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15
th
August, 2014





TOP Contents - Tailored for YOU
Latest News Headlines…

 Thai government approves first rice sale since coup
 Turkey: Post Ramadan Wrap-Up and a Look Ahead
 RiceTec, Inc. Holds 2014 Arkansas Field Day
 Scientists critique Minnesota wild rice study
 Meet a local scientist: Dr. Yulin Jia
 FG Vows to End Rice Smuggling
 Century of rice crops celebrated
 Mizo National Front slams Congress govt over
shortage of essential commodities
 When storks arrive, you’re growing good rice, Hyogo
farmers discover
 Philippines sees 2014 rice output below target
 Agri sector posts 1.81% growth
 Thai military government approves first rice sale since coup
 Gov’t expects to miss rice output target, may import more

NEWS DETAILS:



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Thai government approves first rice sale since coup

By Reuters

BANGKOK: Thailand’s military government approved the sale of 73,000 tonnes of rice from government
stocks in its first successful sale since the army seized power in May, less than the 167,000 tonnes it aimed
to sell in a tender last week.The sale of rice, worth more than 737 million baht ($23.1m), from state
warehouses to rice exporters, millers and domestic retailers follows a failure to shift any grain last week, in the
military‘s first tender since it took control.Duangporn Rodphaya, director-general of the Foreign Trade Depart-
ment at the Commerce Ministry, which oversees rice stock sales, said 12 private companies were successful out
of 36 bidders.
The sale was approved on Thursday, the commerce ministry said in a statement. It did not reveal the sale price
and said that doing so could affect the next rice stock auction.The price of common grade Thai 5-per cent
broken rice was steady at $440 per tonne on Friday, slightly below the same grade from Vietnam at $450-$455
a tonne. In its first tender last week, offers were below the government‘s expectations, and the sale was halted
by the state, which did not disclose a minimum floor price.Thailand is estimated to hold up to 18m tonnes of
rice in state stockpiles, almost twice what it used to export each year. The Southeast Asian nation has mammoth
stockpiles of rice after the previous government bought rice from farmers at prices well above market levels for
the staple grain.The army, which seized power in a bloodless coup in May, made the repayment of farmers who
were owed money under the controversial scheme one of its priorities. It also halted rice sales while it inspected
warehouses to check how much grain was being held and in what conditions.
Duangporn said the next round of bidding would take place soon and that floor price assessments would be
amended in order to speed up sales.―We will amend the way we assess minimum floor prices to speed up the
decision-making process and will take into consideration the domestic and international rice trade situation,‖
Duangporn said. Thai rice prices fell around 20pc in the first half of the year to a low of $370 a tonne as the
previous government was forced to offload some stocks to pay millions of farmers who had been owed money
for months under the scheme.
Published in Dawn, August 16th , 2014
Turkey: Post Ramadan Wrap-Up and a Look Ahead

ANKARA, TURKEY -- USA Rice Federation promotions in Turkey have led to significantly increased sales this year.
Exports to Turkey have increased 220 percent (to 142,000 MT) in the first six months of the year over the same period last



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year. In terms of value, exports have increased 313
percent to nearly $84 million.USA Rice promotions
focused on the Muslim holy month of Ramadan earlier
this summer because the month represents the highest rice
consumption period throughout the year (see other story).
Activities reached a record number of consumers, driving
awareness for U.S. rice brands, with U.S. rice articles and
recipes with colorful photos being placed in Turkey's
major daily and online newspapers, magazines, and more
than 100 online portals. The estimated value of this
unpaid publicity exceeded $85,000 and garnered an
additional 2,900 followers on Facebook. Building on the success of these promotion campaigns, plans are underway for
U.S. rice to be featured at a cooking competition later this year and for USA Rice to participate at Worldfood Istanbul
2014, a food show on September 4-7.
Later that month, USA Rice is sponsoring a trade seminar for the Turkish Food Importers Association (TUGIDER) and
Packers Association (PAKDER), major importers and packers of rice in Turkey. Discussion topics include U.S. medium
grain markets, trends, crop status, U.S. rice varieties, and an examination of difficulties facing the rice industry in
Turkey."We're very pleased with the results of our program so far," said Jim Guinn, USA Rice vice president of
international promotion. "We're looking forward to continuing our branding and awareness campaign at the upcoming
seminars where we expect to both hear about issues important to Turkish industry, and secure a solid market for U.S.
medium grain rice."
Contact: Eszter Somogyi, 011-49-40-4503-8667
RiceTec, Inc. Holds 2014 Arkansas Field Day

Later start time this year
JONESBORO, AR -- More than 200 growers and industry
representatives attended RiceTec's annual Arkansas Field
Day here yesterday. Participants got the chance to go on a
field tour, meet with vendors, and hear RiceTec
representatives talk about current rice varieties as well as
provide updates on new varieties in the pipeline.Dr. Lanier
Nalley, from the University of Arkansas, was the featured
speaker. Nalley talked about the sustainability advantages
of hybrid rice production in water use and greenhouse gas
emissions.Congressman Rick Crawford (R-AR-01)



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addressed the dinner event, speaking about implementation of the new Farm Bill and regulatory issues facing the U.S. rice
industry. Crawford discussed his concerns with the Environmental Protection Agency's proposed Waters of the United
States (WOTUS) rule, saying the proposed regulations are based on subjective determinations which will likely create
problems when it comes to applying the rules.
Contact: Chuck Wilson (870) 673-7541
Scientists critique Minnesota wild rice study

By Forum News Service on Aug 15, 2014 at 2:30 a.m.
John Myers
Forum News Service

ST. PAUL — A panel of seven scientists from the U.S., Canada and Europe is taking a critical look at
Minnesota‘s recent research into how sulfate may damage wild rice.The peer review panel was called to St.
Paul by the Minnesota Pollution Control Agency this week to critique the state‘s two-year, $1.5 million study
on the impact of sulfate on wild rice.
The panel‘s report could have a major impact on current and future mining in the state as the PCA, under
legislative mandate, decides whether the state‘s current 10 parts per million limit for sulfate is needed in wild
rice waters.―This scientific peer review is the next step in the PCA‘s ongoing efforts to improve its scientific
understanding of the effects of sulfate on wild rice, and to provide additional factual information for the PCA‘s
decision about whether the current Minnesota wild rice sulfate water quality standard should be changed,‖ the
agency said in announcing the peer review meeting.
The PCA contracted with Eastern Research Group Inc. to find scientists with expertise on sulfate impacts on
plants. The panel includes Donald Axelrad of Florida A&M University, Patrick Brezonik of the University of
Minnesota, Siobhan Fennessy of Kenyon College, Susan Galatowitsch of the University of Minnesota, Mark
Hanson of the University of Manitoba, Curtis Pollman of Florida-based Aqua Lux Lucis Inc., and Gertie Arts of
Wageningen University and Research Centre, Netherlands.The two days of meetings that ended Thursday were
open to the public. The peer review panel heard questions and comments from interested parties Wednesday —
including from tribal, environmental and business groups. Sulfates are ions or salts that can come from decaying
plants and animals as well as from some mineral deposits and industrial processes such as mine discharges,
mine stockpiles and waste piles, tanneries, steel mills, pulp mills, sewage-treatment plants and textile plants.



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From 2011 into 2013, University of Minnesota Duluth researchers studied sulfate‘s impact on wild rice in both
a laboratory and in large plastic tubs outdoors, while University of Minnesota Twin Cities scientists studied
wild rice stands in dozens of lakes and rivers across the state. In March the PCA released the preliminary
findings of that research — essentially that sulfate above 4-16 parts per million can produce a chain reaction in
the ecosystem that harms wild rice. When sulfate levels are that high or higher in the water around the roots of
wild rice plants, they can spur the production of hydrogen sulfide, and that hydrogen sulfide can starve the plant
of nutrients.The report said wild rice generally suffers when hydrogen sulfide levels hit 150-350 parts per
billion. Those levels began to occur when the surrounding water had sulfate starting at 4-16 parts per million,
especially in waters with low iron concentrations, the report said.
But the PCA report stopped short of deciding whether the current, controversial statewide standard of 10 parts
per million for sulfate pollution in wild rice waters should continue, go up or go down. PCA officials have said
that it may be well into 2015 when the PCA issues a more definite finding on what changes to make, if any, to
the wild rice rule.Tribal and environmental groups say the science clearly shows the current standard is needed
to protect wild rice from the indirect effects of sulfate. But business interests say the opposite, that the science
shows sulfate is not a direct cause of harm and that no sulfate limit should be imposed. The Minnesota Chamber
contends the state sulfate limit should be 1,600 parts per million, if any limit is needed at all.Ultimately, even
after the PCA decides on the sulfate issue, the federal Environmental Protection Agency will have to sign off on
any change under the federal Clean Water Act.
The sulfate rule, if enforced, has huge implications for the state‘s iron mining industry, with some taconite
processing plants apparently releasing sulfate at levels above the current standard. It could affect the state‘s
fledgling copper mining industry as well as wastewater treatment plants in areas where wild rice grows, or did
grow in the past. For example, the PolyMet copper mine proposed for northeastern Minnesota can meet the
existing sulfate standard, an environmental review concludes, but only by treating water that leaves the site for
years to come.Still to come is perhaps an even more controversial decision by the PCA — precisely which lakes
and rivers in Minnesota are official ―wild rice waters.
‖ That decision, which the PCA says will come after a so-called administrative rulemaking process in coming
months, will decide where the sulfate standard will be enforced.The PCA also must better define when the



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standard applies — all year or only during the growing season. The report released in March seems to show that
the sulfate-to-hydrogen sulfide conversion can occur at all times of year, although less often in colder
conditions.
Meet a local scientist: Dr. Yulin Jia
Editor's Note: This is the second in a series introducing the scientists of the Dale Bumpers National Rice
Research Center.
By Dawn Teer
dteer@stuttgartdailyleader.com
Posted Aug. 14, 2014 @ 1:04 pm

STUTTGART —
Meet Dr. Yulin J ia, research plant pathologist
Describe what you study and what you do at DBNRRC —
I am studying genetics of interactions of rice with rice pathogens
causing disease in order to develop environmentally benign
methods to reduce crop loss due to rice diseases.
How did you get involved in this line of work?
When I saw the damage due to rice diseases in my father‘s rice
fields in the 1970s, ever since childhood, I learned quickly that rice
disease is one of the major causes for crop losses.
Did you always love science?
Yes. I was the one who always asked ―why‖ about everything I
saw when I was a child.
What was your fascination with it that made you want to do
the type of work you do?
When I learned that new tools and new knowledge have been used to prevent crop losses due to diseases then I
wanted to help discover more tools.
What brought you to DBNRRC?
I was in the private sector conducting similar research when this opportunity became available.

What project are you working on now?
Develop genetic markers associated with genes that control resistance response to rice blast and sheath blight
diseases.
Develop genetic markers to identify different strains of rice pathogens.
Develop streamlined methods to identify genetic resistance to rice false smut and bacterial panicle blight
diseases, two emerging diseases in rice.

What projects have you worked on that you feel have an affect on food qualities or have helped farmers
in growing the crop?



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1) Development of improved rice breeding lines that have resistance genes to rice blast and sheath blight
diseases along with linked genetic markers that will facilitate use by breeders;
2) Development on genetic markers that are linked to new resistance genes to both rice blast and sheath blight
diseases
3) Knowledge of plant-pathogen interactions helps me provide information to farmers about disease control that
will increase their profits and reduce the use of fungicides.

What do you like most about your job?
The freedom to use my creativity to solve critical problems for agriculture and the opportunity to collaborate
with US and international researchers on these issues.
Interactions and cooperation with scientists at the University of Arkansas have been one of the key elements for
my job to be enjoyable and productive. Farmers appreciate having access to rice cultivars with resistance genes
to rice diseases that reduce production costs and decrease economic risk.

FG Vows to End Rice Smuggling
15 Aug 2014


Seized rice consignment
John Iwori
The Federal Government has reiterated its determination to end the
smuggling of rice into the country. It assured that with the
concrete measures it has put in place, the smuggling of rice into
Nigeria would soon be a thing of the past.This assurance was given
by the Minister of Agriculture and Rural Development, Dr.
Akinwumi Adesina, while commending Dangote Industries
Limited for investing $1billion (about N165 billion) in commercial
rice farming and modern integrated rice mills in Nigeria.The
President and Chairman, Dangote Group, Mr. Aliko Dangote had
announced his firm‘s investment plan at the headquarters of the
Federal Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development in Abuja.
Dangote who led a delegation from his firm to the ministry, later proceeded to the Presidential Villa for the
signing of a Memorandum of Understanding on rice production with the Federal Government.But at the
ministry, the Agriculture minister had told the delegation that government was desirous of stopping smuggling



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of the staple food into Nigeria.He promised that the Federal Government would stop the smuggling of foreign
rice into Nigeria from neighbouring countries. According to him, his ministry would ensure that no individual
sabotages the drive to make Nigeria an exporter of rice.
―We will end smuggling because we cannot mortgage our future and I want to assure you that government is
looking at this issue critically,‖ Adesina said. While explaining rational behind his firm‘s foray into rice
cultivation, Dangote had said that the move to invest in rice production was aimed at developing Nigeria‘s
economy through agriculture.He said the investment would further boosts the Federal Government‘s drive to
attain food sufficiency in Nigeria, adding that in the next fours years Nigeria will become an exporter of rice.
Dangote said once his rice industry starts producing the staple food, the price of the locally produced rice ―will
be definitely cheaper than the imported ones and this will create room for a lot of investments in the sector.‖He
said: ―With rice as a major staple, we have placed total sufficiency in rice production as a major priority for our
country and key value chain for our economy."In his remarks, Adesina, stated that the Dangote farms and mills
were expected to significantly boost small-holder rice production in the regions through a nucleus and out-
grower farming model.This, he said, would directly transform livelihoods in rural Nigeria as the sites selected
were rice-growing communities that will be supported by Dangote‘s provision of agro-inputs, training and
marketing linkages to improve community-farming. He said employment opportunities for at least 8,000
Nigerians will be created by the massive investment.
The Minister had said recently that about 8,000 bags of rice were smuggled into Nigeria daily from Benin
Republic. Adesina made this known at a public hearing on the Federal Government new rice tariff regime
organised by the House of Representatives Committee on Customs and Excise. He said smuggling of rice and
other products such as chicken and fish were detrimental to the economy and should be stopped. The minister
called for stiffer penalties for illegal importers of frozen fish and chicken, which he said, were harmful to the
health of Nigerians.―We owe it a duty to our country to make sure that these people are sent to jail,‘‘ he
said.The minister also said the federal government would establish rice levy fund to support local rice
production. The federal government increased levy on rice from 20 per cent to 100 per cent to encourage local
production and help boost investors‘ confidence in local rice production.
The Finance Minister, Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala, however, recently said the government had decided to reverse the
policy, because rice was still being smuggled into the country.Adesina said the rice levy fund would be
established from the proceeds generated from the new tariff on imported rice. He said that Nigeria had the



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capacity to be the sole exporter of rice to other countries if local production of rice was enhanced.He noted that
the continued importation of rice into the country had contributed to the high unemployment among Nigerians.
He alleged that some unscrupulous Nigerians were conniving with importers of rice to frustrate the
implementation of the new policy on rice.
The minister maintained that the increased rice tariff regime was the best for the country as it would encourage
and enhance local production of rice.―The policy is working, I believe our rice policy is working well,‖ he
said.He alleged that some importers of rice buy the local rice which they label and sell to consumers as
imported rice.He called on the National Assembly to support the ministry with legislation that would enhance
its operations.
Tags: Nigeria, Business, Featuered, Rice Smuggling

Century of rice crops celebrated
Aug. 15, 2014, midnight

UNVEILING the upgraded rice monument as part of the
Ricegrowers' Association of Australia conference last
week were (from left) Hiroyuki Yamaguchi from the
Embassy of Japan, RGA president Les Gordon, Jo
Takasuka's grandchildren Henry Watters, Murray Watters
and Nona Ratcliffe, Nyah District Action Group
chairman Bill Maher.THIS year's Ricegrowers'
Association of Australia (RGA) conference celebrated
100 years since the first commercial rice crop was
planted just outside Swan Hill in Victoria.

Held over two days in Swan Hill last week, the
conference was attended by more than 180 growers and
government and industry officials.RGA president Les Gordon said the event was an opportunity to celebrate the



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success of the rice industry over the last 100 years."Our conference commenced with the unveiling of a new
monument at the site where Jo Takasuka planted the first rice crops at Vinifera, around 20 kilometres north of
Swan Hill," Mr Gordon said."Following this event, it was fitting our first speaker at the town hall was Doctor
Gary Lewis, author and historian, who presented a captivating account of the struggles of Jo Takasuka and his
family in those early years, and the sheer perseverance that was needed to eventually achieve a successful rice
crop."Other guest speakers included dairy farmer and Dairy Australia chairman Geoff Akers and Senator Simon
Birmingham.

Mr Akers spoke to the delegates about how to understand the key drivers to improve farm profitability using
examples from the dairy industry."Geoff addressed issues that face many agricultural industries and was a great
example of how industries can learn from each other," Mr Gordon said."It was also a privilege to have Mr
Birmingham join us at the conference and the growers enjoyed his acknowledgement of the importance of the
rice industry to Australia and his recognition that the industry is well suited to Australia's climate."Another
highlight of the conference was the launch of a new, fragrant rice variety, Topaz, by the Australian Rice
Partnership.This variety will be available for growers to plant during the upcoming rice season.

Mizo National Front slams Congress govt over shortage of essential
commodities
By Mizonews.Net | August 14, 2014 | Mizoram News

Aizawl, Aug 13 (Mizo News): Mizo National Front (MNF)
legislator from Aizawl West- I, K. Sangthuama slammed the
ruling Congress government for shortage of essential
commodities and daily basic needs such as rice, flour (atta)
cooking gas, sugar etc in the state thereby alleging the latter of
laxity to the problems of the general public. Convening a press
conference at Hnam Run Wednesday, MLA K. Sangthuama said
that the state of Mizoram is currently facing an acute crisis in
supply of daily essential commodities like rice, flour (atta)
cooking gas, sugar etc.




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The cause of shortage of essential commodities is allegedly due to the utter irresponsibility of government to
curb the problem, he added.K. Sangthuama alleged that 80,000 qtl. of rice which was obtained by the state as an
additional allotment from Open Marketing Sales Scheme (OMSS) at Economic Cost has been stopped since
April this year due to government inadequate step. This has greatly affected the living condition of the mass as
only 1 kg of rice could be distributed to one individual consumer from April. According to Sangthuama the total
quantity of rice received by Mizoram from April was 5221 Metric Tonne (MT). Under APL Mizoram received
2841 MT.

While under BPL and AAY Mizoram obtained 1470 MT and 910 MT of rice respectively. Due to shortage of
rice supply there is not sufficient rice to be stored in Godown and the daily need of the people could not be met,
Sangthuama added.Stating the stocking position of rice in 9 District Civil Supply Officer (DCSO), Sangthuama
said while the total quantity of rice being stocked in 9 DCSO till August 4th was 91251.74 qtls, the total
quantity of monthly requirement was 108008.83 Qtls. This indicate Mizoram as lacking 16757.09 qtls short of
its 1 moth quota.Opposition MLA also slammed Food, Civil Supply& Consumer Affairs Minister John
Rotluangliana for his ignorance about the cause for stoppage of rice supply. ―The minister believed Security
Bill as the main reason.

But as Food Security Bill has not been implemented in the state
why should there be a reduction in the state quota, Sangthuama
asked. He added that the Minister must well acquaint with the
matter.Reacting to the Chief Minister and Supply Minister‘s
comment that the state of Mizoram incurred a loss of Rs. 10
crore for rice per month, Sangthuama said the expenditure being
made to meet the daily need of the people should not be
regarded as ‗loss‘. ―The purchase of rice for family consumption
can‘t be regarded as loss. Therefore, we should be ready enough
to spend any amount to meet public needs and government
should also happily arrange money for the purpose‖,
Sangthuama said.In fact, the remark of Chief Minister and Supply Minister according to Sangthuama is an
instance of showing impudent contempt to general public.
―I want the two Congress top leaders not to use such offensive word‖, Sangthuama added.Citing about supply
of Wheat (Atta) & Maida, Sangthuama said, during MNF rule the state government used to supply 900 MT of
Atta and Maida in a month. But soon after Congress came into rule the supply of Atta and Maida has
considerably reduced. While the supply of Atta and Maida is believed to increase it has reduced from the
existing quantity of 900 MT to 624 MT, Sangthuama said.As regard cooking gas, Sangthuama said it is one of



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the acute problems in Mizoram today. The crisis of cooking gas said Sangthuama often occurred at the time of
MNF rule. But when this problem arose, the government took all possible efforts to solve the problem. As part
of the government initiative during MNF rule, a Bottling Plan Gas which can produce 2448 gas cylinders was
planted at Mualkhang the same of which was inaugurated by former Chief Minister Zoramthanga on 10th
August, 2006.He further accused Congress government of not paying sincere attention to solve cooking gas
crisis
Ichio Narita checks his chemical-free rice paddy in Toyooka, Hyogo Prefecture, in May. Narita's land has
become a home to Oriental white storks, a bird whose numbers are rising under a city farming project aimed at
saving it from extinction. | KYODO
When storks arrive, you’re growing good rice, Hyogo farmers
discover
BY YUZO SUWA,KYODO
AUG 15, 2014 ARTICLE HISTORY
TOYOOKA, HYOGO PREF. – A group of farmers in Toyooka, Hyogo Prefecture, that practices environment-
friendly rice cultivation techniques views the arrival of storks as a sign they are growing a good product.The
storks, once extinct in Japan, are drawn to chemical-free rice paddies because they can find such prey as frogs
and snakes, said Ichio Narita, one of the group‘s leaders.―When they occasionally come close to my tractor, I
tell them to ‗hang tough‘ like me,‖ the 57-year-old farmer said. Japan‘s postwar agriculture placed high priority
on crop yields by encouraging the use of chemicals, fertilizers and the off-season drying of paddies.

But calls for a fundamental review of this policy are growing.―Rice feels less stress and grows strong if we
don‘t use chemical herbicides,‖ Narita said. ―We don‘t need any agricultural chemicals and so can produce rice
that‘s good for health.‖If farmers produce healthy rice, they can sell it at higher prices, allowing them to make a
living despite cuts in output, Narita said. While rice cultivation involves the tough work of weeding, herbicides
can be avoided if weeds are held in check by soil puddling, or cultivating the soil in saturated conditions. The
group grows rice in deep paddies that are softer than usual so weeds can be removed with puddling equipment.
They call the practice a ―farming method that nurtures storks.‖It has been adopted as a town-wide project in the
adjacent city of Santo in Asago.
―The storks came after five years,‖ said Akira Murakami, 66. ―We took pictures of them because we felt as if
our paddies had been accredited as chemical-free.‖Toyooka Mayor Muneharu Nakagai, 59, launched an



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initiative to adopt the method after visiting the German village of Ruehstaedt as a member of the Hyogo
Prefectural Assembly in 2000.Residents of the village along the Elbe River put boards and materials on top of
their homes to encourage storks to build nests.

This succeeded in attracting storks, which drew tourists to the area. This allowed the villagers to improve their
living standards by selling related merchandise, showing the benefits of coexistence.Nakagai became mayor in
2001, stressing that the use of agricultural chemicals should be cut to lure storks to the city‘s paddies. He had
storks imported from Russia and released them in 2005. About 80 of the birds are helping revitalize local
agriculture and tourism.

Philippines sees 2014 rice output below target
Reuters
Posted at 08/15/2014 2:46 PM | Updated as of 08/15/2014 2:46 PM
MANILA, Philippines - The Philippines will likely produce 18.69 million tons of unmilled rice this year, the
state statistics office said on Friday, below a government target of 19.07 million tons.This year's output,
however, is seen up 1.4 percent from last year's record harvest of 18.44 million tons, the Philippine Statistics
Authority (PSA) said in a report. Unmilled rice output in the third quarter is forecast to drop 11 percent from a
year ago to 2.99 million tonnes, based on standing crops, the PSA said.First-half production grew 4.8 percent to
8.38 million tons.The agriculture department hopes the country's rice harvest will grow an average 3.6 percent
between 2014 and 2016 to make the country, one of the world's biggest buyers of the grain, less dependent on
imports.

Agri sector posts 1.81% growth
By Czeriza Valencia (The Philippine Star) | Updated August 16, 2014 - 12:00am

MANILA, Philippines - Agricultural output grew faster, both in terms of production volume and production
value, during the first half of the year as farmers continue to enjoy high farmgate prices, the Department of
Agriculture (DA) announced yesterday.Farm output grew 1.81 percent in the first half of 2014 against 1.51
percent in the comparative period last year. In terms of value, the farm sector grossed P776.5 billion at current
prices, up 11.26 percent from the P697.9-billion gross earnings in the same period last year.Production in the
crops subsector, which has a 52.72 percent contribution to the total agricultural production, rose 3.68 percent



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during the period compared to a negative 0.47 growth in the same period last year.Palay (unhusked rice)
production rose 4.78 percent, while corn production rose 4.70 percent. Production increases in sugarcane,
banana, pineapple, mango and tobacco were also seen.Rice farmers in Central Luzon and the Ilocos region
were encouraged to produce during the period on favorable farmgate prices and the availability of irrigation.At
current prices, the crops subsector grossed P443.9 billion, up 18.31 percent from last year.
Earnings from palay rose 30.50 percent in the first half
as a result of improvements in production and prices.
Earnings from corn, coffee, mongo, abaca, calamansi,
garlic, onion, and banana also rose during the period
because of uptrends in production and price
increases.Production in the livestock sector grew
slower at 0.94 percent compared to the 2.12 percent
growth in the first half of last year. Cattle, hog and
dairy production, continued to increase albeit slower
compared to the same period last year, while lower
goat production brought down overall growth.Gross
earnings in the livestock subsector, however, rose 6.33
percent to P118.9 billion at current prices on increased
revenues from carabao, cattle and hog raising.The
poultry subsector registered a slower production growth rate of 0.73 percent in the first half of the year against
4.56 percent in the same period last year on increased production of chicken and duck. Chicken egg production,
however, fell 4.18 percent during the reference period as layers were affected by extremely hot weather
conditions.
In the Visayas, the layer inventories in farms damage by Typhoon Yolanda in November last year were still
being built up.Gross value output of the poultry subsector, however, rose 5.91 percent to P97.7 billion at current
prices on increases in earnings from chicken, duck, and duck egg production.Production in the fisheries
subsector contracted 1.90 percent during the reference period compared to a growth of 4.47 percent in the same
period last year on reduced production of milkfish, among others. Several pen operators in Samar stopped
operations because of insufficient funds, while operators in Davao stopped production because of heavy
siltation. Intense heat also resulted to smaller milkfish harvest in Zamboanga Sibugay.Tiger prawn production
also fell during the period on high mortality rate caused by extreme heat and increased water salinity in
aquaculture areas in Bulacan and Pampanga.Production downtrends were also seen in yellowfin tuna,
roundscad, and seaweed. Increased production, however, was seen in skipjack and tilapia.
At current prices, the fisheries subsector grossed P122 billion, down 1.84 percent from earnings in the same
period last year on reduced earnings from milkfish, yellowfin tuna, and roundscad. Farmgate prices rose on the
average of 9.28 percent in the first semester of the year. Prices in the crops subsector rose 14.11 percent. Prices
in the livestock and poultry subsectors rose 5.34 percent and 5.15 percent, respectively. Prices in the fisheries
subsector rose 0.06 percent in the reference period.Agriculture Secretary Proceso Alcala said this semester‘s
performance shows that the farm sector ―is on the right track towards sustained recovery after the devastation



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caused by natural calamities.‖ ―We in the DA family will not allow weather and global market challenges, or
manmade adversity like intrigues, affect our work,‖ said Alcala yesterday.During the DA‘s budget presentation
before the House Committee on appropriations on Wednesday, Alcala said the DA‘s proposed P51.7-billion
budget for 2015 would be spent to sustain gains in staple food production.He said next year‘s financial
programming would focus on providing postharvest facilities and machineries such as rice threshers, combine
harvesters and transplanters to help lower losses and production costs.
Thai military government approves first rice sale since coup
BANGKOK Fri Aug 15, 2014 3:10pm BST
A soldier checks sacks of rice at a warehouse in Ayutthaya province, north of Bangkok July 3, 2014.
CREDIT: REUTERS/CHAIWAT SUBPRASOM

(Reuters) - Thailand's military government approved the sale of 73,000
tonnes of rice from government stocks in its first successful sale since
the army seized power in May, less than the 167,000 tonnes it aimed to
sell in a tender last week.The sale of rice, worth more than 737 million
baht (13.83 million pounds), from state warehouses to rice exporters,
millers and domestic retailers follows a failure to shift any grain last
week, in the military's first tender since it took control.
Duangporn Rodphaya, director-general of the Foreign Trade Department at the Commerce Ministry, which
oversees rice stock sales, said 12 private companies were successful out of 36 bidders.The sale was approved on
Thursday, the commerce ministry said in a statement. It did not reveal the sale price and said that doing so could
affect the next rice stock auction."The tender price this time was close to the market price," a government
official at the commerce ministry said.The price of common grade Thai 5-percent broken rice was steady at
$440 per tonne on Friday, slightly below the same grade from Vietnam at $450-$455 a tonne.In its first tender
last week, offers were below the government's expectations, and the sale was halted by the state, which did not
disclose a minimum floor price.
Thailand is estimated to hold up to 18 million tonnes of rice in state stockpiles, almost twice what it used to
export each year.The Southeast Asian nation has mammoth stockpiles of rice after the previous government
bought rice from farmers at prices well above market levels for the staple grain.The army, which seized power
in a bloodless coup in May, made the repayment of farmers who were owed money under the controversial
scheme one of its priorities.It also halted rice sales while it inspected warehouses to check how much grain was



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being held and in what conditions.Duangporn said the next round of bidding would take place soon and that
floor price assessments would be amended in order to speed up sales."We will amend the way we assess
minimum floor prices to speed up the decision-making process and will take into consideration the domestic
and international rice trade situation," Duangporn said.Thai rice prices fell around 20 percent in the first half of
the year to a low of $370 a tonne as the previous government was forced to offload some stocks to pay millions
of farmers who had been owed money for months under the scheme.Prices rebounded in June after the military
government halted sales and called for a nationwide stock inspection.(Reporting By Kaweewit Kaewjinda and
Panarat Thepgumpanat; Writing by Amy Sawitta Lefevre; Editing by Jane Baird)
Gov’t expects to miss rice output target, may import more
August 15, 2014
The Philippine government expects to miss government targets for rice production this year, boosting chances it
could buy more of the grain overseas to maintain supplies and curb local retail prices.The country will likely
produce 18.69 million tonnes of unmilled rice this year, the Philippine Statistics Authority (PSA) said on
Friday, below a government goal of 19.07 million tonnes.Grain markets are looking for any signs the
Philippines may need to import more rice, with total shipments this year potentially exceeding 2 million tonnes,
the biggest in four years.The state grains procurement agency, the National Food Authority (NFA), has been
authorized to import up to 1 million tonnes of rice in the second half, after purchasing a total of 1.3 million
tonnes from Vietnam in recent months. That would put it on track to become the world‘s third biggest buyer of
the grain this year, based on estimates by the US Department of Agriculture, up from the No. 8 spot in
2013.Rice output in the second half is seen down 1.2 percent, with the third-quarter harvest forecast to drop as
much as 11 percent to almost 3 million tonnes based on the standing crop, the PSA said.The ―setback‖ could be
due to the late onset of the rainy season and insufficient irrigation water, PSA Administrator Lisa Grace
Bersales said in a statement.
The Philippines wants to boost thin state stockpiles that the NFA on Monday estimated to be five days less than
the minimum 30-day buffer required during the lean harvest season from July to September.The NFA has been
trying to flood the market with its cheap imported rice as local retail prices for the grain have risen nearly 20
percent from last year in the wake of a devastating typhoon and thin supply, pushing food inflation in the
country to its highest in more than five years.A tender to import 500,000 tonnes has already been set for Aug.
27, open to all brokers, dealers and exporters.Both the third and fourth quarters are a critical period for rice
farmers. The Philippines is hit by an average of 20 storms every year with strong ones usually seen in the
second half. After failing to achieve its goal to be fully self-sufficient in rice by the end of 2013, the agriculture
department is hoping that local rice harvest will grow an average 3.6 percent annually between 2014 and 2016
to make the country less dependent on imports.This year‘s projected output is 1.4 percent higher than last year‘s
record harvest of 18.44 million tonnes. The country‘s overall agricultural output grew by 1.81 percent in the
first half from a year ago, the PSA said in a separate statement earlier yesterday Friday.