Researchers on hybrid rice in China claim to have a hybrid rice which breaches productivity of 15 ton/ha (Oryzae.com, Oct. 6). Whether it's tasty or not remains unclear ...
'A report from the Cambodian Ministry of Agriculture published Saturday shows that from January to September, the Kingdom exported about 270,000 tonnes of rice, up 1.2 per cent from the same nine-month period last year.Sok Puthyvuth, president of the Cambodian Rice Federation, said the figure represents only a slight improvement on last year but that Thailand’s stockpile selloff in late 2013 had impacted the market'.
'China’s contaminated agriculture sector and robust demand for rice has created a potentially lucrative opportunity for Cambodian exporters if they can better promote their produce to compete with regional rivals, experts said at a workshop on rice markets in Phnom Penh on Thursday....But in order to obtain a greater share of the Chinese market, speakers said, Cambodia must work to dispel the country’s notion that Cambodia’s rice is overpriced and of low quality.....Hun Lak, vice president of the Cambodian Rice Federation, said China has given Cambodia the “green light” following an agreement last month between China’s state-owned China National Cereals, Oils and Foodstuffs Corp., or Cofco, and Cambodia to import 100,000 tons within a year.“The 100,000 ton quota is a trial. They’ve given us the green light to see if we can commit,” he said'.
'A lack of skills and knowledge among farmers is to blame for the underdevelopment of Cambodia’s rice sector, as growers are unfamiliar with commercial farming methods that produce higher yields, according to a study released by the Asian Development Bank on Thursday'.
'Since increased farm size is one of the most important factors for raising the levels of farm production and commercialization, investment climate factors that induce reallocation of land may potentially have greater value over the long term than those that only affect short-term production'.
'A government panel agreed Friday to expedite subsidy payments to rubber farmers in exchange for them dropping planned street protests while policymakers work to reform the industry'.
'The country, meanwhile, laid plans to unload all the rubber it holds in state stockpiles, starting with 100,000 tonnes which it already agreed to sell. However, the head of Thailand's rubber industry group complained to Bloomberg that the published terms of the sale were unclear. The government did not name the buyer and gave a sales price above the spot market."We are afraid that the deal could be just a political ploy to tell the market that the stocks have been slashed," Perk Lertwangpong, head of theRubber Growers Cooperative Federation of Thailand, told Bloomberg Tuesday. "But the rubber may not have gone anywhere and could stillkeep pressuring prices, with the government still paying burdensome storage costs." After Friday's meeting, Gen Prayut acknowledged that the committee has not yet reached a decisionwhether to sell the stockpile, which was built up under the previous government's rubber-support scheme'.
'Rice farmers recently asked for help from the government after a similar call from rubber growers in 16 southern provinces demanding intervention to arrest the seemingly unstoppable fall in rubber prices....Rice farmers  have demanded the government guarantees 10,000 baht per tonne of paddy against market price of 8,000-9,000 baht. The government, however, does not want to repeat the previous governments' populist policies by guaranteeing a rice price or through a pledging scheme, but prefers to help the farmers reduce their production costs by about 500 baht per rai.Fertiliser and pesticide traders' associations have been asked by the NCPO to provide more discounts to farmers, and landlords have been told to cut rental fees for farmland. The price of rice seeds for cultivation too will be lowered. Also, cheap loans will be made available to farmers by the Bank for Agriculture and Agricultural Cooperatives'.
'Northeastern Rice Farmers Association president Panupong Pattarakhon-ngam yesterday said he was aware of the drought threat, but he could not agree with the government plan....Panupong described such a plan as a populist scheme that would hurt rice farmers in the long run."We grow rice not just for sale. We grow it for our family's consumption too," he said.He said the size of paddy fields in Thailand had already been shrinking naturally in response to demand-and-supply mechanisms.On the rice price, Panupong said the problem was now serious because the government was still trying to release a vast amount of rice from its stockpiles'.
'The junta chief said the focus would be on utilising less farmland and water while at the same time increasing productivity....Prayut [PM slash junta chief] said farmers would be classified into four groups - very poor or landless, those owning more than 40 rai of farmland, those with more wealth or those who use tractors or other machinery, and those operating farms and also leasing other farmland.All groups would be eligible for different kinds of government assistance or subsidies'.
'This will cost you 40 billion baht. But while it's the most jaw-dropping, widespread and legal give-away in the country's history, it's actually just a tiny part of the stimulus package unveiled by MR Pridiyathorn and his boss. It amounts to more than a third of a trillion baht of spending in a tiny timeframe.Critics called it a "freebie" and pinned on it the most ignominious label of the day: "Populist."
'THOUSANDS OF farmers have eagerly registered for the government's scheme to hand out a Bt1,000 subsidy for each rai of their paddy fields'.