Saturday, December 27, 2014

26th December(Friday),2014 Daily Global Rice E-Newsletter by Riceplus Magazine

Integrated rice-fish farming at farm household level
Integrated rice-fish farming at farm household level
M. G. Neogi

Integrated farming encourages farmers for manifold use of available resources to get higher benefits. Aquaculture is increasingly becoming an important income generating activity by the farm households who cultivate rice. The farm households in Bangladesh have huge demand for quality fingerlings to culture in their seasonal ponds, in rice fields as well as in low-land water bodies.

Fish seed is the most critical input for aquaculture, yet the geographically clustered nature of hatchery and nursery operations in Bangladesh restricts its easy availability, and as a result,  few powerful individuals maintain a monopoly over the supply chain. At the community level, decentralised fish seed production may be able to make quality fingerlings available across the country.

The main opportunity of this pattern of farming is to spread a proven way of producing fish seed in rice fields and bring fish farming within the reach of the poor. Producers and traders will thus be less dependent on central hatcheries for fish seed. Poor fish farmers will get access to resources, increase income from production and this will thereby lead to their overall livelihood improvement. The most important result of this method is to benefit the rice-field based fingerlings producers, besides improving the value chain for fish seed supply.

Decentralised fish seed production technology is very simple. During February, farmers stock tilapia fish and common carp eggs in small ditches located in suitable corners of irrigated rice fields. Fish seed production peaks during May and June. The fingerlings are harvested by drawing down water levels to concentrate them in the ditch where they can be retained and netted prior to sale or restocking in household ponds. Little or no additional irrigation or supplementary feed is required, and the fingerlings are ready for sale at the time of peak demand among pond farmers. Fish seed production in this manner is healthy and more resistant than that of the hatcheries, and is less vulnerable to physical damage due to long distance transporting.

Each farmer can produce an average of 5 thousand fingerlings, the sale value of which is Tk. 5,000. Besides, each household can consume fish according to its needs. An experiment regarding rice-fish culture shows that the current fish deficit in Bangladesh (250,000 tons) can be reduced significantly by promoting this technology. It has been found that a total of 2.83 million hectares of land is suitable for integrated rice-fish cultivation in Bangladesh. If these lands are brought under rice-fish cultivation, about 0.1 million tons of fish can be added to national fish production annually. To make integrated rice-fish technique efficient, important input like fingerlings can also be made available (about 15,000 million) using 0.3 million hectare of rice field. Besides, around a total of 0.3 million poor households can earn their livelihood from this.

The culture of fish farming in rice fields can greatly improve the productivity of low-income rice farmers. The technique of combining fish culture with rice cultivation offers higher production compared to traditional rice farming alone. Integrated rice-fish culture is thus a feasible and efficient way to improve the use of agricultural resources. Rice-fish culture provides economic, social and ecological benefits. It improves soil fertility, reduces damage from weeds and insects and thereby cuts on costs for pesticides and chemical fertilisers.

To achieve high yields, it is important to choose the appropriate fish species and use the proper stocking density and size. Sharputi, tilapia and common Carp are the ideal species for rice-fish culture. The economic benefit of rice growing alone is not as high as fish culture. At present, the unit yield of rice is stable. Improved benefits and production value can be achieved by rearing fish in rice fields. Fish brings positive changes in rice cultivation and helps achieve remarkable economic benefit.

A CASE STUDY OF KALPONA RANI: Kalpona Rani (46) of Subarbari village of Panchagram Union under Lalmonirhat Sadar Upazilla  in Lalmonirhat district is a marginal farmer owning 50 decimal cultivable lands, which is too small even to run a small family. She had plans to produce fish in her rice field. But lack of knowledge and fund deterred her in executing her plans. She was keen to learn integrated rice-fish cultivation technique for better income. She soon learnt the technique from a NGO named RDRS, through a project supported by World Fish Centre. She received training on rice-fish culture and after completion of her training, she prepared the land for fish culture along with rice cultivation. She also raised dykes around the plot and made a small ditch in one corner of the land covering 2 decimals of land. She stocked 3,000 fingerlings of sarputi in the 50 decimal of rice field. She invested Tk. 1,500 for fish production and got a net profit of around Tk. 5,000 from selling around 100 kg table fish. With the inspiration of this profit, she again stocked 300 gram carp spawn in the same land. She used oil cake and rice bran as feed for better growth. She invested Tk.500 for fingerling production and made a net profit around Tk. 5,000 from selling 50 kg fingerlings.

Kalpona Rani was making higher profit from the rice-cum-fish culture than the rice monoculture. For getting quality organic fertiliser, she established a compost pit in her homestead space. For drinking safe water, she installed a tube well from the profit of the project. She also established a hygienic sanitary latrine to reduce water borne diseases. She met the expenses of her daughter's marriage from the profit of the project. Now Kalpona's husband assists her more in the rice-fish project as its turnover has been gradually improving their livelihood.

Dr. M. G. Neogi is Consultant International Rice Research Institute (IRRI), Bangladesh.

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Aggie Dep't pushes for climate smart technologies

Created on Tuesday, 23 December 2014 Published Date
Agriculture Secretary Proceso J. Alcala announced that the Department of Agriculture is incorporating climate change policies in its programs, plans and budget to meet the demands of the forthcoming weather changes.
“In response to the directive of his Excellency, President Benigno S. Aquino, and in line with the Climate Change Act, DA has put in place adaptation strategies to cushion the impact of extreme weather conditions,” Alcala announced.
The agri chief added that the government thru DA, will be setting up 153 automatic weather stations in agricultural production areas to give weather advisories to food producers.
“These stations will serve as source of information so they will know when and how to plant on a particular season,” Alcala said.
Alcala added that the government has been working non-stop to develop climate-resistant food varieties. Aside from super rice, research centers under DA have been developing drought-, flood-, and salinity-resistant rice varieties.
During the 44th Gawad Saka awarding ceremony held at the Philippine International Convention Center on December 18, 2014, Alcala urged all the agri champions to continue to look for effective farm systems that are climate smart.
The Secretary thanked all the 22 winners of various individual and group categories who partnered with the government in adapting new technologies.
“All winners who belong to the newest batch of achievers who have paved way for a more developed rural sector that is more competitive and at par with other ASEAN nations,” Alcala said.
“Your efforts have also contributed to the sustainable growth of the agri-fishery sectors, which incurred .33% increment in the first nine months of the year,” he added.
During the event, Alcala made special mention of the triumphs of farmer Gerardo “Gerry” Esteban who integrates rice with other farm produce using modern farm technologies.
Esteban, who started his agri project on a leased one-hectare land some years back, ventured into rice production with only the knowledge passed on to him by his father. Working hard and doubling his efforts, he achieved good results and has now expanded his venture.
He now manages his own five-hectare land planted with rice, fruit trees, vegetables, and livestock forage. He also maintains a farmhouse, a greenhouse, a multi-purpose drying pavement, livestock animals and various aquatic species. ### (odarodriguez) 
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Rice field irrigation to see further cuts amid drought

December 25, 2014, 12:37 am TWN
TAIPEI--The suspension of irrigation to some rice fields will be expanded amid no signs that the current water shortage, expected to end up the worst Taiwan has seen in a decade, is letting up, the Ministry of Economic Affairs said Wednesday.
The ministry's drought disaster control and prevention task force is set to hold a meeting Thursday to determine which paddies will face suspension of water.The expansion could increase the area of affected farmland to 44,000 hectares across the country, the Water Resources Agency estimated.It is expected to cover farmland in irrigation zones in Taoyuan, Hsinchu and Miaoli in the north, as well as Chiayi in the south.
In a meeting on Dec. 1, the ministry decided to stop irrigation to paddies within range of Mingde Reservoir in Miaoli County, as well as those along the northern bank of Da'an River between Miaoli and Taichung.
The initial suspension means that 5,800 hectares of farmland will go fallow, according to the Economics Ministry.
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Vietnam's rice output seen up at 44.84 mln T in 2014

Dec 26 (Reuters) - Vietnam, the world's third-largest rice exporter, produced an estimated 44.84 million tonnes of paddy rice this year, up 1.8 percent from 2013, thanks mainly to higher yield, the Agriculture Ministry said on Friday.
The rice acreage this year dropped 1.2 percent from 2013 to 7.8 million hectares (19.27 million acres), while the average yield rose 3 percent, the ministry said in a monthly report.
The country's rice exports this year would ease 0.9 percent from 2013 to an estimated 6.53 million tonnes, the ministry said, putting the Southeast Asian country far behind major grain exporters Thailand and India. (Reporting by Ho Binh Minh; Editing by Muralikumar Anantharaman)

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How to make the most of your Christmas leftovers
Transform your Christmas dinner leftovers into delicious modern dishes to excite even the most jaded palate
·         James Ramsden

·         The Observer, 
·         ]
Description: Turkey Fattee

Turkey Fattee. Photograph: Kate Whitaker for Observer Food Monthly

Turkey fattee

Fattee is a Lebanese dish of layered crisp pitta bread, rice, chilli sauce, garlic, yoghurt, herbs… need I go on?
Serves 6
For the chilli sauce
unsalted butter 2 tbsp
ground coriander 1 tsp
ground cumin 1 tsp
ground cinnamon ½ tsp
sweet smoked paprika ½ tsp
chilli flakes 1 tsp
passata 500ml
red wine vinegar 2 tbsp
sugar 1 tsp
salt and pepper
For the garlic yoghurt
garlic clove 1, crushed to a paste
thick plain yoghurt 300g
salt a good pinch
olive oil
For the pitta crisps
butter 50g
pitta breads 3
cooked turkey 300-500g, shredded
olive oil
salt and pepper
For the rice
basmati rice 250g
olive oil 2 tbsp
tinned chickpeas 400g, drained
cinnamon stick 1
star anise 3
chicken stock 500ml
To finish
fresh mint, coriander and parsley a big handful
Up to 3 days ahead (minimum 1 hour): To make the chilli sauce, melt the butter over a medium heat and add the spices and chilli flakes. Stir for a minute, then add the passata, vinegar and sugar. Season and simmer for 20 minutes, stirring occasionally, until thickened. Set aside. Beat the crushed garlic into the yoghurt with a good pinch of salt and a slug of olive oil. Store in the fridge.
Up to 1 day ahead: For the pitta crisps, preheat the oven to 200C/gas mark 6. Melt the butter. Lightly toast the pittas in a toaster, then halve them through the middle so you have six thin pieces. Brush with butter and bake in the oven for 8 minutes, until golden. Sprinkle with sea salt then store somewhere handy.
1 hour ahead: Preheat the oven to 180C/gas mark 4. Toss the turkey with olive oil, salt and pepper. Put in a baking dish, cover with foil, and bake for 20 minutes until hot. Keep warm.
30 minutes ahead: Gently reheat the chilli sauce. Rinse the rice under running water for a few minutes, then shake dry, or dry-ish. Heat the oil in a large pan and add the rice. Stir for a couple of minutes over a good heat until lightly toasted, then add the chickpeas, spices and chicken stock. Bring to a boil, cover and simmer very gently for 12 minutes without removing the lid. Take off the heat and leave for another 5 minutes, still covered. Now uncover and leave for a couple of minutes before fluffing up with a fork.
To serve: Layer up, starting with a pitta crisp, then the rice, then the turkey, followed by chilli sauce and garlic yoghurt. Garnish with a big handful of fresh herbs and serve.
David Williams’s wine match for the fattee
Taste the Difference 12 Year Old Oloroso Sherry, Jerez, Spain 
(£8, Sainsbury’s)
Well, there has to be sherry somewhere at Christmas, but there’s more to this match than using up the bottle you’ve got in for great-aunt Mavis. There’s a dried orange tang, a touch of clove and other sweet spice, and plenty of acidity that works so well with all the garlic and spice.

Salad of goose or duck with orange and watercress

Description: Salad of duck with orange and watercress

Salad of duck with orange and watercress. Photograph: Kate Whitaker for Observer Food Monthly

The simplest of salads, but a rather luxurious one nonetheless.
Serves 6–8 as a starter or 4 as a light main
For the dressing
Dijon mustard 2 tsp
garlic a tiny clove, crushed to a paste
thyme a sprig
red wine vinegar 2 tbsp
olive oil 6 tbsp
salt and pepper
For the salad
orange 1
watercress 100g
parsley leaves about 20g
leftover roast goose or duck shredded or sliced
hazelnuts a few, chopped and toasted
pomegranate seeds a handful
Up to 1 day ahead: Make the dressing by shaking all the ingredients together in a jar; set aside.
Up to 6 hours ahead: Using a small, sharp knife, slice off the orange peel, taking off all the white pith but taking care not to whip off too much flesh. Slice the orange into thin rounds, then tear into small pieces. Cover and chill.
To serve: Toss the watercress and parsley leaves with the dressing. Garnish with the duck or goose, orange, hazelnuts and pomegranate seeds, and serve.

Turkey pho

Description: Turkey Pho

Turkey Pho. Photograph: Kate Whitaker for Observer Food Monthly

Pho is a Vietnamese noodle soup, thus making it pretty much the perfect tonic to jaded, hungover Christmas palates. It’s fresh, lively and deeply nourishing.
Serves 6
For the broth
2 onions halved and peeled
fresh ginger a few fat slices
star anise 5
cinnamon sticks 2
fennel seeds 1 tsp
garlic 2 cloves
1 Thai chilli chopped
turkey or chicken bones, or a chicken stock cube
fish sauce 3 tbsp
caster (superfine) or palm sugar 1 tbsp
For the soup
vermicelli rice noodles 300g
leftover turkey 300g, shredded
coriander leaves a big handful
Thai basil or mint leaves a big handful
beansprouts 50g
lime wedges 6
Thai chillies 4, chopped
Sriracha hot sauce (optional)
Up to 3 days ahead (minimum of 3 hours): To make the broth, put a large, heavy-bottomed pan over the highest possible heat. Add the onion and the ginger. Burn them. Really burn them. Add the star anise, cinnamon, fennel seeds, cloves, chilli, turkey bones, fish sauce and sugar. Cover with water and bring to a boil. Simmer for 2-3 hours, until reduced by half. Strain and leave to cool, then chill, or continue to the next step. Cook the noodles according to packet instructions, then cool in a bowl of iced water before draining.
30 minutes ahead: Put the broth over a medium heat. When hot, add the turkey to warm through. Taste the broth and add salt if necessary. Warm some large bowls.
To serve: Divide the noodles between the bowls. Spoon over the broth. Garnish with the herbs, beansprouts, lime and chillies, and serve.
Scaling up: Thai chillies are punchy, so go easy with them. For more broth just add extra water, a stock cube and a little more fish sauce to taste.

Panettone bread and butter pudding

Description: Panettone bread and butter pudding

Panettone bread and butter pudding. Photograph: Kate Whitaker for Observer Food Monthly

Serves 6-8
butter a little, softened, for greasing
double cream 400ml
whole milk 400ml
vanilla pod 1, split down the middle
egg yolks 4
caster sugar 150g
panettone 600g, fatly sliced and buttered
demerara sugar 1 heaped tbsp
This recipe is entirely adaptable, in that you can really use any old bread for it, but panettone should add a nip of luxury, as well as plenty of flavour. Where with a classic bread and butter pudding you tend to add orange zest and currants and the like, with a panettone they’re already incorporated into the bread.
Adapt quantities to fit the amount of panettone you have (one vanilla pod will be ample, mind), though honestly you don’t need to be too precise here.
Up to 3 days ahead (minimum 1 hour): Preheat the oven to 160C/gas mark 3. Lightly grease a large baking dish and sit it in a large roasting pan.
Put the cream, milk and vanilla in a pan and bring to a boil over a medium heat. Meanwhile, in a large, heavy bowl, whisk together the egg yolks and caster sugar until pale and fluffy. When the cream and milk are just below a boil, add them to the egg yolks, whisking all the time. Remove the vanilla.
Put a layer of buttered panettone in the baking dish, then pour over some of the custard. Continue until you’ve used it all up, then sprinkle the sugar over the top.
Pour boiling water into the roasting pan to come halfway up the side of the baking dish. Bake for 45 minutes, until a crust has formed but the centre still has a little wobble. Serve, or leave to cool, cover and chill.
To reheat (if necessary): Reheat at 180C/gas mark 4 for 20 minutes.
From Do-ahead Christmas by James Ramsden (Pavilion, £16.99). To buy a copy for £13.59 from the Guardian Bookshop, click here.
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Christmas dinner leftovers: recipe ideas

Take a look at these novel ideas for leftover mincemeat and clever ways to use up turkey


Aromatic turkey pilaf with pistachios and pomegranate

The Christmas feast may be over, but the fridge is still stocked high with leftoverfestive food.
If you're bored of turkey stew, turkey curry and yes turkey sandwiches on Boxing Day and beyond, we've got some exciting recipes to keep the holidays special before returning back to work.
We've got our hands on a lightly spiced one pan supper that’s perfect for using up those turkey leftovers and an unusual fruity cocktail if you bought too much mincemeat for your mince pies.

Aromatic turkey pilaf with pistachios and pomegranate (serves 6)

Prep 10mins. Cook 20mins
·         Knob of butter
·         2tbsp groundnut oil
·         1 onion, peeled and chopped
·         500g basmati rice
·         Seeds of 4 cardamom pods
·         A cinnamon stick
·         1tsp sumac, plus extra for sprinkling
·         Generous pinch of saffron (optional)
·         1.2 litres hot chicken stock
·         300g chopped cooked turkey
·         40g shelled pistachios
·         Zest of a lemon
·         1 x 100g pomegranate seeds
·         1 x 28g pack flat leaf parsley, chopped
·         Greek yoghurt to serve
1.    Heat the butter and oil in a deep-sided frying pan. Add the chopped onion and stir over a low heat for 8-10 minutes until softened
2.    Add the rice, cardamom seeds, cinnamon stick, sumac (plus the saffron, if using) and a generous pinch of salt. Stir to coat the rice in the buttery juices
3.    Pour in the hot stock, stir once and bring everything to simmering point. Then, add a tight fitting lid and simmer the rice over a low heat for 15 minutes
4.    Stir the turkey, pistachios and lemon zest into the pan to heat through, then finally stir in the pomegranate seeds and parsley
5.    Serve in warm bowls, topped with a spoonful of yoghurt and a generous extra sprinkling of sumac
Recipe on behalf of Sarah Randell and Sainsbury's

Mincemeat Irish cocktail


Mincemeat Irish cocktail (serves 1)

·         50ml Sainsbury’s Irish Cream
·         25ml Sainsbury’s Cognac
·         2tsp of Sainsbury’s fruit mincemeat
·         25ml whole milk
·         Clementine, whole
1.    Add all of the ingredients apart from the clementine to a cocktail shaker filled with ice
2.    Shake vigorously for ten seconds to allow for some of the dilution and to properly chill the drink
3.    Then strain the cocktail into a martini glass or a short glass filled with cubed ice
4.    Take a clementine or orange and a potato peeler, zest a strip of peel 3cm wide and 6cm or so long
5.    Twist the peel over the glass orange side down to spray the oils over the drink, which will give you an amazing smell as you sip
Recipe on behalf of JJ Goodman and Sainsbury's

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