10 Dec 2014

SEAP Quarterly Newsletter 2014 - 4

In this IssueSeason's Greetings
IPNI Program Updates
-Season's Greetings

News From the Region
-Oils and Fats International Congress 2014

-Next Vietnamese coffee crop to be large

- Philippines rice self-sufficiency target pushed back

-Cambodia rice forecast down

-South Korea rice forecast at similar level to last year’s near average output

-Indonesia palm oil reserves shrinking most in 19 months

-Palay corn output higher in third quarter

-Indonesian President discusses restrictions on palm oil entering US markets

Literature at a Glance
-Europe Economics: Economic Impact of palm oil imports

-The largest study on GM crops show far-reaching benefits

-Climate change affect current coffee producers

-Development of an oil palm cropping systems model

IPNI SEAP in the Press
-Recent press releases

Upcoming Events
-Scroll down for updates
Dear Colleagues, Supporters and Friends of the IPNI Southeast Asia Program (IPNI SEAP)

As 2014 ends, I would like to reflect on the last twelve months that have flown by in a blink. We saw further developments in our project on “Best Management Practices (BMP) Across Growth Stages” with partners in Indonesia and Malaysia. We are now moving into the mature production phase, with first results of the work in nursery and immature phases being consolidated for publication. Our “BMP Nutrition Project” in Indonesia completed its third year, and we published our findings at the IOPC 2014 in Bali, after initial results were presented at the PIPOC 2013. The year 2015 will mark the end of this project, and we expect significant new knowledge on nutrient uptake and nutrient use efficiency will become available to the industry. In 2013, we started a “BMP Project in Ghana - West Africa”, jointly with IPNI Africa. This project has in just over a year demonstrated the tremendous potential that BMP holds for yield increases. First results have been shared with you at the IOPC 2014 in Bali. Look for more exciting news in 2015.

One project that has surpassed expectations is our “Plantation Intelligence Initiative”, that develops innovative ways for analyzing existing commercial information to better understand plantation performance, specifically the response of the crop to fertilizer and labor inputs. You had an exclusive preview of findings at the IOPC 2014 in Bali. Insights that we are currently preparing for industry-wide dissemination will not disappoint you. We are now confident enough to start applying the concept of plantation intelligence in 2015 to large-scale experimentation in commercial plantations. Stay tuned for more updates.

A recent feature by The Guardian beautifully illustrated just how efficiently oil palm produces the primary raw material, which today is present in so many products in our daily life. While the palm already has amazing oil production, a growing demand requires that even more needs to be produced from a limited land resource base in a responsible manner. It is in this light that IPNI SEAP continued in 2014 to support the sustainable intensification of oil palm production systems.

Source: The Guardian

Our office in the Philippines, in the premises of the International Rice Research Institute (IRRI), has broadened its activities and, besides implementing the Global Nutrient Expert® Program, has started R&D in cassava nutrition. Cassava is a crop that holds much potential for improving the livelihoods of smallholders in Southeast Asia. We are proud to announce an innovative partnership with an international IPNI member company and a national Philippines fertilizer company that support this initiative. The Nutrient Expert® Program has been equally busy, expanding its reach into North Africa. The island of Sulawesi, Indonesia, is where our program on sustainable intensification of cocoa implements its field activities. This innovative example of on-farm research and development is rapidly growing with the support of the local and international fertilizer industry. Jointly implemented by IPNI SEAP and the Cocoa Care program of Community Solutions International, this endeavor is demonstrating how 4R-based crop nutrition leads to increased yields and improved quality of cocoa, directly improving livelihoods of growers.

The IPNI SEAP book portfolio has grown as well. The newest addition is a text book on BMP for yield intensification in oil palm. In 2014, we commenced a new series of field handbooks on 4R Plant Nutrient Management for specific commodities in Myanmar. We also continued the NewsFlash series that many of you are receiving regularly.

In grateful appreciation of the privilege of working with you during the past year, the Southeast Asia Program of IPNI wishes you, your family and friends a peaceful end to 2014. At the closure of another year, we thank you for your support, and sincerely wish you a prosperous 2015. If you are in the region, please do not hesitate to visit us in our offices in Penang and Los Baños.

On behalf of the IPNI Southeast Asia Program Team,

Dr. Thomas Oberthür

News from the Region
Oils and Fats International Congress 2014
More than 400 delegates from 12 countries participated in the Oils and Fats International Congress (OFIC) 2014 at the Kuala Lumpur Convention Center, Malaysia between 5-7 November recently. Malaysian Oil Scientists' and Technologists' Association (MOSTA) hosted OFIC 2014 in collaboration with Malaysian Palm Oil Board (MPOB) to coincide with the Silver Jubilee establishment of MOSTA. With the conference theme being “Global Oils & Fats: Addressing Major Challenges”, sessions included challenges in oils and fats with regards to the environment and health, economics, marketing and policy; as well as recent innovative technologies.

Some interesting points on the global production outlook were shared at the event:
According to Thomas Mielke (executive director of Oil World), the global oils and fats market is in transition and faces a deficit in 2015. Mielke forecasts slower global growth of oils and fats production (3.9M tonnes in 2014/15 against 10.6M tonnes in 2013/14), which lead to a strengthening of prices. Malaysia's production of palm oil in 2014/15 is expected to be 19.8M tonnes against 20.2M tonnes in 2013/14 and Indonesian production is expected to be 31.9M tonnes against 29.9M tonnes in 2013/14. Although soybean production would likely increase to 32M tonnes in 2014/15, soybean alone cannot prevent a deficit in vegetable oils.

Mielke said rising world population, increasing urbanization, growth of the middle class, dietary changes and biofuels demand would lead to a growing dependence on palm oil at a time when palm oil growth appeared to be slowing. By year 2025, the world is expected to require 32M tonnes more palm oil, a required increase in production to 51M tonnes in Indonesia (from a production of 22.5M tonnes in 2010) and 26.5M tonnes in Malaysia (from a 2010 production figure of 16.9M tonnes).

Daud Dharsono (president director of PT Smart TBK) said there were around 10M ha of oil palm plantations in Indonesia in 2013 where 43% are owned by smallholders, 49% by the private sector and the balance 8% by state owned companies. The expansion will be around 350,000 ha/year in 2015 and gradually decline to 150,000 ha/year in 2025. Total oil palm area is expected to be 13M ha in year 2025.

According to Daud, total oil palm production in 2013 was 28.4 million tones, of which 73% was exported. Oil yield productivity in Indonesia has been increasing by around 1.6% per year while production has increased 6.3% per annum in the past 5 years. By year 2025, crude palm oil production in Indonesia is expected to be 50M tonnes.
Next Vietnamese coffee crop to be large
After a bountiful crop in 2013/ 2014, coffee producers in Vietnam expect the 2014/2015 crop to be a good one. Forecasts have been optimistic, as reported by the US Department of Agriculture's Global Agricultural Information Network in June 2014, in which 1.75 million tonnes are expected. The report also noted that area planted to coffee is expected to grow, despite the Government of Vietnam's recommendation to maintain coffee area to about 500,000 hectares only. The Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development and the coffee industry places Vietnam's total coffee area at 653,00 hectares in 2014, increasing 2% from 633,000 hectares in 2013 alone.

Source: Coffee and Cocoa International September 2014
Philippines rice self-sufficiency target pushed back
The Philippines has pushed back its 2013 target to attain self-sufficiency in rice production by another two years, an official said Tuesday, adding that the country will likely have to import hundreds of thousands of tonnes next year.

Source: Yahoo News, October 7, 2014

Cambodia rice forecast down
Cambodia- Planting of the 2014 main (wet) season paddy crop, which normally accounts for about 80 percent of annual production, is almost complete. Overall, rainfall between June and mid-October has been near-average over much of the country benefiting sowing activities and crop development. However, a dry spell over the north western parts of the county between June and August, coupled with localised floods in August in the Mekong River Basin, affected close to 166,000 hectares of agricultural crops, of which some 36,000 hectares were damaged.

Source: The Crop Site, October 17, 2014

South Korea rice forecast at similar level to last year’s near average output
South Korea- Harvesting of the 2014 rice crop is almost complete. FAO forecast the 2014 rice production (in paddy terms) at 5.5 million tonnes, 2 percent below last year’s good outcome.

Source: The Crop Site, October 20, 2014

Indonesian palm oil reserves shrinking most in 19 months
Palm oil stockpiles in Indonesia probably slumped last August by the most since February 2013 as a dry spell reduced output in the largest supplier. Inventories dropped 12 percent to 2.2 million metric tons, according to the median of six estimates from planters, traders, analysts and refiners compiled by Bloomberg. Production fell 9.8 percent to 2.3 million tons, the biggest decline this year, the median of five estimates shows.
Source: Bloomberg, October 21, 2014
Palay corn output higher in third quarter
MANILA, Philippines - Palay (unhusked rice) and corn output likely grew in the third quarter compared to the same three-month period a year ago. “Palay and corn output are positive compared to last year” DA Assistant Secretary Edilberto de Luna said in a briefing.

Source: philSTAR, November 13, 2014

Indonesia President discusses restrictions on palm oil entering US market
In his first official overseas excursion since taking office on Oct. 20, President Jokowi Widodo is embarking on a nine-day bilateral and multilateral diplomatic trip aimed at courting investors for the country and showcasing his maritime vision. As China is Indonesia's biggest trading partner, Jokowi looks to be devoting much of his attention during the trip to seeking support from the world's second-biggest economy.

When he met Obama on Monday, Jokowi demanded that the US lift restrictions on Indonesian palm oil entering the US market. Jokowi said he had expressed his concerns to several other leaders about the difficulty experienced by the Indonesia agricultural industry.

Source; The Jakarta Post, 12 November 2014
Literature at a Glance
Europe Economics: Economic impact of palm oil imports
The European Union imported 9 million tonnes of palm oil and palm kernel meal in 2012. Europe Economics provides a report on the economic activity associated with these imports. The key findings are presented in the pdf below.

Excerpt from report: "While this report does not address the question of what might happen if palm oil imports were to be restricted thanks to some policy change or other exogenous shock, it does establish the importance of the product in European industry. As an affordable and available primary input for a wide range of industries palm oil is associated with substantial downstream economic activity across Europe."

Europe Economics - Economic Impact of Palm Oil Imports.pdf
The largest study on GM crops show far-reaching benefits
A recent review conducted by Martin Qaim and Wilhelm Klumper of Gottingen University, Germany, provides a statistically rigorous study of the effects of genetically modified (GM) crops on farming from the time of its appearance in commercial markets in the mid-1990s. Crops are genetically modified to be either resistant to insect pests or tolerant to glyphosate, a herbicide commonly used to kill weeds. By studying the agronomic and economic impacts of GM crops in publications between 1995 and March 2014, the reviewers showed that crop yields increased by 9% in crops that were herbicide-tolerant and 25% in crops that were pest-resistant. They were able to pinpoint that farmers who adopted GM crops made 69% higher profits compared to those who did not.

A Meta-Analysis of th Impacts of Genetically Modified Crops.pdf

Climate Change could affect current coffee producers
The world's dominant production regions for coffee, i.e., Brazil and Vietnam may face a shortage of suitable planting area due to climate change, say scientists from CIAT at the recent 2014 ASIC Conference in Colombia. They studied the impact of climate change on two major coffee species, C. arabica and C.canefora, using modelling that suggest that rising temperatures and temperature variability will most likely adversely affect them.

Source: Coffee and Cocoa International November 2014

Development of an oil palm cropping systems model: Lessons learned and future directions
Abstract: Oil palm has become one of the most important crops in the world with questions being raised about its economic and environmental sustainability. Agricultural systems models are regularly employed in studying sustainable crop management but no detailed model is currently available for oil palm systems. We developed a production systems model for oil palm within the Agricultural Production Systems Simulator (APSIM) framework and tested it using data across a range of environments within Papua New Guinea (PNG). The model captured key growth responses to climate and management. This demonstrates that modern modelling frameworks do allow for rapid model development for new agricultural systems. However, whilst application of the model is promising, the availability of key data is likely to restrict its
use. Local soil and weather data are not available in adequate detail for many of the major oil palm production areas, although some methods exist to address this.
Neil I. Huth, Murom Banabas, Paul N. Nelson, Michael Webb. Environmental Modelling and Software 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, coffee, and nutrient and fertilizer management. For a complete listing of these references, please click on the attachment below.

New Entries to RM December 2014.pdf
IPNI SEAP in the Press
IPNI SEAP's newly published book entitled "Oil Palm - Best Management Practices for Yield Intensification" has sold 57 copies this November alone. To read more about this book or place an order, please click here.
Over 5,000 copies of our popular Planters' Diary for 2015 has just been printed and are ready for dissemination. These informative short articles can also be accessed here.
IPNI SEAP has in the final quarter of 2014 disseminated the following press releases:
  • Newsflash (November): PlantCalc: IPNI develops app for calculating crop nutrient removal
  • Newsflash (December): PALMSIM model shows great potential for oil palm industry
  • Newsflash (December): Shell Sulphur Solutions Becomes a Member of International Plant Nutrition Institute

Click here to access IPNI SEAP press releases.
Upcoming Events
1st International Conference on Asian Highland Natural Resources Management
7-9 January 2015
Chiang Mai, Thailand
Louis Malassis International Scientific Prize
In recognition of individuals, or a group of individuals, for their exemplary and promising contribution in promoting innovation through research, development and capacity building in the North, South or in the Mediterranean Region in order to improve food and agricultural systems sustainability
Deadline: 15 January 2015
Olam Prize for Innovation in Food Security
Open to individuals or research teams, the Prize aims to recognize an outstanding innovation for its potential impact on the availability, affordability, accessibility or adequacy of food, as well as to support its further development.
Deadline: 15 January 2015
Palm Oil Economic Review and Outlook Seminar 2015
19 January 2015
Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia
Bio-Markets Asia
27 - 29 January 2015
Jakarta, Indonesia
Advanced Oil Processing (Palm, Palm Kernel, Coconut Oil)
29 -30 January 2015
Bogota, Columbia
The Abu Dhabi Corporate Sustainability Leadership Forum
February 2015
Abu Dhabi
Cocoa Revolution: Emerging Markets, Processing Trends, Yield and Quality Improvement
4 - 5 March 2015
How Business Can Tackle Deforestation
March 2015
Washington DC, USA
Sustainable Cotton Forum
March 2015
London, UK
Argus FMB Asia Fertilizer 2015
15-17 April
Beijing, China
2nd Asia Choco Congress 
21 – 23 April 2015 
6th International Conference and Exhibition of Palm Oil 2015
6 -8 May 2015
Jakarta, Indonesia
8th International Planters Conference
8 - 10 June 2015
Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia
Sustainable Food Lab 2015 Summit
8 - 12 June 2015
The Netherlands
3rd Indonesia International Palm Oil Machinery, Processing and Technology Exhibition 2015
6 - 8 August 2015
Jakarta, Indonesia
Palmex Thailand 2015
20 - 21 August 2015
Surat Thani, Thailand
International Plant Protection Congress
24-27 August 2015
Berlin, Germany
Agro 2015: 5th International Symposium for Farming Systems Design
7 - 10 September 2015
Montpellier, France
MPOB International Palm Oil Congress (PIPOC) 2015
6-8 October 2015
Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia
Moringa Symposium and Congress “Moringa: a decade of advances in research and development”
19-22 November 2015
Manila, Philippines
Deadline for abstract submission: December 31, 2014
Subscribe to the SEAP Newsletter
  The SEAP Quarterly Newsletter aims to provide information on recent activities of our program and selected news on regional developments.

If you would like be on our mailing list, please send us an email.

To access previous issues of our newsletter, please click here.

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.

More about: Newsletters