'This year’s wet season rice crop is on track to reach 98 percent of the planned target if no more fields are flooded or affected in any other way'.
Lengths of Enthusiasm
'“Cambodia was chosen for its enthusiasm and efforts to develop export trade and raise its potential in high-quality rice markets, as well as for its excellent facilities in hosting the event,” said V. Subramanian, vice president of The Rice Trader'.
'CRB, which was established in Battambang province in 2011 but took years to build the necessary infrastructure like silos and storage sheds, emerged yesterday with $30 million in capital'.
'Despite failing in its latest attempt to win the Philippine government’s bid to import rice, Cambodia will once again throw its hat into the ring when the offer is reissued, industry representatives said yesterday'.
'I am always amused whenever I see articles of Cambodian rice exporters claiming to be bidding in such international rice tenders that are rather meant for "Big League Exporters". When one sees the names of global trading firms involved in the bidding process coupled with all the technical terms & conditions imposed in the Filipino tender documents, one simply "know" Cambodia is far off from being at that level yet. Filipino tender documents require such complicated technical terms & conditions that none of the Cambodian rice exporters could even fulfill and meet'.
'European rice imports from least developed countries, mainly Cambodia, have soared 51 percent over the last year, a figure that Italy’s National Rice Agency has labeled “troubling new data” in its battle to have tariff-free exports scrapped....Mr. Carriere [director of the Italian Rice Millers Association] said the National Rice Agency has drafted a dossier on Cambodia that it will submit to Italy’s Minister for Economic Development to organize an industry meeting to discuss protecting its rice sector'.
'The 33-page report states that 2.2 million out of a possible 2.6 million or 85 per cent of all households are engaged in some form of agricultural-related activity, such as growing rice, raising livestock, fishing or extracting rubber.Of that number, the census states that 1.9 million households are officially considered to have agriculture “holdings”, meaning they have at least two large livestock or three small livestock or 25 poultry or land equal to 300 square metres....According to the preliminary census results, 73 per cent of all agriculture-related households operate only to serve home consumption, leaving 27 per cent who are reportedly selling their crops and livestock.“This pointed out the dependence of the rural households on agriculture for food,” the report states, adding that on average each household has about four members.Non-aromatic paddy rice is by far Cambodia’s largest crop, with 90 per cent of all holdings engaged in growing the cheaper variety.“This was due to the fact that the cost of using non-aromatic paddy was not too expensive compared with the aromatic paddy/rice,” the report reasons'.
'An international agriculture NGO is preparing to roll out a nationwide project in partnership with computer-chip maker Intel whereby more than 25,000 farmers will be able to receive real-time advice on farming methods via a smartphone app'.
In other non-rice news, Asiaone reports (August 28) on Vietnam Rubber Group's rubber investments in Lao P.D.R. and Cambodia. After being globally shamed they are now putting into place a systems through which affected communities can complain and their complaints can be addressed. Global Witness gives this system 2 years to prove itself.'The inspection found that only 235 rice samples out of 1,339 samples tested from July 7-31 passed the standard quality, said the document distributed on Friday evening.The rest failed to meet the standard because it was apparent the colour was "wrong", the samples went bad or were damaged by pests, or were mixed with cheaper grains, among other things'.
'David Pred, managing director at Inclusive Development International, which advocates for displaced communities, said via email Friday that another Vietnamese rubber giant, the privately owned Hoang Anh Gia Lai (HAGL), had also agreed to some concessions.HAGL, which is also partly funded by the World Bank and also accused by Global Witness of illegally clearing forests and displacing communities, recently went under the microscope of the IFC ombudsmen, who is now mediating negotiations between the company and affected communities.“Company representatives have told us and the communities that they recognize that they have made mistakes and are committing to correct them,” Mr. Pred said.“However, we are waiting to see whether this commitment will really be translated into the return of community land and sacred areas that the HAGL concessions illegally confiscated.”Eang Vuthy, executive director at Equitable Cambodia, which has lobbied for the displaced communities, said that for some, there is no compensation that could be adequate.“It is difficult to compensate. These are indigenous people and they have a different way of living, a different culture,” Mr. Vuthy said.“Burial grounds and spirit forests cannot be replaced. And it also must be said, what they have done is illegal.”'.
'Results demonstrated that contract farming is a strategy with potential to modernise agriculture and reduce rural poverty in Laos....In some cases, contract farming in Laos reduced rural poverty. For instance, contract farming contributed to poverty reduction by about 12 percent in the maize case and by 170 percent in the bananas case.Meanwhile, commercialised large-scale agricultural investments are likely to deteriorate land resources in the future. Unless appropriate measures are in place, the economic gains from contract farming in Laos may not outweigh the economic costs to the country.
Director General of NERI Dr Leeber Leebouapao told Vientiane Times on Friday that he was very concerned about the herbicides used in contract farming, fearing that overuse of chemical substances would impact people's health and the environment'.So not so positive ...