Wednesday, August 19, 2015

19th August (Wednesday),2015 Daily Exclusive ORYZA Rice E-Newsletter by Riceplus Magazine

Brazil Paddy Rice Index Increases About 1% from Last Week

Aug 18, 2015
The Brazilian paddy rice index maintained by CEPEA reached around 34.36 real per 50 kilograms as of August 17, 2015, up about 0.85% from around 34.07 real per 50 kilograms recorded on August 10, 2015.
In terms of USD per ton, the index reached around $198 per ton on August 17, 2015, up about 1.33% from around $195 per ton recorded on August 10, 2015.

Asia Rice Sellers Lower Some of Their Quotes Today

Aug 18, 2015
Thailand rice sellers lowered their quotes for 5% broken rice and Hommali rice by about $5 per ton each  to around $360-$370 per ton and $845-$855 per ton respectively. Vietnam rice sellers lowered their quotes for Jasmine rice by about $5 per ton to around $480-$490 per ton. India rice sellers lowered their quotes 5% broken rice by about $10 per ton to around $365-$375 per ton and lowered their quotes for 25% broken rice and 100% broken rice by about $5 per ton each to around $340-$350 and  $295-$305 per ton respectively. Pakistan rice sellers lowered their quotes for 5% broken rice by about  $10 per ton to around $330-$340 per ton.                                                                                                                  
5% Broken Rice
Thailand 5% rice is indicated at around $360 - $370 per ton,  down about $5 per ton from yesterday and about $20 per ton premium on Vietnam 5% rice shown at around $340 - $350 per ton. India 5% rice is indicated at around $365 - $375 per ton, down about $10 per ton from yesterday and about $35 per ton premium on Pakistan 5% rice shown at around $330 - $340 per ton, down about $10 per ton from yesterday.
25% Broken Rice
Thailand 25% rice is shown at around $345 - $355 per ton, about $20 per ton premium on Vietnam 25% rice shown at around $325- $335 per ton. India 25% rice is indicated at around $340 - $350 per ton, down about $5 per ton from yesterday and about $30 per ton premium on Pakistan 25% rice shown at around $310 - $320 per ton.
Parboiled Rice
Thailand parboiled rice is indicated at around $370 - $380 per ton. India parboiled rice is indicated at around $365- $375 per ton, about $50 per ton discount to Pakistan parboiled rice was last  shown at around $415 - $425 per ton.                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    
100% Broken Rice
Thailand broken rice, A1 Super, is indicated at around $320 - $330 per ton, about $10 per ton from premium on Vietnam 100% broken rice shown at around $310 - $320 per ton. India's 100% broken rice is shown at around $295 - $305 per ton, down about $5 per ton from yesterday and about $15 per ton premium on Pakistan broken sortexed rice shown at around $280 - $290 per ton.

Bangladesh Traders Urge Government to Raise Import Duty on Rice to Curb Price Falls

Aug 18, 2015
Bangladesh rice farmers, traders and experts have expressed concern that rice imports, including aromatic, from India are continuing to increase despite the imposition of 10% duty on rice imports in May this year.
According to local sources, they are worried that prices would be significantly impacted during the Aus (February - August) and Aman (July - December) seasons. Rice traders are urging the government to increase the import duty on rice to stop prices from falling.
They told local sources that prices of aromatic rice may also be impacted due to a huge influx of basmati rice from India. Bangladesh farmers grow fragrant rice in Aman and Aus seasons. They noted that basmati rice is grown in India during the same time and a big volume of rice enters Bangladesh illegally every day. The volume of illegal imports is nearly 10 times more than the formal import, they say.
Farmers are mainly concerned that production costs for growing basmati rice are about 80% higher than for normal rice and are about Tk 900 per 40 kilograms (around $282 per ton). They added that paddy prices of fine rice are at around Tk 800-850 per 40 kilograms (around $250 - $266 per ton) and those of normal varieties are at around Tk 650 - 700 per 40 kilograms(around $204 - $213 per ton).
According to Food Ministry data, Bangladesh traders imported around 23,000 tons of rice through formal channels since the beginning of this fiscal year in July. But local sources say another 300,000 tons would have entered illegally into the country through border points. Bangladesh imported around 1.49 million tons in the FY 2014-15 (July - June).
Farmers and traders reiterated that they already suffered huge losses during the Boro (January - May) harvest season due to increased imports from India.

Global Rice Quotes
August 19th, 2015

Long grain white rice - high quality
Thailand 100% B grade          375-385           ↔
Vietnam 5% broken    340-350           ↔
India 5% broken         365-375           ↔
Pakistan 5% broken    330-340           ↔
Myanmar 5% broken   405-415           ↔
Cambodia 5% broken             NQ      ↔
U.S. 4% broken           485-495           ↔
Uruguay 5% broken    535-545           ↔
Argentina 5% broken 530-540           ↔

Long grain white rice - low quality
Thailand 25% broken 345-355           ↔
Vietnam 25% broken 325-335           ↔
Pakistan 25% broken 310-320           ↔
Cambodia 25% broken           NQ      ↔
India 25% broken       340-350           ↔
U.S. 15% broken         460-470           ↔
Long grain parboiled rice

Thailand parboiled 100% stxd            370-380           ↔
Pakistan parboiled 5% broken stxd    415-425           ↔
India parboiled 5% broken stxd         365-375           ↔
U.S. parboiled 4% broken       570-580           ↔
Brazil parboiled 5% broken    545-555           ↔
Uruguay parboiled 5% broken            NQ      ↔

Long grain fragrant rice
Thailand Hommali 92%          845-855           ↔
Vietnam Jasmine         480-490           ↔
India basmati 2% broken        NQ      ↔
Pakistan basmati 2% broken   NQ      ↔
Cambodia Phka Mails             NQ      ↔

Thailand A1 Super      320-320           ↔
Vietnam 100% broken            310-320           ↔
Pakistan 100% broken stxd    280-290           ↔
Cambodia A1 Super   NQ      ↔
India 100% broken stxd         295-305           ↔
Egypt medium grain brokens NQ      ↔
U.S. pet food 325-335           ↔
Brazil half grain          NQ      ↔
All prices USD per ton, FOB vessel,

Mozambique Considers Surcharge on Rice Imports to Boost Domestic Production

Aug 18, 2015
The government of Mozambique is planning to introduce surcharge on imports of rice beans, meat and eggs in order to encourage domestic production, local sources quoted the Minister of Agriculture and Food Security.
Recently, local media reported that rice farmers have been complaining of losing competitiveness due to imported rice, especially the low quality cracked rice. They told local sources that lack of restrictions at the entry point is the main reason for an increase in rice imports in the country.
The Minister noted that a recent introduction of surcharge on sugar imports have yields desired results and expressed optimism that it would be successful for other products as well.
Recently, quoted the National Director of Agriculture and Forestry noted that Mozambique has around 900,000 hectares of land for potential rice production but only 310,000 is being used currently. He added that this underutilization of production capacity in the country is leading to rice deficit and forcing the government to import rice.
USDA estimates Mozambique to produce around 351,000 tons of paddy rice (around 228,000 tons, basis milled) and import around 500,000 tons in MY 2015-16 (May - April).

Oryza Afternoon Recap - Chicago Rough Rice Futures Pull Back from Nearby Resistance as Wheat and Beans Weigh on the Market

Aug 18, 2015
Chicago rough rice futures for Sep delivery settled 15.5 cent per cwt (about $3 per ton) lower at $11.840 per cwt (about $261 per ton). The other grains finished the day mostly lower; Soybeans closed about 1.4% lower at $9.0425 per bushel; wheat finished about 1.3% lower at $4.9425 per bushel, and corn finished the day about 0.7% higher at $3.7725 per bushel.
U.S. stocks traded in a narrow range on Tuesday as Wall Street digested better than expected housing data, mixed earnings results from two Dow components while eyeing the release of the Federal Reserve's minutes. U.S. housing starts data for July came in at 1.206 million, above what economists expected and near an eight-year high. June's starts were also revised higher to a 1.20 million-unit rate from the previously reported 1.17 million-unit pace. The People's Bank of China set the Chinese currency's midpoint rate at 6.3966 against the dollar, but the yuan fell against the greenback during Asia trading to about 6.40.
The fall in China's eqiuity market led to European stocks closing mostly lower, with the U.K. benchmark FTSE 100 the French CAC and the German DAX all ending down more than 0.2%. Nevertheless, the housing data helped U.S. stocks trade narrowly below the flatline as the S&P Homebuilders ETF hit an eight-year high. The Dow Jones Industrial Average traded down 31 points, or 0.18%, to 17,513. The S&P 500 fell 5 points, or 0.26%, to 2,096, with energy leading eight sectors lower and consumer discretionary leading advancers. The Nasdaq traded down 26 points, or 0.53%, at 5,064, as biotechnology stocks fell about 0.7% and Apple traded down about 0.2%. Gold is trading about 0.2% lower, crude oil is seen trading about 1.3% higher, and the U.S. dollar is seen trading about 0.2% higher about  1:00pm Chicago time.
Monday, there were 818 contracts traded, down from 1,065 contracts traded on Friday. Open interest – the number of contracts outstanding – on Monday decreased by 38 contracts to 10,186.

Oryza Overnight Recap – Chicago Rough Rice Futures Pullback from Nearby Resistance as Outside Markets Turn Bearish

Aug 18, 2015
Chicago rough rice futures for Sep delivery are currently seen trading 6.5 cents per cwt (about $1 per ton) lower at $11.930 per cwt (about $263 per ton) during early floor trading in Chicago. The other grains are seen trading lower in early morning action; soybeans are currently seen trading about 0.8% lower, wheat is listed about 0.4% lower and corn is currently noted unchanged.
U.S. stocks opened narrowly lower on Tuesday as Wall Street digested the latest plunge in Chinese stocks, more housing data and a couple of Dow component earnings. Overnight, China's Shanghai Composite dropped 6.12% and closed at its lowest level since Aug. 7 amid renewed concerns that the Chinese government could further devalue the yuan. The People's Bank of China set the Chinese currency's midpoint rate at 6.3966 against the dollar, but the yuan fell against the greenback during Asia trading to about 6.40. Tuesdayalso saw the release of U.S. housing starts data for July, which came in at 1.206 million, above what economists expected and near an eight-year high. June's starts were also revised higher to a 1.20 million-unit rate from the previously reported 1.17 million-unit pace.
The data helped U.S. futures pare losses which came about due to a fall in Chinese equities. Investors are also awaiting the release of the minutes from the Federal Reserve's July meeting, which are scheduled to be released Wednesday at 2 p.m. The Dow Jones Industrial Average opened down 40 points, or 0.23%, at 17,502. The S&P 500 fell 4 points, or 0.21%, to 2,097, with utilities leading nine sectors lower and consumer discretionary the only advancer. The Nasdaq opened 12 points down, or 0.25%, at 5,079, as biotechnology stocks fell 0.4%. Gold is currently trading about 0.6% lower, crude oil is seen trading slightly higher,  and the U.S. dollar is currently trading about 0.3% higher at 8:45am Chicago time.

Oryza U.S. Rough Rice Recap - Bids Soften as Futures Come Off Recent Highs

Aug 18, 2015
The U.S. cash market was softer today falling in sympathy with a weaker futures market despite yesterday’s FSA report that estimated farmers planted roughly 300,000 acres less than what the USDA used in their latest WASDE report.
Analysts note that farmers are hoping to net at least $11.11 per cwt (about $245 per ton) at the farm gate however buyers have interest closer to $10.55-$10.75 per cwt (about $233-$237 per ton) and neither appeared willing to come off of their price ideas today.

Philippines to Maintain 20 Million Tons Paddy Output Target in 2015 Despite El Nino Concerns

Aug 18, 2015
The government of the Philippines will maintain the 20 million tons paddy output target this year despite concerns of an El Nino weather pattern, Bloomberg quoted the Agriculture Department Assistant Secretary.
The local weather bureau has warned of an intensifying El Nino in the coming months, which could potentially affect paddy output in central, southern and northern provinces.
The official, however, noted that government intervention measures would help mitigate the impact of El Nino induced dry spell in major rice producing areas. He stated that around 58,485 tons of paddy has been lost due to drought conditions since the beginning of this year.
He said the Agriculture Department is seeking 940 million pesos ($20.3 million) in additional budget to fund programs that will mitigate the impact of El Nino.
The Philippine Statistics Agency (PSA) estimates the country's 2015 paddy output at around 18.86 million tons, about 6% below the targeted 20.08 million tons and slightly down from last year's output of 18.97 million tons.

Vietnam Rice Exporters Sign Contracts to Export 4.45 Million Tons of Rice as of July 31, 2015

Aug 18, 2015
Vietnam rice exporters have signed contracts to export around 4.45 million tons of rice as at the end of July 2015, down about 9% from around 4.9 million tons contracted during the same time last year, local sources quoted an Agriculture Department official as saying.Of this, about 24% or around one million tons are government-to-government contracts and the remaining are commercial contracts, according to the official.The official told local sources that as of July 31, 2015, the member exporters of the Vietnam Food Association (VFA) exported around 3.3 million tons of rice worth about $1.37 billion, down about 8.73% y/y in volume and about 12.43% y/y in value from last year.
Vietnam has lowered the floor price (minimum export price, MEP) of its lower quality (25% broken) rice exports by about 3% to around $340 per ton from around $350 per ton in order to boost exports. The MEP was effective from August 13, 2015.
Export prices of Vietnam 5% rice are currently quoted at around $345 per ton, compared to around $365 per ton of Thai 5% rice, around $370 per ton of India 5% rice and around $335 per ton of Pakistan rice.

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18th August (Tuesday),2015 Daily Global Regional Local Rice E-Newsletter by Riceplus Magazine

Application Note: The Use of HRMS and Statistical Analysis in the Investigation of Basmati Rice Authenticity and Potential Food Fraud

18 Aug 2015

There is increased concern regarding the authenticity of basmati rice throughout the world. In Britain, the Food Standard Agency found in 2005 that about half of all basmati rice sold was adulterated with other strains of long-grain rice. A proof of principle method has been established to assess the authenticity of basmati rice using ‘off the shelf’ supermarket samples with the latest advances in high resolution GCMS hardware and informatics. In this application note, Volatile compounds of interest were extracted from heated dry rice via SPME/headspace. Following a generic GC separation, detection was performed using a SYNAPT G2-Si run in HDMSE mode. Progenesis® QI, the latest OMICS informatics package from Waters®, is designed to utilise the 4-dimensional data produced during a HDMSE acquisition.  

Rice growers, dealers demand realistic polices
August 18, 2015
Our Staff Reporter
HAFIZABADThe paddy growers and rice dealers belonging to the district have been grappling with a severe crisis due to the government ‘unrealistic’ policies on rice export.The growers and dealers have stocked rice worth billions of rupees for the last two years but due to absence of a clear policy to export rice.Addressing a meeting of the growers and rice dealers on Monday, Kissan Board Gujranwala Division president Aman Ullah Chattha said that due to unrealistic policies of the government the growers and rice dealers were on the verge of bankruptcy. He called upon the government to ensure early export of old stock of rice and ensure announcement of support prices of Basmati paddy at Rs2,500 and non-Basmati at Rs1,200 per 40 kg prior to the arrival of new crop. 

He also reminded the Prime Minister of Pakistan of his promise that Basmati growers would be paid subsidy of Rs5,000 per acre. He said that despite several requests subsidy has not yet been paid to them, which, he said, was discouraging. CRUSHED TO DEATH: A young villager was killed on the spot when a speeding car hit his bike on Pindi Bhattian-Hafizabad Road near Tahli Goraya. According to police source, Abu Bakar, a resident of Sagar village was on the way to Pindi Bhattian on a bike. When he reached near Tahli Goraya, a speeding car coming from the opposite direction, hit his bike causing his death instantly. The car driver sped away after the mishap. The police are investigating.

Basmati acreage may remain at last year’s levels

Prices likely to fall once new supplies hit markets as Iran remains passive
Basmati acreage in India for the 2015-16 Kharif season is likely to remain the same as last year even as prices had dropped considerably to 2,000-2,900/quintal in 2014-15 from as much as 4,000 the year before.

Area under basmati cultivation touched 2.1 million hectares (mh) last year and sufficient rainfall across Haryana and Punjab – which account for as much as 70 per cent of basmati output – through most of the ongoing monsoon season has resulted in consistent planting.India produced 8.3 million tonnes of basmati rice last year.“Acreage should be about 2 mh, the same as last year at. We don’t expect a change given the good precipitation in the key basmati-growing areas and also western Uttar Pradesh which is almost completely irrigated,” said AK Singh, who heads the Genetics Division at the Indian Agricultural Research Institute (IARI).Rajen Sundaresan, Executive Director of the All India Rice Exporters’ Association, concurred and said “initial surveys indicated that acreage this Kharif would match that of last year.”

Early planting woes
Singh, who was the chief breeder of the Pusa-1509 basmati variety, expected a slight decline in its coverage and an increase in area under Pusa-1121, another popular variety he helped breed and which accounted for 75-80 per cent of the $4.79 billion earned through basmati exports in 2013-14.

In 2014-15, Pusa-1121 was planted on around one million hectare while Pusa-1509 was covered between 0.5 and 0.7 mh. “There has been a slight change this year and 1121 will cover 1.3-1.35 mh while 1509 may slide to between 0.35 and 0.4 mh,” he said.A reason for the decline in area under Pusa-1509 could be the high breakage levels in the grain, which prompted millers in Haryana to scale back on procurement this year. Early planting was identified as the chief cause for the breakage.“Last year, farmers planted 1509 on a large scale by June since it had the qualities of being early maturing and flowered quickly, besides a higher yield. This year, they were asked to plant it in July so that the problem can be avoided,” said Trilochan Mohapatra, Director, Central Rice Research Institute, Cuttack.

Exports to Iran
With Iran unlikely to buy as much basmati rice as it did two years ago, prices could take a beating when the new crop hits the market, said analysts. “If production is consistent with last year, prices are likely to be down since Iran is not buying much rice,” said Tejinder Narang, a grains trade expert.

Exports to Iran fell to 0.93 million tonnes (mt) last year from 1.4 mt the year before, according to data provided by the Agricultural and Processed Food Products Export Development Authority.
(This article was published on August 18, 2015)

El Nino shadow looms large over South, Gangetic plains


Subdivisions in the East and North-East seem to be less influenced by an El Nino, while some of the subdivisions in North-West are betting on a bumper July

With the signature of a growing El Nino written large over the Indian monsoon, which are the Met subdivisions vulnerable to rain deficits during this month (August)?

The Gangetic Plains of North India show their susceptibility during an El Nino year such as this, says K Srikanth, a Chennai-based blogger.
July events
 Srikanth analysed the scenario to reassess the vulnerability of various Met subdivisions after factoring in the actual sequence of events in July.Both East Uttar Pradesh and Bihar are, more often than not, highly vulnerable for failure in August when the preceding July has left behind a deficit.The drought-prone subdivisions of Marathwada and Rayalaseema also fit the bill during August after a below-normal July.Most of the West Coast except Kerala falls into deficit once July and August have delivered below par.Subdivisions in the East and North-East India seem to be less influenced by an El Nino with most, except Bihar, showing lesser chances for poor rain in August.

Strong influence

Assam, Meghalaya, Nagaland-Manipur-Mizoram-Tripura normally ride their luck on a strong showing in June.
On the other hand, some of the subdivisions in North-West India are betting on a bumper July to end the season with a decent rain record.In the South, almost all subdivisions are faced with the prospect of a poor August and thereby a poor season overall indicating a potentially stronger El Nino influence over this part of the country.
An earlier study by Srikanth in early July had shown how critical July rainfall is for the prospects of monsoon season as a whole. It listed out subdivisions vulnerable to deficit rain during El Nino years.The final July numbers are in sync with the expectations from a study for 12 sub divisions, Srikanth toldBusinessLine. Of these, eight had been identified as highly vulnerable.All of them have ended up with a deficit. Thirteen other subdivisions marked out as less or moderately vulnerable also ended up in the red.
But five, picked out for being moderate-to-highly ulnerable, turned in a surplus after they received isolated heavy rainfall of high intensity.
(This article was published on August 18, 2015)
The Hindu

Fear of the future makes people seek out spiritual gurus in search of reassurance. And that is why a thousand Radhe Maas flourish

India is famous for Basmati rice, yoga, Gandhi and, of course, spiritualism.Sadhus and sants dot the country, ranging from the lone, bearded baba under the village tree to swamis who live luxurious lives with a battery of attendants and devotees doing their bidding. Clairvoyant, spiritual guru, representative of god — godmen and women in India have been called these and much more. They are in the news again, thanks to Radhe Maa of Mumbai who has been accused by a woman of instigating her in-laws to harass her for dowry.All of us have heard from friends, relatives, acquaintances, even strangers, of how they met  baba ormataji and their lives changed forever. Their businesses picked up, the childless got a child, ‘problems’ sorted themselves out… in short, it was happiness all the way.

Most seek the help (guidance?) of godmen not for spiritual purposes but for improving their material lives. Will I get a promotion or will my colleague beat me to it; will I get the party ticket to contest elections, if yes, will I win; will my new venture make profits — these are some of the typical ‘problems’ for which people seek ‘guidance’ or answers.These issues stem from fear – fear of the uncertain. Humans love to peep into the future and when they are assured by their baba or mataji that all will be well (if not today, then tomorrow), they heave a sigh of relief. When some of their problems are resolved, thanks to some luck and the normal course of things, they attribute it to miracles (‘even the doctors had given up hope’) and the protective hand of the guru.

Dependency syndrome
But what of the price people pay for such assurance of ‘happiness unlimited’? By seeking the help of godmen and clairvoyants, people turn away from reality. Even the educated and rational become vulnerable when a slew of problems strikes them. Indeed, in most instances, the devotee is assured that it is his good karma that brought him to the spiritual guide in the first place (‘not everyone can get theswamiji’s darshan,’ he is assured). People start believing that all good things that happen to them are thanks to the blessings bestowed on them, and all the bad things will eventually pass, if they follow theirguruji’s advice (which may range from an appeal for a modest contribution to demands for huge sums of money to propitiate the gods).

Before they realise it, they become dependent on these so-called gurus for their physical, emotional and financial well-being. The search for quick-fix solutions and the lack of courage renders them incapable of facing the day-to-day challenges of life.Why are our godmen and women so successful? Most of them come from humble backgrounds, start in a small way and, within a few years, have a huge following with swanky ashrams, temples and loads of money. No business model can explain their exponential growth. Almost always, they claim they are an incarnation of god. A police officer, for instance, claimed that Lord Krishna appeared in his dreams and told him he was Radha. Soon, a halo is created around them by a few people, which is then publicised to attract more devotees to the fold. Stories of miracles are meticulously spread.
The matajis and babas acquire a cult status once politicians and celebrities, ever ready to exploit anything that can remotely benefit them, enter the scene. Thanks to political patronage, adulation and publicity, it is not long before dollars and foreign tours start flowing in. The heady mix of money, power and religion without responsibility, and the knowledge that even the state is scared of meddling with religious affairs, make godmen and women acquire a larger-than-life image. Many invest in hospitals, ashrams and educational institutions, which increases their popularity.

Religious sanction

What sets them apart from politicians, celebrities and businessmen is the religious sanction of their influence, which they exploit to the fullest. They no longer seek or appeal for donations; they place orders. There are reports in the media of people who sell their property, even abandon their families at the command of their so-called gurus. What is baffling is the continued following sants and gurujis command even after allegations of sex, sleaze and crime are levelled against them. Swami Premananda, once hailed as a spiritual leader, was sentenced to life for rape and murder. Other religious leaders have been accused of similar crimes and more. But their followers live in denial; those who make the allegations are sidelined, threatened, even silenced. Sadhus and sadhvis, it would seem, can do no wrong. Any challenge to their authority is perceived as a challenge to religion itself. The fear of antagonising the gods in whose name godmen and women thrive, and the fear of reprisal prevent many from speaking out.

Ours is a country where religion is fed to people on a daily basis, and spiritual gurus are held in great awe and respect. It has produced many eminent spiritual leaders who have worked for the welfare of people, showing them the path to salvation. This is perhaps the reason people believe that those who preach in the name of god can do no wrong.All religions preach spirituality. But it is necessary to remember that spiritualism is also about giving up materialism, not promoting it in the name of religion.

A guru or guide should ideally help realise one’s spiritual dream, not promise the world to his or her devotees in exchange for money, land or patronage. Anyone who claims to speak on behalf of god and broker deals with god for a commission can hardly be trusted to elevate a person spiritually.But then, till people realise that life has its ups and downs and no one except them can fight their everyday attles, swamijis and matajis will continue to prosper. They will continue to promise quick fixes in the name of the god they claim to represent and who has ordained them to provide salvation to humanity – that part of humanity which is willing to submit and asks no questions.

Soya acreage at all-time high, touches 121 lakh hectare


The area under soyabean cultivation in the country this year is at an all time high at 121.086 lakh hectare, senior officials from the Soybean Processors Association of India...

By: Nanda Kasabe | Pune | August 18, 2015 12:08 AM

The area under soyabean cultivation in the country this year is at an all time high at 121.086 lakh hectare, senior officials from the Soybean Processors Association of India (SOPA) said. Last year, the sowing had touched 110.177 lakh hectare.According to Davish Jain, chairman, SOPA, although this year the area under soyabean cultivation is higher by 10 lakh hectare as compared to last year, the production may not be higher than last year due to lower yield.Jain said the erratic tenure of the monsoon and moisture levels could result in some loss to the expectation of a bumper crop. Last year, the total production touched 99.64 lakh tonne. 

 The acreage has gone up further in Madhya Pradesh to touch 68 lakh hectares and there could be an overall improvement of 1-2 lakh hectares across the country, he said.“For farmers soya is seen as a better option in terms of prices of other competing crops such as cotton and basmati rice. They received a bad deal last time and ended up in losses. Farmers, who had replaced soya with other crops, are returning to soya plantation this year and the lost acreage of 2013 at 121 lakh hectares has been regained,” Jain pointed out.DN Pathak, SOPA executive director,  agreed and pointed out the yield could be lower because of damage to crops.There have been pest attacks, stunted growth and flowering problems and all this could impact production, he said.Industry experts said the prices of oilseeds have been one of the major factors for a boost in sowing this year.

SOPA has conducted a survey of soyabean crop in the three major soyabean growing states of Madhya Pradesh, Maharashtra and Rajasthan. The survey was carried by extensive field travel by SOPA teams in 59 soyabean growing districts of the countryt in these states.According to agriculture department of Madhya Pradesh, area under soyabean cultivation in the state this year is 67.280 lakh hectare which is higher than last year (55.462 lakh hectare). Due to poor rains immediately after sowing and then heavy rains which caused water logging soya crop in approximately 3.6 lakh hectare has been destroyed completely.The vegetative growth of plants and formation of pods have been affected adversely due to water logging and insufficient sunlight. Looking at all these aspects, the production of soyabean will be down by 15-20% this year in Malwa region.

Adesina Slams Oshiomole Over Criticism Of Jonathan’s Agricultural Transformation Agenda

Immediate past Minister of Agriculture and Rural Development, Dr. Akinwumi Adesina, has slammed Edo State Governor, Adams Oshimhole, for describing the Agricultural Programme of former president Goodluck Jonathan as a scam.In a statement signed by his Special Assistant on Media, Dr. Olukayode Oyeleye, the former minister said it was most uncharitable for the governor who was in a better position to know the success of the Agricultural Transformation Agenda (ATA) to attempt to discredit it for reasons best known to him.“Foremost, it is a bad public relations stunt, not expected from the governor. Secondly, his comments detract from the ATA – a reform that was vigorously pursued and implemented by Dr Akin Adesina, now president elect of African Development Bank,” the former minister said.

“For reasons of safeguarding the economy and strengthening the confidence of the international community in Nigeria, genuine efforts towards ensuring food security and diversifying the economy away from oil should not be subjected to cheap politics as the negative impact that follows such public comments could be to the nation’s detriment.“Governor Oshiomole ought to know better that, under ATA, efficient distribution of subsidised farm inputs – also known as the Growth Enhancement Support Scheme (GESS), reached 14.3million farmers with 1.3million MT of fertiliser, 102,703 metric tons of improved rice seeds, 67,991 metric tons of improved maize seeds, 6,171 metric tons of improved cotton seeds, 130 million stems of cassava, 45.5million seedlings of cocoa, nine million seedlings of oil palm amongst many other crops between 2012 and 2014.“Those inputs helped produce an additional 21million MT of food that has acted as a buffer against inflation with the devaluation of the Naira.

“At a time that the nation desperately needs to build upon the achievements of the immediate past minister of agriculture, Governor Oshiomole can only do the Edo people some good by recognising the fact that lending by commercial banks to agriculture increased from 0.07 per cent in 2011 to five per cent in 2014 while banks lent a total of N27.5 billion to fertiliser and seed companies.

“As the chief executive of a state so blessed with natural resources so highly favourable to productive agriculture, Governor Oshiomhole ought to think rather on how to make Edo more enterprising. In doing so, an area he is expected to be more interested in, should be agriculture.“For that reason, Governor Oshiomhole ought rather to be keen on how the intervention that brought agriculture from policy oblivion to a sector that is now widely embraced could be replicated in Edo State within the remaining number of months he has to spend as a governor.“He ought to have been asking, for instance, the erudite, resourceful and hardworking former minister, how he was able to achieve so much within so short a time.
“If Governor Oshiomhole knows how to play the politics well, he should be thinking of how to leverage on the former minister’s growing relevance at the continental level as the new head of the biggest development financial institution in Africa.

“He is supposed to be expressing interest in the increased investment in the fertilizer sector totaling $5billion from major companies such as Indorama, Dangote, and Notore.“He should have been asking his special assistants to study how usage also rose from 13kg per hectare in 2011 to 80kg in 2014, or how seed companies in Nigeria grew from 11, producing 14,000 metric tons of improved seeds, to 134 companies doing 174,000 metric tons of seeds.“The governor should be asking how Nigeria become the world leader in the use of ICT to reach farmers directly with farm inputs and how the World Bank is trying to scale out this efficient system of ensuring high productivity of small holder farmers across Africa.
“It is grossly unfair for Governor Oshiomhole not to recognise that ATA of 2011 to 2014 was Nigeria’s equivalent of the ‘green revolution’ that took place in Asia in the 1960s and 1970s, where new highly productive varieties of rice and wheat, and the chemical fertilisers that helped them achieve their potential, led to a doubling and tripling of yield and self-sufficiency.“Particularly troubling is the fact that a political leader of a State as enlightened as Edo State could feign ignorance at the fact that the number of integrated rice mills, needed to produce parboiled rice, preferred by Nigerians, has grown from just one in 2010 to 24 in 2014.“Equally worrisome is he fact that he is unaware that our parboiled rice milling capacity increased from 70,000 metric tons to 800,000 metric tons. His former colleague in Lagos, at some point, had bought as many as 56 trailer loads of paddy rice from Kebbi (a major massive producer of rice under ATA) for processing into ‘ Eko Rice ‘ brand in Lagos. It means Governor Oshiomhole’s criticism is fraught with irregularities.

“Realising that the demand for import quality-grade parboiled rice was estimated at 2.5million Metric tons (MT) in Nigeria, the gap in milling capacity prompted the Federal Executive Council to approve a N9billion fund to support private sector companies to acquire nine new 36,000 metic tons per annum factories to further raise the capacity to 1.2million MT, leaving a national supply gap of 1.3million MT that was to be met by controlled imports under the new rice policy.
“The new Rice Policy, aimed at reducing the amounts of rice imports and instead encourage new domestic rice investments in the nation, has led to new investments in rice production and milling of over N500billion, including N200billion by Aliko Dangote, of which a 200,000MT per annum mill and 10,000 hectares will be located in Edo State. Is Governor Oshiomhole aware of this?

The former minister also lambasted Oshimhole for claiming that the past government frittered away over N800billion on waivers for rice millers and others, killing local rice production and making agriculture unattractive.He made it clear that contrary to the governor’s claim, the total amount owed the government by rice importers, who imported beyond their approved limit, is estimated at N30billion, an information that is conspicuously displayed on the website of the Nigerian customs.

“It has to be emphasised here again that it was the immediate Dr Adesina that the took up the fight against the erring importers, asking them to pay what they owed the government.“The truth is that under ATA, Nigeria has made giant strides towards achieving self-sufficiency in rice. Between 2011 and 2014, a total of six million rice farmers were reached with improved rice seeds and fertiliser and an additional two million hectares cultivated.“National paddy rice production rose by an additional 7 million MT and the nation reached 85 per cent sufficiency in rice production.

“Furthermore, for the first time in Nigeria, rice cultivation is twice a year, in the wet and dry seasons. We have also seen the rise of thousands of small mills fitted with destoners and polishers producing parboiled rice of similar quality as imported rice. With the new investment in large scale rice mills, imported rice will soon become a thing of the past.“The governor may wish to ask the leader of the cocoa value chain, an illustrious son of Edo State, who served under the immediate past minister of agriculture in revolutionising cocoa production, Edo was one of the biggest beneficiaries of the efforts to increase cocoa production base through the free distribution of cocoa pods for raising seedlings in many farms in the cocoa-producing states.“In the Oil Palm value chain, a total of 9 million sprouted oil palm sprouted nuts were distributed to 45,353 small and large oil palm estate owners between 2013 and 2015. Additional Crude Palm Oil (CPO) production due to these interventions is projected to be 400,000 MT of crude oil palm which would close the gap of 350,000MT of crude oil palm that is currently being imported. There has been well over N100billion new investment in crude oil palm production in the country.

“Nigeria’s agriculture sector has undergone major reforms and transformation in the past three and a half years under the leadership of the immediate past Honorable Minister of Agriculture and President-elect of the African Development Bank, Dr Akinwumi Adesina.“Governor Oshiomhole would benefit from data originating from the National Bureau of Statistics, showing that the agricultural sector grew by 9.19 per cent (year-on-year) in the third quarter of 2014, up by 2.7 per cent from Q3 of 2013. The agricultural sector grew by 38.53 per cent between 3rd and 4th quarters of 2014, with crop production being the main driver, with a growth of 43.5 per cent. The Agricultural Transformation Agenda has proven to be a well-thought-out policy with great gains for Nigeria.

“It was Philip Asiodu, the former super permsec who recently opined that ‘What has killed this country is the refusal of any new government to build upon what their predecessors had done.”
“If ATA is allowed to continue as conceived and implemented under Adesina, Nigeria could reach an additional 32 million farmers by 2019, up from 14.5million farmers reached with inputs between 2012 to 2014, reaching at least 8 million of unemployed youths.“Under ATA, a production of 7.1 million MT per annum of rice paddy was achieved With the new investments in milling, milling capacity could rise to 5 million MT and Nigeria will be self-sufficient in rice production by 2017. It is indeed shameful for a country like Nigeria to import rice.

“Should ATA continue, cassava processing capacity, currently just below 100,000MT/annum and a bane of the cassava industry, will be raised to 675,000MT per annum by 2019. Same thing with maize production, from the achievement of over 12 million MT/annum in 2014 (compared to 9million MT/year in 2011), we will increase this to 18 million MT/annum by 2019 to accommodate the rise in demand for food, poultry feed, and maize for the milling industry.

“For Sorghum, we will go from 9.76million MT in 2014 to 13 million MT by 2019 to cater for the increase in demand from the malted sorghum and high energy food markets. We can produce 1.2million MT of soybean by 2019, up from 700,000MT achieved in 2014 (compared to 500,000MT in 2011).“Same for cotton, from 240,000MT/annum in 2014 ( was 125,000MT in 2011) to 500,000MT/annum by 2019, Cocoa production from 350,000MT exported/annum in 2014 to 700,000MT exported/annum by 2019; crude oil palm, production from 800,000MT/annum in 2014 to 1.6million MT/annum in 2019 and Nigeria will become self-sufficient in CPO.

“It is uncharitable and against the interest of Nigerian public to politicise issues of agriculture and food security as Governor Oshiomhole did in his criticisms of that sector,” Adesina said.

Plant doctors get to the root of plant stress in rice




BEAUMONT -- Sitting in an air-conditioned office at the Texas A&M AgriLife Research and Extension Center at Beaumont, it's obvious: People work better indoors when temperatures outside climb to the 90s while the blazing sun shimmers through waves of humidity on nearby experimental rice plots.
The rice plants, however, can't go inside. So, they stress. And for rice farmers, that means lower yield and quality. Most growers resign themselves to the facts. It's the summer in Texas. It's hot.But Dr. Lee Tarpley, AgriLife Research plant physiologist, is studying what specifically affects rice plants under extreme environmental conditions. Knowing that, he believes, could lead to ways of helping plants thrive in the heat and other stressful conditions."We tend to view these environmental stresses as necessary evils -- especially temperature stresses -- as if there is little we can do to counter the effect," he said. "We're finding that we can use specific knowledge of how the stress affects the plant to design prevention measures."

Tarpley and Dr. Abdul Razack Mohammed, AgriLife Research assistant scientist, presented their findings at the recent Rice Field Day at the Beaumont center. They've studied not only the effect of heat but cold, submergence, salinity, wind and drought on rice crops.One of the specific impacts, they discovered, is high nighttime temperatures, a common phenomena in Texas."High night temperatures do two things to rice plants," Tarpley said. "The rice plant increases its production of a plant stress hormone, and an oxidative-stress response occurs, which injures the plant. Both of these ultimately lead to losses in yield and quality."

Because they were able to track the nighttime heat stress to those two factors, he added, they were able to determine potential management strategies."We can spray the crop with a chemical that prevents the stress hormone activity, so that the plant never senses that it is supposed to be in stress," Tarpley said. "Or we can spray the plants with a sort of vaccination, which is like a small dose of 'oxidative stress.' That triggers the plant to build its capacity to be acclimated to future stresses."Commercial pre-harvest use of some of the stress hormone chemicals on higher-value crops is occurring, Tarpley said, and it is just a matter of time and acceptance before the vaccination-type products will be used on rice crops in the U.S.

Because of their research on the specifics of rice stress, the international company Agrofresh, based in Collegeville, Pennsylvania, asked Tarpley and Mohammed to study transplanting shock, a condition that affects farms mostly in Asian countries where rice is started in a nursery then transported to a field for planting."Transplanting shock can decrease growth and development," Tarpley said. "And one thing we noticed is that a lot of root pruning occurs during the transplanting process.

That reduces the production of tillers, which are important since that is where the rice grains develop."They found that root pruning reduces the net photosynthetic rate.That was key because photosynthesis - the way plants use sunlight to make food and grow - depends on the green pigments called chlorophyll. If there's not enough chlorophyll, the plant doesn't grow well. And the connection between low chlorophyll and the presence of ethylene, a natural plant hormone, has been well documented.

Ethylene is what causes bananas, apples and avocados to ripen and get soft, and it is used commercially to ripen some produce such as tomatoes after they are picked.The researchers decided to treat some plants with 1-methylcyclopropene, or 1-MCP, a compound that is used to keep plants and produce fresh because it blocks ethylene perception in plants.The idea was to see if 1-MCP would make the rice plants unaware that the roots were pruned, thus slowing the effect of ethylene and maintaining a healthy level of chlorophyll, Tarpley."The application of 1-MCP prevented transplanting shock in rice," he said. "The treated plants had more tillers per plant, more root length and greater chlorophyll concentration and net photosynthetic rate."

He said though U.S. rice farmers directly seed their crops rather than transplant, root pruning can also occur due to rice water weevils. So his team plans to test the application of 1-MCP for its ability to mitigate damage from those insects.Tarpley added that his research team continues to explore the physiological effects of various environmental stresses so that when pinpointed, management strategies can be developed.
Disclaimer: AAAS and EurekAlert! are not responsible for the accuracy of news releases posted to EurekAlert! by contributing institutions or for the use of any information through the EurekAlert system.

USA Rice Daily

Dietitians' Top Pick:  USA Rice's Refreshed Toolkit   
The new Think Rice toolkit goes live
ARLINGTON, VA -- This year, USA Rice updated its retail dietitian toolkit as part of the Think Rice rebranding and the resource is now available on  These materials are designed to provide retail dietitians with reasons, recipes, and tools to recommend U.S. rice.  It also helps increase visibility of U.S.-grown rice in supermarket customer outreach including: blogs, newsletters, social media, in-store radio ads, store publications, and in-store activities. 

"Nearly forty-six percent of retailers publish health and wellness newsletters and 90 percent provide healthy recipes to shoppers," said Paul Galvani, USA Rice Retail Subcommittee chairman.  "Retail dietitians are often the decision makers behind which foods are highlighted in these publications, so it's important that we regularly remind them and make it easy for them to Think Rice and this toolkit does just that."

The newly designed toolkit contains several consumer handouts that highlight recipes, nutritional information, U.S. rice types and varieties, and steps to building a healthy rice bowl, along with tips for choosing, storing, and preparing rice.  Retail dietitians also have access to sample social media posts and ideas for promoting U.S. rice in retail and local media communications. Yesterday, a retail dietitian from the 200 store Midwest chain Meijer prepared USA Rice's Greek Rice Stuffed Tomatoes, a recipe featured in the toolkit, live on a local TV news program.  The Meatless Monday segment focuses on healthy back-to-school dinners for busy families and features U.S.-grown rice on-set.  WDRB News in the Morning on Fox 41 in Louisville, Kentucky has a viewership of 24,000 and the segment and recipe are also posted on the website which receives more than 570,000 unique visitors per month.

"This TV feature is one of the added benefits of reaching this influential audience, and shows how supermarket dietitians reach the consumer beyond the grocery aisle as a credible, third party spokesperson for rice," added Galvani.Galvani said USA Rice regularly shares information with a network of dietitians at 34 retailers nationwide.

Contact:  Katie Maher (703) 236-1453

Resources galore
CME Group/Closing Rough Rice Futures   

CME Group (Prelim):  Closing Rough Rice Futures for August 18
Net Change

September 2015
- $0.155
November 2015
- $0.160
January 2016
- $0.160
March 2016
- $0.135
May 2016
- $0.135
July 2016
- $0.115
September 2016
 - $0.030


Is the Philippines ready to scrap rice import quotas in 2017?

by BusinessMirror - August 18, 2015

By Alladin S. Diega | Correspondent

One of the things that the new administration would have to think about next year is whether it would push for the retention of rice-import quotas in 2017. Instead of slapping tariffs on all rice imports, the Philippine government decided to maintain the so-called quantitative restriction (QR) on rice to prevent the influx of cheap rice from neighboring Asian countries.The QR has been in place for more than two decades.

When the second extension for the trade protection expired in 2012, Manila opted to negotiate for its retention. Following negotiations with countries that have expressed their intention to consider Manila’s bid, the World Trade Organization allowed the Philippines to continue implementing the QR until June 30, 2017.In pushing for the retention of rice-import caps, Manila said removing the QR would threaten the livelihood of some 2.4 million rice farmers, who are small landholders. To maintain rice quotas, Manila had to raise the minimum access volume (MAV) of rice to 805,200 metric tons (MT), from the previous 350,000 MT. Rice imports that fall within MAV are slapped a tariff of 35 percent, lower than the 40-percent tariff imposed on “out-MAV” shipments.

The rationale behind the implementation of the QR, an expert said, is to ensure that Filipino farmers would be able to compete once the quotas are removed. A study, titled “Benchmarking Philippine Rice Economy Relative to Major Rice-Producing Countries in Asia,” found that rice production is relatively competitive in the Philippines. Findings, however, suggested that more needs to be done to ensure that farmers will survive once the government fully opens up the country’s rice market.The study was commissioned by the Department of Agriculture (DA), and was done in close collaboration with the International Rice Research Institute. Using 2013 data, it examined rice production in the Philippines, China, India, Indonesia, Thailand and Vietnam.

The study revealed that, among the six countries, the Philippines ranked third in terms of the cost of producing rice per hectare. It also found that Filipino farmers paid the highest amount of irrigation fee, at P2,536 per hectare. In contrast, farmers in China do not pay for irrigation water.Rice Watch Action Network (R1) lead convener Aurora Regalado said the government should consider reducing irrigation fees. “Why do Filipino rice farmers pay costly irrigation fees when neighboring rice-exporting countries heavily subsidize their farmers by providing them free irrigation?”

Regalado said the government and the rice sector need to work double time to prepare for the full impact of the possible lifting of the QR. R1 called for a “mixture of strategies,” which would incorporate or align initiatives rolled out under several government programs.David Dawe, senior economist of the UN’s Food and Agriculture Organization backed the Philippines’s bid to pursue rice self-sufficiency. Dawe said, however, that the country should also be prepared to become competitive.

“I think the government should pursue rice self-sufficiency based on enhanced competitiveness, lower cost of production per ton, and a sufficiency program based on research and development,” Dawe said in an interview.In terms of decreasing the current production cost of rice in the country, Dawe said “the single biggest thing, or component, of rice-production cost is labor,” adding that to reduce that, “some kind of mechanization program” should be pursued.The government, he said, must closely examine whether the self-sufficiency program is making
progress. Dawe said the “litmus test” for the program is when the local rice sector “is subjected to international competition to some extent through import.

”Early this year Agriculture Assistant Secretary Edilberto de Luna told stakeholders of the rice industry to brace for the possible termination of the QR in 2017. The DA said it has jump-started nationwide consultations with its partners for this.De Luna, who is in charge of the national rice and corn programs, said there is a need for the rice industry to prepare for this “eventful scenario.” He said there’s a need to craft the best programs and directions to attain competitiveness and self-sufficiency in rice.Among the strategies the DA had recommended include improved rice harvest by restoring irrigation facilities; adoption of high-yielding varieties; provision of farm equipment and facilities; and access to credit, among others.Dr. Roehlano Briones, senior research fellow at the Philippine Institute for Development Studies, said the government should also prepare for income loss for local rice farmers. Lifting the QR, he said, would likely result in cheaper rice prices but lower farm-gate prices for locally produced rice.

“What the government has to consider is how to actually provide temporary support to farmers to compensate for their income loss. The assistance could come in the form of a cash-transfer scheme or a price-guarantee scheme,” Briones said in an e-mail to the BusinessMirror.A cash-transfer scheme, he said, would provide fixed and lump-sum payments to rice farmers. Under the price-guarantee scheme, farmers could be paid the difference between a benchmark price and an “insurance price” in case prices become too low. Briones said funds for these schemes could come from tariffs that would be slapped on rice imports once the QR is removed.Briones said the possible lifting of the QR could also act as a “transitional measure” for farmers to diversify to high-value crops. With the lifting of the QR, Briones said rice importing should become an “exclusive function” of the private sector.“The detrimental effects [of the removal of the QR] on farmers are unavoidable, but these can be mitigated with the right preparation,” he said.

Get kids cooking early for a fun way to bond: Chicken and rice skillet supper is super easy for kids to make

Lois Abraham, The Canadian Press | August 18, 2015 | Last Updated: Aug 18 9:48 AM ET

TORONTO — Winning “MasterChef Junior” was a huge thrill for Logan Guleff. But the 13-year-old is also immensely proud that he’s inspired kids in many countries to cook.The blond bowtie-wearing cooking sensation won the second season of the U.S. culinary competition series at age 11.Kids between eight and 13 are tasked with preparing restaurant-quality dishes that are assessed by professional chefs, including Gordon Ramsay — his favourite judge, says Logan.“It’s really important for kids to get into the kitchen and cook,” says Logan during a recent visit to Toronto.“It really gives them a great skill that they’ll have all of their life.”Logan, who hails from Memphis, Tenn., suggests kids can start cooking at an early age with adult supervision. When he was two, he made coffee in a drip pot. He graduated to pigs in a blanket, then learned to use recipes and eventually started creating his own recipes.
HO - Uncle Ben's Canada/The Canadian PressWinning "MasterChef Junior" was a huge thrill for Logan Guleff. But the 13-year-old is also immensely proud that he's inspired kids in many countries to cook.
“Even if it’s cutting the pepper, peeling the potato, there’s always a task out there for you to do,” he says.“For parents out there, if you really want to get kids into the kitchen, you really need to let them make a mess and that really helps the creative process.”Toronto-based registered dietitian Cara Rosenbloom started her children — daughter Kasey, now 8, and son Aubrey, 4 — on simple tasks when they were about 2 1/2.
“When your children are preschool age or can follow the tasks that require a little bit of instruction they’re ready to cook too,” she says, adding it can actually save time in the long run because parents can concentrate on other components of the meal while the kids work.
“So you can start young with child-friendly tasks — ripping, pouring, stirring, measuring … and as they get older you can teach them knife skills, you can teach them how to use things like a spatula in a frying pan or a blender with adult supervision. And soon they will be cooking your dinner.”Give them a say in what goes into their school lunch and let them help pack it. Use lunch boxes with different containers so you remember to pack some fruit, vegetables and proteins into each one.

Look through magazines with recipes, cookbooks and websites for cooking inspiration. For children who don’t read yet, there are cookbooks such as “Picture Cook” by Katie Shelly (2013) that use drawings to illustrate ingredients and recipe steps.A recipe is a great building block to build your own repertoire, says Logan, who has developed a line of spices and rubs and loves experimenting at home.One day he wanted to tackle lollipops, so he searched on the Internet and YouTube to learn how.
“Then I started messing with them to make all these wacky flavours. I did yuzu (a citrus fruit), malt vinegar, just crazy flavours…. That was a fun day.”Some were winners while others were less than stellar, he admits.“A complete failure was I tried to make lime candy one time. I was positive that I was going to make this delicious lime candy. I had such a failure in the kitchen that day.“Then you come in the next day and you try again. Usually it comes out better the next day.”Logan has created a series of videos and tips available at Families can submit photos of their food for a chance to win one of three $10,000 cash prizes for RESPs.
HO - Uncle Ben's Canada/The Canadian PressTaco-licious Chicken Skillet with Whole-Grain Brown Rice.
Roasting corn in the oven intensifies and brings out its sweet flavours. It’s the perfect accompaniment to this skillet dinner and fresh tangy salsa.
When making the recipe, Logan suggests flattening the chicken before cutting it. The pieces will be of uniform thickness and cook more evenly.
Browning spices first injects even more flavour into the dish, Logan says.
Use ancho or chipotle powder for the chili powder and jalapeno or serrano chili pepper for the red pepper in the salsa for added spice.Prep Time: 20 minutes
Start to Finish Time: 50 minutes
10 ml (2 tsp) olive oil
340 g (12 oz) boneless skinless chicken breasts, cubed
5 ml (1 tsp) chili powder
2 ml (1/2 tsp) ground cumin
250 ml (1 cup) no-salt-added diced tomatoes
175 ml (3/4 cup) no-salt-added chicken broth
175 ml (3/4 cup) whole-grain brown rice
125 ml (1/2 cup) shredded Mexican cheese blend
2 corn cobs, husks and silk removed
10 ml (2 tsp) olive oil
1 ripe mango, chopped
250 ml (1 cup) halved cherry tomatoes
125 ml (1/2 cup) chopped orange pepper
50 ml (1/4 cup) finely chopped red onion
45 ml (3 tbsp) lime juice
15 ml (1 tbsp) chopped fresh parsley
pinch salt and pepper
1. Preheat oven to 220 C (425 F).
2. In a skillet, heat oil over medium heat; cook chicken, chili powder and cumin for 5 minutes or until browned. Transfer to a plate.
3. Stir diced tomatoes and broth into a skillet; bring to a boil. Add rice; reduce heat to low. Return chicken to skillet; cover and cook for 20 to 25 minutes or until rice is tender and liquid is absorbed. Sprinkle with cheese. Cover and let stand for 5 minutes.
4. Meanwhile, brush corn evenly with oil; transfer to a baking dish. Roast for 12 to 15 minutes or until tender and golden brown in some spots.
5. While other items are cooking, stir together mango, cherry tomatoes, orange pepper, red onion, lime juice, parsley, salt and pepper. Serve with chicken and rice and roasted corn.
makes 4 servings
Nutritional information per serving (1/4 of recipe): 450 calories; 12 g fat; 57 g carbohydrates; 19 g sugar; 6 g fibre; 320 mg sodium; 30 g protein.
Source: Uncle Ben’s.

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