World Perspectives
softs

No Rice Shortage

Food scarcity has been a frequent headline this year but with food inflation now dropping along with commodity prices, rice is an example of the scare that wasn’t. The monsoon was late starting in India, leading concerns that the world’s largest rice exporter would be driving up prices by 10 percent. Weather has now returned to normal, and the September rice contract has shed 3.5 percent in value over the past few weeks.  USDA forecasts global rice production to rise a modest 0.37 percent, but global rice exports will increase by 1.8 percent. Rice is a more water intensive crop than most and could be the most impacted by climate change. This should turn the research focus on genetics with less intensive water requirements...

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softs

Less Traded Category

The news headline says that the Filipino government will import 21,060 MT of onions to fill a supply shortfall until the next domestic harvest in February. Consumer prices have quadrupled in the last four months, which has created a political issue. Vegetables as a general category are subject...

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Illuminating the value of technical research

On behalf of a commodity producer organization, WPI evaluated the outputs from a project that featured a $5 million investment into technical research over multiple years. WPI’s team captured the results of this extensive effort and synthesized them for presentation to the organization’s governing board; among the findings uncovered and presented for the first time was the development of genomic traits proven, via rigorous testing, to provide crop yield advantages of 50 percent or more to U.S. farmers in times of drought. Capturing measurable results from long-term efforts can be challenging. Educating clients on the dynamics of success measurement when quantifiable results are not readily available requires deep client-consultant collaboration and an ability to consider both near- and long-term client aspirations with market/policy dynamics – attributes that WPI brings to every consulting engagement.

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