Saturday, July 5, 2014

Thomson Reuters Predicts the Top 10 Innovations for 2025

Study analyzes patent data and scientific literature for clues to the next decade’s biggest breakthroughs

Sunday, June 8, 2014

ประชาชาติธุรกิจ: ตลาดข้าวไทยพังอเมริกาพบ "หอมมะลิ" ปลอม

updated: 06 มิ.ย. 2557 เวลา 12:08:23 น.
ประชาชาติธุรกิจออนไลน์


ข้าวหอมมะลิไทยในสหรัฐป่วน ผู้นำเข้าRiviana Foods โร่ฟ้อง พณ.ไล่บี้ผู้ปลอมปนข้าว-เครื่องหมายรับรอง "Thai Hom Mali Rice" ขู่หากยังไม่ดำเนินการ เตรียมหันไปนำเข้าข้าวเวียดนามแทน ด้านบริษัทที่ปรึกษา White & Case ชี้ไทยอาจถูก USPTO ถอดสิทธิ์เครื่องหมายรับรอง

ผู้สื่อข่าว "ประชาชาติธุรกิจ" รายงานสถานการณ์ข้าวหอมมะลิในตลาดสหรัฐเข้ามาว่า เมื่อเร็ว ๆ นี้ บริษัท Riviana Foods ซึ่งเป็นบริษัทผู้นำเข้าข้าวหอมมะลิตามมาตรฐานของกรมการค้าต่างประเทศ ภายใต้เครื่องหมายรับรอง "Thai Hom Mali Rice" กำหนดความบริสุทธิ์ของข้าวไม่น้อยกว่า 92% เข้ามาจำหน่ายในเครื่องหมายการค้า Carolina, Success, Mahatma ที่มลรัฐเท็กซัส

ล่าสุด บริษัทดังกล่าวได้ทำหนังสือร้องเรียนมายังสำนักงานส่งเสริมการค้าระหว่างประเทศ (สคร.) ณ วอชิงตัน ดี.ซี. ถึงปัญหาการจำหน่ายข้าวหอมมะลิปลอมปน และยังมีการปลอมเครื่องหมายรับรองข้าวหอมมะลิตรารวงข้าว โดยพบในแบรนด์ต่าง ๆ เช่น Golden Star, Goya,Sunfoods และ Oriental Trading ซึ่งเมื่อบริษัทนำข้าวหอมมะลิเหล่านี้ไปตรวจสอบพบว่าส่วนผสมเป็นข้าวชนิดอื่นที่มีราคา "ถูกกว่า" ข้าวหอมมะลิ เช่น ผสมข้าวหอมปทุมธานี แต่ที่น่าประหลาดใจก็คือข้าวหอมมะลิปลอมปนเหล่านี้กลับได้รับเครื่องหมายรับรอง "Thai Hom Mali Rice" ของกรมการค้าต่างประเทศเช่นกัน และยังจำหน่ายในราคาถูกกว่าข้าวหอมมะลิ (92%) แท้ของบริษัท

ไม่เพียงเท่านี้ บริษัท Riviana Foods ยังพบอีกด้วยว่า บริษัท Well Luck ซึ่งเป็นผู้นำเข้าข้าวหอมมะลิเวียดนามเข้ามาจำหน่ายในมลรัฐนิวเจอร์ซี ภายใต้ในแบรนด์ Green Elephant ได้ปลอมตราสัญลักษณ์ของกรมการค้าต่างประเทศ โดยระบุไว้ที่บรรจุภัณฑ์ว่า "Hom Mali" หรือ "หอมมะลิ" ทำให้ผู้บริโภคเกิดความสับสน ซึ่งมีการกระทำคล้ายคลึงกันกับบริษัท Winn Dixie ซูเปอร์มาร์เก็ตในรัฐฟอริดา มีการนำเข้าข้าวเข้าไปจำหน่าย โดยระบุว่า "Thai Jusmin Rice"

แต่เมื่อนำตัวอย่างข้าว Thai Jusmin Rice ไปตรวจสอบกลับพบว่าไม่มีข้าวหอมมะลิของไทยอยู่เลย ซึ่งปัญหาเหล่านี้บริษัท Riviana Foods เชื่อว่าอาจจะทำให้ผู้บริโภคสหรัฐเข้าใจผิด ส่งผลกระทบต่อตลาดสหรัฐ ซึ่งเป็นตลาดนำเข้าข้าวหอมมะลิอันดับ 1 ของไทย คิดเป็นสัดส่วน 25.76% โดยในช่วง 4 เดือนแรก (มกราคม-เมษายน) ของปีนี้ ประเทศไทยมีการส่งออกข้าวหอมมะลิไปยังสหรัฐ คิดเป็นมูลค่า 3,963.03 ล้านบาท หรือลดลง 4.44% จากช่วงเดียวกันของปีก่อน

ล่าสุด เมื่อวันที่ 12 พฤษภาคมที่ผ่านมาน.ส.เบญจวรรณ อุกฤษ อัครราชทูต (ฝ่ายการพาณิชย์) สคร.กรุงวอชิงตัน ดี.ซี.พร้อมด้วย Mr.Ting-Ting Kao ที่ปรึกษาด้านกฎหมายจากบริษัท White & Case ซึ่งประเทศไทยได้ว่าจ้างไว้ ได้เข้าพบกับ Mr.De Zeeuw ประธานกรรมการและทีมผู้บริหาร บริษัท Riviana เสนอให้ฝ่ายไทยทำหนังสือถึงสำนักงานอาหารและยาสหรัฐ (US-FDA) ฟ้องร้องเรื่องการปิดฉลากที่ไม่เป็นจริง สำหรับข้าวที่ไม่ได้มาตรฐานของกรมการค้าต่างประเทศ และให้ส่งหนังสือถึงผู้ค้าปลีกรายใหญ่ของสหรัฐ เช่น Costco กับ Walmart แจ้งกรณีการตรวจพบสินค้าข้าวหอมมะลิแอบอ้างเครื่องหมายรับรองของกรมการค้าต่างประเทศ แต่ไม่ได้ผลิตข้าวหอมมะลิตามมาตรฐานที่กำหนดไว้

"ทางบริษัท Riviana ได้ร้องเรียนปัญหาการปลอมปนและแอบอ้างเครื่องหมายรับรองข้าวหอมมะลิไทยมาเกือบ 5 ปีแล้ว นับจากปี 2552 แต่ไม่ได้รับการดูแลจากฝ่ายไทย และบริษัทได้ประเมินว่าข้าวหอมมะลิที่วางขายในสหรัฐปัจจุบันที่มีเครื่องหมายรับรองของกรมการค้าต่างประเทศ แต่ไม่ได้มาตรฐาน (92%) มีอยู่มากกว่า 50% หรือครึ่งหนึ่งของข้าวหอมมะลิที่วางจำหน่ายทั้งหมด ดังนั้น ฝ่ายไทยควรแก้ไขปัญหานี้อย่างจริงจัง เพราะเรื่องนี้เป็นที่รู้กันในหมู่ผู้นำเข้าทั่วไป หากยังปล่อยให้มีปัญหาการละเมิดเครื่องหมายรับรองต่อไป ก็จะกระทบต่อภาพลักษณ์ข้าวหอมมะลิไทย และสร้างทัศนคติที่ไม่ดีต่อเครื่องหมายรับรองดังกล่าว แม้ว่าผู้บริโภคสหรัฐจะไม่ให้ความสำคัญกับตราสัญลักษณ์ แต่ให้ความสำคัญกับราคาขายเป็นหลัก" Mr.De Zeeuw กล่าว

และที่สำคัญ หากรัฐบาลไทยยังเพิกเฉยไม่ยอมแก้ไขปัญหาการปลอมปนและละเมิดเครื่องหมายรับรองต่อไป บริษัทก็พร้อมที่จะเลิกนำเข้าข้าวหอมมะลิไทย (92%) และจะหันไปนำเข้าข้าวหอมมะลิที่ไม่ได้มาตรฐาน หรือข้าวจากเวียดนามที่มีขายต่ำกว่ามาขาย เพื่อความอยู่รอดของบริษัท

ทั้งนี้ บริษัท Riviana Foods เป็นบริษัทลูกของบริษัท Ebro ผู้ส่งออกข้าวอันดับ 1ของโลก และยังเป็นผู้จำหน่ายเส้นพาสต้าอันดับ 2 ของโลก มียอดขายข้าวปีละ 680.4 ล้านเหรียญสหรัฐ ยอดขายพาสต้า 459.4 ล้านเหรียญสหรัฐ โดยผลิตข้าวในแบรนด์ Minute, River Rice, Carolina, Success, Mahatma และ Blue Ribbon จากโรงสีข้าวของบริษัท และมีการนำเข้าข้าวจากประเทศต่าง ๆ รวมถึงประเทศไทย ปัจจุบัน บริษัทถือครองส่วนแบ่งตลาด 25% ของตลาดข้าวหอมมะลิในสหรัฐทั้งหมด 200 ล้านเหรียญสหรัฐ

ด้าน น.ส.เบญจวรรณ อุกฤษ อัครราชทูต (ฝ่ายการพาณิชย์) ณ วอชิงตัน กล่าวว่า สำนักงานได้ประสานกับบริษัท Riviana เพื่อขอตัวอย่างข้าวและดำเนินการสุ่มสำรวจตลาดสินค้าข้าวหอมมะลิไทยจากผู้จำหน่ายหลายรายในเขตวอชิงตัน เวอร์จิเนีย และแมรี่แลนด์ รวมทั้งได้จัดส่งตัวอย่างข้าวหอมมะลิและบรรจุภัณฑ์ เพื่อให้กรมการค้าต่างประเทศตรวจสอบ เบื้องต้นพบว่ามี 5 แบรนด์ที่มีการปลอมปนข้าวหอมมะลิและมีการประทับตรารับรองข้าวหอมมะลิของกรมการค้าต่างประเทศ ซึ่งเป็นตราที่กรมออกให้กับผู้นำเข้าที่ได้มาตรฐานข้าวหอมมะลิของไทย

"เรื่องนี้เป็นเรื่องที่น่ากังวลมาก เนื่องจากส่งผลเสียต่อภาพลักษณ์ข้าวหอมมะลิไทย อีกทั้ง 5 บริษัทที่มีการปลอมปนข้าว ก็ยังขายข้าวหอมมะลิไทยในราคาถูก เป็นการดัมพ์ราคาข้าวหอมมะลิไทยที่ได้มาตรฐาน ทำให้ผู้นำเข้าข้าวหอมมะลิไทย (มาตรฐาน 92%) แบบถูกต้องได้รับผลกระทบ ถูกแย่งตลาดไป ทาง สคร.ได้เชิญกรมการค้าต่างประเทศเดินทางไปสหรัฐ เพื่อตรวจสอบข้อเท็จจริง และดำเนินการทางกฎหมายต่อไป" น.ส.เบญจวรรณกล่าว

ขณะที่ทางบริษัทที่ปรึกษากฎหมาย White & Case ได้ให้ความเห็นว่าประเด็นนี้อาจทำให้สำนักงานสิทธิบัตรและเครื่องหมายการค้าสหรัฐ (USPTO) พิจารณาเพิกถอนการจดทะเบียนเครื่องหมายการค้าและสิทธิบัตรข้าวหอมมะลิไทย ดังนั้น รัฐบาลไทยต้องติดต่อกับผู้ผลิต ผู้นำเข้า และผู้ส่งออกสินค้าข้าว เพื่อแจ้งปัญหาปลอมปนที่เกิดขึ้นรวมถึงเพิ่มความเข้มงวดในการสุ่มตรวจสอบตักเตือนผู้ที่ใช้ข้าวเวียดนาม และผู้ที่ใช้เครื่องหมายรับรองละเมิด

ส่วนในระยะกลาง-ระยะยาว รัฐบาลไทยต้องดำเนินการตามกฎหมายกับผู้ปลอมปนและละเมิดดังกล่าว โดยอาศัยกฎหมายอาหารและยา (Food Drug and Cosmetic Act) ห้ามสินค้าที่ปิดฉลากไม่ถูกต้อง หรือปลอมปนผ่านแดน, กฎหมายเกี่ยวกับการโฆษณาเท็จ (Lanham Act) ยื่นฟ้องต่อศาลในกรณีที่หีบห่อผลิตภัณฑ์ก่อให้เกิดความเข้าใจผิด และกฎหมายเครื่องหมายการค้า (Trade Mark) โดยเจ้าของสิทธิ์สามารถขอความร่วมมือจากหน่วยงานศุลกากรสหรัฐในการห้ามนำเข้าสินค้าที่ละเมิด และขอให้ศาลมีคำสั่งห้ามผู้ละเมิดให้หยุดการดำเนินการ

ตลอดจนการติดต่อกับรัฐบาลเวียดนาม เพื่อขอความร่วมมือการแอบอ้างใช้คำว่า Hom Mali บนผลิตภัณฑ์ของเวียดนาม ส่วนในระยะยาว ไทยควรส่งเสริมความเข้าใจเกี่ยวกับข้าวหอมมะลิไทยในสหรัฐ และปรับปรุงกฎระเบียบ มาตรฐาน และบทลงโทษ ตลอดจนจัดทำสัญญากับบริษัทผู้นำเข้า/ผู้จัดจำหน่ายในสหรัฐเกี่ยวกับการใช้เครื่องหมายรับรองของกรมการค้าต่างประเทศด้วย

ด้าน น.ส.ปานจิตต์ พิศวง รองอธิบดีกรมการค้าต่างประเทศ กล่าวว่า กรมกำลังอยู่ระหว่างดำเนินการเก็บตัวอย่างข้าวหอมมะลิที่วางจำหน่ายในสหรัฐเพื่อตรวจสอบ หากพบว่ามีการปลอมปนจริง ก็จะต้องพิจารณาดำเนินคดีในฐานะที่กรมเป็นเจ้าของสิทธิเครื่องหมายรับรอง "Thai Hom Mali Rice"

ส่วน ร.ต.ท.เจริญ เหล่าธรรมทัศน์ ประธานกรรมการ บริษัท อุทัยโปรดิวส์ จำกัด และนายกสมาคมผู้ส่งออกข้าวไทย กล่าวว่า ขณะนี้ในส่วนของบริษัทยังไม่ได้รับผลกระทบ เพราะส่งออกในลักษณะข้าวหอมมะลิพรีเมี่ยมบรรจุถุง ซึ่งทางลูกค้ายังให้ความมั่นใจได้ว่าจะไม่มีการปลอมปนแน่นอน อย่างไรก็ตาม กรมจะต้องตรวจสอบว่ามีการบังคับใช้กฎหมายป้องกันการละเมิดเครื่องหมาย "Thai Hom Mali Rice" ที่ไปจดคุ้มครองไว้ในสหรัฐหรือไม่ เพื่อไม่ให้กระทบต่อผู้ส่งออกข้าวไทยด้วยอีกทางหนึ่ง

อนึ่ง บริษัทผู้ส่งออกข้าวหอมมะลิไทยไปยังตลาดสหรัฐ 5 รายแรก ได้แก่ บริษัทสยามเกรนส์, บริษัทนครหลวงค้าข้าว, บริษัทอุทัยโปรดิวส์, บริษัทไทยลีการเกษตร และบริษัทเอลล์บา บางกอก

Tuesday, June 3, 2014

ក្រុមហ៊ុន អង្គរកសិកម្ម រុងរឿង សហការជាមួយ ធនាគារក្រុងថៃ ដើម្បីចូលរួម សម្រេចគោលនយោ បាយ នាំចេញស្រូវ អង្កររបស់កម្ពុជា

Tuesday, 03 June 2014 15:03 ដោយ ៖ ដើមអម្ពិល ID-015
ភ្នំពេញ៖ ក្រុមហ៊ុនអង្គរកសិកម្មរុងរឿង និងក្រុមហ៊ុន ថេសឡា អ៊ិនដាស្រ្ទី (Tesla Industry) កាលពី ពេលថ្មីៗនេះ បានធ្វើកិច្ចសហការមួយ ជាមួយធនាគារ ក្រុងថៃចំកាត់មហាជន សាខារាជធានីភ្នំពេញ ដើម្បីចូលរួមចំណែក ពង្រីកការអនុវត្តគោលនយោបាយ រាជរដ្ឋាភិបាលកម្ពុជា ក្នុងការនាំចេញស្រូវ-អង្ករ ។
លោក ជីវ អនុសន អនុប្រធានក្រុមហ៊ុនអង្គរកសិកម្ម រុងរឿង ចំកាត់ ឱ្យដឹងថា ការចាប់ដៃសហការគ្នា នេះ ដើម្បីគាំទ្រ និងចូលរួមអនុវត្តឲ្យបានសម្រេចនូវគោលនយោបាយស្រូវ-អង្កររបស់ រាជរដ្ឋាភិបាល កម្ពុជា ដែលដឹកនាំដោយ សម្តេចអគ្គមហាសេនាបតីតេជា ហ៊ុន សែន ក្នុងការនាំអង្ករចេញឲ្យបាន ១ លានតោន ក្នុងឆ្នាំ២០១៥ ។
លោក Apinart Nuntikulvanich អ្នកចាត់ការទូទៅ របស់ធនាគារក្រុងថៃឱ្យដឹងថា ធនាគារ របស់លោក មានភាគហ៊ុនមួយភាគធំ ជារបស់រដ្ឋាភិបាលថៃ និងមានទ្រព្យសម្បត្តិសរុបទាំងអស់ចំនួន ៧៨ ០០០ លានដុល្លារ ។ ធនាគារក្រុងថៃចំកាត់មហាជន សាខារាជធានីភ្នំពេញ បានចាប់ដំណើរការរបស់ខ្លួនតាំង ពីឆ្នាំ១៩៩៣។ ធនាគារមានជំនាញខាង រកស៊ីគ្រប់មុខ ជាពិសេសខាងធ្វើជំនួញជាមួយអន្តរជាតិ។ ធនាគារក្រុងថៃចំកាត់មហាជនបានរៀបចំយុទ្ធសាស្រ្តសំខាន់ៗជាច្រើន ដើម្បីស្វាគមន៍ ការធ្វើសមា ហរណកម្មអាស៊ាន ឆ្នាំ២០១៥ ខាងមុខដ៏ខ្លីនេះ ។
ក្រុមហ៊ុន អង្គរកសិកម្មរុងរឿងចំកាត់ ជាក្រុមហ៊ុននាំចេញអង្ករ នាំមុខគេទៅក្រៅប្រទេស នៅកម្ពុជាតាំង ពីឆ្នាំ២០០១ និងបានបង្កើតជាសមាគមកសិកររហូតមកដល់សព្វថ្ងៃនេះ ។
លោក ជីវ អនុសន ក៏បានសម្តែងនូវជំនឿ យ៉ាងមុតមាំរបស់ខ្លួនផងដែរថា ការចាប់ដៃគ្នានេះ ពិតជាបាន ធ្វើឲ្យក្រុមហ៊ុនអង្គរកសិកម្មរុងរឿងចំកាត់ មានលទ្ធភាពនាំអង្ករចេញគ្រប់តាមគោល នយោបាយ របស់ រដ្ឋាភិបាលកម្ពុជា។ គោលនយោយបាយស្រូវ-អង្កររបស់រដ្ឋាភិបាល មានទិសដៅជួយឲ្យជីវភាព របស់ ប្រជាកសិករ ដែលមានចំនួនជាង ៧០% ឲ្យមានជីវភាពល្អប្រសើរឡើង ។ “ប្រសិនបើយើងអាចលក់អង្ករចេញ ទៅបរទសបានច្រើន នោះនឹងធ្វើឲ្យប្រជាកសិករយើង មានជីវភាព កាន់តែធូរធា” ៕
 
 
 

Thursday, May 22, 2014

A Map Of Where El Niño Will Strike Around The World

Ria Misra
21 May 2014



The map is the work of NOAA and is by no means a prediction or promise of how this year's El Niño might fall, or even if there will be one at all. What it does do, however, is give an overview of how researchers have observed El Niño altering precipitation patterns around the world since 1950.

As you can see, some areas are likely to be prone to the heavy rains, storms, and flooding that we often associate with El Niño. But other areas could experience unusual dryness, perhaps even drought.

Image: NOAA

Tuesday, May 6, 2014

World Bank Report: THE PRACTICE OF RESPONSIBLE INVESTMENT PRINCIPLES IN LARGERSCALE AGRICULTURAL INVESTMENTS

THE PRACTICE OF RESPONSIBLE INVESTMENT PRINCIPLES IN LARGERSCALE AGRICULTURAL INVESTMENTS.

Implications for Corporate Performance and
Impact on Local Communities
WORLD BANK REPORT NUMBER 86175-GLB

April 2014
========================================= 
 Sector related to "Angkor Rice", Chapter 4, Page 33.

BOX 4.9: Technology Transfer in Rice Contract Farming

One investor in Cambodia had developed a rice contract farming system whereby the company supplied improved fragrant rice-planting materials to farmer groups. An average farmer cultivated about one to 1.5 hectares of fragrant rice, using rice seeds provided by the investor. After retaining part of the harvest for their own consumption, the farmer sold all production to the investor. The investor agreed to buy all the production from the farmers at market prices and provided a guaranteed minimum price as an assurance to farmers. The rice from the contract farms was milled at the investor’s rice mill and the final product is sold in the national market (about 80 percent) or exported.

The investor provided technical support and training to contract farmers on the appropriate techniques for rice cultivation. Farmers were given training on the use of proper agricultural practices such as scheduling of various field operations (for example, ploughing, planting), optimal planting densities, nonuse of chemical fertilizers and pesticides, and so on. Extension service staff visited farmers during the growing season and provided advice on how to address any problems observed during the visit, for example, on how to overcome attacks by insect pests. Participants in this scheme noted the higher yields resulting from the better quality seed inputs and technical support provided by the investor. The working relationship between farmers and the investor was perceived as positive by both parties.


Source: UNCTAD-World Bank Survey of Responsible Agricultural Investment Database.

Here comes El Niño: Recent spike in sea temperatures raise fears that a 'significant' weather event is on its way


  •     Experts have spotted a spike in Pacific Ocean sea temperatures
  •     This, coupled with the rapid movement of warm water eastwards, has increased concerns about an upcoming El Niño event
  •     El Niño affects wind patterns and can trigger both floods and drought
  •     Researchers said rises in temperature are above those seen in recent years
  •     This suggests the 2014 El Niño could be one of the strongest for decades
  •     In January, experts predicted a 'substantial' rise in extreme El Niño events
  •     An unusually strong El Niño event occurs every 20 years, but this new research shows this will double to one event every 10 years

By Victoria Woollaston
Published: 10:55 GMT, 5 May 2014 | Updated: 14:57 GMT, 5 May 2014

A spike in Pacific Ocean sea temperatures and the rapid movement of warm water eastwards have increased fears that this year's El Niño could be one of the strongest yet.
El Niño - a warming of sea-surface temperatures in the Pacific - affects wind patterns and can trigger both floods and drought in different parts of the globe.
Although previous research has suggested extreme El Niño events could occur later this year, experts claim this recent rise hints they are likely to be more significant than first thought.
A spike in Pacific Ocean sea temperatures and the rapid movement of warm water eastwards have increased fears this year's El Niño could be one of the strongest yet. El Niño, pictured left, is a warming of sea temperatures that can trigger floods and droughts. La Niña, pictured right, is when sea temperatures drop
A spike in Pacific Ocean sea temperatures and the rapid movement of warm water eastwards have increased fears this year's El Niño could be one of the strongest yet. El Niño, pictured left, is a warming of sea temperatures that can trigger floods and droughts. La Niña, pictured right, is when sea temperatures drop

WHAT IS EL NINO?

El Niño refers to a set of conditions when the surface of the sea in an area along the Equator in the central and eastern Pacific Ocean becomes hotter than usual.
The average water temperature in that area is typically between 1 and 3°C (approximately 2 and 5°F) warmer than normal during this event.
This has the effect of adding huge amounts of heat and moisture into the atmosphere, ultimately affecting patterns of air pressure and rainfall across the Pacific and globally.
Strong El Niño events occur every 20 years or so, but researchers recently said this could drop to 10 years thanks to global warming.
At the opposite end of the scale, La Niña is the climatological counterpart to El Niño.
La Niña refers to periods when sea-surface temperatures around the Equator are cooler than normal.
This has a similar affect on air pressure and rainfall because it suppresses how much heat and moisture enters the atmosphere. 
Dr Wenju Cai, a climate expert at Australia's Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organisation, said the rises in Pacific Ocean temperature were above those seen in previous El Niño years.
‘I think this event has lots of characteristics with a strong El Niño,’ said Cai.
 

‘A strong El Nino appears early and we have seen this event over the last couple of months, which is unusual; the wind that has caused the warming is quite large and there is what we call the pre-conditioned effects, where you must have a lot of heat already in the system to have a big El Niño event.’
He based his conclusions on studying data released by the U.S. National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration.
A majority of weather forecasting models indicate that the phenomenon may develop around the middle of the year, but it was too early to assess its likely strength, the U.N. World Meteorological Organization said on 15 April.
Meteorologists added the prospect of an El Niño will likely be firmed up 'in the next month or two', although forecasting its strength will be hard to do.
The chance of an it developing in 2014 exceeded 70 per cent according to Australia's Bureau of Meteorology.
The worst El Niño on record in 1997 to 1998 was blamed for massive flooding along China's Yangtze river, pictured, that killed over 1,500 people. Australian climate experts claim the recent rises in sea temperature are above those seen in previous El Niño years and suggest this year's events will be 'significant'
The worst El Niño on record in 1997 to 1998 was blamed for massive flooding along China's Yangtze river, pictured, that killed over 1,500 people. Australian climate experts claim the recent rises in sea temperature are above those seen in previous El Niño years and suggest this year's events will be 'significant'


Its weather bureau is expected to issue its next El Niño outlook report on Tuesday, while Japan's meteorological agency is expected to updated its forecast in the next couple of weeks.
The worst El Niño on record in 1997 and 1998 was blamed for massive flooding along China's Yangtze river, responsible for killing more than 1,500 people.

The impact of extreme El Niño events is felt by every continent, and the event in 1997 cost between $35billion to $45billion in damage globally.
A strong El Niño also increases fears that production of many key agricultural commodities in Asia and Australia will suffer.

Strong El Niño events occur every 20 years or so, but researchers recently said this could drop to 10 years thanks to global warming. Here, the village of Puerto Maldonado, Peru, is seen flooded in January 2003 as a result of El Niño rains, which drove 16,000 people from their homes
Strong El Niño events occur every 20 years or so, but researchers recently said this could drop to 10 years thanks to global warming. Here, the village of Puerto Maldonado, Peru, is seen flooded in January 2003 as a result of El Niño rains, which drove 16,000 people from their homes
The impact of this year's El Niño events is expected to be felt by every continent. During the 1997 to 1998 events, damages were said to have been in the region of between $35billion to $45billion. Beachfront homes in Malibu, California, pictured, collapsed after two weeks of high surf under El Niño weather conditions
The impact of this year's El Niño events is expected to be felt by every continent. During the 1997 to 1998 events, damages were said to have been in the region of between $35billion to $45billion. Beachfront homes in Malibu, California, pictured, collapsed after two weeks of high surf under El Niño weather conditions

EXTREME EL NINO EVENTS

Extreme El Niño events develop differently from standard El Niños, which first appear in the western Pacific.
The extreme events occur when sea surface temperatures exceeding 28°C develop in the normally cold and dry eastern equatorial Pacific Ocean.
This different location for the origin of the temperature increase causes massive changes in global rainfall patterns.
The new patterns result in flash floods and torrential rain in some places and devastating droughts and wild fires in others.
Extreme El Niño events are expected to double in frequency over the next 100 years.
The impact of extreme El Niño events is felt by every continent.
In January, a team of international scientists said extreme weather events fuelled by unusually strong El Niños are expected to double over the next century.
Climate scientists warned countries could be struck by devastating droughts, wild fires and dramatic foods approximately every ten years.
The team, made up of experts from the ARC Centre of Excellence for Climate System Science (CoECSS), the U.S. National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration and CSIRO, also  spotted a link between global warming and extreme El Niño events.
‘We currently experience an unusually strong El Niño event every 20 years. Our research shows this will double to one event every 10 years,’ said Agus Santoso of CoECSS, who co-authored the study.
‘El Niño events are a multi-dimensional problem and only now are we starting to understand better how they respond to global warming,’ he added.
Extreme El Niño events develop differently from standard El Niños, which first appear in the western Pacific.
The extreme events occur when sea surface temperatures exceeding 28°C develop in the normally cold and dry eastern equatorial Pacific Ocean.

Scientists in Germany recently said they can forecast disruptive El Niño events a year in advance. They hope the forecast will help countries develop better strategies to counter the effects such as wild fires, pictured in the Philippines. Meteorologists said the prospect of a 2014 El Niño will be firmed up 'in the next month or two'
Scientists in Germany recently said they can forecast disruptive El Niño events a year in advance. They hope the forecast will help countries develop better strategies to counter the effects such as wild fires, pictured in the Philippines. Meteorologists said the prospect of a 2014 El Niño will be firmed up 'in the next month or two'


This different location for the origin of the temperature increase causes massive changes in global rainfall patterns, which result in floods and torrential rain in some places and devastating droughts and wild fires in others.
The impacts of extreme El Niño events that extended to every continent across the globe in 1997, for example, killed around 23,000 people.
Dr Cai continued: ‘During an extreme El Niño event countries in the western Pacific, such as Australia and Indonesia, experienced devastating droughts and wild fires, while catastrophic floods occurred in the eastern equatorial region of Ecuador and northern Peru.’

In Australia, the drought and dry conditions caused by the 1982 and 1983 extreme El Niño led to the Ash Wednesday Bushfire in southeast Australia, which resulted in 75 deaths.
The scientists examined 20 climate models to simulate major rainfall reorganisation during extreme El Niño events. This satellite image shows the El Nino weather phenomena in 1997, represented by the the white area at the equator, which shows how the warm waters stretch from Peru to Alaska
The scientists examined 20 climate models to simulate major rainfall reorganisation during extreme El Niño events. This satellite image shows the El Nino weather phenomena in 1997, represented by the the white area at the equator, which shows how the warm waters stretch from Peru to Alaska

Thursday, January 2, 2014

Mr. Chieu Hieng, Angkor Rice's founder, My Story My Life

CNC, My Story, My Life
DECEMBER 24, 2013


The interview of CNC with Mr. Chieu Hieng, Founder of Angkor Rice.
" My Story, My Life "

Monday, December 30, 2013

Cooperation between Angkor Rice and Mitsubishi UFJ Securities

A world-first technology is turning tonnes of waste into bio-fuel and could transform the way the Kingdom approaches agriculture.

Southeast Asia GLOBE
DECEMBER 2013


A world-fist technology is turning tonnes of waste
into bio-fuel and could transform the way the
Kingdom approaches agriculture
By Amanda Saxton

A top a massive furnace billowing with heat, one can peer through the flue into the inferno. It is a mesmerizing sight: waves of flame keep rice husk wheeling, condemned to an embodiment of the bible’s “eternal fire”.
                Adisorn Chieu, the Cambodia managing director of local producer Angkor Rice, stands nearby. “TORBED” technology is the future of rice husk technology,” He says, confident that this huge reactor – the first of its kind installed anywhere in the world will revolutionize Cambodia’s rice industry.
                Despite the status of rice as Cambodia’s undoubted food staple, the Kingdom’s rice industry lags behind that of its neighbors in term of both production and processing. Viet Nam can grow up to ten tonnes of rice per hectare, While Cambodia produces just three.
                According to figure from the Ministry of commerce, rice exports doubled in the first seven months of this year. To keep up, the processing sector requires revolution. The rice industry misses out on premium export price because mills cannot cope with the increasing supply, meaning unprocessed rice is sold for nominal prices to Vietnam, where processing costs are minimal.
                Rice mills, along with most Cambodians, are crippled by the cost and supply of electricity, with prices more than twice that of neighboring Vietnam. Most rice millers have their own diesel generators to ensure consistent power, but these are dirty, barely cheaper and do nothing to mitigate waste. Hence a revolution is indeed taking place, with mills turning to their own waste to power operations.
                Rice husks constitute about 20% of rice’s weight and are a mill’s main waste product.  Currently, they are often burned in the open or dumped in rivers, where they release methane as they decay. However, they make perfect biofuel for gasifies – converters that can power small- and medium-sized plants by turning waste products into energy. The requisite gasifier systems’ initial costs depend on the size and make of machinery, but emancipation from the expensive grid reduces dependency on diesel to about 30% of most producer power needs.  In theory, gasifier systems allow a rice mill to cut its electricity costs in half.
                A lake of capital provides the main barrier to jumping on this renewable energy bandwagon. Hence organization such as SNV, a development body from the Netherlands, step in to find financing option for the mills. Together with SME renewable energy, the Cambodia business selling gasifiers, they promote the technology to rice millers throughout Cambodia.
                 According to Ira Larasaty, SNV’s waste- to-energy program leader, “copycat gasifiers” pose a different type of problem: Their lake of quality renders them prone to breakdown, which sabotages the system’s reputation for efficiency and cost-reduction. Furthermore, bio-char is a waste product produced by gasifiers that can contaminate water and soil without proper treatment, while burnt rice husks contain levels of crystalline silica, which is carcinogenic. 
Future machine: Angkor Rice has embraced the expensive and
large-scaled TORBED technology (above); a schematic diagram
of the gasifier process (below)
 

“Accumulated solid waste is an issue that needs attention…. Most millers do not apply any treatment to gasifier wastes due to a lake of funding and lake of support,” said Larasaty.  “One of the objectives is to introduce a technology that is environmentally responsible and sustainable. This can be achieved by joining force with technology provider who are confident and can demonstrate that their systems are efficient and cost effective.”
                For Large mills with capital aplenty, the TORBED reactor solves both electricity and waste problem. At Angkor rice headquarters near Phnom Penh, this multimillion-dollar, two megawatt power plant stands adjacent to it processing mill. Tonnes of stockpiled rice husk is conveyed into the furnace and burnt evenly at about 760c.
                 The operation is dauntingly high-tech, although it retains some Cambodian character: Above the buttons and knobs, dials and monitors, there hangs a golden Buddhist shine. According to Adisorn Chieu, this reactor halves the mill’s costs and they are plant to build another.
                Unlike gasifiers and alternative large scale power generators in Cambodia, the TORBED reactor burns husks very evenly, resulting in amorphous silica, which , crucially, is non-carcinogenic and can be sold as a product in itself for use in the construction industry. The reactor also eliminates the need for diesel, making it a particularly eco-friendly power generator.
                However, the convoluted technology means the team at Angkor Rice are dependent on knowhow and resource from abroad. “[TORBED technology] is the promising and potential for larger plants is huge as long as the support systems – trained operators, maintenance, funding etc – are implemented,” said Larasaty.
                Biofuel from rice husks could play an important role in two of Cambodia’s projected goals. By increasing mills’s efficiency, the government’s aim to export one million tonnes of rice in 2015 could be realized, and with excess power from gasifiers and the TORBED reactor being sold to villager, biofuel could help the government’s scheme to electrify 70% of households by 2030.
                “With gasifiers there is some failure, some success,” said Chieu. “TORBED is perfect for us, because here in Cambodia we have high electricity costs and plenty of rice husks.” 

Monday, December 23, 2013

Torftech Energy’s Malaysian JV signs MOU for a second 5MWe Rice Husk power plant in Cambodia



Angkor Kasekamroong Roeung Co Ltd (“Angkor”) and TORCHE Energy Sdn Bhd signed an MOU to develop Cambodia’s second TORBED based combustion system utilizing rice husk as a fuel.

Torftech Energy is supplying its “state-of-the-art” TORBED based combustion system utilizing rice husk as fuel to generate electricity at all of these new plants in Cambodia. These TORBED combustion systems will be manufactured and supplied through Torftech Energy’s newly formed Malaysian Joint Venture, TORCHE, which will also provide the Engineering, Procurement and Construction for the project.

The same unique proposition saw recent success in Vietnam; where the opportunity to produce a non-hazardous high quality ash helped win a pipeline of projects for Torftech Energy. The production of such an ash provides considerable advantages over conventional combustion plants as the ash can be used as a cement substitute for enhancing concrete strength. The ash generated, using the proprietary TORBED combustion technology developed by Torftech from United Kingdom, has the trade mark ‘Agrisilica’ that guarantees its quality and enables the export of the ash to major economies in the region. This is one of the key factors that permit the additional investment costs that result when using more advanced European Technology.


Mr Jeffrey Lamb, Head of UK Trade & Investment in Vietnam, witnessed the signing and commented; “It is fantastic to see Torftech Energy being so successful in South East Asia and providing a low carbon solution to both a waste and an energy security issue. It is especially encouraging to see an innovative British company developing strong partnerships across multiple countries in the region.” 

Friday, November 1, 2013

Nearly harvested, Neang Malis new crop 2013

My life, my country and my Neang Malis rice field.

Field survey indicates good yield, good production, fragrant and very promising!

By Angkor Rice
1st November 2013

Kampong Speu - Angkor Rice staffs went down to the field to check the crop condition yesterday. Kampong Speu is the main province under the contracted farming of Angkor Rice, beside from that are Kandal, Kampot and Takeo.

Base on the report, Mr. Chieu Chu said that the crop is in perfect condition, "the farmers are happy for this year. there were no drought and there were not much diseases". He added that the crop should be ready to be harvested in another 1-2 weeks time.
Chief of the Angkor Agriculture Association and the members taking photo with Angkor Rice staffs.

Angkor Rice has been working with farmers in order to grow Neang Malis fragrant rice for more than 10 years. "This is the 12th years we have been working with the farmers" Mr. Pa, Angkor Rice agriculture promoter said. "We created hope and good job to the farmers not only in our member area, but it has lifted the whole rice industry of the whole country".

Mr. Sombath, a chief village in Khom Prey Rumduan, Kampong Speu province said, "we will support the company as the company is very honest and sincere to us". He expects the price of the crop will be highest comparing to the other rice variety because the advice from the company.

"All of our villagers grow rice for the company, the rice can be grown only 1 time a year but the yield and the price is good to support my nieces to enter a university in Phnom Penh", he told us proudly.



Rice is almost ready for harvest.

Members of Angkor Rice who works on the field for more than 12 years in Kampong Speu.

Let's ride, ask me, I shall give you fragrant rice.

Motorbike with trunk, bringing students to school

The condition of the rice is almost ready to be harvested, the water in the field was also pumped out.

Carefully taking care, the rice will be the pride of the country, the pride to the King.



Monday, October 21, 2013

China Daily: Nation set to bolster the import of rice

Chinese rice importers visited Angkor Rice

Updated: 2013-10-18 08:08
By Zhong Nan (China Daily USA)

The government is expected to further lower the bar on rice imports, in a bid to boost the country's food supply, industry experts said.

The China National Grain and Oils Information Center forecast that the country's rice output will drop 0.7 percent year-on-year to 202.8 million metric tons in 2013, indicating the rice production is falling after stable output growth for a decade.

As the world's biggest rice consumer, China imported between 500,000 and 600,000 metric tons of rice per year until 2012, when local prices lost their competitiveness against rice imported from neighboring countries.

Ding Shengjun, a senior researcher at the Academy of the State Administration of Grain, said that adverse weather and floods in major rice-growing regions, such as Hunan, Jiangxi and Zhejiang, have curbed the country's rice output and deepened reliance on imports.

During a visit by Premier Li Keqiang to Bangkok this month, China agreed to raise the amount of rice to be imported from Thailand over the next five years to 1 million metric tons per year.

"After decades of efforts to pursue higher outputs, China's rice sector is seeing a decline in competitiveness," Ding said. "The government has realized that the country's rice farmland needs a break after years of heavy use of fertilizers, pesticides and herbicides."

The country accounts for 26 percent of the world's rice production.

Like other Asian countries, China has implemented policies to encourage rice cultivation by guaranteeing minimum purchase prices. But after almost a decade of increases, rice prices are now well over those seen in international markets.

The China National Grain and Oils Information Center said the per hectare rice production level has also declined, with the rice yield per hectare falling 1.7 percent to 6.7 tons this year. However, the corn and wheat yields per hectare rose 2.6 and 1.6 percent, respectively.

"The fast pace of industrialization and urbanization has transformed a number of rice farmland areas into manufacturing facilities and residential housing projects. This transformation to a certain extent has gradually shifted the country's rice production center from the south to the north," said Wen Tiejun, dean of the school of agricultural economics and rural development at the Beijing-based Renmin University of China.

Wen said that outdated grain logistics services have also hampered the efficiency of the rice production system.

The northeast region is far away from the major rice consumption provinces, but the grain logistics system is not ready for that challenge yet.

For instance, rice transportation costs from Heilongjiang province to major consumer markets in Zhejiang and Jiangsu now account for about 30 percent of retail rice prices, according to a study by the Harbin-based Northeast Agricultural University. That puts extra pressure on logistics companies to satisfy rice demand during peak seasons, and offers opportunities for companies in South China to buy rice from neighboring countries such as Cambodia, Myanmar and Vietnam.

Ding Lixin, a researcher at the Chinese Academy of Agricultural Sciences in Beijing, said that the increasing rice imports stem from the notable price differences between foreign and domestic rice.

He said that rice imports will be kept at a high level if domestic rice prices continue to rise before the Lunar New Year, which will be in late January 2014.

However, domestic prices might be capped by the increase in imports.

"Under such circumstances, sufficient rice supply from the global market and the low import prices from countries such as Thailand, Indonesia and Vietnam have all become important elements subduing the rising pace of Chinese rice prices," he added.

zhongnan@chinadaily.com.cn

Chinese rice importers visited Angkor Rice

Monday, July 8, 2013

King Sihamoni, Queen Mother and Samdech Hun Sen visit AKR: picture gallery

By Angkor Rice
8 July 2013

King Norodom Sihamoni, Queen Mother and the Prime Minister, Samdech Hun Sen, visit Angkor Rice today.

The King Norodom Sihamoni.

H.E.Chan Sarun, Cambodian Minister of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries, was explaining to the King about the rice variety grown in the research field at Angkor Rice.



Queen Mother and the King were paying attention for the explanation from the Minister Chan Sarun. 


The King and the Prime Minister were inspecting the Angkor Rice packing process.


The King and the Prime Minister were discussing about the Cambodian rice industry at Angkor Rice. 


The King gave a present to Angkor Rice president, Mr. Chieu Hieng.
Somdech Hunsen greeting Angkor Rice staffs.


King Sihamoni, Somdech Hun Sen the Prime Minister and, Somdech Kong Som Ol Cambodian Minister of Royal Affairs were providing a chance for a group photo session with Angkor Rice executives.
The King and the Prime Minister were checking the rice husk power plant at Angkor Bio Cogen.


The King and the Prime Minister were checking the rice husk power plant at Angkor Bio Cogen.

Tuesday, October 30, 2012

Did Climate Change Cause Hurricane Sandy?



If you’ve followed the U.S. news and weather in the past 24 hours you have no doubt run across a journalist or blogger explaining why it’s difficult to say that climate change could be causing big storms like Sandy. Well, no doubt here: it is.
The hedge expressed by journalists is that many variables go into creating a big storm, so the size of Hurricane Sandy, or any specific storm, cannot be attributed to climate change. That’s true, and it’s based on good science. However, that statement does not mean that we cannot say that climate change is making storms bigger. It is doing just that—a statement also based on good science, and one that the insurance industry is embracing, by the way. (Huh? More on that in a moment.)
Scientists have long taken a similarly cautious stance, but more are starting to drop the caveat and link climate change directly to intense storms and other extreme weather events, such as the warm 2012 winter in the eastern U.S. and the frigid one in Europe at the same time. They are emboldened because researchers have gotten very good in the past decade at determining what affects the variables that create big storms. Hurricane Sandy got large because it wandered north along the U.S. coast, where ocean water is still warm this time of year, pumping energy into the swirling system. But it got even larger when a cold Jet Stream made a sharp dip southward from Canada down into the eastern U.S. The cold air, positioned against warm Atlantic air, added energy to the atmosphere and therefore to Sandy, just as it moved into that region, expanding the storm even further.
Here’s where climate change comes in. The atmospheric pattern that sent the Jet Stream south is colloquially known as a “blocking high”—a big pressure center stuck over the very northern Atlantic Ocean and southern Arctic Ocean. And what led to that? A climate phenomenon called the North Atlantic Oscillation (NAO)—essentially, the state of atmospheric pressure in that region. This state can be positive or negative, and it had changed from positive to negative two weeks before Sandy arrived. The climate kicker? Recent research by Charles Greene at Cornell University and other climate scientists has shown that as more Arctic sea ice melts in the summer—because of global warming—the NAO is more likely  to be negative during the autumn and winter. A negative NAO makes the Jet Stream more likely to move in a big, wavy pattern across the U.S., Canada and the Atlantic, causing the kind of big southward dip that occurred during Sandy.
Climate change amps up other basic factors that contribute to big storms. For example, the oceans have warmed, providing more energy for storms. And the Earth’s atmosphere has warmed, so it retains more moisture, which is drawn into storms and is then dumped on us.
These changes contribute to all sorts of extreme weather. In a recent op-ed in theWashington Post, James Hansen at NASA’s Goddard Institute for Space Studies in New York blamed climate change for excessive drought, based on six decades of measurements, not computer models: “Our analysis shows that it is no longer enough to say that global warming will increase the likelihood of extreme weather and to repeat the caveat that no individual weather event can be directly linked to climate change. To the contrary, our analysis shows that, for the extreme hot weather of the recent past, there is virtually no explanation other than climate change.”
He went on to write that the Russian heat wave of 2010 and catastrophic droughts in Texas and Oklahoma in 2011 could each be attributed to climate change, concluding that “The odds that natural variability created these extremes are minuscule, vanishingly small. To count on those odds would be like quitting your job and playing the lottery every morning to pay the bills.”
Hanson also argued a year ago that Earth is entering a period of rapid climate change, so radical weather will be upon us sooner than we’d like. Scientific American just published a big feature article detailing the same point.
Indeed, if you’re a regular Scientific American reader, you might recall that another well-regarded scientist predicted behemoths such as Sandy in 2007. The article, by Kevin Trenberth, a senior scientist at the National Center for Atmospheric Research, was presciently titled, “Warmer Oceans, Stronger Hurricanes.” Trenberth’s extensive analysis concluded that although the number of Atlantic hurricanes each year might not rise, the strength of them would.
Hurricane Sandy has emboldened more scientists to directly link climate change and storms, without the hedge. On Monday, as Sandy came ashore in New Jersey, Jonathan Foley, director of the Institute on the Environment at the University of Minnesota, tweeted: “Would this kind of storm happen without climate change? Yes. Fueled by many factors. Is [the] storm stronger because of climate change? Yes.”
Raymond Bradley, director of the Climate Systems Research Center at the University of Massachusetts, was quoted in the Vancouver Sun saying: “When storms develop, when they do hit the coast, they are going to be bigger and I think that’s a fair statement that most people could sign onto.”
A recent, peer-reviewed study published by several authors in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Science concludes: “The largest cyclones are most affected by warmer conditions and we detect a statistically significant trend in the frequency of large surge events (roughly corresponding to tropical storm size) since 1923.”
Greg Laden, an anthropologist who blogs about culture and science, wrote this week inan online piece: “There is always going to be variation in temperature or some other weather related factor, but global warming raises the baseline. That’s true. But the corollary to that is NOT that you can’t link climate change to a given storm. All storms are weather, all weather is the immediate manifestation of climate, climate change is about climate.”
Now, as promised: If you still don’t believe scientists, then believe insurance giant Munich Re. In her October 29 post at the The New Yorker, writer Elizabeth Kolbert notes:
Munich Re, one of the world’s largest reinsurance firms, issued a study titled “Severe Weather in North America.” According to the press release that accompanied the report, “Nowhere in the world is the rising number of natural catastrophes more evident than in North America.” … While many factors have contributed to this trend, including an increase in the number of people living in flood-prone areas, the report identified global warming as one of the major culprits: “Climate change particularly affects formation of heat-waves, droughts, intense precipitation events, and in the long run most probably also tropical cyclone intensity.”
Insurers, scientists and journalist are beginning to drop the caveats and simply say that climate change is causing big storms. As scientists collect more and more data over time, more of them will be willing to make the same data-based statements.
Image courtesy of NASA Goddard Institute for Space Studies

Mark FischettiAbout the Author: Mark Fischetti is a senior editor at Scientific American who covers energy, environment and sustainability issues. Follow on Twitter @markfischetti.