- ChinaDaily.com reports that the Chinese government has announced support for GMO technology in agriculture and raising public awareness of the benefits of GMOs. “The country will strengthen the technical study, safety management and better public awareness of GM technology,” with the Chinese President announcing that GMO development will be continue as long as the right caution is exercised.
- The Korea Herald reports that South Korea could be facing a rice supply glut this year. Having liberalized its rice market for world trade for the first time this year, the country could face an increase in imports at the same time domestic rice production is expected to reach a 5-year high. Meanwhile, domestic consumption has been on a steady decline for the last 4 decades, and is expected to decrease again this year.
- Supunnabul Suwannakij of Bloomberg reports on The Washington Post that the new government of Thailand is seeking to reduce the country’s rice production by incentivizing rice farmers to switch to growing sugarcane or to mixed farming with livestock. The government hopes to cut production by approximately 1.5 million metric tons by switching 112,000 hectares out of rice production. At the same time the government plans to actively unload the giant stockpiles accumulated by the previous government’s subsidy program, offering 1 million tons for auction on January 29 with further auctions to be announced. The government hopes to offload stockpiles within the next 2 years.
— USA Rice (@usaricenews) January 29, 2015
- Midsouth rice farmers discuss potential for this year’s crop and profits on New Ag Talk forums.
- Chris Arsenault of Reuters reports on Trust.org that Dominion Farms, based in Oklahoma, will be opening a new 30,000 hectare rice plantation in Nigeria, and displaying 40,000 people in the process. The plantation, which received approval from the Nigerian government as well as international support, will evict thousands of small farmers from their ancestral lands without compensation. Nor were the farmers allowed to comment on the deal or even informed that it was taking place. Dominion Farms runs a similar operation in West Kenya that allegedly also displaced native farmers.