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2
nd
May, 2014

TOP Contents - Tailored for YOU
Latest News Headlines…
 5 new things in ag technology
 Ag Census Report: Rice Yields Increase While Acreage
Decreases
 New Conservation Initiative Applications Available from
USDA
 Notice of Open Tender
 ME Group/Closing Rough Rice Futures
 PhilRice: Proper field management solves above 50% water
problem
 Water deferral a win-win for California rice growers, wildlife
 A forbidden rice pudding is a healthier one
 Agriculture: Engage farmers in research
 Prime Minister's Iran visit to promote trade ties
 JICA: Japan committed to helping Ghana achieve food
security
 India Basmati Exports to Iran Slow amid Quality Restrictions
 Price control on rice yields desired result
 Liberia: Government Suspends Tax On Rice
 Rice scheme case: a dangling sword
 Commerce Min asserts no rice missing from warehouses

News Detail…
5 new things in ag technology



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Mid-South farmers are adapting new
technologies to make them more efficient and to
improve profits. Unmanned aerial systems, solar
power systems, mobile apps, precision
technology and soil moisture sensors are just
some of the new tools being put to use in Mid-
South fields. Below are some recently introduced
ag technologies. Is there a new technology or a
mobile app that has improved your farm operation? If so, share your information in the comment section at the
end of this article.
Free NozzleCalc app from Greenleaf
NozzleCalc, Greenleaf Technologies’ free app for the iPhone, is now available from the Apple Store.―Chemical
labels are recommending specific droplet sizes, which makes it imperative to select nozzles for droplet size and not
simply gallons per acre,‖ says Will Smart, company president. ―We developed this app with the people who spray in
mind. It provides the most convenient resource for insuring accurate Greenleaf spray nozzle selection so you get the
right droplet sizes.‖To use the nozzle calculator feature, simply enter your desired speed and application rate along
with your nozzle spacing. NozzleCalc will recommend several options of TurboDrop (TDXL), AirMix (AM), and
TurboDrop DualFan (TADF) nozzles in various sizes. Just choose the nozzle that matches your required droplet size,
and spray with confidence!

Ag Weed ID mobile app
From Penton Farm Progress Group, Ag Weed ID is a free mobile app to help producers identify weeds during
scouting. Its database includes information and of course images of about 75 of the most common weeds, and
enables the user to narrow the list by crop, season, and location.You can compare on the spot, or use the app’s
camera integration feature to take and upload photos of your weeds to identify in your truck, back at the office, or
any time. You can also bookmark weeds to check again later, or share with your dealer to get more info and advice.



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Novariant’s SimpleSteer
SimpleSteer is a high-precision auto-steering display solution for precision agriculture that runs on a consumer tablet
device. The SimpleSteer software solution converts a consumer tablet into a wireless command post for advanced
auto-steering operation of tractors, combines, and other farm vehicles. SimpleSteer supports Novariant’s high-
precision controllers such as GeoSteer and ECU-S1 and provides interface support for hydraulic, CAN, mechanical,
and steer-ready vehicles.

Ag Census Report: Rice Yields Increase While Acreage Decreases
More rice, less land
WASHINGTON, DC -- The U.S. Department of
Agriculture (USDA) today released the 2012 Census of
Agriculture full report. The report comes every five
years and contains comprehensive agricultural data for
every state and county in the country. All areas of
farming and ranching operations are covered in the
report, including production expenses, market value of
products, and operator characteristics. This data
translates into vitally important market information for
producers and consumers alike and helps shed light on
the trends in agricultural production across the country.
According to the 2012 report, the number of rice farms in the U.S. decreased from 6,084 in 2007 to 5,591 in
2012, a decrease of more than 8 percent. Acreage across the country also dropped from 2,758,792 to 2,693,759,
or about 2.5 percent. Even with the significant weather events in 2012, and the clear drop in the number of
farms and acres in 2012, production quantity increased by 1,700,598 hundredweights, highlighting the increased
efficiencies achieved by producers in the past half-decade.
Later in the year, USDA will release ag production data refined by congressional district and watershed area. The full
report on the United States can be reached here, state information here, and county level information here.The USA Rice
Federation will compose and release a full summary of the rice related information in the coming weeks.
Image: More rice, less land



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New Conservation Initiative Applications Available from USDA
WASHINGTON, DC -- Yesterday, Agriculture Secretary Tom
Vilsack announced that applications are now being accepted for
some of the new conservation initiatives created by the 2014 Farm
Bill. The programs will provide up to $386 million to help
farmers restore wetlands, protect working agriculture lands,
support outdoor recreation activities and boost the economy.Since
2009, USDA has partnered with more than 500,000 farmers,
ranchers, and landowners to enroll a record number of acres in
conservation programs. Those programs have saved millions of
tons of soil, improved water quality, contributed to the national effort to preserve habitat for wildlife, and
protected the most sensitive ecological areas. "Conservation efforts are a key part of rice production," said USA
Rice Federation Vice President of Government Affairs Reece Langley. "The conservation programs announced
yesterday are part of the new 2014 Farm Bill, and USA Rice is encouraged by the swift pace with which USDA
is implementing both the new and re-authorized programs."
Applications for ACEP funding consideration in fiscal year 2014 must be submitted by the individual state
deadline or June 6, 2014, whichever is earlier. Applications and state deadline information can be obtained at
your local USDA Service Center or at www.nrcs.usda.gov/GetStarted.
Snap: Glossy ibex feeds in rice field.
Notice of Open Tender
AARQ Association for the Administration of Rice Quotas, Inc.
Independent bids are invited for rights to ship U.S.-origin milled rice to the European Union under a tariff-rate
quota (TRQ) granted by the EU to the United States.
Bids must be submitted on May 29, 2014 for the July 2014 TRQ Tranche, in which the following quantity is
available:
Volume (metric tons)
EU Duty
Semi-Milled or Milled Rice 9,680 zero
(HTS item 1006.30)
TRQ Certificates will be awarded to the highest bidder(s). Any person or entity incorporated or domiciled in
the United States is eligible to bid. The minimum bid quantity is 18 metric tons. Performance security (the
lesser of $50,000 or the total value of the bid) must be submitted with each bid. Potential bidders may obtain
the required bid forms and bid instructions from:

AARQ Administrator



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Economic Consulting Services, LLC
2001 L Street, NW, Suite 1000
Washington, D.C. 20036
Tel: (202) 466-1150 Fax: (202) 785-3330

Note: Potential bidders should consult regulations in the Official Journal of the European Union to determine
the applicable tariff rate on semi-milled/milled rice. AARQ disclaims any responsibility for advising potential
bidders on applicable tariff rates. Potential bidders should also consult EC regulations relating to testing for
unauthorized GMOs.

ME Group/Closing Rough Rice Futures
CME Group (Final): Closing Rough Rice Futures for May 2
Month Price Net Change
May 2014 $15.500 - $0.145
July 2014 $15.490 - $0.025
September 2014 $14.520 - $0.020
November 2014 $14.635 - $0.010
January 2015 $14.800 - $0.030
March 2015 $14.975 - $0.030
May 2015 $14.975 - $0.030


PhilRice: Proper field management solves above 50% water problem
BY: MERLITO G. EDALE, JR.
Thursday 1st of May 2014




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SAN MATEO, Isabela, April 30 - The proper management of fields can solve more than 50% of the problems
in rice production particularly irrigation system, according to Philippine Rice Research Institute Isabela
researcher Cherry Ann D. Tapec.She added that in terms of water management, the proper leveling reduced the
amount of water needed to fill up a field.This practice, Tapec explained facilitates uniformed water distribution,
easier drainage of field plots, controls pests like golden apple snail, reduces weed problems and allows efficient
fertilizer application. "If followed properly, it results to better crop stand, uniform crop maturity and timely
harvesting," the researcher bared.

Tapec recommends flooding of field for one to two days after the released of water from the National Irrigation
System done particularly during the months of June and December."The field should be plowed once 21 days
before transplanting or direct wet-seeding to have a better yield." she advised farmers. (ALM/MGE/PIA2-
Isabela/with reports from Maritha C. Manubay, PhilRice)

Water deferral a win-win for California rice growers, wildlife
May 2, 2014Robyn Rominger, Contributing Writer

BRUCE ROLEN, a Colusa County rice grower in Williams, Calif., calls the agreement on Central Valley Project water a “godsend” for rice growers.
Sacramento Valley rice growers will receive more
water than expected this drought year due to recent
storms and an agreement to defer irrigation water
use by at least one month.As a result, growers of
rice and other crops who tap into the Central Valley
Project (CVP) will receive 75 percent of their
federal water allocation this season.The water-
allocation plan was announced during a media
briefing conducted by the U.S. Bureau of
Reclamation, the California Department of Water
Resources (CDWR), the California Department of Fish and Wildlife, and the National Marine Fisheries Service.
Under the plan, agency officials say water will be managed this year to benefit salmon, birds along the Pacific
Flyway, and family farms which are all economic drivers for the region.The announcement was an absolute
godsend,‖ says Colusa County rice grower Bruce Rolen, owner of Bruce & Barbara Rolen Farms in Williams. ―It
was a wonderful relief to all growers in the Sacramento Valley.‖Water availability was questionable for several
months due to the severe statewide drought.―We received a notice several months ago from Bureau of Reclamation



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indicating that our settlement contract would only include a 40 percent supply,‖ said Thad Bettner, general manager
of the Glenn-Colusa Irrigation District (GCID).This was followed by continued drought and speculation that farmers
would receive zero surface water. This changed following significant rain and snow storms in February and March.

Tim Johnson, president and chief executive officer of the Sacramento-based California Rice Commission: ―We
were concerned about eight weeks ago that there would be no surface water (river or reservoir) for agriculture in
the state. In that case, we would have only been able to grow rice with groundwater‖ – a scenario discussed by
CDWR.This would have devastated agriculture and rice,‖ Johnson said. ―We don’t use much groundwater in
the Sacramento Valley since we have always had surface water.
Due to the additional rains and water managers working closely with the different state and federal agencies, we
were able to get a much different outcome.‖Sacramento River settlement contractors also agreed to shift the
beginning of federal water deliveries from the usual March-April schedule to May-June to provide water for
fish, waterfowl, and other wildlife species.The settlement contractors worked diligently to shift diversions into
May to increase Shasta Reservoir storage by more than 150,000 acre feet. The water will be used later for
temperature-controlled releases to enhance salmon survival.
A forbidden rice pudding is a healthier one
By | May 02,2014


Speaking as a mom and a chef, let me assure you: One of the nicest
things you can do for Mom on Mother’s Day is cook for her.
Something sweet is best. And my candidate? Comforting,
traditional rice pudding.Or maybe not so traditional. Classic rice
puddings are made from plain white rice. The grains are very
tender, the flavor is kind of bland, and the color is white. In my
recipe, which is made using black forbidden rice, the grains are
slightly chewy, the flavor is slightly nutty, and the color is deep
purple.Once upon a time forbidden rice was said to be literally
forbidden. First cultivated in China, forbidden rice was so rare —
and so nutritious — no one was allowed to eat it except for the
emperor.





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Today, forbidden rice is considered a delicious and healthy whole grain we can all enjoy.Like brown rice,
forbidden rice is unpolished; the hull of the grain, a rich source of insoluble fiber, is left intact. It’s also a good
source of iron and vitamin E and a great source of the same antioxidants that put the blue in blueberries. I was
first introduced to forbidden rice six years ago, when it was still rare. Thankfully, these days it’s readily
available.In this recipe, the rice is cooked until tender, then combined with whole milk, sugar, cinnamon, eggs
and vanilla. The whole milk — replacing the more traditional (and more caloric) heavy cream — does a great
job of delivering the desired silkiness. The cinnamon stick and vanilla — which deliver big flavor — are the
most important ingredients next to the rice. If you’ve been waiting for an occasion to use that extra-special Sri
Lankan cinnamon or Tahitian vanilla you received as Christmas gifts, now’s the time to pull them off the
shelf.Making this recipe is pretty near a snap. It shouldn’t require more than 15 minutes of your undivided
attention. The rest of the time it’ll just simmer away on its own. Unlike brown rice, forbidden rice cooks up in a
relatively speedy 30 minutes. You will, however, need to pay close attention when you add the eggs, making
sure they don’t get so hot that they scramble.Finally, I’d like to encourage you to top it all with some
crystallized ginger, as suggested. It was one of my mom’s favorite little treats, and it provides the perfect
finishing touch of chewy, spicy contrast to the creamy pudding.


Forbidden Rice Pudding
Servings: 4

½ cup forbidden rice (Chinese black rice)

1 cup water

2½ cups whole milk, divided

3 tablespoons sugar

1 large cinnamon stick

Salt

2 large eggs

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

¼ cup chopped crystallized ginger, to garnish (optional)

In a small saucepan over medium-high, combine the rice and water. Bring to a boil, then reduce the heat to a
simmer. Cook, covered, for 30 minutes. Let stand for a few minutes, then pour through a mesh strainer to
discard any excess water. Return the rice to the pot over medium-high heat. Add 2 cups of the milk, the sugar,
the cinnamon stick and a hefty pinch of salt. Bring to a boil, then reduce the heat to simmer and cook,



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uncovered and stirring occasionally, for 40 minutes.In a small bowl, beat the eggs with the remaining ½ cup
milk. Whisk in a large spoonful of the hot rice mixture. Add the egg mixture to the rice and cook over medium-
low heat, stirring constantly, until the custard coats the back of a spoon, 4 to 5 minutes. Do not let the rice
pudding boil or the eggs will scramble.Remove the saucepan from the heat, stir in the vanilla, and transfer the
rice pudding to a bowl. Cover the pudding and chill until cold, at least 2 hours. The pudding will thicken as it
chills. To serve, discard the cinnamon stick and divide the rice pudding among 4 bowls. Top each portion with
some of the ginger.Nutrition information per serving: 280 calories; 70 calories from fat (25 percent of total
calories); 8 g fat (3.5 g saturated; 0 g trans fats); 105 mg cholesterol; 42 g carbohydrate; 0 g fiber; 17 g sugar;
10 g protein; 160 mg sodium.
Photo:Using Chinese black rice — called forbidden rice — makes this rice pudding healthier and more
substantial

Agriculture: Engage farmers in research
Tom MacMillan & Tim G. Benton
30 April 2014
A new wave of small-scale agricultural innovation will boost yields and protect the planet, contend Tom
MacMillan and Tim G. Benton.

Soil Association
UK farmers in the Duchy Originals Future Farming Programme.
Climate change threatens a creaking food system in
which harvests are already lagging behind rising
demand
1, 2
. A sustainable supply of food hinges on
agricultural innovation, but current investments
neglect a key area for improving yields.Since the
1970s, agricultural research and development (R&D)
has invested mainly in a few research institutes
equipped with cutting-edge instruments. For
example, the Biotechnology and Biological Sciences
Research Council, responsible for much of the public
research spending in food security in the United
Kingdom, invested 27% of its 2010–11 budget in just three institutes. Multinational seed and agrochemical
companies invest billions of dollars to develop products in hopes that they will be used by millions of farmers.



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This one-size-fits-all approach has had qualified success. In a 2011 analysis
3
, average global crop yields
increased by 56% between 1965 and 1985, and by 20% from 1985 to 2005, underpinned by increasing inputs of
non-renewable resources.But advances are slowing. According to a 2013 study
4
, yields have plateaued in some
of the world's most important food-producing regions, including east Asia (for rice) and northwest Europe (for
wheat). In some countries, yields have declined.The next wave of innovation must be at smaller scales. What
one farmer can do to boost yield or efficiency is not necessarily the same as for a farmer hundreds of kilometres
away with different soil, microclimate, topology and methods. How well crops and livestock grow depends on
the interaction of genes, management and environment. As weather patterns fluctuate, gains in production will
depend ever more on innovating in context.
Big knowledge flowing from institute to farm must be complemented by local knowledge.Enhancing farmers'
own R&D could reap big rewards for minimal extra cost. Farmers everywhere are practical experimentalists
who understand the idiosyncrasies of their land
5
. Modern agronomy evolved out of practices such as rotating
crops to rebuild soil nutrients, fertilizing fields with manure, and adding lime to soil to alter pH. Even
technologies not invented by farmers — new kit, seeds or chemicals — are adapted by them to fit their
circumstances.Such essential contributions are rarely recognized in official assessments of agricultural R&D.
These count farmers as users, rather than makers, of knowledge.
When the US Department of Agriculture tots up the US$20 billion that the global
private sector invests annually in agricultural R&D, it does not include that done by
farmers
6
. Makers of farm machinery, pesticides, seeds and other 'inputs' invest around
3–11% of their revenue in R&D. Globally, if farmers' innovations were valued at just
0.5% of farming production — worth $4 trillion — that would match formal R&D
investment from the private sector.Some of the best returns can come from helping
farmers to assess their own ideas. Until now, such initiatives have been at arm's length
from formal science, and almost exclusively in the developing world. Our
involvement in a farmer-focused innovation programme in the United Kingdom has convinced us that such
participatory R&D could also boost agricultural innovation in rich countries.
Grass-roots research
Farmer-centred approaches are not new. In villages in Kenya, rice fields in Indonesia and other places out of
reach from industrialized agriculture, group learning programmes recognize and support farmers as



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innovators.The best known of these is the farmer field school approach, in which groups of farmers meet
regularly to learn alongside their neighbours. The UN Food and Agricultural Organization set up the first such
school in Indonesia in 1989, aiming to reduce rice farmers' reliance on pesticides by enabling them to observe,
identify and actively manage pests' natural enemies.Since then, at least 10 million smallholder farmers have
taken part in field schools across Asia, Africa and Latin America.
This year, a meta-analysis
7
of 71 projects found that farmers' experiences of these schools vary enormously,
with targeted initiatives being more successful than large-sc ale national programmes. In targeted initiatives,
participants gained knowledge, changed practices and consequently netted higher yields and incomes.Inspired
by the approach, a UK programme adapts participatory learning to suit farmers in the industrialized world, who,
in many cases, are not short of capital, training or access to knowledge. Piloted in 2012, the Duchy Originals
Future Farming Programme is funded by the Prince of Wales's Charitable Foundation, in turn funded by sales of
products through the supermarket chain Waitrose. The work is led by two charities, the Soil Association in
Bristol (at which T.M. works, and T.B. serves on the programme steering group) and the Organic Research
Centre in Newbury.
The aim is to help farmers to sharpen their skills as innovators so that they can be more productive with fewer
non-renewable inputs — good for the environment and their bottom line.Groups of 5–15 farmers tackle a
problem put forward by a participant and test solutions over up to a year in as many as four workshops on one
of their own farms. A facilitator helps to keep meetings on track, and a relevant researcher — crop or animal
scientist, agronomist or ecologist — is on hand to advise on experimental design and point out existing studies
to avoid redundant work.So far, 450 UK farmers have piloted 'field labs' for about 20 topics, with results
documented publicly online.
Their farms range from under a hectare to more than a thousand. Field labs have tested ways to control black
grass (a persistent weed that resists herbicides), assessed the economics of keeping hens alive to lay eggs for a
second season, and evaluated ways to reduce use of drugs that control liver fluke in sheep.These field labs do
not always provide clear answers because of their small samples and short timescales. Field labs raise scientific
standards nonetheless: early evaluation suggests that most farmers who have taken part in field labs are eager to
engage with formal research.



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And some have yielded useful lessons. In one, vegetable growers tested composts that do not include peat
(which releases greenhouse gases when mined). In contrast to prevailing views, the farmers deemed these peat-
free composts commercially viable. And the agronomists learned how labour savings from easily handled
materials can outweigh business benefits of higher germination rates.Grass-roots R&D projects are cropping up
elsewhere in the developed world. A participatory breeding programme sponsored by the European Union (EU)
has recruited farmers to develop crops that can be grown more sustainably. Organic and small-scale farmers in
Italy and France (and in some developing countries) are testing and selecting varieties of barley, beans,
broccoli, maize (corn), tomato and wheat.

Mikkel Ostergaard/Panos
Participants in a farmer field school
in Uganda learn about
manure.Animal scientists in
Denmark adapted the farmer field
school approach to develop 'stable
schools'. Four groups of around
five farms each worked together to
assess changes to herds' housing,
hygiene and milking practices and
reduced use of antibiotics
8
. A study
funded by the European
Commission is evaluating 17
'learning and innovation networks'
for sustainable agriculture.Apps,
software and websites that
recognize farmers as innovators,
not just managers, are also on the rise. In the United States, FarmHack.net is an open-source community in
which mainly small-scale farmers share know-how, tools and designs. Recent posts include advice on
affordable aerial imaging and guides for repurposing old equipment.

More lessons are coming from the developing world. CABI, an intergovernmental agency, is training
community 'plant doctors' who help farmers to identify pests and diseases and to enter the information in open-
access databases that could be used to control pests or track epidemics.Research funders are waking up to the
advantages of asking farmers what they need to know. In the United Kingdom, the main farming bodies
convened a consultation called Feeding the Future that identified topics such as precision agriculture and
animal-disease management as practical priorities
9
. But we believe that field labs could boost farmers'



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productivity by supporting low-cost innovations that fly below the radars of large research institutions. When
farmers produce knowledge, they are more likely to adopt new practices, and their insights are more likely to be
relevant to local conditions.
Testing ground
Field labs attract innovative farmers — early adopters who can spread best practices. The challenge now is to
evaluate and popularize the approach. In Europe, at least, the moment may have arrived. Linked to the latest
round of reforms to the Common Agricultural Policy and the Horizon 2020 research programme, the EU
launched the European Innovation Partnership for agricultural productivity and sustainability. It aims to
promote bottom-up approaches by linking farmers, researchers, businesses and other stakeholders into groups
charged with finding solutions to shared problems. With billions of euros earmarked for food and farming
research over the next six years, the impact of this initiative is potentially enormous.
The European Commission has set out principles for this approach. Whether it flies or fails depends how EU
member states rise to the challenge. For this initiative to succeed, governments must opt to spend a proportion
of their rural development funds on supporting grass-roots training and learning by actual farmers — beyond
the established partnerships with farmers' suppliers, customers and political representatives. Governments
should back brokerage services that help farmers to team up with relevant researchers on their own terms, and
enable them to navigate the maze of bureaucracy that will probably stand between them and this invaluable seed
investment.The time has come to decentralize, diversify, and enrich agricultural R&D. Farmers — not
scientists, outreach workers or salespeople — are the essential players in any agricultural innovation system.
Helping them will put food on the world's tables.
Image: Nature special: Can science feed the world?
Prime Minister's Iran visit to promote trade ties
May 01, 2014
RECORDER REPORT
Federal Minister for Commerce Khurram Dastagir Khan said that Pakistan was keen to have strong trade
relations with Iran. Speaking at a dinner hosted in his honour by Rice Exporters Association of Pakistan
(REAP) here on Tuesday, he said that prime minister during his visit to Iran in May will hold wide ranging talks
with his Iranian counterpart to promote bilateral trade between the two countries. "In fact, establishing and
expanding regional trade is part of PML-N's manifesto," he added. Talking about Chinese investment of $32



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billion for infrastructure development in the next seven years,
he said that need of the hour was to develop infrastructure so as
to enable the country increase its exports. He also announced
that governments will abolish Quality Review Committee
(QRC) within next few months. Describing the GSP plus status
as the country's `historical achievement', he assured exporters
that the ministry was ready to facilitate them to draw maximum
advantage from this opportunity. He called upon the exporters
to find new markets in European Union. Referring to energy
crisis and law and order situation, the minister said that the government was endeavouring hard to produce
cheap electricity from coal. "At present, some 72 per cent of Pakistan's total electricity is being generated
through highly expensive furnace oil," he pointed out.
He said government was utilising all available energy resources including nuclear, wind, thermal, and coal to
overcome the energy crisis. He deplored that the country in the absence of research and development facilities
could not introduce any new variety of rice in the last 15 years whereas India has got some 22 varieties of
Basmati rice. He advised REAP to submit a proposal to set up a Rice Research Institute. At the outset, the
minister said Halal Food Authority will soon be established in the country. Earlier, in his welcome address, the
REAP's Senior Vice Chairman Chella Ram, said that rice exporters have been facing problems in the wake of
Pak rupee's appreciation against US dollar. He urged the government to formulate a policy to fix the value of
dollar for a period of three months. "Rice is the second largest crop of Pakistan and REAP, having over 1600
members across the country, is the fourth largest exporting organisation in the world," he added.
REAP's Chairman Masood Iqbal said: "The farmers of Pakistan, especially those belonging to Punjab, are
forced to close their business because of prolonged electricity and gas load-shedding. He said government
should take steps to provide adequate energy for the traders so that that they could run their business without
any interruption. He requested the minister to provide subsidy for exporters who are incurring losses due to the
rupee's appreciation. Speaking on the occasion, President of the FPCCI, Zakarya Osman, said the country would
earn some Rs 5 billion in the next five years provided a proper product packaging mechanism was ensured. He
suggested to the minister to work for the promotion of product marketing in the international market.
Attributing 60 per cent crimes in the country to fake sims, he demanded of the government to ban the fake sims
for a short period and allow their usage only after proper verification.

JICA: Japan committed to helping Ghana achieve food security
Friday 2nd May , 2014 12:28 pm

Japan is committed to supporting Ghana substantially to achieve food security, Chief Representative of the Japan
International Cooperation Agency (JICA), Mr. Koji Makino, has said.Japan, he said, will continue to support Ghana in
rice production as part of the Asian country’s effort to help Ghana achieve food security.



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Official estimates say Ghana imports between US$200 million and US$400 million worth of rice annually.The cost of rice
imports balloon Ghana’s import bill yearly, putting crippling pressure on the national currency, the cedi.Due to high local
demand for the commodity, especially the perfumed brand, many Ghanaian importers have found rice imports a profitable
business enterprise and continue to import from various markets around the globe.Through Japan’s support, Ghana
continues to expand local capacity in rice production – a move that could, in the long-term, help reduce the West African
country’s imports.―Rice is one of the most important staple crops in Ghana and its consumption is quite high,‖ Mr.
Makino said. ―We [Japan] are assisting the efforts of the Government of Ghana at ensuring that many small-scale famers
across the country are empowered to plant, process and produce rice in commercial quantities. This way, they will be
contributing to food security in the country and also improve their own living standards.‖He was speaking in Accra at a
ceremony where Ghana and Japan signed an agreement covering a grant requested by the former under the ―Food Security
Project for Underprivileged Farmers (2KR)‖.Minister for Foreign Affairs, Hanna S. Tetteh, signed the 29th April, 2014
agreement for and on behalf of Ghana, whereas Mr. Koji Makino signed for and on behalf of the Government Japan.
Components of JICA
Japan launched the ―Food Security Project for Underprivileged Farmers,‖ which is generally known as Japanese
―2KR (Second Kennedy Round)‖ Grant program, in 1977 as a scheme for purchasing agricultural machinery
and materials to help boost food production in developing countries.Ghana has been a beneficiary of the
programme since 1981. Over the years, the focus of the project in Ghana has been the provision of agricultural
machinery to enhance local rice production.
The Japanese Government, under its 2013 budget, provided the Government of Ghana with 70 four-wheeled
tractors (with matching implements), 43 power tillers, 35 rice threshers, 20 rice reapers, and 5 rice mills.These
items will be allocated – on hire purchase basis – to underprivileged or small scale farmers in six project areas.
They are; Upper East, Upper West, Northern, Ashanti, Volta and Greater Accra regions of Ghana.Speaking to
Citi News, Ghana’s Programs Officer in charge of Agriculture and Rural Development at JICA, Joseph Isaiah
Mensah, stated that the agreement was for the year 2013 through to 2014.The agreement, he said, entitles Ghana
to funding which is then used to procure agricultural machinery to support local famers.
―The government of Japan approves requests which it receives. It is an annual request which the government of
Ghana submits, to be approved by the cabinet of the Japanese government,‖ he added.He said the project has
promoted positive bilateral relations between Ghana and Japan, adding: ―The relations between the government
of Japan and Ghana have been enhanced through the provision of the grant. It has consolidated the relationship
between the two countries‖.
Project evaluation
Mr. Mensah also spoke about the program’s monitoring and evaluation systems that help ensure value for
money.―We do the monitoring through the agriculture and engineering services directorate,‖ he said. ―After
giving this machinery, they (Japanese government) dispatch teams every quarter to the various project sites to



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monitor how the machinery is being used and whether the farmers are facing problems with the use of the
equipment. They then send reports to JICA on how it is being used.
‖Mr. Mensah explained, ―There are committee and liaison meetings with all the stakeholders who deliberate on
a number of issues to monitor the inflow of the funds as well as the performance of the agriculture
machinery‖.Officials say, since its commencement, the project has improved the local production of rice and
has contributed to giving small-scale farmers sustainable livelihood. It has also helped many local farmers to
contribute to promoting food security in Ghana.

By Afua Kesewa Akoto/citifmonline.com/Ghana
India Basmati Exports to Iran Slow amid Quality Restrictions

Iran, the principal driver of India's rice exports due to its population's
preference for the aromatic, long-grained basmati variety, has turned
protectionist and clamped curbs on the import of the grain from India.With
Tehran insisting that Indian exporters of basmati must get stamps of quality
approval from a multiplicity of designated global agencies, the country's
basmati exports have slumped sharply since January 2014, Indian Financial
Express newspaper reported on May 1.India's basmati exports to Iran, which
in fiscal year 2014(FY14) accounted for 40 percent of the its total exports of
the speciality grain, dropped from 130,000 tonnes in January 2014 to 89,387
tonnes in February and further to 55,210 tonnes in March, as per data furnished by the All India Rice Exporters'
Association (AIREA).

Sources in the commerce ministry told FE Iranian authorities have been asking India's exporters since January
2014 to furnish a series of documents on the good agricultural practices (GAP), ISO 22000, which deals with
food safety management and packaging protocols, besides the "non-genetically modified crop" certification.
Iran, the sources added, has also revised the "accepted level" of arsenic in basmati rice from 150 ppm (parts per
million) to 120 ppm and asked Indian exporters to put a tag on each pack of consignment for ensuring
traceability in case arsenic content is found more than the specified limit."We do not have any issue in meeting
new Iranian regulations, but getting certification for multiple agencies is time consuming. This has slowed
down exports in the last few months," said an official in the commerce ministry.Vijay Setia, former president of
AIREA and a leading exporter of the basmati variety, said shipments to Iran were likely to decline marginally in
the current year. "We are taking measures to reduce the arsenic content in our rice by educating farmers besides
educating exporters about maintaining stringent quality norms," he said.




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Meanwhile, the commerce ministry is learnt to have asked Iran to send a team of experts to inspect rice
procurement and processing facilities in the country. The ministry expects this will help allay Iran's
apprehensions over the quality of Indian rice.Indian basmati rice exporters view Iran as a key market and are
planning to adhere to all standards prescribed by the Iranian authorities. India's basmati rice exports to Iran
constitute over 30 percent of its total basmati rice exports. They are also reportedly seeking a single-window
clearance for all the export shipments, according to local sources. India has set up a rupee settlement
mechanism with Iran from April 2012 to avoid sanctions from the West. India exported around 4 million tonnes
of basmati rice in FY 2013-14 (April - March), up about 14 percent from around 3.5 million tonnes in FY 2012-
13.

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Tags: Iran rice import, India's Basmati rice, Iran india trade

Price control on rice yields desired result.
Friday, 02 May 2014 06:34
Chairman of the Consumer Affairs Authority Rumy Marzook says the price control on rice introduced by
Minister of Cooperatives and Internal Trade Johnston Fernando has yielded the desired results. He said public
complaints had reduced drastically. The CAA is in the process of filing legal action against 373 unscrupulous
traders in raids. He says that a special unit had been set up for that purpose and the raids would continue and
that farmers, traders and consumers had also benefited from price control.

Liberia: Government Suspends Tax On Rice
2 MAY 2014
President Ellen Johnson-Sirleaf has issued Executive Order No. 61, suspending the import tariff on rice, and
Executive Order No. 62, protecting whistleblowers in Liberia. The Executive Mansion says the two new
Executive Orders are extensions of Executive Orders No. 45 and 43, respectively.A press release issued by the
Mansion says Executive Order No. 61, which took effect on April 26, states that the Government of Liberia in
its desire to continue bringing relief to the public is suspending the import tariff on rice as classified under tariff
Nos. 1006.30.00 (in packing of more than 5kg or in bulk); 1006.30.00 (in packing of at least 5kg); and
1006.40.00 (broken rice) under the Revenue Code of Liberia Act 2000 as amended.The Executive Order
furthered that the Government of Liberia had conducted an assessment and evaluation of the causes of increases
in the price of strategic commodities and decided to initiate measures to ameliorate the situation.



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It noted that in furtherance of the findings of this assessment, Government recognized the need to curb the
continuous increases in the price of rice, to make it affordable for public purchase.As regards Executive Order
No. 62, Protecting Whistleblowers here, President Sirleaf reiterated that corruption and other criminal conducts
in public institutions and private organizations undermine democratic rule and good corporate governance,
which in turn affect the interest of individuals and society, and lead to disaffection and instability.She indicated
that every person has a social responsibility to disclose and expose acts of corruption and other criminal
conducts in an orderly manner and without prejudice to the security and general wellbeing of the person. The
Liberian leader stressed that it is generally recognized that the needed disclosure of corruption and other
criminal conduct will be advanced by appropriate laws that provide guidance for responsible disclosure and
investigation of criminal conduct and also legal protection for person (s) making the disclosure.
President Sirleaf pointed out that as a Whistleblower Act is still pending before the Liberian Legislature,
currently on recess, it is important to protect the Liberian society against continued acts of impropriety and
other practices that will continue to seriously impact negatively upon the nation, and that effect be given to that
concern, pending the enactment of the Whistleblower Act.Executive Order No. 62 is to protect persons
employed in both public and private institutions who disclose information about action against the public
interest or good in any public or private institutions, unless otherwise provided by law, to allow individuals the
right to take legal action in respect of retaliation; and related matters. The Executive Order took effect on April
26, 2014
Rice scheme case: a dangling sword
Opas Boonlom
The Nation May 2, 2014 1:00 am
ACC verdict could force Yingluck to step down, serve time
Caretaker prime minister Yingluck Shinawatra is facing allegations of dereliction of duty and negligence over
her role in the rice-pledging scheme, and the anti-graft probe could lead to impeachment and prosecution -
meaning she could be toppled. If she is indicted by the National Anti-Corruption Commission, she will have to
stop performing her duties as prime minister immediately. The NACC is expected to rule on the case on May 8
after having undertaken an investigation for more than a year. No one knows what the outcome will be or
whether her fate will be the same as that of her brother, ousted prime ministerThaksin Shinawatra.
Many people have said her destiny will depend on her defence against the allegations and the testimonies of her
four key witnesses.
The probe was separated into two areas based on Yingluck's different duties: as the prime minister who governs
the Cabinet and government policies, and as the chairwoman of the National Rice Policy Committee who is in
charge of directing rice policy. The NACC accused her of committing the following offences:- Dereliction of
duty in violation of Section 157 of the Criminal Code leading to damages;- As a government official, doing or
not doing something that caused damage, or being negligent in violation of theNACC Act of 1999; and -
Intentional exercising of power contrary to Article 178 of the Constitution, which stipulates that the prime



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minister shall carry out the administration of state affairs in accordance with the provisions of the Constitution,
laws and the policies stated before Parliament.

Yingluck allegedly let corruption occur in
the rice-pledging scheme and release of rice
from government stockpiles, while the
dereliction-of-duty charge relates to whether or
not she tried to put the brakes on the project,
and whether damage was done to the country
as a result. If she is indicted by the NACC, the
following will happen:She will have to
suspend her duties as prime minister
immediately while the Senate decides whether
to impeach her and the Supreme Court's
Criminal Division decides whether to
prosecute her. The NACC will submit all of its
reports on the case to the Senate and the Office
of the Attorney-General.If Yingluck were
found guilty criminally, she could face a
prison term of one to 10 years and/or a fine of
between Bt2,000 and Bt20,000.If three-fifths
of the Senate voted to impeach her, she would
be barred from politics for five years.

Defence testimony

Caretaker Prime Minister Yingluck Shinawatra

- Rejects the National Anti-Corruption
Commission's authority to look into alleged
graft in the rice-pledging scheme, saying
taking the case to the NACC was illegal.

l Insists that she is not a wrongdoer for the
following reasons:

1. The rice-pledging scheme is one of the
government's most immediate and basic
policies that both the government and its
Cabinet are mutually responsible for. Therefore, if the prime minister orders the suspension of the project, it
could violate the Constitution's Section 178, which obliges the government to implement what it announces to



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Parliament.

2. Implementing the rice-pledging scheme is part of the prime minister's general duties under the State
Administration Act.

3. The prime minister's duties are related to the policies and strategies proposed to the Cabinet and as
chairwoman of the National Rice Policy Committee, the prime minister does not have the authority to suspend
the scheme.

4. Upon receiving a written warning from the NACC that there were problems with the project, especially
corruption, the prime minister immediately ordered that an investigative committee be set up to prevent further
graft.

Deputy Commerce Minister Yanyong Phuangrach

l Allegations of Yingluck's dereliction of duty in relation to the rice-pledging scheme were based on four
illogical assumptions:

1. Allegation that the government distorted the market mechanism via the rice-pledging scheme, hence forcing
down the prices: There is no perfect market for rice.

2. Allegation that the project was created to secure votes and fill the pockets of corrupt officials: The project
was able to increase both the volume and price of rice in a bid to reduce the income gap.
3. Allegation that the PM was negligent in not ending the scheme when it only made losses: The PM cannot
cancel or suspend any projects that were promised during the election campaign and later ratified in Parliament
after the government was formed. 4. Allegation that the project was making heavy losses based on data
collected from the post-audit committee and Office of the Auditor-General of Thailand: Data not acceptable as
the project had not ended.
Caretaker Commerce Minister Nitwatthumrong Boonsongpaisan

l The scheme was originally started in 1993 under the Democrat-led government of Chuan Leekpai and
Yingluck's government has improved the scheme, making it more efficient and less prone to corruption.

l As chair of the National Rice Policy Committee, Yingluck established 12 subcommittees to oversee and
suppress any graft problems arising from the project. Caretaker Labour Minister Chalerm Yoobamrung was
given the job of looking into corruption related to the scheme since early 2012.

l As for allegations of the project making huge losses, all government subsidies are meant to boost living
conditions, so money needs to be injected to boost consumer spending in order to boost the economy. No public
project can be expected to make a profit or loss, as it is not a business.



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l As long as the project has not come to an end, data from the post-audit committee cannot be taken into
account.

Caretaker Finance Minister Kittiratt Na-Ranong
l Revolving funds budgeted for the rice-pledging scheme were not too large.l There was fiscal discipline and it
was constantly reported to the Cabinet.
l Despite the presence of corruption at the operational level, each step of the scheme can be investigated
. l The scheme cannot be terminated as it was promised to the public.
Deputy secretary general to the PM for Political Affairs Pol Maj General Thawat Boonfueng

l In practice, the government has employed up to 30,000 personnel to inspect the state's rice stockpiles and
investigate any problems.


Commerce Min asserts no rice missing from warehouses
Date : 2 พฤษภาคม 2557
BANGKOK, 2 May 2014 (NNT) – The Commerce Ministry has confirmed that no rice pledged under the
subsidy program has gone missing from the warehouses. Yanyong Phuangrach, Deputy Commerce Minister,
has defended that no rice disappeared from the warehouses as claimed by the account-closing committee, saying
it was deplorable that the National Anti-Corruption Commission (NACC) would not accept PM Yingluck
Shinawatra’s request for a deeper investigation. He added that it would not take much time to inspect rice kept
in warehouses, plus it would not delay the investigation process but instead, allow the anti-graft body to acquire
more information and details on the case. He however said the government would respect the NACC’s decision
regardless of the outcome. Lastly, the deputy minister reiterated that the accusation that two million tons of rice
had gone missing from the warehouses was false.
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