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Today Rice News Headlines:

Government urged to facilitate basmati rice exporters


Quota restrictions limiting rice export potential
LCRA action could reduce water impacts to rice growers
Gov't to purchase 370,000 tons of rice for stockpile
Korean rice market opening
Arkansas rice industry donates nearly 129,000 pounds of rice
Rice supply and prices remain stable -NFA
TABLE-India Grain Prices-Delhi
Kharif sowing down 2.5%
Farmers told to avoid second crop
Rice-scheme case meeting postponed
Workshop on major rice pests and diseases held at PAU
Heralding the dawn of a new era in rice improvement
USA Rice Attends North Carolina Rice Festival
Application Deadline for Rice Leadership Program Nears
Belville Hosts First-Ever NC Rice Festival
Tsunami-stricken town harvests rice for first time in 4 years
PHL leads in regional agri biotech researchUSDA

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Daily Global Rice E-Newsletter
22
nd
September, 2014
News Detail
Government urged to facilitate
basmati rice exporters
PPI,September 21, 2014
KARACHI: The Union of Small and Medium
Enterprises (UNISAME) has invited the
urgent attention of the federal commerce
minister engineer Khurram Dastagir to the
unnecessary delay in the closure of the Quality
Review Committee (QRC) despite the fact that
the ministry of commerce (MoC) finally
decided to close it after studying all the pros
and cons and conveyed the decision in writing
to the Trade Development Authority of
Pakistan (TDAP).

President UNISAME Zulfikar Thaver said It is
believed that the Director General TDAP
(DG) held meetings in this regard and also
some decisions were taken about golden
handshake for the QRC and it was also
unanimously agreed by all the participants in
the meeting that QRC had served its purpose
and it is no more useful and needs to be
disbanded.

The meeting agreed on the futility of QRC and
realized that the pre-shipment inspection (PSI)
is the prerogative of the buyer and PSI is
always by a third party. The meeting decided
wisely but is unwisely delaying the
implementation. The basmati export business
has changed radically and the buyers are
buying either their own brands or they buy the
brands of the rice exporters and the quality is
known by the brands.There are varieties which
are far more expensive than basmati and are in
great demand. The recent floods in Punjab
have caused huge losses to the rice sector and
the rice sector needs to be facilitated
immediately and all hindrances need to be
removed immediately.
UNISAME has urged the MoC to recommend
exemption of with holding tax on export of
rice to the finance ministry to enable the rice
exporters to remani competitive.

Thaver also said that the federal commerce
minister Khurram Dastagir also assured the
rice exporters that the QRC would be closed
and the rice exporters would be able to export
basmati rice without any impediment. It is
very important to remove all hindrances in the
export of basmati rice as there is tough
competition from India. Most of the basmati
rice after value addition is exported by the
SMEs as the big exporters are exporting non
basmati rice in big quantities.
It is believed that the DG TDAP had
demanded the audited reports of QRC
accounts from the Rice Exporters Association
of Pakistan (REAP) and the meeting convened
by him endorsed the requirement but it is
presumed that REAP has not yet submitted the
audited reports. Perhaps this is the reason for
the delay in closure of the QRC but surely it is
not a valid reason as non closure after a firm
policy decision amounts to willful omission.
The MoC needs to look into this seriously.

UNISAME has requested the MoC to
enlighten us on the subject in the best interest
of the SME rice exporters who are at a loss to
understand the delay in the implementation of
the decision and fulfillment of the promise to
do away with this hurdle.
Quota restrictions limiting
rice export potential
September 20, 2014
IQBAL MIRZA
Although there is lot of potential to increase
the export of rice from Pakistan to Malaysia,
but it is presently limited due to quota
restrictions in Malaysia. This issue was
raised at a meeting of the directors and
members of Pak-Malaysia Business Council
(PMBC) of Federation of Pakistan
Chambers of Commerce and Industry
(FPCCI) held on September 17, at
Federation House. The meeting was
specially attended by Abu Bakar Mamat,
Consul General of Malaysia in Karachi and
Mazlan Bin Harun, Consul (Trade) of
Malaysia in Pakistan. M Basheer Jan
Mohammed, Chairman of the Council
chaired the meeting which was also attended
by Zakaria Usman, President FPCCI on
special invitation besides Ismail Suttar and
Khurram Sayeed, Vice Presidents of the
FPCCI and leading businessmen.
The meeting laid emphasis on more export
of rice from Pakistan to Malaysia and
requested the Malaysian Consul General and
Trade Consul to assist in this respect.
Bilateral trade and business relations with
Malaysia were also reviewed in detail and
the problems being faced by Pakistani
exporters to Malaysia and ways and means
to resolve were deliberated. Basheer Jan
Mohammed appreciated the role played by
Abu Bakar Mamat in promoting bilateral
trade relation between Malaysia and
Pakistan and hoped that with the induction
of Mazlan Bin Harun significant
improvements would take place in
promoting bilateral trade. Abu Bakar also
appreciated support of Pakistani
businessmen and stated that no branded
Pakistani product is marketed in Malaysia. It
was noted that the balance of trade between
Pakistan and Malaysia is tilted in favour of
Malaysia for a long time and in order to
narrow down the trade deficit, there is dire
need for increasing export of non-traditional
items as well as the existing items being
exported to Malaysia.
It was advised by the Malaysian Trade
Consul that some new commodities are
being included in Free Trade Agreement
(FTA), for which both the governments are
working and hoped to finalise a concrete list
by December 2014, which would bring
incentive to Pakistan's exporters as
well. Zakaria Usman appreciated the
significant contribution of Basheer Jan
Mohammed in promoting bilateral trade
with Malaysia and for bringing Foreign
Direct Investment to Pakistan. He further
assured full support of FPCCI to Pak-
Malaysia Business Council and emphasised
on more person-to-person contact between
Pakistani and Malaysian businessmen which
is necessary for promoting bilateral
trade. He also emphasised to explore
possibility of export of Halal food from
Pakistan. The President FPCCI suggested to
open office in Kuala Lumpur in near future
(as already done by the Federation in China
and Brussels), which will be instrumental in
promoting bilateral trade, particularly
exports of Pakistani commodities to
Malaysia. He assured the PMBC that FPCCI
will support fully in this respect.

LCRA action could reduce
water impacts to rice growers
Sep 19, 2014Logan Hawkes
LCRA action could reduce water impacts to rice
growers
With more normal rainfall amounts and a
slight drop in drought intensity in recent
weeks, the LCRA Board has proposed
changes in its Water Management Plan that
should see reduced impacts to rice farmers
and slightly increased flows to Matagorda
Bayif TCEQ approves the measure.
It has been a tough three years or more for
Texas rice farmers, the fragile coastal
environment, and the rural communities that
dot the landscape of the Lower Colorado
River after the Lower Colorado River
Authority (LCRA) was granted emergency
drought status in recent years from the Texas
Commission on Environmental Quality
(TCEQ), resulting in decreased water flows
that left rice fields dry, communities short on
water and a bay system dangerously close to
an environmental disaster.
With more normal rainfall amounts and a
slight drop in drought intensity in recent
weeks, the LCRA Board has proposed
changes in its Water Management Plan that
should see reduced impacts to rice farmers and
slightly increased flows to Matagorda Bayif
TCEQ approves the measure.It is a better plan
than a month ago, said Kirby Brown, co-
chair of the Lower Colorado River Basin
(LCRB) Coalition, which participated in the
LCRA stakeholder process to help with
revisions of the LCRA water plan over the
past month.
The changes mean slightly fewer water
cutoffs for rice farmers and a little more water
for the environment. Work by staff through a
robust stakeholder process assured the best
product possible under the constraints of this
historic drought.
For the latest on southwest agriculture,
please check out Southwest Farm Press
Daily and receive the latest news right to
your inbox.
Gov't to purchase 370,000 tons
of rice for stockpile
2014/09/22 11:00
SEJONG, Sept. 22 (Yonhap) -- The South
Korean government said Monday it will
purchase 370,000 tons of locally produced
rice as part of a national stockpile, a move
also aimed at controlling local prices.The
amount of fresh crop to be purchased
remains unchanged from the previous year,
according to the Ministry of Agriculture,
Food and Rural Affairs.However, the
purchase, starting Tuesday, comes shortly
after the government announced plans to
liberalize the country's rice market for the
first time in its history.
Apart from preventing an inflow of cheap
rice imports, keeping the price of locally
produced grain from falling has long been a
part of government efforts to protect local
farmers.Under its plans, announced last
week, the government seeks to impose a 513
percent tariff on rice imports from next year,
which it said will make imports more
expensive than locally produced rice.The
ministry said it plans to purchase an
additional 30,000 tons of newly harvested
rice this year to be used as international aid
under the so-called ASEAN plus Three
Emergency Rice Reserve (APTERR).
ASEAN stands for the Association of
Southeast Asian Nations.
"The farmers will have an additional
demand for their new harvest this year as the
government plans to purchase 30,000 tons
for international aid in addition to 370,000
tons for the government stockpile," the
ministry said in a press release.Under the
APTERR program, the 10 member countries
of ASEAN, together with South Korea,
Japan and China, seek to stockpile and use
787,000 tons of rice each year to help
stabilize the price of the staple grain in the
region.South Korea has agreed to earmark
up to 150,000 tons of rice each year for the
purpose.
bdk@yna.co.kr
Korean rice market
opening
The Korea Herald/Asia News NetworkSunday, Sep 21,
2014
A farmer holds a sickle on a rice field in Gimje,
south of Seoul in this file photo.

P

KOREA'S rice market will open fully to
foreign imports starting next year, ending 20
years of rice import caps.On Thursday the
government announced that it would seek a
513 per cent tariff on rice imports as it fully
liberalises the rice market, explaining that
the high tariff will protect Korea's rice
farmers. Under an agreement with the World
Trade Organisation, Korea gradually
increased its rice import quotas for 20 years
instead of fully opening its rice market.
That agreement expires at the end of this
year.

The country's annual quota for rice imports
for this year is 408,708 tonnes, or about 9
per cent of the national demand, with a 5 per
cent tariff on the imported grain.Rice market
liberalisation is a politically sensitive matter
and the announcement was immediately met
with vehement protests by farmers, who
vowed to fight the government on the
issue.At the end of September, the WTO
will be notified of the proposed tariff rate,
which has been touted by the government as
the highest possible allowed to protect the
local rice industry under the WTO
agreement.

The WTO review and approval could take
several months.Whether the WTO will
approve the proposed tariff remains to be
seen as large rice producers such as the US
are likely to oppose such a high tariff
rate.Also worrying the farmers is the
question of whether the government will be
able to maintain the 513 per cent tariff rate
in the future as the country negotiates free
trade agreements with various countries,
despite the government's pledge that rice
market liberaliSation will be excluded from
any future trade agreements.

After the full market opening, Korea is
obligated to continue to import 409,000
tonNEs of rice per year at a 5 per cent tariff
rate to meet the minimum market access
(MMA) volume.Faced with declining rice
consumption, the rice farming industry
would like to see the MMA purchase
channeled elsewhere, as food aid to North
Korea or elsewhere, for example. Rice
consumption in the country has steadily
declined, sinking to 67.2 kg per person last
year from 80.7 kg in 2005.Full liberaliSation
of the rice market is an unavoidable event
that has been delayed for 20 years. The
government and the rice farming industry
have had ample time to prepare for it.To
soften the blow to the rice farmers, the
government has earmarked 14.1 billion won
in next year's budget to cover direct
subsidies to farmers. The interest rate on 11
different policy loans for rice farmers will
be lowered by 0.5 per cent to around 2 per
cent.

Farmers are a conservative group by nature;
however, they must seek innovations to
boost the competitiveness of their
products.Improving the quality of rice
grains, boosting productivity and planting
alternative crops are ways to boost the
competitiveness of Korea's agricultural
sector.
Rather than viewing liberaliSation of the
rice market as a doomsday, farmers should
seek ways to take advantage of the new
conditions that they face. Market
liberalisation and global competition are
now a fact of life and the rice farming
industry is no exception.

Arkansas rice industry
donates nearly 129,000
pounds of rice
Governor to make Rice Month proclamation
Sep 19, 2014 | Delta Farm Press
In honor of National Rice Month, the
Arkansas rice industry has donated 128,500
pounds of rice to the Arkansas Rice Depot to
help feed hungry families in Arkansas.
Participating rice mills are Cormier Rice Mill
of DeWitt, Windmill Rice Company of
Jonesboro, Riceland Foods, Inc. of Stuttgart,
Producers Rice Mill of Stuttgart, Riviana
Foods of Carlisle and Specialty Rice, Inc. of
Brinkley.
The Arkansas Rice Council also presented a
$2,500 check to the Arkansas Rice Depot. The
donation was made at the Arkansas Rice
Depot, a statewide food bank that works with
600 Arkansas hunger relief programs
including food pantries, school food programs,
disaster relief organizations, and a statewide
hunger hotline. The donation followed Gov.
Mike Beebe's Rice Month proclamation event
held at the State Capitol in the Governor's
Conference Room.Arkansas is the number one
rice-producing state in the nation. This year,
Arkansas family farmers will produce over 50
percent of the nation's rice for the first time in
history. The Arkansas rice industry contributes
over $6 billion annually to the state's economy
and employs nearly 25,000 Arkansans.
Rice supply and prices remain
stable -NFA
by Ellalyn De Vera
September 22, 2014
Prices of rice in storm-affected areas in
Luzon remain stable in the wake of
tropical storm Mario, according to the
National Food Authority (NFA).NFA said
rice supply and prices remained stable in
Ilocos Region, Cagayan Valley, Central
Luzon, Southern Luzon, Bicol Region, and
Metro Manila between P39 and P43 per
kilogram for regular-milled rice
(RMR).Well-milled rice (WMR) is being
sold in these areas at P41 to P44.RMR in
Region 2 (Cagayan Valley) is being sold at
P38 to P41 per kilogram and WMR at P40-
P44 per kilogram.
In Region 3 (Central Luzon), RMR is sold at
P39 to P41 per kilogram and WMR at P40
to P44 per kilogram; Region 4 (Southern
Tagalog) had RMR at P40 to P41 per
kilogram and WMR at P42 to P45 kilogram;
Region 5 had RMR at P40 to P42 per
kilogram and WMR at P43-P45 per
kilogram; and Metro Manila had RMR at
P37-P42 per kilogram and WMR at P40-P45
per kilogram.At the height of heavy rains
and flooding, the NFA deployed a rolling
store in Pasig City and sold 300 bags of
NFA rice.The agency said that its
monitoring teams have scoured the markets
in affected areas to ensure that rice is
available to consumers and prices remain
stable.

Based on its monitoring, NFA said rice
stock inventories remained within more than
enough levels in the storm-affected areas.As
of September 21, the NFA in Regions 1 to 5
had more than sufficient rice inventories to
last for 17 to 59 days, based on the agencys
daily average sales in these areas.NFA has
also released a total of 3,570 bags of rice to
various relief agencies for distribution to
storm victims.The Department of Social
Welfare and Development (DSWD)
received the bulk of the NFA rice with a
total of 2,060 bags, as of September
21.Other NFA rice recipients were local
government units with 854 bags; non-
government organizations with 481 bags;
and the National Disaster Risk Reduction
and Management Council with 175 bags.
TABLE-India Grain
Prices-Delhi- Sep 20
Sat Sep 20, 2014 4:29pm IST
Rates by Asian News International, New Delhi
Tel: 011 2619 1464
Indicative Previous
Grains opening close
(in rupees per 100 kg unless
stated)

Wheat Desi 2,200-3,000 2,200-
3,000.
Wheat Dara 1,800-2,400
1,800-2,400
#N/A
Roller Mill (per bag) 1,700-2,000
1,800-2,100.
Maida (per bag) 1,400-1,700
1,400-1,700.
Sooji (per bag) 1,750-2,000
1,750-2,000.
Rice Basmati(Sri Lal Mahal) 13,000-14,000
13,000-14,000.
Rice Basmati(Lal Quila) 13,000-15,000
13,000-15,000.
Rice Basmati(Common) 8,700-9,300
8,700-9,300.
Rice Permal 2,050-2,450 2,050-
2,450.
Rice Sela 2,300-2,600 2,300-
2,600.
I.R.-8 2,000-2,400 2,100-
2,500.
Gram 3,400-3,600 3,400-
3,600.
Peas Green 2,400-2,700 2,400-
2,700.
Peas White 2,500-2,900 2,600-
3,000.
Bajra 1,500-1,900 1,500-
1,900.
Jowar white 1,400-1,600 1,500-
1,700.
Maize 1,400-1,600 1,400-
1,600.
Barley 1,350-1,750 1,350-
1,750.
#N/A

Source: Delhi grain market traders.

Kharif sowing down 2.5%
OUR BUREAU

NEW DELHI, SEPTEMBER 22:

The area under rice and cotton has exceeded
last years level during the current kharif
sowing season with the revival of the South-
West monsoon.
Overall coverage
According to data from the Agriculture
Ministry, overall sowing of kharif crops
stood at 1,015.18 lakh hectares (lh) as on
September 19.During the same period a year
ago, sowing was 1,040.85 lh, down 2.5 per
cent.Rice has been sown on over 373.6 lh
(373.15 lh), while cotton acreage is up 10.7
per cent at 125.75 lh.Pulses acreage has
declined to 100.05 lh against 107.71 lh last
year, while coarse cereals sowing has
slipped to 182.07 lh (195.25 lh).
Oilseed coverage, too, is lower at 176.82 lh
(192.49 lh).
Cash crops
Sugarcane acreage has been reduced to
48.74 lh (50.32 lh).
The area under jute and mesta is down
marginally from 8.33 lh last season to 8.15
lh.
(This article was published on September 22,
2014)


Farmers told to avoid
second crop
Published: 20 Sep 2014 at 17.30 | Viewed: 3,565
| Comments: 8
Rice farmers in Chai Nat have been Commerce
Minister Chatchai Sarikulya (standing left) and
Agriculture Minister Pitipong Phuengboon Na
Ayudhaya (standing right) talk to farmers in
Muang district, Chai Nat province, on Sept 20,
2014. (Photo by Chudate Seehawong)
Commerce Minister Gen Chatchai Sarikulya and
Agriculture Minister Pitipong Phuengboon Na
Ayudhaya visited farmers in the central province
on Saturday to learn about their problems.The
farmers there are not getting enough water for
their fields because the irrigation equipment is
too old, said governor Sutthipong Julcharoen.As
well, the breed of rice they grow has a short
shelf life, forcing them to sell to millers at low
prices soon after they harvest it.Gen Chatchai
said the government had a clear policy on farm
products.
"We won't use price guarantees or pledging
schemes," he said. "Instead, we'll focus on
lowering production costs and adding value to
produce for more price sustainability in the long
term."For its part, the government will set up a
panel with a target price for 5% paddy set at
8,500 baht a tonne, he said. He advised farmers
to adjust by lowering the costs and planning
their crops carefully. They can choose the right
breeds and harvest at appropriate times so the
grain does not contain high moisture.Organic
farming should also be considered to add value,
Gen Chatchai said, citing the example of the rice
berry project in Ban Dak Kanon in Muang Chai
Nat.
The deep purple-coloured rice berry strain is a
crossbreed between Hom Nil and Dok Mali 105.
It sells for more than 100,000 baht a tonne. The
commerce minister also asked farmers to
cooperate by refraining from growing a second
crop in order to avoid damage caused by
droughts, as suggested by the Royal Irrigation
Department.Mr Pitipong also asked farmers to
grow crops in a manner that matches their plots.
If their fields are at high elevations, they should
not grow a second crop, he said.For fields with
limited access to water, other crops might be
considered.He also warned that drought was a
major threat this year and next, given the low
levels of water at major dams.He therefore urged
farmers to use water carefully and cooperate
with authorities.
Rice-scheme case meeting
postponed
Published: 22 Sep 2014 at 13.52
Online news: Local News
Writer: Online Reporters
The meeting of a joint committee of the
National Anti-Corruption Commission
(NACC) and the Office of the Attorney
General (OAG) scheduled for Sept 23 to re-
investigate the case against former prime
minister Yingluck Shinawatra for alleged
dereliction of duty in the rice-pledging
scheme has been postponed to Oct 10,
NACC secretary-general Sansern Poljiak
said on Monday. Mr Sansern said the
postponement of tomorrow's meeting was at
the request of the OAG.
Deputy attorney general Wuthipong
Wiboonwong said he requested the
delay because some of the OAG members
assigned to the joint committee were
committed to other engagements
tomorrow.The joint NACC-OAG committee
was set up to re-investigate the case after the
OAG rejected the NACC's case supporting
its request for the indictment of Ms
Yingluck for failing to halt or review the
scheme despite evidence of corruption in its
implementation.The joint committee
comprises 10 members from the NACC led
by Mr Sansern and the other 10 from the
OAG led by Mr Wuthipong.
Workshop on major rice
pests and diseases held at
PAU

Shariq Majeed,TNN | Sep 22, 2014, 05.43 PM IST
LUDHIANA: A two-day review and planning
workshop on 'Major rice pest and diseases in
South Asia' under collaborative project 'Stress
Tolerant Rice for Africa and South Asia
(STRASA)'was held at Punjab Agricultural
University (PAU). It was jointly organized by
International Rice Research Institute (IRRI)
Philippines and PAU, Ludhiana.Scientists
from IRRI, Philippines; Bangladesh, Nepal
and different states of India participated in this
workshop.S S Gosal, Director of Research,
PAU observed that climate change is posing a
great threat to rice production.

"The incidence of diseases such as sheath
blight, false smut and brown spot in rice, foot
rot and neck blast in Basmati rice, and insect
brown plant hopper is increasing over the
years", Gosal said. He appealed to the group
to chalk out the strategies to identify resistant
donors against these pests, and breed resistant
varieties which could prove beneficial to the
farmers of India and its neighboring countries.
The group discussed the current status of
diseases and insect pests and chalked out
future plan for their management through
different approaches.

Heralding the dawn of a new era in
rice improvement
Category: Agri-Commodities
22 Sep 2014
TRADITIONAL rice varieties encompass a
huge range of potentially valuable genes. These
can be used to develop superior varieties for
farmers to take part in the uphill battle of
feeding an ever-increasing world population
(estimated to reach 9.6 billion by 2050).The
genes linked to valuable traits can help breeders
create new rice varieties that have improved
yield potential, higher nutritional quality, better
ability to grow in problem soils, and improved
tolerance of pests, diseases and the stresses, such
as flood and drought, that will be inevitable with
future climate change.
Much of this diversity is conserved within
the International Rice Genebank
Collection (IRGC) at the International Rice
Research Institute (IRRI). Ruaraidh Sackville
Hamilton, head of IRRIs T.T. Chang Genetic
Resources Center (TTC GRC), said the IRGC
now holds a global collection of more than
121,000 types or accessions of rice. Yet,
breeders have harnessed only less than 5 percent
of the germplasm collection there in active
breeding efforts. But all that is changing with a
very exciting development to make the IRGC
useful beyond our wildest dreams, he
exclaims.A single genome cannot reveal the
large stockpile of genetic diversity in rice and,
hence, many potentially important genes are not
present in the handful of lines that have been
sequenced over the last decade.
So, to drastically change this dynamic, IRRI in
collaboration with BGI in Shenzhen, China and
the Chinese Academy of Agricultural
Sciences (CAAS) has completed the
sequencing of 3,000 rice genomes of varieties
and lines representing 89 countries (see figure)
now housed in the IRGC (82 percent) and
CAASs genebank (18 percent). This is an
unparalleled development in plant science for a
major food crop, says Ken McNally, senior
scientist in the TTC GRC and a project team
member.On top of that, the open-access, open-
data journal GigaScience (produced by BGI and
BioMed Central) published, on World Hunger
Day 2014, a data note and commentary on the
3,000 Rice Genomes Project (3K RGP).
Most significantly, released at the same time
was the projects entire 13.4-terabyte dataset in a
citable format in the journals affiliated open-
access database, GigaDB, which instantly
quadrupled the previous amount of publicly
available rice sequence data. The 3K RGP is
funded by the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation
(BMGF) and the Chinese Ministry of Science
and Technology.Zhikang Li, project director at
CAAS, said the 3K RGP is part of an ongoing
effort to provide resources, specifically for
poverty stricken farmers in Asia and Africa.
We are aiming to reach at least 20 million rice
farmers in 16 target countries (eight on each
continent), he says. With decreasing water and
land resources, food security is and will be
the most challenging issue in these countries.
Echoing Sackville Hamilton, Li says, As a
scientist in rice genetics, breeding, and
genomics, it is a dream come true for me to help
solve this problem.The population boom and
the worsening climate crisis have presented big
challenges on global food shortage and safety,
adds Jun Wang, BGI director. BGI is dedicated
to applying genomics technologies to make a
fast, controllable and highly efficient molecular
breeding model possible.
The 3K RGP opens a new way to carry out
agricultural breeding. Joining forces with
CAAS, IRRI and BMGF, we have made a step
forward in big-data-based crop research and
digitalized breeding. We believe this will get us
closer to the ultimate goal of improving the
well-being of the human race.Robert Zeigler,
IRRI director general, says access to the
sequence data of these 3,000 rice genomes will
tremendously accelerate the progress of breeding
programs. The collaborative 3K RGP, he says,
will add an immense amount of knowledge to
rice genetics and enable detailed analysis by the
global research community to ultimately benefit
the poorest farmers who grow rice under the
most difficult conditions.
To reach their goals, the three institutes have
not only released the large volume of data, they
are also making available through the IRGC
seeds for each rice accession that has been
sequenced. Having available banked seeds is
essential to make full use of this germplasm and
the data about it, Dr. Sackville Hamilton says.A
major part of the project is to directly link the
genetic information (genotype) to the physical
traits (phenotype) of these different accessions.
This will require careful assessment and curation
of each accession for the agriculturally
important traits mentioned earlier, which
breeders can then link to genetic markers in the
now available genome sequences.Current
breeding practices, which have essentially
remained the same since the development of
agriculture, typically employ the observation of
apparent physical traits to guide parent selection
for making crosses with the hope that the
offspring will show a new combination and an
improvement of the desired traits. However, the
underlying genetic makeup of the offspring can
often confound breeders expectations. So, they
often have to resort to time-consuming trial and
error involving multiple successive generations.
The 3K RGP data will provide a major step
forward by helping breeders to take advantage of
the natural trait variation that is found across the
select genebank accessions in the project.
Knowing fully the genetic makeup of a
particular rice accession will allow researchers
to identify genetic markers related to specific
traits, and better understand how different
genetic interactions affect plant phenotypes.
With this information, breeders will be able to
make more intelligent choices in accession
selection for making crosses, resulting in more
rapid development of rice varieties for deploying
in poor and environmentally stressed locations
around the world.Hei Leung, IRRI principal
scientist and team member, says the IRRI 3K
RGP team is committed to moving quickly to
take the sequence data and make detailed
analyses.
Through the Global Rice Science Partnership,
IRRI is leading the development of an informal
global effortthe International Rice
Phenotyping Networkto systematically
evaluate the 3K RGP sequenced lines and to
connect plant performance to specific genes, he
says. By closely integrating these resources into
breeding programs based on modern molecular
breeding and selection strategies, varietal
development in hundreds of rice breeding
programs will be accelerated over the next five
years, delivering improved varieties to farmers
and consumers at a faster pace than before.
****
The article was first published in IRRI Rice
Today.
USA Rice Attends North
Carolina Rice Festival
A first time for everything
BELVILLE, NC -- A small town in Brunswick
County North Carolina embraced its agricultural
roots this weekend by hosting its first ever rice
festival. Although North Carolina no longer
produces rice, local civic leaders feel the rich
history of the crop in this part of the state is
worth celebrating - and hundreds of area
residents agreed. Deborah Willenborg, USA
Rice Federation's communications manager,
attended the event, distributing informational
handouts, recipe cards, and giveaways such as
hats, pens, and bumper stickers from a USA
Rice booth.
Willenborg was also asked to serve as a judge
during the festival's rice recipe contest. "Rice
production in this area may have waned but the
culinary talent certainly hasn't," she said. "The
recipes were creative and delicious, with U.S.-
grown rice at the center. People were thrilled to
learn how much rice we still produce in the U.S.,
and I think they went away from the festival
thinking about rice more than they did
before."More than 60 rice plantations once
dotted the waterways of the Cape Fear and
Brunswick Rivers and by 1860, Brunswick
County produced 7.6 million pounds of the 8
million pounds of rice harvested in the state.
Contact: Michael Klein (703) 236-1458
Application Deadline for
Rice Leadership Program
Nears
STUTTGART,
AR -- The deadline
for submitting
applications for the
Rice Leadership
Development
program is October
4. Rice producers
and other industry-related professionals are
encouraged to apply for the next class,
which will be announced in December at the
USA Rice Outlook Conference in Little
Rock, AR.

The Rice Leadership Development Program
gives young men and women a
comprehensive understanding of the U.S.
rice industry, with an emphasis on personal
development and communication skills
training. During a two-year period, class
members attend four one-week sessions that
are designed to strengthen their leadership
skills.The class is comprised of five rice
producers and two industry-related
professionals chosen by a committee of
agribusiness leaders evaluating their
applications, reviewing letters of
recommendation, and conducting personal
interviews with the finalists. Candidates
must be 25-45 at the time of application and
derive their primary livelihood from some
aspect of the rice industry.The program is
sponsored by John Deere Company,
RiceTec, Inc., and American Commodity
Company through The Rice Foundation and
managed by the USA Rice Federation.

Contact: Chuck Wilson (870) 673-7541
Belville Hosts First-Ever
NC Rice Festival
By: Carly Swanson
09/21/2014 04:26 PM
BELVILLE, N.C. September marks National
Rice Month, and the town of Belville decided to
celebrate this weekend.The town hosted the first
ever N.C. Rice Festival, bringing together rich
food and history. USA Rice Federations
Deborah Willenborg was in attendance.We
were excited to be invited to learn more about
the heritage of the crop in the United States,
she said.Its a crop that many North Carolinians
dont realize was dominant in the 1700s.
A lot of people dont know that in the early
1700s and 1800s that rice was the main crop in
the state of North Carolina, they exported more
than 300 tons of rice, Belville Mayor Mike
Allen said.Allen said the festivals location is on
the original Belville Plantation and that there
were 62 rice plantations along the Brunswick
River. He also said "Carolina Gold Rice" was a
major crop for the colonists and was even
shipped to England.
This rich rice history along the river was news to
Willenborg.

It was nice to learn more about the history of
rice being grown in the coastal part of the United
states, because its not really now, she said.
While rice isnt a dominant crop in North
Carolina, Willenborg says it still is across the
U.S.
We have a label that says Grown in the USA.
Its red, white and blue and its on the packages
in the grocery store, she said.The USA Rice
Federation said Anheuser-Busch is the largest
single rice buyer in the country, buying 6-10
percent of the annual U.S. rice crop.
Tsunami-stricken town
harvests rice for first time in 4
years
September 22, 2014
By KAZUMASA SUGIMURA/ Staff Writer
RIKUZENTAKATA, Iwate Prefecture--As the
Tohoku region enters harvest season, rice is
being gathered here for the first time since the
2011 earthquake and tsunami disaster.Farmers
were seen operating combines for harvesting
rice stalks in the city's Otomo district on Sept.
20."I was worried whether the earth would be
rich enough to grow our rice," said Tsuyoshi
Murakami, a 43-year-old farmer who harvested
rice on the day.
"But it has grown firmly."The rice fields were
inundated by the massive tsunami unleashed by
the Great East Japan Earthquake on March 11,
2011, and left covered in debris.The loss of the
fields, as well as equipment, was almost the final
blow to local farming businesses, which were
already facing an aging population of about 400
farmers and a lack of successors.However,
determined to grow rice again, the farmers
formed the Sun Farm Otomo juridical
agricultural union in March. The group
reorganized 87 hectares of farmland and
restarted farming businesses by planting such
rice strains as Takata no Yume, which was
developed locally following the disaster. The
harvesting will continue until early October.
By KAZUMAS
PHL leads in regional agri
biotech researchUSDA
Agri-Commodities 21 Sep 2014 Written by
Alladin S. Diega / Correspondent
THE Philippines continues to be a regional
leader in biotech research and
commercialization, as well as a model for
science-based and thorough genetic engineering
(GE) regulatory policy, the US Department of
Agriculture (USDA) said in a recent
report.According to the USDA Foreign
Agricultural Service, GE corn has been on sale
in the country since 2003 and comprised 28
percent of planted corn area last year, adding
that the Philippine government recently cited
the successful propagation of GE corn over the
past decade, with no environmental or health
issues whatsoever, as the reason the country is
now self-sufficient in the [said] grain.Early in
July, the Department of Agriculture (DA)
announced that the country has produced enough
corn last year, for the countrys own
consumption particularly for feedlot.
DA Assistant Secretary and concurrent National
Corn Program Director Edilberto de Luna said
local corn production reached self-sufficiency
last year based on market demand, noting that
[the country] actually met the self-sufficiency
levels for corn of the local feed and livestock
industry, but added that the real test for self-
sufficiency also requires a one month buffer
stock and this small margin [the country] hopes
to achieve very soon.Corn production has
grown from 3.4 metric ton (MT) per hectare to
4.2 MT per hectare in the past few years,
mainly to better, more high-yielding seeds and
new technology, said de Luna, adding that the
Philippines saved more than P60 billion on corn
imports between 2010 and 2013.
The USDA also reported that with Golden Rice
and Bt [Bacillus thuringiensis] eggplant, the
Philippines is poised to be the first Southeast
Asian country to commercialize locally
developed GE crops, adding that the countrys
success in these food security efforts has
attracted attacks from domestic and international
anti-GE groups. This culminated in a widely
criticized 2012 lawsuit postponing final
commercial approval of the already completed
Bt eggplant field trials, as well as the destruction
of a Golden Rice field trial in 2013 by activist
groups.
The decision of the Court of Appeals, which
ordered a halt to field tests, has been widely
criticized by prominent Philippine scientists,
farmers and student groups, the report also said
that although many analysts have labeled the
ruling toothless because the field trials had
already been completed, and because the court
did not criticize the existing regulations or block
commercialization, the decision appears to have
slowed the final approval process, and that the
2012 ruling on Bt eggplant likely encouraged
anti-biotech activists to file additional suits and
destroy a Golden Rice field trial in 2013.
Citing an assessment of the local academic
community, industry and local government
units, the USDA said the Bt eggplant case and
the vandalism of the Golden Rice tests have
galvanized local stakeholders to coordinate
educational outreach activities to promote the
safe and responsible use of
biotechnology.Currently, the development of
the fruit and shoot borer-resistant eggplant is
being led by the Institute of Plant Breeding of
the University of the Philippines at Los Baos
(IPB-UPLB), while the Bt eggplant technology
was donated by the Maharashtra Hybrid Seed
Co. to UPLB through a royalty-free sublicense
agreement.The USDA also cited report from the
DA, as of April 14, which says that analysis of
data generated from the field trials indicate that
Bt eggplant provides higher marketable yield
potential and lower percentage eggplant fruit
and shoot borer-damaged produce compared
with the hybrid variety.
The results suggest that Bt eggplant presents a
potentially more environmentally benign
alternative to the current excessive use of
chemical insecticide in local eggplant
production, the DA was quoted as saying.For
the betacarotene-enriched rice or Golden Rice
(GR) project, the DA report maintained a careful
tone, saying while the level of betacarotene was
reported to be high and stable across seasons and
locations, more research is necessary to increase
yield to a level that is comparable to popular rice
varieties, adding that only after the nutritional
evaluations are satisfied will approval for
commercial propagation will proceed.
The GR project is being developed by the
Philippine Rice Research Institute, and is
supported by the Bill and Melinda Gates
Foundation through a grant to the International
Rice Research Institute, including a support
from the Rockefeller Foundation, US Agency
for International Development and the DA
Biotechnology Program.Bt cotton trials, on the
other hand, were completed in the second half of
2011, and since it is not a food crop, it received
minimal resistance. Field evaluation of
agronomic performance, adaptability and bio-
efficacy were conducted in five locations in
Luzon and Mindanao last year, and in May, the
bio-efficacy of the Bt cotton hybrids against the
cotton bollworm was reaffirmed, according to
the USDA document.Bt cotton is being
developed by the Fiber Development
Administration, formerly the Cotton
Development Administration, an attached
agency of the DA.
Also in May of this year, the IPB-UPLB project
on the ring spot virus-resistant papaya with a
delayed ripening trait completed its first field
test and preparations for the second field test and
varietal registration are underway.The USDA
report also said overall corn [GE] production
and area harvested last year declined by 0.4
percent and 1.2 percent, respectively, compared
with the previous years levels, saying
aggregate GE corn area declined marginally
[0.2 percent] from 729,000 hectares in 2012 to
728,000 hectares in 2013.Last year, GE corn
accounted for over 28.4 percent, or 728,000
hectares of all Philippine corn-planted areas,
which is estimated at 2.6 million hectares, higher
than 28.12-percent ratio in 2012.
The decline in overall corn production and area
last year, as well as the area harvested for GE
corn, the USDA said, is largely attributed to
several devastating typhoons that passed through
the Philippines during the year, but noted that
despite the decline, 2013 corn yields were
slightly higher at 2.88 tons per hectare,
compared to the 2012 average yield of 2.86 tons
per hectare.As of April, there were six (up from
five in the previous annual report) GE approved
for commercial production in the Philippines,
and all approved GE crops are in 10 yellow
corn varieties approved for feed and food use,
the report also said.According to the
International Service for the Acquisition of
Agri-Biotech Applications, the Philippines was
the 12th-largest country globally in terms of area
planted to GE crops last year, and since its
introduction in 2003, GE corn has been planted
in over 4 million hectares in the Philippines, it
said.