20 Mar 2014

SEAP Quarterly Newsletter 2014 - 1

In this IssueIPNI SEAP Program Updates
Droughts Impact Oil Palm Production
IPNI SEAP Program Updates
- Droughts Impact Oil Palm Production
- What's New with IPNI- Cocoa Care
- IPNI Scholar Award
- 2014 Catalog of Publications

News From the Region
- Philippines positioning to be major corn exporter
-Rice bias in Philippines neglects soil problems
-2013 Philippines rice production falls short of self-sufficiency target
-Coffee: good rebuilding tool following crisis
-Jembrana cocoa farmers strive for sustainability
- New regulation in Indonesia may dash oil palm industry's hopes for higher output
-Indonesia's cocoa imports to soar
-Vietnam to shift rice area to cultivate other crops
-Aerobic rice farming in Malaysia

Other News
- Unifying palm oil certification
- Remote sensing brings new transparency
- Asia Fertilizer Industry Outlook to 2017
- Cash-rich plantation on the prowl
- Eighteen million farmers chose biotech crops in 2013

Literature at a Glance
- Case studies of BMP in palm oil industry
-Palm oil methane emission as energy source
- Correction of acute Mg deficiency in oil palm

IPNI SEAP in the Press
-Recent publications and press releases

Upcoming Events
-Scroll down for updates
Indonesia, Malaysia and Thailand have been experiencing dry weather over the past few months. This water shortage disturbs the formative stage of oil palm and impacts palm oil production. According to the Malaysian Palm Oil Board, the dry weather appears to be hampering the growth of palm fruit, from which the oil is pressed. In January and February 2014, palm oil production in Malaysia totaled 2.8 million metric tons, 3.9% below the level in the corresponding 2013 stretch.

Public Investment Bank analyst, Chong Hoe Leong has predicted less than a five per cent fall in production. However, if the drought drags on for more than three months, a 10 to 15 per cent fall in production is expected. ISTA Mielke GmbH Oil World executive director, Thomas Mielke says global palm oil output may total 58.5 million tons in the 2013-2014 season, with Indonesian production at 30 million tons and Malaysian output reaching 19.6 million tons.

However, Asian palm oil yields may suffer later in 2014 and in the next two seasons after the unusual dry spell in some planting areas in Malaysia, Thailand and Indonesia in the last two months. Sabah in East Malaysia has reported the lowest rainfall in 29 years which could hurt palm oil production in late 2014, according to Godrej International Ltd executive director, Dorab E. Mistry at the 25th Palm and Lauric Oils Conference and Exhibition: Price Outlook.

The combination of drought, the increasing production of biodiesel using palm oil and the lack of land in Indonesia for expansion has pushed prices up recently, hitting an 18-month high on March 10 of RM2,910 (US$885) per metric ton. Despite a pick up in production this month, the market may fluctuate as supply is still not encouraging and yield will take time to recover.


What's New with IPNI- Cocoa Care
Cocoa Care has just implemented "Taro works" information management system to improve two-way communications between the Cocoa Care field team and cocoa farming families. The Grameen Foundation's android-based system will enable more efficient monitoring and reporting. This means Cocoa Care supporters will receive better impact data, while the cocoa farming families benefit from the improved information flow.

IPNI Southeast Asia Program and Cocoa Care have been collaborating on a cacao farm research and development project in Soppeng, South Sulawesi, Indonesia since mid-2013. For more information on the project, please click here.
IPNI Scholar Award Announcement
The IPNI Scholar Award program for 2014 is now up for grabs. The awards, worth US$2,000 each, are given each year to a limited number of deserving students. Candidates for either a M.Sc. or Ph.D. degree in agronomy, soil science, or a related field are encouraged to apply via our Scholar awards website: www.ipni.net/scholar before April 30, 2014.

Currently available to graduate students in countries where an IPNI program exists, these awards are made possible by IPNI member companies as a testament of their respect for science.
2014 Catalog of Publications
IPNI has recently released its 2014 Catalog of Publications. You are welcome to download this year's booklet, available at http://www.ipni.net/catalog, to learn about our current list of resources.

Also available for download from ipni.net - IPNI has added Urease Inhibitors to its Nutrient Source Specifics series. This bulletin describes the group of compounds that are used with urea or urea-containing fertilizers to temporarily reduce the activity of the urease enzyme, slow the rate at which urea is hydrolyzed, and reduce the the risk of ammonia (NH3) loss to the atmosphere. The series is available at http://www.ipni.net/specifics-en
News from the Region
Philippines Government positioning to be become major corn exporter in Southeast Asia
The Aquino administration is positioning the country to be one of the major exporters of corn in the Southeast Asian region by 2015. The Department of Agriculture plans to expand corn areas to meet growing needs of the local livestock and poultry sectors while aiming to be more competitive amid free trade agreements in the region. Production this year is expected to reach 8.2 million MT, up 10 percent from 7.408 million MT in 2012.

Source: InterAksyon, January 3, 2014
Rice Bias in the Philippines 'neglects soil problems'
“The continued use of these problematic soils for agriculture has resulted in unsuitable crop production, leading to low crop yield, failure of the government’s massive forest rehabilitation projects, and widespread soil degradation. The basic information about the soils is the key to long-term planning for suitable soil management strategies and sustainable land-use.”

Source: SciDevNet, January 15, 2014
2013 Philippines Rice Production falls short of Self-Sufficiency Targeta
Philippines rice production in 2013 was around 18.44 million tons, down about 1.56 million tons or 8% from the targeted 20 million tons under the government's Food Staples Sufficiency Program. However, paddy rice production in 2013 is up about 2% compared to around 18.03 million tons produced in 2012. The Philippines paddy rice production in January-June 2014 is forecast to increase to 8.43 million tons.

Source: Oryza, January 17, 2014
Coffee pushed as good rebuilding tool following crisis
Coffee production is being pushed as a good rebuilding tool for the calamity-stricken areas of Central Visayas as the country continues to suffer acute shortage in coffee supply. But beyond rebuilding, Pacita “Chit” Juan, president of the Philippine Coffee Board said coffee is also a cash crop because it will already bear fruit in 3 years and can be inter-cropped with coconuts.

Source: Yahoo! News Philippines, January 26, 2014
Jembrana Cocoa Farmers Strive for Sustainability
Cocoa farmers in Jembrana regency have successfully paved their way toward sustainable agriculture, thanks to strong support from an NGO, the local administration and the private sector. Farmers have the goal of improving the quality and quantity of cocoa beans, with the hope of increasing the premium price for their crops. Production has increased from 1.3 to 1.5 kg of wet cacao beans per tree, to 1.6 to 2 kg because of the implementation of Good Agricultural Practices.

Source: Bali Daily, January 28, 2014
New regulation in Indonesia may dash palm oil industry's hope for higher output
The future of the palm oil industry will likely be uncertain this year due to a new regulation that came into effect last October, despite forecasts of favorable weather this year expected to increase output. This year’s weather forecast estimates the industry’s output could be 8 percent higher than last year’s, reaching 28 million tons of crude palm oil. But an Indonesian agriculture ministerial regulation has sparked controversy due to its stipulation that a company or a group is only allowed to own a maximum of 100,000 hectares of land for new oil palm plantations. State-owned enterprises, cooperatives and publicly listed companies, whose majority shares are owned by the public, are exempt from the limitation, according to the regulation. “The government aims to have 40 million tons of palm oil produced by 2020, but the regulation will hinder us from making that happen,”
Indonesian Palm Oil Producers Association (Gapki) secretary-general Joko Supriyono told The Jakarta Post recently.

Source: The Jakarta Post, January 28, 2014
Indonesia's Cocoa Imports to Soar - Output hits 8-Year Low
Indonesia’s cocoa bean imports may soar nearly 300 percent in 2014 to meet demand from grinders as domestic production. Asia’s cocoa grindings climbed to 170,684 tons in the fourth quarter of 2013.

Source: Business Recorder, February 11, 2014

Vietnam to Shift part of Rice Area to Cultivate other Crops
Vietnam plans to shift part of the country’s rice area to cultivate other crops, such as corn and soya. Vietnam had total rice planting area of 7.9 million hectares and 1,157 ha of corn. There are far too many rice areas while the country has to import nearly 4 million tons of corn and soya yearly. Around 130,000 ha of rice will be shifted to cultivation of other crops, mostly corn and soya.

Source: Shanghai Daily.com February 12, 2014
Malaysia tries Aerobic Rice Farming to Boost Production
Aerobic rice farming can thrive on minimal irrigation and is being used by the Malaysian Agricultural Research and Development Institute (MARDI) to increase paddy growing landscape in Malaysia.

Source: Oryza, February 21, 2014
Other News
Unifying Palm Oil Certification
The agreement signed by the Roundtable on Sustainable Palm Oil (RSPO) and the Indonesian Sustainable Palm Oil earlier this month is strategic for promoting sustainable palm oil because their cooperation is designed to eventually unify the certification of sustainable palm oil, thereby removing confusion, economizing physical resources and reducing costs. The current system whereby RSPO runs its own certification scheme on a voluntary basis and ISPO implements a similar program, but on a mandatory basis, is not healthy not only because of the unnecessarily high costs. The duplicate certification also confuses the market, yet contributes little to enhancing sustainable palm oil.

Source: The Jakarta Post, November 11, 2013
Remote Sensing Brings New Transparency
The use of remote sensing technologies in the industry are in its early stages while some NGOs are also advanced users. Aerial sensor technologies use images from satellites and drones, to detect and classify objects on the surface; saving the need to be on the ground.Given the importance of its applications, expanding availability of cost-effective data sets,equipment and services, it is set to grow.

Source: Khor Reports, January 28, 2014
Asia Fertilizer Industry Outlook to 2017
Fertilizer demand in Asia has mainly been influenced by the changing and interconnected aspects such as economic growth of agriculture sector, government policies, prices and production. During the period of 2006-2012, the Asian fertilizer industry witnessed surplus use of nitrogen fertilizers, tried reducing the dependency on the imports of phosphate fertilizers and increased the consumption of potash fertilizers in order to ensure balanced nutrition to the crops as well as the soil.
The Asian fertilizer industry in the coming years is expected to grow at a CAGR of 6.1% reaching over the period of 2012-2017 with the overall consumption of fertilizers. Developing countries particularly China and India would increase their focus on micro nutrients.

Source: Digital Journal, February 12, 2014
Cash-Rich Plantations on the Prowl
Sitting on massive cash reserves of over RM20bil as at the end of last year, the top 40-odd local planters have, over the decades, reaped the benefits of high margins from their sizeable plantations, along with a lucrative refining business. And they are looking to spend all that money on growing their plantations. While shareholders may applaud the capacity of these plantation companies to sustain their profit margins and pay out generous dividends, industry expert MR Chandran says the cash reserves sitting idly in the coffers of these companies need to be reinvested strategically for future growth.

Source: The Star Online, February 15, 2014
Eighteen Million Farmers in 27 Countries chose Biotech Crops in 2013
The International Service for the Acquisition of Agri-Biotech Applications (ISAAA) released a report which indicates more than 18 million farmers in 27 countries planted biotech crops in 2013. China as the most populous country in the world has already experienced the benefits of biotech cotton for fiber and could also benefit from biotech maize and rice.

Source: CNW February 13, 2014
Literature at a Glance
Case Studies of Best Management Practices in Palm Oil Industry
A recent Daemeter publication showcases leading examples of good management practices by Indonesian palm oil producers. Companies involved in these efforts enjoy many benefits that suggest responsible practices are good not only for the environment and local communities, but also a company’s bottom line.

Companies highlighted include REA Holdings PLC, PT Inti Indosawit Subur, and PT Astra Agro Lestari. Agricultural giant Cargill is also showcased for developing practices to improve palm oil yields and reducing fertilizer use. Cargill's practices were found to work well even on degraded land and could, if adopted by industry, reduce pressure to clear more forests. Wilmar International, the world's largest palm oil trader, is highlighted for its leadership in developing tools and partnerships to conserve biodiversity within plantations through maintenance of wildlife corridors and critical habitats for threatened species.

Click here to read more.
Palm Oil Methane Emissions as Energy Source
Abstract: This year, global palm oil methane emissions are expected to equal 30 percent of all fossil fuel emissions from Indonesia. The global demand for palm oil has spiked in recent years as processed food manufacturers have sought an alternative to trans fats. While deforestation is expected to slow down as the focus shifts to more intensive agriculture on existing plantations, the emissions from wastewater lagoons will continue unabated as long as palm oil is produced, the researchers said. However, the climate impact of the leaking palm oil methane could be mitigated by capturing the gas and using it to fuel power plants. Biogas technology has been used successfully for decades and it can produce renewable electricity at a cost that’s competitive with traditional fuels, the authors said.

Click here to read more.
Correction of Acute Mg Deficiency in Oil Palm
A fertilizer trial was conducted by M. Sidhu and colleagues in a farmers co-operative with oil palm showing acute Magnesium deficiency. The study sought to determine the optimum dosage and frequency of Mg fertilizer application to counter this condition. It was found that the correction of Mg deficiency was a slow process, with multiple rounds of fertilizer application being necessary. with complete recovery taking up to three years. - The Planter, Kuala Lumpur 90 (1054): 15 - 30 (2014)
New Entries to the IPNI Library
We have also updated our SEAP Reference Database with references dealing mainly with the following topics: oil palm, wheat and pineapple. For a complete listing of these references, please click on the attachment below.

New Entries to RM March 2014.pdf
IPNI SEAP in the Press
IPNI Southeast Asia Program has in the first quarter of 2014 disseminated the following press releases:
  • Newsflash (January): Fertilizer recovery efficiency of oil palm in sandy regions
  • Newsflash (February): Improving fertilizer efficiency and farmer profits with Nutrient Expert
  • Newsflash (March): Improving maize crop yield and profitability in SEA with site-specific nutrient management

Click here to access IPNI SEAP press releases.
Upcoming Events
International Conference - Forest Change 2014
2 - 4 April 2014
Freising, Germany
8th International Conference on Plant Protection in the Tropics
8 - 10 April 2014
Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia
Soil Science Conference of Malaysia 2014
8 - 10 April 2014
Kangar, Perlis
6th Annual Specialty Coffee Association of America Symposium
23 - 24 April 2014
Seattle, Washington
6th Indonesian International Cocoa Conference
15 - 16 May 2014
Bali, Indonesia
International Conference & Exhibition on Palm Oil
26 - 28 May 2014
Jakarta, Indonesia
Argus FMB Asian Technical Fertilizer Conference 2014
3 - 4 June 2014
2nd European Agroforestry Conference: Integrating Science & Policy to Promote Agroforestry in Practice
4 - 6 June 2014
Cottbus – Senftenberg
Organization: EURAF - European Agroforestry Federation, hosted by Brandenburg University of Technology
World Cocoa Conference 2014
9 - 13 June 2014
Amsterdam, The Netherlands
The 5th Quadrennial International Oil Palm Conference (IOPC)
17 - 19 June 2014
Bali, Indonesia
11th NATSEM (ISP National Seminar) 2014
23 - 25 June 2014
Kuantan, Pahang
Tropentag 2014
17 - 19 September 2014
Prague, Czech Republic
Oils and Fats International Congress
5 - 7 November 2014
Kuala Lumpur Convention Center, Malaysia
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SEAP Information Services

The Southeast Asia Program office of IPNI has an intensive collection of papers, books, articles, newsletters, and slides categorized into a searchable information database. A list of the latest additions to our reference database is attached.

We can also provide search lists of the resources available in our physical library. Click here for more information on our Information Services.
Disclaimer: News from the Region is a selection of regional agriculture-related articles extracted from internet sources. IPNI does not verify, endorse, or take responsibility for the accuracy, currency, completeness or quality of the content in these sites. Due to the nature of this service, IPNI cannot always verify every single news item. Be sure to check with the official websites of the companies, universities, research centers, and government agencies before using any information in the SEAP newsletters or webpages, as IPNI cannot vouch for news items submitted by the public. Links to external websites are included for the sole purpose of providing easy access to the source. The inclusion of external hyperlinks does not constitute IPNI’s endorsement of the views expressed by these websites. IPNI shall not be responsible for any damages caused directly or indirectly by the use of any information or content from within linked websites.

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