Thursday, February 14, 2008


1. An Indian government ban of rice exports has plunged neighboring Bangladesh into crisis, in a grim preview of growing global grain shortages. The February 7 ban by India's Ministry of Commerce and Industry intensifies a worldwide rice shortage according to the Rome-based United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization drove up prices by nearly 40% last year.

2. Worse, in a repeat of a disaster that last struck in 1959, a famine threatens remote areas of southeast Bangladesh after millions of rats devastated food crops as the rodents reproduced in dramatic numbers following a flowering of bamboo forests that happens every 50 years. The rat breeding out-paces the bamboo flower growth, and soon the animals turn to ravaging rice stalks and vegetables in the affected region. Northeastern India has been similarly hit after bamboo forests in Mizoram began blossoming in 2007. Local authorities declared the area a disaster zone but the Indian government has not yet announced plans to combat this bi-century rat storm.

3. The recent three-week snow storms in China caused $7.5 billion in damages, according to early government estimates, including destruction of winter crops leading to a $700 million relief package for farmers.

You can purchase 20lb bags of rice at your local grocery store for less than $10, store rice in a cool dry place and it will last for years. Food prices will continue to increase in the coming depression, DBA RJA and RJI are good agriculture & commodity longs.

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