Developing Countries Will Lead Global Rice Import Growth in 2013-22, Says USDA Rice growers positive California MG prices are UP Russia MG Harvest coming to end Egypt open rice exports Vietnam’s rice export in tough competition with India Thai rice exports in May Rise Above Target This Year Viet-Nam Rice exports likely to fall this year
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S. KOREAN Farmers Protests against Rice import Deal
Angry farmers planned massive protests Friday against moves by parliament to ratify an international deal that calls for South Korea to open its restricted rice market wider to imports. Under World Trade Organization (WTO) regulations, South Korea signed a deal with the United States and eight other rice-exporting countries late last year to raise its rice import quota to 7.96 per cent by 2014 from the current 4 per cent in return for a 10-year additional delay in introducing tariffs on rice. South Korean farmers claim that the deal, if pushed, would threaten their livelihood. South Korean rice is about three to four times more expensive than imports. Government officials fear that failure to implement the deal well before year's end would cause low-cost foreign rice imports to flood the domestic market under a tariff system. Running against time, the National Assembly's gate-keeping Foreign Affairs and Unification Committee passed a motion on the rice import deal on Thursday and referred it to the full Assembly session for ratification. "We are very angry because the government and lawmakers are pushing for the passage of the deal without any consultations with farmers, even though such a move will have grave consequences," said Lee Young-soo, a leader of a farmer's group, called the Korean Peasants League. Lee said about 150,000 farmers would gather Friday for protests in at least 14 rural areas, including Gwangju, Yesan, Andong, Yeoju, Ansung and Gimpo. Farmers also planned more protests timed with this year's summit of the 21-nation Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation forum to be held in South Korea's southern city of Busan on Nov. 18-19. Participants in the summit include U.S. President George W. Bush and Japanese Prime Minister Junichiro Koizumi. "Farmers are planning to converge in Busan on the 18th to make their voices heard to world leaders," Lee said. Farmers have a small but determined group of lawmakers in the 299-member parliament, all from the labor-friendly Democratic Labor Party (DLP). About a dozen DLP lawmakers had previously blocked passage of the deal through the committee. Kang Gi-gap, a DLP lawmaker, began a hunger strike in the lobby of the National Assembly building to protest the adoption of the deal by the parliamentary committee. "They passed it haphazardly without giving deep thoughts to the expected consequences," he said. The Korean Peasants League and the Korean Advanced Farmers Federation (KAFF), two of the country's largest farmers' groups, demand that ratification be put off until more concrete support can be given to farmers. "The government does not seem to have any real contingency plans in regard to what will happen to farmers if more foreign rice is allowed into the country," said Park Noh-uk, a top member of the KAFF. "Farmers have no choice but to take to the streets."
MGR Archive 30.10.2005
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Russia Rapan $ 700
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USA Calrose #1 Paddy $480
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