    Nagpur Foodgrain Prices Open- October 29

    No backtracking on rice exports at EGP 2,000 per tonne

    Dont go for paddy in rabi, Telangana Govt tells farmers

    Thai rice audit shows 70 pct of stocks deteriorating

    Rice audit finds 90% substandard

    Most Popular MyPlate Download Prominently Features Rice

    U.S.-Grown Rice at Paris Food Show

    Tender Invitation of CSQ-Normal USA Rice and Australia Rice

    Tender

    CCC Announces Prevailing World Market Prices

    CME Group/Closing Rough Rice Futures

    Thailand Takes Bids on Stockpiled Rice

    California drought takes bite out of rice harvest, reducing

    wildlife habitat and sushi grains

    Sacramento Valley farmers are asked: Help the ducks

    Drought costs residents thousands

    Natural protein in rice helps keep arsenic out in grains

    Greenpeace Says Its GMOs Are Better Than Science's GMOs,

    Still Hates Golden Rice

    Rwanda: Embrace Technology, Kirehe Rice Farmers Told

    Kingdom regaining rice crown

    Contact & Visit

    www.ricepluss.com mujahid.riceplus@gmail.com

    7th Floor,Suite 11 Central Plaza New Garden Town Lahore-54600 Landline :92 3584 5551

    For Advertisement Specs & Rates: Contact: mujahid.riceplus@gmail.com 92 321 3692874

    Daily Global Rice E-Newsletter 29th October, 2014

    www.ricepluss.com

  • Daily Global Rice E-Newsletter by Riceplus Magazine

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    News Detail.

    Drought Sucking Californias

    $5 Billion Rice Harvest Dry October 29, 2014 8:44 AM

    (Photo by Max Whittaker/Prime for The

    Washington Post via Getty Images)

    Related Tags:

    Agriculture, California, Drought, Enviro

    nment, Farmers, Harvest, Restrictions, Ri

    ce, Water

    WOODLAND, Calif. (AP) Californias

    deepening drought is shrinking its rice

    harvest, and thats bad news for farmers,

    migratory birds and sushi lovers.The $5

    billion industry exports rice to more than

    100 countries and specializes in premium

    grains used in risotto, paella and sushi.

    Nearly all U.S. sushi restaurants use

    medium-grain rice grown in the Sacramento

    Valley.

    The rice

    harvest is

    just the

    latest

    victim of

    California

    s historic

    drought, which has sharply reduced crop

    production as it enters its fourth year. With

    95 percent of the state in severe to

    exceptional drought, farmers are leaving

    fields unplanted, cattle ranchers are reducing

    herds and almond growers are tearing out

    orchards.California, the nations second

    largest rice-growing state after Arkansas,

    usually produces more than five million

    pounds of rice and sells about half of it

    abroad.

    But this year rice farmers only planted

    420,000 acres 25 percent less than last

    year because of water restrictions,

    according to the California Rice

    Commission.On a clear October day, farmer

    Mike DeWit watched as a giant combine

    harvester cut and threshed a field ofrice

    plants, discharging the grain into a tractor-

    pulled wagon.DeWit, who usually plants

    1,000 acres of rice on his family farm in

    Woodland, outside Sacramento, said he only

    planted 700 acres this year because his water

    supply was cut by 30 percent.So he idled

    one of his combine harvesters, and hired one

    less worker and one less tractor.I think its

    the worst as far as the California rice

    industry is concerned on record, DeWit

    said.

    One more dry year, and I think the impacts

    on California rice farmers will be

    devastating.The reduced plantings also

    impact migratory birds and other wildlife

    that depend on flooded rice fields as habitat.

    Every fall, millions of waterfowl fly south

    from Canada and Alaska to spend their

    winters in CaliforniasCentral Valley.After

    the fall harvest, farmers usually cover their

    fields with water to break down the rice

    stalks, creating wetlands habitat for millions

    of ducks and geese that can feed on

    uncollected grains and other plants.It is

    environmentally a very nice crop to have in

    the system. It mimics the natural system of a

    couple hundred years ago, when that area

    was wetlands, said Bruce Lindquist, a rice

    researcher at the University ofCalifornia,

    Davis.

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    In a typical year, rice farms flood 250,000 to

    300,000 acres in winter, but this year as few

    as 50,000 acres may be flooded because of

    water restrictions, according to the rice

    commission.Conservationists are worried

    that waterfowl and shorebirds will be at

    greater risk for disease as they crowd

    together in fewer rice fields and

    wetlands.When you have less rice out

    there, the impacts are significant for our

    environment, our economy, for the farms as

    well, said Jim Rice, a rice commission

    spokesman.

    This year, conservation groups are renting

    14,000 acres from rice farmers and

    temporarily flooding them, turning the fields

    into pop-up wetlands for birds traveling

    along the Pacific Flyway.The rice

    commission doesnt track prices, but Taro

    Arai, who runs eight Japanese restaurants in

    the Sacramento area, said he paid 8 percent

    more for rice this year and expects to pay

    even more next year.Arai, chief dreaming

    officer of the Mikuni Restaurant Group, is

    concerned about the reduced supply and

    rising cost of California sushi rice, but hes

    reluctant to buy rice from outside the state.

    So hes looking into growing and harvesting

    his own rice as he prepares to open more

    restaurants in NorthernCalifornia.Sushi rice

    makes or breaks sushi for every restaurant in

    California or the United States, Arai said.

    I hear the rumors theres a cheaper rice, but

    you want to eat high-quality

    California rice.

    Copyright 2014 The Associated Press. All

    Rights Reserved. This material may not be

    published, broadcast, rewritten or

    redistributed.

    Rice Exports From India Seen Plunging 30% as Harvest Contracts in Freight News 29/10/2014

    Rice shipments from

    India, the top supplier

    in 2014, will probably

    drop as much as 30

    percent as drought and

    a cyclone this month

    curb output.Exports will decline to about 7

    million metric tons to 8 million tons from 10

    million tons this year, said Samarendu

    Mohanty, head of the social sciences

    division at the International Rice Research

    Institute. Production will drop to a range of

    95 million tons to 100 million tons in 2014-

    2015 from 106 million tons a year earlier,

    Mohanty said.

    India will concede its position as the largest

    supplier to Thailand in 2015 after weak rains

    during the first half of the monsoon reduced

    output, according to the Food & Agriculture

    Organization. Indias production of food grain sown in the rainy season may drop to

    the lowest in five years, Agriculture

    Minister Radha Mohan Singh said last

    month.Plantings were delayed, then floods came in many parts of the country and after

    the floods, the cyclone came, Mohanty said in an interview in Bangkok today.

    All these events will reduce production.Seeding of crops from rice to soybeans and lentils were delayed as about

    90 percent of the country had below normal

    rainfall in June, the India Meteorological

    Department says.Half a million hectares

    were affected by Cyclone Hudhud, which hit

    the east coast this month, Mohanty

    said.Weak rains in the first part of the

    monsoon will cut milled output to 104

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    million tons from 106.5 million tons, the

    FAO said in a report Oct. 2.

    Exports from the South Asian nation will

    drop 20 percent to 8 million tons, while

    Thailand will ship 10.6 million tons, the

    Rome-based agency said.The spread of

    Ebola may disrupt Indian shipments to

    Africa, Mohanty said. India is the top

    supplier to some countries such as Liberia,

    Guinea and Sierra Leone, he said.

    Source: Bloomberg

    Gambia's Annual Rice Import

    Bill Stands At U.S.$50 Million

    The Gambia "will no longer be importing

    rice", after 31 December 2015, as it costs the

    nation annually US$50 million, said President

    Yahya Jammeh in a recent interview granted

    the national TV station GRTS.The Gambia,

    which imports rice from mainly India and

    Thailand, produces less than 15 per cent of her

    own requirements in rice.Gambia's

    requirement of new rice is 175,500 metric

    tonnes per annum, while local production is

    24,895 metric tonnes, according to the

    Ministry of Agriculture.

    As part of The Gambia's Vision 2016, which

    is calling for national food self-sufficiency

    starting from 2016, the President has

    challenged all Gambians, particularly

    agriculture project directors, to redouble their

    efforts at ensuring that Gambia produces more

    agricultural foodstuffs to end rice importation.

    This is in line with his slogan of "Grow what

    you eat and eat what you grow".President

    Jammeh has also warned all agricultural

    directors to desist from "corruption" in

    executing agricultural projects.Presently eight

    senior agricultural directors, including the

    permanent secretary, are undergoing trial at

    the high court of The Gambia. They are

    charged with economic crimes and corruption

    relating to agricultural projects.The President

    also reiterated his stance for "zero tolerance in

    mismanagement of agricultural projects".

    Rice Extends Losses After Drop to Four-Year Low on Ample Supply By Jeff Wilson and Supunnabul

    Suwannakij Oct 29, 2014 11:43 AM

    GMT+0500

    Prices for rice, a staple for half the world,

    extended losses after reaching the lowest

    since 2010 inChicago as the outlook for a

    jump in U.S. production and increased

    exports from overseas producers signal

    ample supplies.Shipments from Thailand,

    vying with India to be the worlds largest

    exporter, almost doubled in September, the

    government said yesterday.

    Myanmar expects output to increase as

    much as 15 percent annually as it boosts

    yields. U.S. rough-rice production will rise

    to a four-year high, the Department of

    Agriculture said Oct. 10.Prices have

    dropped 20 percent this year, heading for the

    biggest loss since 2001 and keeping a lid on

    global food costs that the United

    Nations said fell for a sixth month in

    September.

    The Bloomberg Agriculture Index of

    seven commodities slid the most last

    quarter since 2008 as the USDA projects

    combined global output of rice, corn,

    soybeans and wheat will advance to a record

    this season.Plunging prices are a signal that

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    we have plenty of rice, Dwight Roberts,

    president of Houston-based U.S. Rice

    Producers Association, said in interview at a

    conference in Bangkok yesterday. Some

    markets are buying hand-to-mouth.Rough-

    rice for January delivery fell 0.5 percent to

    $12.24 for 100 pounds on the Chicago

    Board of Trade at 1:50 p.m. Singapore time.

    Futures lost by the limit of $1.10 to $11.375

    yesterday, the lowest intraday price since

    September 2010.Aggregate trading was

    more than double the 100-day average for

    the day yesterday, according to data

    compiled by Bloomberg.An index

    (BCOMAG) of 55 food items dropped 2.6

    percent month-on-month to 191.5 points, the

    lowest since August 2010, the United

    Nations Rome-based Food & Agriculture

    Organization said in an online report Oct. 9.

    Export Demand

    U.S. inventories of rice will rise 26 percent

    before the 2015 harvest, according to the

    USDA. Prices may have to fall further to

    make U.S. exports attractive to foreign

    buyers, said Dennis DeLaughter, president

    of researcher and consultant VantageRM in

    Austin, Texas.Iraq, the fifth-biggest

    importer, is tendering tomorrow for 90,000

    metric tons of milled rice, and U.S. prices

    are at least 15 percent above offers

    expected from Thailand and Vietnam,

    according to DeLaughter.

    The U.S. milled-rice price is too high,

    and we have a big crop to sell, said

    DeLaughter, who has been farming and

    trading rice since 1977.Rice prices in

    Texas range from $12 to $12.75 for 100

    pounds, with mills bidding lower for new

    high-yielding hybrids that produce

    lower-quality finished product,

    DeLaughter said.

    U.S. long-grain exports are completely

    uncompetitive, according to Jeremy

    Zwinger, president and chief executive

    officer of The Rice Trader, a Durham,

    California-based researcher. This is

    because of the problems created by the

    lower quality of hybrid varieties, he

    said.Prices for 5 percent broken

    Thai white rice, an Asian benchmark,

    was at $426 a ton on Oct. 22, according

    to the Thai Rice Exporters Association.

    To contact the reporters on this

    story: Jeff Wilson in Chicago

    at jwilson29@bloomberg.net;

    Supunnabul Suwannakij in Bangkok

    at ssuwannakij@bloomberg.net

    To contact the editors responsible for this

    story: Millie Munshi

    at mmunshi@bloomberg.net Ovais

    Subhani

    Nagpur Foodgrain Prices

    Open- October 29

    Wed Oct 29, 2014 4:48pm IST

    Nagpur, Oct 29 (Reuters) - Gram prices in

    Nagpur Agriculture Produce and Marketing

    Committee (APMC) showed weak tendency

    on poor demand from local millers amid

    high moisture content arrival. Easy

    condition in Madhya Pradesh gram prices

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    and release of stock from stockists also

    pulled down prices, according to sources.

    * * * *

    FOODGRAINS & PULSES

    GRAM

    * Desi gram raw recovered in open market

    on good demand from local traders. Fresh

    rise

    on NCDEX also boosted sentiment.

    TUAR

    * Tuar varieties ruled steady in open

    market here matching the demand and

    supply

    position.

    * Moong Chamki reported strong in open

    market on good seasonal demand from local

    traders amid weak supply from producing

    regions.

    * In Akola, Tuar - 4,600-4,700, Tuar dal -

    7,100-7,400, Udid at 7,000-7,200,

    Udid Mogar (clean) - 7,800-8,100,

    Moong - 6,900-7,300, Moong Mogar

    (clean) 8,300-9,000, Gram - 2,600-2,800,

    Gram Super best bold - 3,600-3,900

    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 2,400-2,740

    2,400-2,820

    Gram Pink Auction n.a.

    2,100-2,600

    Tuar Auction n.a.

    3,950-4,200

    Moong Auction n.a.

    5,200-5,500

    Udid Auction n.a. 4,300-

    4,500

    Masoor Auction n.a.

    2,600-2,800

    Gram Super Best Bold 3,850-

    4,200 3,850-4,200

    Gram Super Best n.a.

    Gram Medium Best 3,650-3,750

    3,650-3,750

    Gram Dal Medium n.a. n.a.

    Gram Mill Quality 3,450-3,550

    3,450-3,550

    Desi gram Raw 2,850-2,900

    2,900-2,850

    Gram Filter new 3,200-3,600

    3,200-3,600

    Gram Kabuli 8,500-9,800

    8,500-9,800

    Gram Pink 7,200-7,400

    7,200-7,400

    Tuar Fataka Best 7,400-7,600

    7,400-7,600

    Tuar Fataka Medium 7,150-7,250

    7,150-7,250

    Tuar Dal Best Phod 7,150-7,250

    7,150-7,250

    Tuar Dal Medium phod 6,850-

    7,050 6,850-7,050

    Tuar Gavarani 5,150-5,250

    5,150-5,250

    Tuar Karnataka 5,500-5,600

    5,500-5,600

    Tuar Black 8,300-8,600

    8,300-8,600

    Masoor dal best 6,700-6,800

    6,700-6,800

    Masoor dal medium 6,500-6,600

    6,500-6,600

    Masoor n.a. n.a.

    Moong Mogar bold 9,500-9,800

    9,500-9,800

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    Moong Mogar Medium best 8,500-

    9,000 8,500-9,000

    Moong dal super best 8,000-8,400

    8,000-8,400

    Moong dal Chilka 7,600-7,900

    7,600-7,900

    Moong Mill quality n.a.

    n.a.

    Moong Chamki best 7,500-8,800

    7,000-8,500

    Udid Mogar Super best (100 INR/KG)

    8,000-8,500 8,000-8,500

    Udid Mogar Medium (100 INR/KG)

    7,000-7,500 7,000-7,500

    Udid Dal Black (100 INR/KG)

    6,300-6,800 6,300-6,800

    Batri dal (100 INR/KG) 4,200-4,800

    4,200-4,800

    Lakhodi dal (100 INR/kg) 2,900-

    3,100 2,900-3,100

    Watana Dal (100 INR/KG) 3,200-

    3,400 3,200-3,400

    Watana White (100 INR/KG) 3,250-

    3,350 3,250-3,350

    Watana Green Best (100 INR/KG)

    4,400-5,200 4,400-5,200

    Wheat 308 (100 INR/KG) 1,200-

    1,500 1,200-1,500

    Wheat Mill quality(100 INR/KG)

    1,650-1,700 1,650-1,700

    Wheat Filter (100 INR/KG) 1,200-

    1,400 1,200-1,400

    Wheat Lokwan best (100 INR/KG)

    2,100-2,350 2,100-2,350

    Wheat Lokwan medium (100 INR/KG)

    1,800-2,000 1,800-2,000

    Lokwan Hath Binar (100 INR/KG) n.a.

    n.a.

    MP Sharbati Best (100 INR/KG) 2,800-

    3,200 2,800-3,200

    MP Sharbati Medium (100 INR/KG)

    1,950-2,350 1,950-2,350

    Wheat 147 (100 INR/KG) 1,200-

    1,300 1,200-1,300

    Wheat Best (100 INR/KG) 1,500-

    1,800 1,500-1,800

    Rice BPT new (100 INR/KG) 3,000-

    3,500 3,000-3,500

    Rice Parmal (100 INR/KG) 1,700-

    1,900 1,700-1,900

    Rice Swarna new (100 INR/KG)

    2,300-2,600 2,300-2,600

    Rice HMT new (100 INR/KG)

    4,000-4,400 4,000-4,400

    Rice HMT Shriram (100 INR/KG)

    4,800-5,800 4,800-5,800

    Rice Basmati best (100 INR/KG)

    10,200-13,300 10,200-13,300

    Rice Basmati Medium (100 INR/KG)

    7,200-9,800 7,200-9,800

    Rice Chinnor (100 INR/KG) 5,200-

    5,700 5,200-5,700

    Jowar Gavarani (100 INR/KG)

    1,300-1,500 1,400-1,600

    Jowar CH-5 (100 INR/KG) 1,700-

    1,800 1,700-1,800

    WEATHER (NAGPUR)

    Maximum temp. 31.0 degree Celsius (87.8

    degree Fahrenheit), minimum temp.

    15.7 degree Celsius (60.2 degree Fahrenheit)

    Humidity: Highest - n.a., lowest - n.a.

    Rainfall : n.a.

    FORECAST: Mainly clear sky. Maximum

    and minimum temperature would be around

    and 33 and 15 degree Celsius respectively.

    Note: n.a.--not available

    (For oils, transport costs are excluded from

    plant delivery prices, but included in market

    prices.)

    No backtracking on rice exports

    at EGP 2,000 per tonne

    Mohamed Adel / October 29, 2014

    Expected returns set at $1bn for exporters

    and $280m in returns for state due to export

    fee

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    No backtracking on rice exports at EGP

    2,000 per tonne.

    (AFP Photo)

    Minister of

    Supply and

    Internal

    Trade

    Khaled

    Hanafy told

    Daily News

    Egypt that

    the General Authority for Supply

    Commodities will continue receiving rice

    supplies from his ministry at EGP 2,000 per

    tonne.Keeping the tonne price as it is will

    prevent a price increase to over EGP 4 per

    kilo of rice, he said.Hanafy added that the

    door has been opened to allow rice to be

    exported globally, under the condition of a

    $280 fee. He said that exporting companies

    returns will reach $1bn as a result of

    overseas markets selling one tonne of rice

    for $1000, with state returns to reach $280m

    due to the fee.

    He said the ministry launched the

    construction of a logistics city covering

    3.35m square meters on Monday, of which

    half a million is located within the borders

    of Damietta Port. The remainder falls under

    an untapped industrial area located north-

    east of the port with total investment costs of

    around EGP 13.1bn.The ministry will

    complete the logistics city as well as

    commercial and shopping area projects

    within two years, the minister went on.

    The latter is located in close proximity to the

    Suez Canal Axis, which was offered to some

    of the worlds largest companies during

    President Abdel Fattah Al-Sisis recent visit

    to the US.The project was well received by

    the companies, Hanafy said, adding that it

    will be located on area of 1,000 acres and

    with investment costs worth EGP 50bn. It is

    expected to create around 500,000 jobs after

    the first phase of construction.Hanafy

    explained that the new city will include

    reproductions of cities and sites from around

    the world. The move will attract

    international companies to produce and offer

    global brands. The details of the project will

    be announced soon.

    Dont go for paddy in rabi, Telangana Govt tells farmers

    KV KURMANATH

    Unfavourable weather conditions, scarcity

    of power have rendered paddy cultivation

    unviable.

    HYDERABAD, OCTOBER 29:

    The Telangana Government has asked the

    farmers to go for crops that require less

    water. Farmers were asked to shun paddy

    this season, keeping in view the

    unfavourable weather conditions.State

    Agriculture Minister Pocharam Srinivasa

    Reddy and Principal Secretary Poonam

    Malakondaiah held a review meeting on

    Tuesday with officials to take stock of the

    kharif crops and to discuss the rabi plan.

    The meeting also discussed the losses

    caused by the untimely rains last week and

    measures to be taken to help farmers sell

    cotton. The unexpected rains in the State

    damaged crops and the produce in several

    mandals.The State is also in short supply of

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    power, forcing it to enforce day-long power

    cuts in villages. Availability of power during

    the rabi could be even more difficult.The

    Government has asked the farmers to go for

    dry land crops that require less water and, in

    turn, demand less power.

    Farmers are advised to plan their crops in such a manner that they would go for

    harvesting by March 15 when temperatures

    begin to rise, an official of the Department of Agriculture said.Paddy is grown in 6.50

    lakh hectares in Telangana out of the total

    cropped area of 13 lakh hectares in

    Telangana. The rest of the area is shared by

    maize (1.52 lakh ha), bengal gram (1 lakh

    ha), ground nut (1.7 lakh ha).The exact rabi

    production figures are not immediately

    available as this is going to be the first

    season after the State is created. In the

    combined State, paddy was grown in an

    average 15 lakh ha and produced about 55

    lakh ha.

    (This article was published on October 29,

    2014)

    Thai rice audit shows 70 pct of stocks deteriorating Source: Reuters - Wed, 29 Oct 2014 06:47 GMT Author: Reuters * Audit results could speed up stockpile sales

    * That could drag on prices, hurt farmers

    * Large rural population is key influence on Thai

    politics

    BANGKOK, Oct 29 (Reuters) - An audit of

    Thailand's massive stockpiles of rice has

    found about 70 percent is deteriorating and

    another fifth is inedible, leaving only one

    tenth of standard export quality.The findings

    in the state inspection will ramp up pressure

    on the generals running Thailand as they

    battle to offload grain from around 18

    million tonnes in national stocks, likely

    pushing them to speed up sales before the

    bulk of it rots.

    That could drag on global prices, hurting

    rice growers in the world's No.2 exporter of

    the crop, where the large rural population is

    a key influence on politics.Duangporn

    Rodphaya, chief of the country's foreign

    trade department, said the rice that was

    discoloured and of diminished quality would

    still be fit for sale and that authorities were

    aiming to shift it within three years."The

    low-quality rice does not mean that it cannot

    be of use," she told reporters on

    Tuesday."But it's just of a lower standard

    and we have a market to support such rice

    already," she said, estimating its weight at

    10 million tonnes.

    The military government in July launched

    the inspection of rice warehouses around the

    country to gauge the quality of grain

    stockpiled under a scheme run by a

    government it ousted in May that paid

    farmers way above market rates.Prime

    Minister Prayuth Chan-ocha said 100,000

    tonnes of rice were found to be missing from

    the stockpiles and the National Anti-

    Corruption Commission would launch a

    probe to try to uncover where it had gone

    and who was responsible.Prayuth said it was

    crucial to shift the remaining stocks quickly

    and though 70 percent had diminished in

    quality, it could still be sold."Rice in the

    stockpiles were kept for a long time, so it's

    imperative to accelerate sales to prevent

    more deterioration," he told reporters on

    Tuesday.Prayuth said about 4-5 percent of

    the rice was "downgraded" and therefore

    inedible. It would likely be used for ethanol

    conversion.

    LATEST SETBACK

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    The audit is the latest setback for a

    government grappling with a slowing

    economy and under pressure to resolve

    Thailand's rice problem, the scale of which

    is starting to emerge.Low prices and the end

    of the loss-making rice-buying scheme in

    February have hurt farmers, many of whom

    were staunch supporters of the government

    the military overthrew.

    Prayuth's government announced a loans

    scheme for farmers on Friday, offering zero-

    interest credit until Feb. 28 next year in

    return for keeping their rice off the market,

    with additional incentives for storing it

    themselves.The commerce ministry also

    revealed preliminary results of its tender for

    nearly 208,000 tonnes of rice on Tuesday.

    Around 203,000 tonnes of rice was sold for

    a total of 1.93 billion baht ($59.44 million)

    to 18 bidders, it said.The ministry has held

    two other tenders so far this year, in which it

    sold a total of about 145,000 tonnes. About

    59,600 tonnes was also bought by the

    private sector in a direct sale earlier this

    month.The sales have generated a combined

    2.18 billion baht.

    Rice audit finds 90%

    substandard

    State loss from scheme could rise to B700bn

    Published: 29 Oct 2014 at 06.00 |

    Viewed: 5,289 | Comments: 8

    Newspaper section: Business

    Writer: Chatrudee Theparat & Phusadee

    Arunmas

    The government's rice stocks have been

    found to be in a very poor state, with as

    much as 90% classified as substandard and the cost to the state could be 580-700

    billion baht. The audit has continued in

    warehouses nationwide for months, and the

    news is almost all bad: substandard stocks

    are everywhere, with 20% of the rice

    deemed inedible. (File photo)

    On Tuesday, Prime Minister Prayut Chan-o-

    cha revealed the outcome of a

    nationwide rice audit led by

    ML Panadda Diskul, permanent secretary

    for the Prime Minister's Office, that reported

    only 10% of the 18 million tonnes of rice

    was of good quality."The report shows 70%

    of the rice is tainted with a yellow colour,

    while the rest is in bad condition and not

    edible and should only be allocated for

    ethanol production," said Gen Prayut.

    The inspection also found about 100,000

    tonnes of rice missing.The government will

    submit the report to the National Anti-

    Corruption Commission (NACC) and ask

    for its permission to sell good-quality grains

    in stocks."Rice in the stockpiles was kept for

    a long time, so it's imperative to accelerate

    disposal to prevent more deterioration," Gen

    Prayut said.Asked whether corruption was

    involved, he said: "I don't know. It's the duty

    of the NACC to find out, while this

    government will continue to help

    farmers."All parties should hurry to solve

    this problem, as the public are keeping an

    eye on the issue, Gen Prayut said.

    Deputy government spokesman Sansern

    Kaewkamnerd said Gen Prayut was worried

    about farmers and the agricultural sector

    because the economy might not grow as

    expected, with the global economy yet to

    recover and a bad drought expected next

    year.A Commerce Ministry source said the

    figure of only 100,000 tonnes of

    rice missing from state stocks was quite

    insignificant compared with

    the 3 million tonnes reported missing in

    June 2013 by former deputy finance

    permanent secretary Supa Piyajitti, who

    chaired a subcommittee overseeing the

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    accounts of the pledging scheme."That

    means there is fraud in the rice pledging

    scheme," the source said.

    "During the inspection process, it is highly

    likely that good-quality rice pledged under

    the rice scheme was replaced with old, low-

    quality stock."The high amount of

    substandard rice in state stocks is unlikely to

    stem from poor warehousing."The source

    said the loss from the scheme was expected

    to be as much as 700 billion baht if the

    government failed to dispose of stocks

    within five years.

    "This problem is immense, and the

    incumbent government is in a dilemma, as it

    is burdened not only with selling good-

    quality rice stocks but also with properly

    managing the massive amount of

    substandard rice," the source said.The

    Commerce Ministry said Tuesday there

    were 37 interested bidders for the third

    round of the government's rice auction for

    270,000 tonnes.The ministry sold 140,000

    tonnes in the first two auctions, raising 1.6

    billion baht.After halting rice sales to carry

    out nationwide inspections, the government

    resumed sales of 167,000 tonnes on Aug 7.

    Tell

    Most Popular MyPlate

    Download Prominently

    Features Rice

    ARLINGTON, VA -- The USA Rice

    Federation, an active MyPlate National

    Strategic Partner, joined with other food and

    health organizations to develop a toolkit to

    help shoppers adhere to the U.S. Department

    of Agriculture's (USDA) recommended

    dietary guidelines, now known as

    "MyPlate," and rice is heavily featured

    throughout the 44-page document.

    The Meeting Your MyPlate Goals on a

    Budget toolkit was posted on the USDA's

    ChooseMyPlate website in July and with

    three million downloads since, is by far the

    most popular MyPlate tool available.

    "Sixty-two percent of shoppers say it costs

    too much to eat healthy food," said Byron

    Holmes, chairman of the USA Rice

    Nutrition Subcommittee. "This toolkit

    reminds shoppers that U.S.-grown rice can

    make healthy eating easy and affordable.

    "Using MyPlate as a guide, the toolkit offers

    many ideas for making healthy, inexpensive

    choices and also provides recipes and

    cooking tips to make those healthy foods

    taste great. The grains section of the toolkit

    highlights rice and includes time-saving tips

    as well as budget-friendly rice bowl

    concepts. "The MyPlate communications

    partnership with USDA is a beneficial

    relationship for USA Rice because it helps

    us promote and extend the positive

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    messaging of U.S.-grown rice as a part of a

    healthy diet and the Dietary Guidelines for

    Americans," said Holmes.

    Contact: Katie Maher (703) 236-1453

    U.S.-Grown Rice at Paris

    Food Show

    Rice ambassadors at SIAL 2014

    PARIS, FRANCE -- The SIAL Paris Food

    Show celebrated its 50th anniversary this

    year and U.S.-grown rice was on the show

    floor amongst 6,000 exhibitors from 100

    countries. The Sun Valley Rice Company,

    joined InHarvest and Sun West in promoting

    U.S. rice to the more than 150,000 show

    attendees, and provided excellent

    opportunities to meet with existing trade

    partners and clients from all around the

    world.

    "The market in Europe for U.S. medium

    grain Calrose remains strong and we had a

    very positive experience at the show, with

    significant interest in our rice especially

    from sushi makers and Asian Fusion Chefs -

    a growing and diversifying area" said Jim

    Higa, Chief Marketing Officer, Sun Valley

    Rice Company who attended the five day

    event.

    USA Rice's Hartwig Schmidt also attended

    the show to meet with the trade and existing

    and potential customers."Price remains the

    most important factor in the market here,

    and while U.S. long grain is becoming

    competitive with rice from South American

    and European origins, cheap Asian origin

    rice continues to undercut us," Schmidt said.

    "However, customers were interested in our

    anticipated large crop this year and next, and

    the stability the Farm Bill is providing U.S.

    growers. This could help with long term

    prices and increased tonnage heading to the

    EU."

    Contact: Michael Klein (703) 236-1458

    Tender Invitation of CSQ-

    Normal USA Rice and

    Australia Rice Tender

    Tender Invitation No: GF4-103107

    Country of Origin: U.S.A.

    Rice Type: Medium/Short

    Grain Brown Rice

    Quantity: 12,000MT

    Tender Date: 11/7/2014

    Delivery Term: The rice needs to be

    delivered to the designated COA warehouse

    between March 1st

    and April 30th, 2015.

    Tender Invitation No: GF4-103106

    Country of Origin: Australia

    Rice Type: Medium/Short

    Grain Brown Rice

    Quantity: 11,134MT

    Tender Date: 11/7/2014

    Delivery Term: The rice needs to be

    delivered to the designated COA warehouse

    on or before

    4/30/15.

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    CCC Announces Prevailing

    World Market Prices

    WASHINGTON, DC -- The Department of

    Agriculture's Commodity Credit

    Corporation today announced the following

    prevailing world market prices of milled and

    rough rice, adjusted for U.S. milling yields

    and location, and the resulting marketing

    loan-gain (MLG) and loan deficiency

    payment (LDP) rates applicable to the 2014

    crop, which became effective today at 7:00

    a.m., Eastern Time (ET). Rough rice prices

    decreased $0.20 per cwt for both long grain

    and medium/short grain.

    World Price MLG/LDP

    Rate

    Milled

    Value

    ($/cwt)

    Rough

    ($/cwt)

    Rough

    ($/cwt)

    Long-Grain 17.56 11.14 0.00

    Medium-

    /Short-

    Grain

    16.99 11.44 0.00

    Brokens 10.59 ---- ----

    This week's prevailing world market prices

    and MLG/LDP rates are based on the

    following U.S. milling yields and the

    corresponding loan rates:

    U.S. Milling

    Yields

    Whole/Broken

    (lbs/cwt)

    Loan

    Rate

    ($/cwt)

    Long-Grain 55.83/12.59 6.50

    Medium-/Short-

    Grain 62.39/7.92 6.50

    The next program announcement is

    scheduled for November 5.

    CME Group/Closing Rough

    Rice Futures

    CME Group (Preliminary): Closing Rough

    Rice Futures for October 29

    Month Price Net Change

    November

    2014 $12.130 + $0.075

    January 2015 $12.375 + $0.070

    March 2015 $12.645 + $0.070

    May 2015 $12.890 + $0.075

    July 2015 $13.070 + $0.075

    September

    2015 $12.435 + $0.075

    November

    2015 $12.335 UNCH

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    Thailand Takes Bids on Stockpiled Rice

    Government Trying to Chip Away at 18

    Million Tons in Storage

    By WARANGKANA CHOMCHUEN

    BANGKOKThailand offered about

    208,000 metric tons of rice for sale Tuesday,

    as the Commerce Ministry attempts to

    unload huge stockpiles of the grain

    accumulated under a previous farm-subsidy

    program.

    Read more on following website:

    http://online.wsj.com/articles/thailand-takes-

    bids-on-stockpiled-rice-

    1414508732?KEYWORDS=rice&utm_sour

    ce=USA+Rice+Daily%2C+October+29%2C

    +2014&utm_campaign=Wednesday%2C+O

    ctober+23%2C+2013&utm_medium=email

    California drought takes bite out of rice harvest, reducing wildlife habitat and sushi grains

    In this photo taken Friday, Oct. 10. 2014, a

    rice harvester works a field belonging to rice

    farmer Mike DeWitt near Davis, Calif.

    DeWitt is among the Sacramento Valley

    farmers who planted 25 percent less rice

    than normal because of water cutbacks,

    which is impacting migratory birds, and

    other wildlife that depend on flooded rice

    fields for habitat. (AP Photo/Rich

    Pedroncelli)

    Associated PressOct. 29, 2014 | 2:51 a.m.

    EDT+ More

    By TERENCE CHEA, Associated Press

    WOODLAND, Calif. (AP) California's deepening drought is shrinking its rice

    harvest, and that's bad news for farmers,

    migratory birds and sushi lovers.

    The $5 billion industry exports rice to more

    than 100 countries and specializes in

    premium grains used in risotto, paella and

    sushi. Nearly all U.S. sushi restaurants use

    medium-grain rice grown in the Sacramento

    Valley.

    The rice

    harvest is just

    the latest

    victim of

    California's

    historic

    drought,

    which has

    sharply reduced crop production as it enters

    its fourth year. With 95 percent of the state

    in "severe" to "exceptional" drought,

    farmers are leaving fields unplanted, cattle

    ranchers are reducing herds and almond

    growers are tearing out orchards.

    California, the nation's second largest rice-

    growing state after Arkansas, usually

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    produces more than five million pounds of

    rice and sells about half of it abroad.

    But this year rice farmers only planted

    420,000 acres 25 percent less than last year because of water restrictions, according to the California Rice

    Commission.On a clear October day, farmer

    Mike DeWit watched as a giant combine

    harvester cut and threshed a field of rice

    plants, discharging the grain into a tractor-

    pulled wagon.

    DeWit, who usually plants 1,000 acres of

    rice on his family farm in Woodland, outside

    Sacramento, said he only planted 700 acres

    this year because his water supply was cut

    by 30 percent.So he idled one of his

    combine harvesters, and hired one less

    worker and one less tractor.

    "I think it's the worst as far as the California

    rice industry is concerned on record," DeWit

    said. "One more dry year, and I think the

    impacts on California rice farmers will be

    devastating."The reduced plantings also

    impact migratory birds and other wildlife

    that depend on flooded rice fields as habitat.

    Every fall, millions of waterfowl fly south

    from Canada and Alaska to spend their

    winters in California's Central Valley.

    After the fall harvest, farmers usually cover

    their fields with water to break down the rice

    stalks, creating wetlands habitat for millions

    of ducks and geese that can feed on

    uncollected grains and other plants."It is

    environmentally a very nice crop to have in

    the system. It mimics the natural system of a

    couple hundred years ago, when that area

    was wetlands," said Bruce Lindquist, a rice

    researcher at the University of California,

    Davis.

    In a typical year, rice farms flood 250,000 to

    300,000 acres in winter, but this year as few

    as 50,000 acres may be flooded because of

    water restrictions, according to the rice

    commission.

    Conservationists are worried that waterfowl

    and shorebirds will be at greater risk for

    disease as they crowd together in fewer rice

    fields and wetlands.

    "When you have less rice out there, the

    impacts are significant for our environment,

    our economy, for the farms as well," said

    Jim Rice, a rice commission

    spokesman.This year, conservation groups

    are renting 14,000 acres from rice farmers

    and temporarily flooding them, turning the

    fields into "pop-up wetlands" for birds

    traveling along the Pacific Flyway.

    The rice commission doesn't track prices,

    but Taro Arai, who runs eight Japanese

    restaurants in the Sacramento area, said he

    paid 8 percent more for rice this year and

    expects to pay even more next year.Arai,

    "chief dreaming officer" of the Mikuni

    Restaurant Group, is concerned about the

    reduced supply and rising cost of California

    sushi rice, but he's reluctant to buy rice from

    outside the state.

    So he's looking into growing and harvesting

    his own rice as he prepares to open more

    restaurants in Northern California."Sushi

    rice makes or breaks sushi for every

    restaurant in California or the United

    States," Arai said. "I hear the rumors there's

    a cheaper rice, but you want to eat high-

    quality California rice."

    Copyright 2014 The Associated Press. All

    rights reserved. This material may not be

    published, broadcast, rewritten or

    redistributed.

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    Sacramento Valley farmers are asked: Help the ducks

    BY MATT WEISER

    MWEISER@SACBEE.COM

    10/28/2014 4:42 PM

    Sacramento Valley are being asked to lend a

    hand to migrating waterfowl arriving this

    winter to a drought-parched

    landscape.Valley rice farmers normally

    flood about 300,000 acres after harvest to

    decompose the leftover rice straw. This

    flooded land then becomes vital habitat for

    ducks and geese.But the California Rice

    Commission estimated earlier this year that

    only about 50,000 acres of rice fields would

    be flooded due to the drought. As a result,

    millions of birds traveling the Pacific

    Flyway this winter will find a hard time

    finding habitat.

    The Natural Resources Conservation

    Service, a division of the U.S. Department

    of Agriculture, is hoping to improve that

    picture by offering farmers an incentive to

    flood land. Farmers who have water

    available and are willing to flood their land

    until at least Feb. 1 will be paid an estimated

    $53 per acre, said David Sanden, a

    spokesman for the agency.The goal is to

    offset some of a farmers costs to provide the water and set aside their land to benefit

    waterfowl. The agency hopes to create

    10,000 acres of shallow water wetlands in

    Butte, Colusa, Glenn, Sutter, Yolo and Yuba

    counties.

    If we didnt do anything, a lot of the fields would be dry and there wouldnt be good habitat for all these birds that are coming, Sanden said. Were not asking people to try and find water that isnt there. But if they do have the water, it does have a lot of

    benefits.The deadline to apply for the program is Nov. 7. Farmers interested in

    participating should contact their local office

    of the Natural Resources Conservation

    Service.

    Drought costs residents thousands

    COLORADO COUNTY Water wells in

    southeastern Colorado County and

    northwestern Wharton County are going dry,

    and residents do not know what to do about

    it.Despite recent rains, Colorado and

    Wharton Counties are still experiencing

    drought conditions. The rainfall that we

    have been receiving has not been making it

    to the reservoirs in the hill country, said

    Colorado County Groundwater

    Conservation District Manager Jim Brasher.

    As such, surface water allotments that are

    normally available for irrigation have not

    been released by the Lower Colorado River

    Authority, and rice farmers have been

    increasingly applying for and receiving

    permits to drill wells for water to irrigate

    their crops.Since 2012, sixteen irrigation

    wells have been drilled in southeastern

    Colorado County. Each of these wells

    pumps at a rate of approximately 22 gallons

    per minute, and the average household in the

    United States uses approximately 223

    gallons per day.

    Affected residents

    In the summer of 2012, Heyln Hobbs Farris,

    who lives on the eastern ban of Eagle Lake,

    noticed that her well water was turning

    orange and cloudy. Then, her sprinkler

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    started putting out far less pressure than

    before. As the summer began to turn into

    autumn, the problems stopped.In the

    summer of 2013, the same problems began

    again. This time, she lost all water pressure.

    She called Neuendorff Water Well Service

    in Columbus, and company replaced the

    motor on her pump and moved it from sixty-

    three feet below ground to one hundred and

    fifty feet below ground. Farris said this

    service cost her approximately two thousand

    dollars.I have lived in Eagle Lake since

    1955 and in the county for the past sixty-two

    years, Farris said. I never heard of

    problems like this until the past few

    years.Farris said people told her that they

    believed that she would never have a water

    shortage problem because she lived so close

    to Eagle Lake.

    She has stopped running her sprinkler

    system this year, because the lake is not

    receiving fresh water.Martin and Louis

    Herman are a retired couple who live on the

    northwest side of FM 2764 near East Benard

    and Lissie. FM 2764 is called County Line

    Road because the highway divides Colorado

    County from Wharton County.On June 15,

    Martin Herman started lots of air and some

    sand coming in with the water to the house.

    When the Hermans had their well inspected,

    they learned that it was ruined. The pump

    had overheated and broken down, and the

    heat from the pump had completely

    deformed the well casing.

    The cost for the Hermans to drill and install

    a completely new well was approximately

    nine thousand dollars.The unusual thing

    about this was that the well was almost new,

    and the water level in the well in January of

    2014 was within operable levels at forty-

    nine feet below the ground. It was drilled in

    2000 to a depth of 300 feet with a water

    depth level of forty-one feet below

    ground.The average residential well depth

    on the southeastern side of the county is 105

    to 150 feet below ground.

    The Hermans know of one livestock well

    and two residential wells on neighbors

    properties that no longer reliably pump

    water.According to Brasher, within a four-

    mile radius of Lissie in Wharton County,

    thirty wells have either been producing far

    less water than normal or stopped producing

    water altogether.Additionally, two other

    residential wells and four livestock wells

    have been reported to the Colorado County

    Groundwater Conservation District as

    inoperable.

    Unregistered wells

    Colorado Groundwater Conservation

    District rules state that well operators in

    Colorado County are supposed to register

    their wells. According to Brasher, there are

    two wells in southeastern Colorado County

    that have been reported to the district as

    having gone dry, but they are not registered

    with the district.Though the District does

    not currently penalize domestic or livestock

    wells that are not registered, these wells are

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    unprotected from offset well pumpage,

    Brasher said.

    This District does require that all irrigation

    wells be registered and permitted with the

    District. Permitted wells have limitations on

    the amount that they can pump. Almost all

    domestic and livestock wells are exempt

    from requiring a permit and therefore have

    no regulations on how much they can pump.

    We are rigorous about requiring that

    irrigation wells be permitted and will

    penalize those operators who do not register

    their wells.However, the question remains

    of whether there are any wells in Colorado

    County that have not been reported to the

    district.

    Water levels

    The amount of water being pumped out of

    the Gulf Coast Aquifer in a 29.5 square mile

    area around Eagle Lake has increased

    incrementally since 2012.According to

    Brasher, water levels in the aquifer dropped

    of six to seven feet from 2011 to 2014 in this

    area. In 2011, the drop during irrigation

    season was about 22 ft. That amount has

    increased each of the subsequent years.

    In 2014, the aquifer dropped 38 feet during

    irrigation season, Brasher said.During

    irrigation season, the water level drops

    substantially during the summer and starts to

    recover rise after pumping stops in the

    autumn.The groundwater conservation

    district would like to see an average draw

    down of water levels to only twelve feet. To

    accomplish that, Brasher said, the average

    amount of water withdrawn per year would

    need to close to 49,000 feet on average.

    Two-county problem

    Because the wells most affected are near the

    Wharton County line, the Colorado County

    and the Coastal Bend Groundwater

    Conservation Districts have authorized a

    combined study that is currently being

    conducted by Intera Geosciences and

    Engineering Solutions.The Coastal Bend

    Groundwater Conservation District serves

    Wharton County.Intera is mapping areas of

    groundwater depletion in both counties in an

    effort to make a recommendation about what

    optimal well and pump depth settings should

    be.

    Currently, the amount of groundwater being

    pumped in the Coastal Bend district is

    approximately four times the amount being

    pumped in the Colorado County district.

    Irrigation well permits are still being issued

    in Wharton County, and rice farmers are still

    applying for permits in Colorado County.

    Possible solutions

    Three possible methods to deal with the

    groundwater depletion issue exist.First

    Ronald Gertson, a rice farmer from Wharton

    County is in the process of trying to set up a

    non-profit organization that could provide

    funds to assist individuals in Wharton

    County who lose pressure in their wells to

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    move their pumps down further or to drill

    new wells.

    Second, the Colorado County and Coastal

    Bend districts can consider declaring a

    Critical Groundwater Depletion Zone in

    which the permitted amount that can be

    pumped by each irrigation well operator

    could be curtailed.The Coastal Bend district

    is currently drafting provisions that would

    allow the district to put such restrictions in

    place.

    The Colorado County district currently has

    such provisions in place, but will not use

    them unless the Coastal Bend district

    implements similar provisions.Finally, rice

    farmers can consider investing in equipment

    and infrastructure that would allow them to

    raise less water intensive crops, such as

    sesame seeds. However, this is an expensive

    process, and there are currently no progams

    in place to assist farmers with such a

    transition.

    Natural protein in rice helps keep

    arsenic out in grains

    [HANOI]

    Researchers

    have

    discovered a

    natural

    mechanism in

    rice plants

    that restricts the transfer of arsenic in soils to

    the rice grain by sequestering it in pocket-

    like cell membranes called vacuoles,

    opening scientific potentials for rice-

    producing nations across the developing

    world.The study, published in the

    Proceedings of the National Academy of

    Sciences (PNAS) on 20 October, found that

    a transporter protein called OsABCC1 lives

    in the roots, leaves and other organs of a rice

    plant. Removing it caused the amount of

    arsenic in the grains of a rice plant to rise

    more than fivefold.

    The study marks the first time any

    transporter has been identified in the process

    of vacuolar sequestration of arsenic toxin in

    rice plants.Its quite a neat piece of work,

    Steve McGrath, an arsenic expert at

    Rothamsted Research in Britain, tells

    SciDev.Net about the research study.Its a

    first step and one particular strategy to

    decrease arsenic in grain, he notes. There

    may be other transporters throughout the

    plant that can do things and be switched off

    or turned down, or whatever mechanism you

    can think of to achieve similar results.

    In the 1990s, there was a flurry of interest in

    arsenic contamination of groundwater, but it

    was not until last year, McGrath says, that

    scientists had fairly clear evidence of how

    arsenic concentration in food affected

    human health.People who are repeatedly

    exposed to arsenic in soils and water are at

    risk for a range of diseases, including

    cancer, the study reported. The problem is

    particularly serious in South Asia and

    around the Mekong area of South-East Asia

    where groundwater containing high

    concentrations of arsenic is used both for

    drinking water and irrigating rice.

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    Rice accumulates more arsenic in its shoots

    and grains than wheat, barley and other

    cereal crops. That could be because rice

    grows in flooded conditions where arsenic

    can proliferate, and because rice plants have

    a more efficient uptake system for the

    poison.This is a serious problem because

    rice is a staple food for Asian countries,

    adds Jian Feng Ma, a researcher at Japans

    Okayama University and one of the studys

    authors.

    Jian tells SciDev.Net that the study could

    have two main applications: breeding rice in

    a way that would over express the

    OsABCC1 transporter, or identifying and

    promoting wild rice varieties in which it is

    especially active.McGrath, however, says

    the first approach would be unusual because

    scientists typically modify the genetic

    structures of plants to make them more

    resistant to pests, not to make them healthier

    for human consumption.

    Its a test, if you like, of the publics and

    legislators opinion about genetic

    engineering in plants, he says. Is this more

    acceptable because its having a direct

    health benefit?

    Link to full paper in Proceedings of the

    National Academy of Sciences

    This article has been produced by

    SciDev.Net's South-East Asia & Pacific

    desk.

    Image credit: GMB Akash / Panos

    Greenpeace Says Its GMOs

    Are Better Than Science's

    GMOs, Still Hates Golden

    Rice

    By Jon Entine | October 29th 2014 03:11

    PM |

    Greenpeace is set to launch a series of

    attacks against crop biotechnology this

    week. It has scheduled a news conference

    for Friday titled Ecological Agriculture, A

    Climate Resilient Model of Agriculture: The

    Way Forward, which purportedly

    makes its case against vitamin-enhanced

    Golden Rice.

    According to the Greenpeace news release,

    the panel of speakers will address what it

    calls Ecological Agriculture, which

    Greenpeace says is a model of farming

    better adapted to deal with climate change.

    Dr. Janet Cotter, a Greenpeace geologist,

    will lead a parade of speakers including

    activist groups from the Philippines and

    Thailand and a farmers testimonial

    experience and opposition to GMOs.The

    anti-GMO advocacy groups claims that

    GMOs have been an expensive failure,

    citing among other examples vitamin-

    enhanced Golden Rice, which has been slow

    to develop and gain approvalin part

    because of protests by Greenpeace and other

    campaigning groups.

    Greenpeace has upped its offensive against

    Golden Rice this year, claiming it is a

    Trojan horse to soften the public opposition

    to GMOs that Greenpeace itself has helped

    create.Those promoting Golden rice in

    the UK and elsewhere appear to be doing so

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    more as means of promoting the wider GM

    agendaand attacking opponents of the GM

    project than as serious means of solving

    problems in the global south,

    Greenpeace wrote on its website this

    summer.

    And they entirely miss what are for us the

    main issues in the debate. First, problems of

    malnutrition are best addressed in their

    totality, not by a relentless focus on a single

    nutrient out of the hundreds essential for

    good health.

    Golden rice is far from being a sustainable

    solution to vitamin deficiency it

    encourages a diet based solely on rice. In

    Greenpeaces opinion, the tens of millions of

    dollars invested in the development and

    promotion of GM Golden rice would have

    been better spent in supporting solutions

    that work.

    Ecologically farmed home and community

    gardens can contribute to healthy and

    varied diets by directly empowering people

    to produce their own nutritious food. This is

    the real long-lasting solution Vitamin A

    Deficeincy VAD) affected communities need.

    Oddly, Greenpeace is also expected to

    announce its support for a version of

    genetic modification that it claims is

    uniquely different from crop genetic

    engineering.Whilst the debate between GM

    and non-GM has used up most of the

    political oxygen, this report shows it is not

    the onlyor indeed, the bestshow in town.

    There is a growing range of non-GM

    biotechnologies which show how a growing

    world population can be fed at a time when

    natural environments are increasingly

    stressed, Greenpeace chief scientist Dr

    Doug Parr toldthe Guardian in anticipation

    of the Friday press conference.Some

    scientists called the claims by Greenpeace

    bizarre and hypocritical. There is not

    much different between MAS and GE, they

    say.

    What they are talking about is essentially

    the suite of technologies that spearhead the

    green revolution, which eco groups such as

    Greenpeace have steadfastly rubbished for

    decades. Now they see it as agricultures

    saviour, said Johnjoe McFadden, professor

    of molecular genetics at the University of

    Surrey.If GM is not up to much then why

    has it been so successful that crops such as

    soya are now nearly all GM worldwide.

    Who knows best how to grow their own

    crop farmers or Greenpeace?

    Greenpeace has been running a

    disinformation campaign against Golden

    Rice and GMOs for years. In 2012, the

    Asian arm of Greenpeace issued an alarming

    press release headlined: 24 children used as

    guinea pigs in genetically engineered

    Golden Rice trial.Big business hustling

    in of one the worlds most sacred things: our

    food supply, Greenpeace warned in the

    release.

    The Philippines, it said, was the next

    target.So-called Golden Ricethe

    genetically modified, vitamin A-enhanced

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    version of white ricehas been in

    development for more than a decade. It is a

    dramatic improvement over the worlds

    most popular staple. In 1999, Swiss and

    German scientists used open source

    technology to develop Golden Rice, the first

    major genetically enhanced food in the new

    generation of bio-engineered grains, fruits,

    and vegetables that consumers actually eat

    directly.

    The new rice variety was produced by

    splicing two genes (one from the daffodil,

    which gives the rice its golden color, and

    one from a bacterium that helps the process

    along) into white rice so it produces beta-

    carotene, which the body can convert to

    Vitamin A. Newer varieties have been

    tweaked to add iron, and to help the body

    more readily absorb the iron already in

    white rice.

    According to the United Nations, more than

    half the world is vitamin deficient. White

    rice represents 72 percent of the diet for the

    people of Bangladesh and nearly as much in

    Laos and Indonesia; more than 40 percent in

    the Philippines, Madagascar and Sierra

    Leone; around 40 percent in Guyana and

    Suriname. Although white rice is a filling

    food and can be grown in abundance, it has

    a major drawback: it lacks Vitamin.

    Vitamin A deficiency (VAD) weakens the

    immune system, increasing the risk of

    infections such as measles and malaria.

    Severe deficiencies can lead to corneal

    ulcers or blindness. It especially targets

    children and pregnant women. The World

    Health Organization notes there are more

    than 100 million VAD children around the

    world. Some 250,000 to 500,000 of these

    children become blind every year, with 50

    percent of them dying.

    In Asia and Africa, nearly 600,000 vitamin

    A-deficient women die from childbirth-

    related causes.The Bill and Melinda Gates

    Foundation has taken a lead role in

    collaboration with the International Rice

    Research Institute in the Philippines, to

    bring Golden Rice to market. Helen Keller

    International, a leading global health

    organization that reduces blindness and

    prevents malnutrition worldwide, joined the

    Golden Rice project to further develop and

    evaluate Golden Rice

    Greenpeace and like-minded groups

    argue that tinkering with the genome of food

    or crops will unleash a genetic Godzilla that

    threatens the future of mankind. This is not

    hyperbole. They claim that Trojan-horse

    genes not subject to checks and balances in

    nature could be released into the

    environment causing untold havoc, and

    could physically harm children.Food

    insecurity is brought about by lack of

    enough land, by decreasing rice production

    and decreasing incomes, said one Golden

    Rice opponent.

    Only through a genuine land reform which

    ensures farmers access to sufficient rice and

    other food sources will farmers start to

    become healthy again.Greenpeace is

    campaigning vigorously to block Golden

    Rice trials throughout Southeast Asia,

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    instead promoting vitamin pills, organic

    gardening and political empowerment rather

    than readily available foodwhich of

    course does little for children going to bed

    hungry and malnourished each night.

    *****Jon Entine, executive director of

    the Genetic Literacy Project, is a Senior

    Fellow at the World Food Center, Institute

    for Food and Agricultural Literacy,

    University of California-Davis.

    Follow @JonEntine on Twitter. Genetic

    Literacy Project is a non-partisan, non-profit

    organization that explores the intersection of

    DNA research, media and policy to

    disentangle science from ideology and this

    article was originally published there. Read

    the original article here.Jon Entine is the

    founding director of the Genetic Literacy

    Project. He is a senior fellow at the World

    Food Center at the University of

    California...

    Rwanda: Embrace

    Technology, Kirehe Rice

    Farmers Told

    By Stephen Rwembeho

    There is need to increase rice production to

    not only ensure food security, but also

    broaden the country's tax base, the Minister

    for Agriculture Geraldine Mukeshimana, has

    said.The minister said this while on a tour of

    Kirehe District on Monday, where she

    interacted with hundreds of rice farmers in

    the area.Mukeshimana said though rice

    production in the country had increased

    substantially, there is still room for

    improvement, especially by increasing the

    yield per hectare."To meet the increasing

    demand, millers should work closely with

    farmers as part of increasing the value chain.

    The millers should undertake extension

    activities so that productivity and

    consumption increase at the same pace," she

    said.She said to add value to the rice output,

    millers needed to invest in modern

    machinery and urged them to create

    synergies through joint enterprises.The

    minister also visited various rice milling

    plants in the district.Relevant government

    agencies were tasked to work in an

    integrated manner for management of the

    entire rice production system.According to

    the minister, in order to ensure sustainable

    rice management, the improvement of rice

    varieties must be handled in line with

    market demand, she said.

    Josephine Mukandaramutse, one of the

    farmers, said the government should provide

    financial assistance to millers to help

    modernise their units to increase production

    and quality of their produce.Government

    policies make or break rice trade, says

    expert

    BANGKOK, Thailand - National trade

    policies must adapt to changes in the global

    rice market for a healthy rice supply chain

    thats anchored on market-driven rice

    prices.This was proposed by Suthad

    Setboonsarng, economist and member of the

    board of Banpu PLC, one of the largest

    companies in Thailand, during the Global

    Rice Market and Trade Summit held at the

    Thai capital on 28-29 October 2014.

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    The summit is a part of the 4th International

    Rice Congress, the world's largest gathering

    of rice science and industry held every four

    years. Dr. Setboonsarng is also a former

    member of IRRI Board of

    Trustees.Dr. Setboonsarng talked about

    ongoing changes in national and regional

    dynamics and how these are affecting

    rice trade. Areas of change include

    population growth, shifting demographics

    caused by the rise of the middle class in

    Asia, effects of climate change and water

    scarcity that force rice production to

    converge in particular areas, and

    government rice policies.

    All these, he said, puts to task national

    strategies in ensuring steady production and

    stable prices.He also said that liberalizing

    rice trade policies is the way forward for

    government to deal with the changing global

    market. Dr. Setboonsarng, who was

    speaking about medium-term implications of

    the dynamics of the international rice market

    on rice exporters, added that rice, considered

    a political commodity, must be managed

    under liberal trade policies to allow

    efficiency.Providing a national context to

    the summit was Ludovico Jarina, deputy

    administrator of the Philippine National

    Food Authority.

    He talked about how important rice is to the

    Philippines, a country of 100 million.

    Eighty-four percent of Filipinos eat rice,

    which takes up 45% of household income.

    This, he said, has made the average

    household vulnerable to changes in rice

    prices.Mr. Jarina said that despite growth in

    production, the Philippines remains an

    importer due to its geography and

    population. "Importation is not government

    policy, but is resorted to when there is

    projected shortage," he said.

    He mentioned that, over a three-year period,

    about 1.6 million hectares of rice area were

    affected by various calamities, leading to an

    average production loss of almost 600,000

    tons per year.The country is implementing

    the Food Staples Sufficiency Program, a

    suite of projects aimed at increasing rice

    production and making Filipino farmers

    more competitive.

    Kingdom regaining rice

    crown

    Erich Parpart

    Petchanet Pratruangkrai

    The Nation October 29, 2014 1:00 am

    But effects of pledging scheme holding back

    full export potential, summit hears

    Thailand is set to regain its crown as the

    world's No-1 rice exporter, but the

    consequences of the populist pledging

    policy of the previous government are still

    hampering the recovery of the sector, the

    country's leading exporter of parboiled rice

    told a major international conference

    yesterday.

    Vichai Sriprasert, president of Riceland

    International, cited a shortage of dock

    workers and relatively high export prices -

    due to too many millers competing for

    supply from farmers - as problems holding

    back the industry's return to its full export

    potential.

    Speaking at the three-day "Global Rice

    Market and Trade Summit", arranged by the

    International Rice Research Institute (IRRI)

    in Bangkok, he said the rice-pledging

    scheme had left the country with 18 million

    tonnes of stockpiled rice, which must either

    be exported or consumed domestically

    before it turned rotten. However, the current

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    shortage of stevedores, resulting from a

    lower volume of rice exports when the

    costly scheme was still in effect, has

    contributed to recent port delays, he told

    delegates.

    Vichai expects the Kingdom to ship around

    10 million-12 million tonnes of rice this

    year, which would make it the world's

    biggest exporter of the grain once again, but

    overseas shipments could be even higher -

    but for the shortage of dock workers.Last

    month alone, shipments of around 500,000

    tonnes were delayed, mainly due to this

    factor, he added.

    "Thai rice is selling like crazy since we

    regained our price competitiveness, but we

    cannot deliver to [meet] demand because of

    the sins committed by the previous

    government in the past two to three years,"

    he said.

    "We have exported 30-40 per cent less than

    what we can, due to the rice-pledging

    scheme, and this has led to a shortage of

    stevedores, many of whom previously fled

    the industry due to a lack of jobs - and this

    problem has resulted in a bottleneck for the

    export of rice at the moment," he said.

    Meanwhile, Vichai said the price of Thai

    rice, which was now cheaper than that of

    Vietnam, was still higher than what it should

    be due to millers increasingly competing for

    supply.

    This has been caused by the same populist

    policy, as more millers entered the market

    during the period when the "disastrous"

    subsidy scheme was implemented, he

    explained.

    He said the number of millers had increased

    over the past two to three years as they had

    been able to profit from and take advantage

    of the corruption that surrounded the "price-

    distortion scheme", and now there were

    three times more millers than needed for the

    overall supply of rice.

    In other news, Samarendu Mohanty, head of

    the Social Sciences Division at the IRRI,

    told the summit that cyclone Hudhud had

    damaged around 500,000 hectares of rice

    fields in India and that this, along with other

    effects from drought and flood problems in

    the previous growing season, had lowered

    the country's rice production to about 100

    million tonnes this year. India is also likely

    to export less next year, due to the expected

    increase in competition from Thailand, he

    added.

    India produced 106

    million tonnes of rice

    last year, and

    normally exports

    around 10 million

    tonnes per year.

    While the export amount is expected to be in

    this region this year, it could fall to around

    7-8 million tonnes in 2015, since Thailand is

    going to find a way to offload its 18 million

    tonnes of overstock, said Mohanty.

    Meanwhile, the effect of the Ebola epidemic

    in Guinea, Liberia and Sierra Leone will

    have damaged India's rice exports more than

    Thailand's, since India supplies 70 per cent

    of the 900,000 tonnes imported annually by

    the three countries,

    The Commerce Ministry's third auction for

    207,000 tonnes of rice attracted many

    traders offering good prices, encouraging the

    ministry to continue with the fourth bidding

    next month.