Global Rice E-Newsletter

January 14, 2015
Volume 5, Issue I

Daily Global Rice E-Newsletter

Rice coalition eyes Cuba

Posted: Wednesday, January 14, 2015 12:00
For Tri-County Newspapers

The USA Rice Federation has joined with
more than 25 prominent U.S. food and
agriculture associations and companies to
form a coalition that seeks to advance trade
relations between the United States and
Cuba.The U.S. Agriculture Coalition for
Cuba formally launched at an event in
Washington D.C. on Thursday that was
attended by Secretary of Agriculture Tom
Vilsack, a bipartisan group of members of
Congress, and Missouri Gov. Jay Nixon.The
purpose of the USACC is to re-establish
Cuba as a market for U.S. food and
agriculture exports and address liberalizing
trade between the United States and
Cuba.The coalition will work to end the
embargo and allow for open trade and
"We know the Cuban market for rice is not
theoretical. It is real, it is large, and it is
compelling," said Betsy Ward, president and
CEO of USA Rice, in a statement. "With
rice imports valued at more than $300
million, Cuba is the second largest importer
of rice in the Americas. And there was a
time when Cuba was our number one export
market — we look forward to a return to
those days."The U.S. rice industry has been
advocating for open trade and travel with
Cuba since the mid-1990s and was the first
U.S. commodity back in Cuba in 2001,
exhibiting at the Havana Trade Fair, which
led to the first U.S. rice sale to Cuba in more
than 40 years.Throughout the last decade,
USA Rice has sponsored numerous trade
missions, led and participated in many
forums, here and in Cuba, and participated
Fairs.Consequently, by 2004, U.S. rice sales
to Cuba were valued at $64 million.

However, U.S. government policy changes
reversed that trend, and by 2009, sales fell to
zero, where they remain.
"We applaud the Obama Administration for
their recent actions, and ask our leaders in
Congress to normalize trade with this nation
that we believe will once again become a
major market for U.S. rice," Ward said.
"Open trade with Cuba would be an
enormous boon for U.S. rice farmers, and
we look forward to working with the Cuban
rice industry so together we may supply the
Cuban people with high-quality, delicious

Japan skips food wheat
purchase tender this week
Tue Jul 1, 2014 8:11am GMT

TOKYO, July 1 (Reuters) - Japan's Ministry
of Agriculture skipped buying food quality
wheat via a regular tender this week. Since
July has 5 weeks, the ministry decided to
skip a tender this week and planned to start a
regular tender from the following week, an
official at the bureau said on Tuesday.Japan,
the world's sixth-biggest wheat importer,
keeps a tight grip on imports of the country's
second most important staple after rice and
buys the majority of the grain for milling via
tenders typically issued three times a month.
(Reporting by Michio Kohno; Editing by
Anupama Dwivedi)

Thai govt aims to sell 17m
tonnes of stockpiled rice
over 2 years
BANGKOK, Jan 13 (Reuters): Thailand's
government plans to sell around 17 million
tonnes of rice over the next two years from
stockpiles built up under the previous
administration's failed buying programme, the
commerce ministry said on Tuesday,
announcing a new series of tenders.
Thailand was the world's top rice exporter for
decades until its grain became uncompetitive
under the buying scheme brought in by ousted
former Prime Minister Yingluck Shinawatra
after she won election in 2011.The scheme paid
farmers well above market rates for their crops
and the Finance Ministry, in its most recent
estimate, said it caused losses of more than $15
billion to the state, although that would be
reduced if grain is sold.

"We have set up a plan to sell 17.8 million
tonnes of rice within a two-year timeframe,"
Chutima Bunyapraphasara, permanent secretary
at the ministry, told reporters.The aim is to sell
10 million tonnes this year and 7 million in
2016, she added.Terms of reference for a tender
for 1 million tonnes would be announced on Jan.
20, she said, adding that the ministry would hold
two or three tenders from January to March.The
authorities have held four, smaller tenders since
the military seized power last May and have sold
681,740 tonnes for around 6.36 billion baht
($194 million), Chutima said.
Government-to-government deals have been
done for larger amounts, of which 570,000
tonnes had so far been shipped or was about to
be shipped this month, she added.An audit
conducted after the military seized power in

May suggested that only 10 per cent of the grain
in the stockpiles was of standard export quality.
The buying scheme effectively lapsed in early
2014 when political turmoil meant Yingluck's
government was unable to pay farmers for their
impeachment hearing against Yingluck on
Friday over her role in the subsidy programme.
Critics denounced it as a wasteful handout to
supporters of Yingluck and her brother Thaksin
Shinawatra, another former premier ousted by
the military.
The country exported around 10.8 million tonnes
of rice in 2014, a record high, according to the
commerce ministry.Its previous record of 10.4
million tonnes was reported in 2011, after which
India took over as top exporter.Thailand is
experiencing drought in eight provinces, which
will cut its 2015 off-season crop output by more
than 30 per cent, according to the latest report
from the Office of Agricultural Economics.The
smaller harvest is unlikely to have a big impact
on global prices, which are still under pressure
from Thailand's stockpiles and bumper output in
rival exporters India and Vietnam.


Officials prepare for rice
exports to China
Published on Wednesday, 14 January 2015 16:15

To facilitate rice exports to China, the China
Certification & Inspection Group (CCIC) will
open an office in Yangon.

The Myanmar Rice Federation (MRF) will
send a list of 10 rice exporting companies
documents to China. The CCIC will hold

talks between the Myanmar government,
COFCO Group and the companies that
signed the memorandum of understand with
the MRF over rice trading."Tasks for
starting rice exports are currently on our
plate. A meeting will be held this month.
Wewill assist in opening the CCIC office,
too," said Ye Min Aung, general secretary of
MRF.At the invitation of China early this
month, delegations from MRF, the Rice
Millers' Association, Myanmar Rice &
Paddy Traders Association, the Agriculture
Commerce Ministry talked with their
Chinese counterparts about rice trading
agreements proposed in 2014 and finalised
the deal.Negotiations between the Myanmar
Agriculture and Irrigation Ministry and
Supervision, Inspection and Quarantine have
also taken place.Myanmar is thriving to
export its world-class quality rice to China.
mediocre quality. World Bank studies
claimed the price of rice in Myanmar is the
most unstable among Southeast Asian rice
exporting nations.The studies explained the
40-per cent hike in Myanmar rice prices as
the result of weak market structures, poor
accessibility of information, limited product
variety and costly storage charges.In the
2013-14 fiscal year, Myanmar‘s exports of
1.1 million tonnes of rice earned US$400
million; in 2014-15, Myanmar is expected to
reap $500 million from 1.5 million tonnes in
rice exports.


Iraq submits a tender for
the purchase of 30 thousand
tons of rice
Photo Credit:Reuters/Ajay Verma

The Iraqi Ministry of Trade announced on
Tuesday launching a tender to process the
ministry with an amount of 30 thousand tons of
rice to cover the requirements of the ration card,
while economists justified it and said that
production would not fill the growing need for
several conditions.
Iraq is one of the major importers of grain in the
region to cover the ration card program that has
been applied since the nineties of the last
The Ministry of Trade stipulated that the origins
must be from America, Uruguay, Argentina,
Brazil, Vietnam and Thailand with the
specifications of " White Grain."The ministry
said in a statement reported for "Shafaq News"
that " offers will be open up to 29/1/2015 but the
presentations must be accompanied by an initial
insurances by a bank guarantee or a check
certified for the General Company for Grain
Trade in the ministry.Analysts and economists
believe that Iraq's move towards the global
market is to meet the needs of its population of
grain for many economic conditions.

The economist , Falah Hassan told "Shafaq
News" that "Iraq has a great potential in the
production of agricultural crops, but the
conditions experienced in the country affected
local production significantly."He explained that
"local production in Iraq began to diminish year
after a year due to economic factors as well as
political factors , although it has recently
improved, but of course still modest in spite of
the many possibilities that exist in Iraq."Hassan
added, "there has been a clear deficit in the
coverage of such crops as wheat barley and rice,
so that Iraq covers domestic demand through
imports .. For example, rice needs large amounts
of water while Iraq is going through a crisis in
irrigation projects and this is a big challenge due
to lower levels of Tigris and Euphrates rivers by
the impact of upstream countries "Turkey and

were re-bagging locally produced rice as
imported one while receiving waivers for
such.Besides, the Federal Government noted that
it had concluded plans to establish and manage a
National Domestic Rice Production Fund
(NDRP Fund) that would be used to support
farmers and millers in expanding production and
milling operations in the relevant states of
previously intended investments by defecting

© Shafaq News 2015

Furthermore, the ministry identified three other
companies including Conti-Agro, Central
Trading and Export and African firms as having
imported 98,285 metric tonnes of rice without
approved quotas, thereby owing the treasury
N8.16 billion.A statement from the ministry
stated that the companies without waiting for
determination of the supply gap by the interministerial committees or issuance of quotas had
imported 634,270.16 metric tonnes of finished
rice. This represents 56 per cent of the total
imported finished rice under the new policy as at
December 3, 2014.


Nigeria: Govt Alleges
Sabotage of Rice Policy By
By Femi Adekoya
FOREIGN investors who have exceeded their
preferential allocation quotas for imports thereby
incurring N36.56 billion debts payable to the
nation's treasury are sabotaging the new rice
yesterday.According to the Minister of
Agriculture and Rural Development, Dr.
Akinwunmi Adesina, the Federal Government
may also wield its big stick on importers who

The Fund is expected to be generated from
recalled bonds from any of the 26 investors who
defaulted from their investment plans while
enjoying preferential allocation quotas under the
Domestic Rice Production Performance Bond
amounting to $195 million or N35.3
billion.Already, the ministry, citing data from
Nigerian Customs, identified Popular Farms and
Mills as well as other importers as responsible
for exceeding their import quotas under the new

Adesina was quoted as saying: "Nigeria cannot
lose any revenue due to the economy. All
companies who have imported rice above their
allocated quotas must pay fully the amounts due
to the treasury. With the devaluation of the
Naira, all hands must be on deck to ensure that
all leakages are blocked. Nigeria is not for
sale."I will not be intimated, bought or

corrupted. I will not sell my country to any
foreign company. The President has given us a
clear matching order to make Nigeria selfsufficient in rice and we will fully achieve this.
All who owe the Federal Government must pay
what they owe and Nigeria must lose no single
naira. No amount of malicious representation
will derail the new policy.
"According to the Customs, the importers agreed
to pay any duty and levy differential if their
eventual quota allocation turned out to be lower
than what they have imported."As at December
3, 2014, Popular Farms and Mills had exceeded
their approved quota by 300,204.53 metric
tonnes and Olam by 110,163.63 metric tonnes, a
combined total of 410,368.16 metric tonnes."

The ministry explained that the new rice policy
had stated that importation of brown or polished
rice should be limited to the national supply gap
for import-grade rice to be determined by an
inter-ministerial committee chaired by the
Agriculture Ministry, with membership drawn
from the Ministries of Finance, Industry, Trade
and Investment and the National Planning

According to the new rice policy, Popular Farms
and Mills owes N19.379 billion in unpaid levies
while Olam's indebtedness is N9.02 billion.
Together, the two Asian companies owe the
federal Government about N28.39 billion.

It added that rice import quotas were issued on a
conditional basis to guarantee that the DRPPs
are met to achieve Federal Government's goal of
rice self-sufficiency."Specific qualifying criteria
to receive the quotas were stipulated and they
include: applying companies must be a
registered firm in the country and a member of
relevant trade association; only new investors
officially known to the Ministry via submission
of a DRPP will be allocated a quota; applying
companies must have a minimum planned
investment in rice production and processing of
$10 million.

"Rather than pay the levies owed, the two firms
wrote letters to the Minister asking for a revision
of their rice import quotas; Olam asked for
400,000 metric tonnes rice import quota, to
cover the quantities of rice that they had gone
ahead to import (or still desire to import)
without any approved quotas or Domestic Rice
Production Plans (DRPP) as required, but a mere
agreement with Nigerian Customs that they
would pay the duties due once the quota
allocations are out", the statement read in part.

"Basically, in order to qualify for a final quota
allocation, all qualifying companies had to
Performance Bond ("the Bond") as a means of
demonstrating a clear commitment to domestic
investments in rice production and processing.
For each investor, the Bond value will be
equivalent to 30 per cent of the value of the
quota received. This Bond must be secured at a
qualifying bank approved by the Federal
Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development.

The ministry expressed optimism of the national
supply gap of import grade rice declining from
the present 1.5 million metric tonnes to one
million this year, with a further projected decline
of 0.3 million MT in 2016 and zero in 2017
when the country is expected to become selfreliant in rice production and when rice mills
purchased by investors become operational.

"Investors' rice investment plans will be strictly
monitored against key milestones. Failure to
execute on these plans will lead to a 'call' on the
Bond by the Ministry."The goal is to turn
importers into local producers and that is being
achieved. No one is hoodwinking anybody. A
detailed assessment of existing rice millers,
importers and new rice investors has also been
undertaken", the ministry explained.

However, when The Guardian tried to reach
some of the identified investors who have
overshot their quotas, they stated that the
Nigerian Customs was yet to communicate their
financial obligation to them in terms of the
excess imports, adding that they continue to
await Customs' response to them.

This project will help rice producers conserve
natural resources such as water, soil and
waterfowl habitat, while having long-term
positive impacts on their bottom line.


Major Grant Awarded to
Rice Industry, DU for
Habitat Conservation
From left: LA rice farmer John Owen,

USA Rice CEO Betsy Ward, and
NRCS Chief Jason Weller
WASHINGTON, DC -- Today Secretary of
Agriculture Tom Vilsack announced approved
grants from the first round of proposals to the
new Regional Conservation Partnership Program
(RCPP). The USA Rice Federation, Ducks
Unlimited, Inc. (DU), and more than 40
collaborating partners are pleased that the "Rice
Stewardship Partnership - Sustaining the Future
of Rice" project was selected for support.

The RCPP application process was very
competitive; less than half of all applications
were awarded funding, and no proposal was
fully funded. However, the USA Rice and DU
national request was deemed to have significant
merit, and the Natural Resources Conservation
Service (NRCS) - the agency responsible for
administering RCPP - awarded the partnership a
grant of $10 million, one of the largest awards
given under the program.
"The Mississippi Alluvial Valley, Texas' and
Louisiana's Gulf Coast, and California's Central
Valley are critical landscapes for waterfowl and
therefore ranked as some of DU's top priorities
for habitat conservation," said DU President and
Arkansas rice producer George Dunklin.A 2014
study conducted by DU scientists for The Rice
Foundation demonstrated that rice agriculture
provides 35 percent of the food resources
available to migrating and wintering dabbling
ducks in the regions where rice is grown in the
United States.
"U.S. rice farms are valuable, not just for the
nutritious commodity they produce and their
positive impact on the economy, but also as
important contributors to the entire ecosystem,
and today's announcement from NRCS and
USDA recognizes that fact," said USA Rice

Federation Chairman Dow Brantley, an
Arkansas rice farmer. "Wildlife and waterfowl
depend on our farms as much as any of us do."

From left: Donald Berken, Kevin Norton, Jeff
Durand and Randy Jemison

Across the board
Established in the 2014 Farm Bill, the RCPP
competitively awards funds to conservation
projects designed by collaborating partners."The
USA Rice Federation, Ducks Unlimited, and all
of our partners commend the USDA for their
conservation initiatives, and we especially
appreciate each of the six state NRCS offices
who were instrumental in crafting a competitive
proposal," said Betsy Ward, President and CEO
of USA Rice. "This is a giant step forward for
conservation in ricelands with many more steps
to come."
"We applaud the many rice producers who
integrate extra conservation measures into their
rice production to maintain water quality and
provide much-needed waterfowl habitat," said
USDA NRCS Chief Jason Weller.
"The partnership between DU, USA Rice, and
USDA offers increased technical and financial
assistance to help producers accomplish these
goals on their land, and the tangible benefits to
farmers, the environment, and all Americans
will be felt for a long time."The Arkansas NRCS
has scheduled a meeting Friday, January 16, to
announce the state's RCPP project participants,
and to invite local rice farmers to an
informational session with RCPP Project
Sponsors. All 50 states and Puerto Rico received
NRCS funding for conservation projects and
have scheduled similar events in the coming
Contact: Michael Klein (703) 236-1458

Louisiana Rice Receives
RCPP Funding

Service (NRCS)
announced four
conservation projects today, two of which will
directly benefit the state's rice producers."We set
out to deliver conservation programs that would
work on rice, waterfowl, water quantity, quality,
and sustainability, and we've done just that,"
said Kevin Norton, the NRCS State
Conservationist for Louisiana. "This is quite
special, bringing big new resources to Louisiana
that will translate into real conservation."
The state received approximately $1.5 million
for the three state conservation programs, and
Norton says the lion's share is going to the Rice
Stewardship Program in Southwest Louisiana,
proposed collaboratively by Ducks Unlimited,
the Louisiana Rice Growers Association, and
others. That region represents about 70% of rice
growing in the state, but rice producers in other
areas of the state will be eligible to participate in
the national USA
above)."Rice is
good for ducks
and conservation
is critical," said
Alicia Wiseman,
Rice Stewardship Program Coordinator for
Ducks Unlimited Southern Region. "These

programs will help feed people, support
families, and provide habitat for waterfowl."
"This is a good day for Louisiana rice producers
who are excellent stewards of the land, and play
an important role in our state's economy and in
helping to feed us all sustainably," said Jeff
Durand, a Louisiana producer and co-chair of
Partnership who spoke at the event.The
programs are continuing to take shape and
develop and all rice RCPP programs are
expected to be major areas of discussion at state
meetings next month.

Contact: Michael Klein (703) 236-1458

California Rice
Commission Secures StateSpecific RCPP Funding
SACRAMENTO, CA - In a separate
conservation proposal, the California Rice
Commission (CRC) received an RCPP grant of
$7 million. This program will support many of
the same practices offered by the highly
successful Waterbird Habitat Enhancement
Program and efforts to develop a viable nesting
cover crop system for idled ricelands."Having
these additional resources should provide a big
boost to our industry's longstanding wildlife
conservation efforts," said Paul Buttner,
Manager of Environmental Affairs for the CRC.
"California ricelands provide habitat to nearly
230 wildlife species - millions of birds that fly
along the Pacific Flyway, and the value of
winter waterfowl habitat in California Rice is
estimated at $2 billion."

Contact: Deborah Willenborg (703) 236-1444

Western Rice Belt
Conference and Texas Rice
Council Annual Meeting set
for Jan. 21
Posted: Wednesday, January 14, 2015 4:00
The annual Western Rice Belt Production
Conference will be held on Wednesday,
January 21, 2015 at the El Campo Civic
Center. The conference will begin with an
Early Bird Session on Precision starting at
7:30 am. Registration for the conference will
begin at 8:00 a.m., with the remainder of the
program to follow. After a catered lunch,
provided by area agribusiness sponsors, the
program will conclude around 2:00 pm.
This joint effort of local rice committees,
The Texas A&M AgriLife Extension
Service, U.S. Rice Producers Association,
and Texas A&M AgriLife Research will
offer growers and others the opportunity to
hear presentations from the top Extension
and Research scientists from Texas and
Louisiana as well as respected individuals
from the rice industry. Topics and speakers
will include: Rice Policy Update, Dr. Joe
Outlaw; Rice Market Update, Dennis
Delaughter; Localized Effect of Carryover
Rice, Jay Davis; Rice Disease Mgmt
Update, Dr. Don Groth; Pesticide Laws and
Regs Update, Greg Baker; Groundwater
Update, Neal Hudgins; and Insect
Management in Rice, Dr. Mo Way.
The Texas Rice Council will also conduct
their Annual Meeting in conjunction with
the 2015 Western Rice Belt Conference. The
Texas Rice Council will conduct their
producer elections during the lunch hour,
following the announcement of the Rice

Poster Contest.For more information,
contact the Texas AgriLife Extension office
in Matagorda County 979-245-4100 or
Wharton County 979-532-3310, or go
tohttp://wharton.agrilife.org and click on
Events to view a flyer for the Rice
Conference. 2 CEU‘s (1 L&R and 1 IPM)
for TDA Pesticide Applicators will be
awarded at this event. CCA hours have been
applied for and will be offered pending

Compete on quality
India should not oppose Pakistan's bid to
call its rice basmati
Business Standard Editorial Comment | New
January 13, 2015 Last Updated at 21:38 IST

India's bid to protect its basmati-rice
growers through getting a geographical
indications (GI) registration has come up
against formidable hurdles. These come not
just from basmati growers in Pakistan, but
also Madhya Pradesh, which it did not list
among traditional basmati-growing regions.
TheAgricultural and Processed Food
Authority (Apeda) wants to thwart other
countries from selling their scented rice as
basmati globally. Many attempts have been
made in the past by foreign rice-trading
companies to confuse consumers by using

similar-sounding names, such as Jasmati and
Apeda has spent crores of rupees on court
cases abroad to preserve the basmati epithet
for the typical Indian long-grained, nonsticky aromatic rice. The GI registration at
home would strengthen its case in
international litigation.Apeda's woes are
rooted in the fact that it has sought the GI
status for basmati grown only in the
contiguous region spanning Punjab,
Haryana, Himachal Pradesh, western Uttar
Pradesh, Uttarakhand, Delhi, and parts of
Jammu and Kashmir. Madhya Pradesh's rice
industry has claimed that its state is also
located in the Indo-Gangetic belt, part of
which is suited for basmati cultivation.
Pakistan's Punjab and adjoining regions,
especially the foothills of the Himalayas, are
well known for producing basmati rice which, in fact, is the main competitor of the
Indian basmati in the international market.
The Geographical Indications Registry,
which grants the GI status, had observed in
an order issued in December 2013 that it
was duty-bound to guard the interests of
producers of all the areas from where a
product came. Apeda is, however, now
contesting this plea in the Chennaibased Intellectual
Board (IPAB).
Technically, the GI label is meant to set
apart a product whose quality, reputation
and other traits are attributable to its
geographic origin. This definition applies
perfectly only to the desi basmati, such as

Basmati 370, whose photosensitive nature
allows it to be grown only in a region having
a particular day-length during the basmatigrowing season. That limits basmati
cultivation to only the northwestern part of
undivided India. However, the new evolved
basmati types, including the high-yielding
dwarf and semi-dwarf varieties, are, by and
large, not photosensitive and can, thus, be
grown in areas outside the traditional
basmati belt as well.

Buffalo meat exports have overtaken those
of basmati rice for the first time. Both fall in



exports, with the latter dominating the scene
for the last several years. According to
Commerce Ministry data, India exported
buffalo meat worth $3.22 billion in the April
to November period of the ongoing financial
year [2014/15], up over 16 per cent from

These varieties have now almost totally
replaced the desi basmati in the domestic
and export markets. It would, therefore, be
unfair to deny them basmati status
irrespective of where they are grown.It was
indeed Pakistan's folly that it did not accept
India's offer in the past to jointly seek global
GI registration for basmati. Now that
Pakistan's basmati industry has, on its own,
come forward for similar cooperation,
Apeda should not drag its feet. India can
compete with Pakistan in the global
basmati bazaar on the basis of quality. A
denial of Islamabad's claims may not, in any
case, withstand the scrutiny of the World
Intellectual Property Organization.






(2013/14).In the same period, the figure for
basmati rice remained unchanged at $2.96
billion. Basmati rice exports in 2013/14 was
$4.87 billion as compared to buffalo meat's
$4.35 billion.
Buffalo meat exports saw a phenomenal
growth of 31 per cent in quantity and 36 per
cent in value last year (2014).Among the top
export destinations were Vietnam, Malaysia,
Egypt, Thailand and Saudi Arabia.Russia
has recently opened up its market for Indian
buffalo meat and four plants have been
certified by Russian authorities.
It is interesting to note that all this has

Source with thanks:The Business Standard

Buffalo meat beats basmati
rice in export market

happened within the first year of Prime
Minister Narendra Modi tenure.As BJP's
Prime Ministerial candidate prior to the
elections last year, Modi, in his election
campaigns, had attacked the then Congressled UPA government for promoting a 'Pink

Ajay Modi
2015 | 17:08 IST


Updated: January 14,

Revolution' by encouraging meat exports.






abandoned plans to buy a tractor. He doesn't
have enough money, like many farmers hit
by erratic weather and sliding prices for the
cotton, soybean and rubber they produce.
Naturally, there was a fear among meat

Tougher times in rural communities spell

processors that exports will take a hit if the

bad news for Prime Minister Narendra

BJP-led NDA coalition came to power. This,

Modi, who swept to power last May with a

however, has not happened. The government

promise of "better days" - new jobs and

has made no hostile move towards this

development to lift hundreds of millions of

sector and exports continue to boom.The

Indians out of poverty.

country has successfully built an enviable

"I was expecting a hike in cane prices this



year, but mills are paying 20 per cent less

competitive exporter of buffalo meat. So far,

than last year. I don't have enough money to

there has been no incidence of livestock-

buy even a motorcycle, let alone a tractor,"

related diseases such as foot and mouth


disease from any of the importing nations.

farmer.It's not just the weather gods and








capricious markets that are to blame for the
Source with thanks:Business Today

hardship besetting Kadam's village of

Rural India slowdown
threatens Modi's promise of
"better days"

Padali, 280 kilometres south of Mumbai. A

Rajendra Jadhav, Nivedita Bhattacharjee and

Chaudhury Mumbai/New

Delhi/Padali Last Updated: January 15,

shift in government spending ordered by
Modi is also hitting rural consumers and the




consumption was one of the pillars holding
up growth," said Aditi Nayar, senior
economist at Icra, the Indian arm of ratings
agency Moody's.
She expects weak demand in rural areas to
have contributed to a slowdown in economic
growth in October-December from 5.3 per
cent in the previous quarter.Tractor maker
Mahindra & Mahindra is idling its factories

for a few days a month after sales slid by

policies, firms that profited from booming

nearly a third towards the end of last year.

rural demand are struggling due to the

Consumer goods firms and auto makers

sudden slowdown.Rajesh Jejurikar, chief

have also reported weak sales.More than

executive of the farm equipment and two-

800 million of India's 1.25 billion people

wheeler division at Mahindra & Mahindra,

live in the countryside, accounting for 35 per

said delayed rains, poor crops and reduced

cent of the economy. Modi's Bharatiya

disposable incomes had hit tractor sales at

Janata Party (BJP) faces the verdict of voters

the market leader.Trends show a striking

towards the end of this year in Bihar, a large

divergence between town and country sales

state in the Hindi belt where many of the


rural poor live. West Bengal and Tamil

popular in the countryside - fell 3.5 per cent

Nadu are among major states that go to the

in December while scooters, ridden mainly

polls in 2016.

by city dwellers, leapt 24 per cent from a





year earlier, industry figures show.
Seeking to woo rural voters, the last


government raised grain purchase prices,

Modi's shift from policies that support

bailed out indebted farmers and promised

demand to ones boosting investment and

100 days paid labour a year to anyone who

productivity have also coincided with a













spending power of rural consumers and

commodities, making imports cheaper and

cushioned business from a fall in urban

hitting Indian exports."Exports of many

demand after the 2008 financial crisis.

commodities have become less lucrative and

Eventually, though, they stoked inflation

in some cases unfeasible," said Faiyaz

and forced the Reserve Bank of India (RBI)

Hudani at Kotak Commodity Services.The

to hike interest rates.To cap inflation and

government's ability to ramp up spending on

state borrowing, Modi has limited rises in

roads, railways and irrigation projects that

farm support prices to below the inflation

would benefit rural India is, meanwhile,

rate and scaled back the jobs scheme.

hobbled by budget constraints.

He wants to invest savings in infrastructure

Aides to Finance Minister Arun Jaitley have

and skills to boost India's long-term

advised him to loosen fiscal deficit targets in

growth.While inflation has eased with these

next month's budget to create room to

invest. It's not clear, though, whether he will

potential.Led by Hans De Steur of Ghent

do so as that could delay a growth-boosting

University, the team behind the research said

interest rate cut by the central bank.Since his

various GM crops with health benefits have been

general election triumph, the BJP has racked

developed – with notable examples including

up a series of gains in state polls - including

rice enriched with pro-vitamin A (also known as

in Maharashtra. But Kadam, who voted for a


rival party, isn't convinced and says the

developed at Ghent University.

patience of rural voters is being tested.
"During the campaign, Modi was saying
better days are coming. Where are the better
days?" the young Maharashtrian farmer
asks. "He has made things worse for us."





―Fifteen years after the development of 'Golden
Rice', which was the first GMO with health
benefits, the developers of such transgenic
biofortified crops have little reason to celebrate,‖
said the team. ―To date, none of these GMOs are


approved for cultivation, unlike GMOs with

Functional and healthy
GM foods have large
market potential

successfully biofortified with one, or more,

agronomic traits.‖ Despite these regulatory
hurdles, six major staple crops have been

vitamins or minerals.Now the research team has
‗convincingly demonstrated‘ that there is a
strong market potential for such products –
showing that consumers are willing to pay more
for GM food with health benefits, with

By Nathan Gray+
Last updated on 14-Jan-2015 at 14:55 GMT

premiums ranging from 20% to 70%.

potential, says new research.

which are only accepted by consumers when




published in Nature
suggests that while the


developments in genetically modified crops
provide no additional health benefit to the
consumer, those that do have good market

―This differs from GMOs with farmer benefits,
they are offered at a discount,‖ said the
team.Experts from the Infant Nutrition Council
(Aus-NZ), Malaysian Dieticians Association and
Euromonitor will discuss how Apac countries
differ in their infant formula needs, and how to
best market their products within Asia‘s strict
regulatory framework.The team added that
although GM foods with health benefits ‗are not

a panacea‘ for eliminating malnutrition, they do




Voume 33, Pages 25–29, doi:10.1038/nbt.3110

"Status and market potential of transgenic

alternative when other strategies are less


successful or feasible.


Authors: Hans De Steur, et al
Source: Nature Biotechnology

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). Prices are unchanged from the previous

World Price

Milled Value


Rough ($/cwt)













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

Loan Rate







The next program announcement is scheduled for January 21.

CME Group/Closing Rough Rice Futures
CME Group (Prelim): Closing Rough Rice Futures for January 14


Net Change

January 2015


- $0.255

March 2015


- $0.295

May 2015


- $0.280

July 2015


- $0.275

September 2015


- $0.275

November 2015


- $0.070

January 2016


- $0.040

March 2016