Monday, June 13, 2016

13th June,2016 daily global,regional and local rice e-newsletter by riceplus magazine

China’s tightened inspection good for Vietnamese rice exporters: insiders
Updated : 06/11/2016 09:42 GMT + 7
A man carries a bag of paddy out of a rice field in Tien Giang Province, located in southern Vietnam.
Tuoi Tre

China has started applying more stringent regulation to ensure the safety of rice imports from Vietnam, a move some Vietnamese insiders say will benefit, instead of hurting, the rice sector.
On Tuesday, Vietnam’s Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development announced it had closed a new protocol with China, including stricter sterilization inspection Vietnamese rice exports have to pass before entering Chinese market.
In order to qualify for exports to China, the rice should be grown at areas certified by the General Administration of Quality Supervision, Inspection and Quarantine of China (AQSIQ), according to the document. The shipment should also be sterilized and cleansed of weeds or dirt.
The Vietnamese Plant Protection Department will have to introduce its major rice exporters to China and only those inspected and recognized by the AQSIQ are allowed to ship their grains to China.
The new protocol replaces an old document, stipulating rice export activities between Vietnam and China, which has been in use since 2004.
The regulation amendment has in fact brought more benefits to Vietnam, according to the country’s Plant Protection Department.
According to the old protocol, Chinese experts would come to Vietnam for the sterilization inspection tasks, and the Vietnamese rice companies had to cover their costs.
“With the new rule, the Plant Protection Department will be in charge of working with the AQSIQ, saving time and money for rice businesses,” department head Hoang Trung said.
Trung added that the tightened rule will encourage more official rice exports to China, instead of the effectively unofficial trade across the border.
“This is a good sign as official export is less risky than the unofficial one,” he said.
The Plant Protection Department has selected nine sterilization agencies to work with local exporters, and has collaborated with the Vietnam Food Administration (VFA) to prepare a list of qualified businesses to send to China for certification and recognition.
Under the old protocol, 131 Vietnamese were eligible to export rice to China but only 30 or 40 firms actually sold their goods to that market, said VFA general secretary Huynh Minh Hue.
The new protocol also left Vietnamese rice businesses unsurprised.
Tran Ngoc Trung, general director of Vinh Phat, a rice exporter in Ho Chi Minh City, said the new rule will only help Vietnamese exporters to have better preparation for their shipment to China.
Trung said such regulations on sterilization are what importing countries normally do to ensure food safety and disease control.
“Major rice firms with stable material areas and standardized rice husking facilities and warehouses will not have to worry,” he said. “The U.S. sets even stricter rules but [Vietnamese firms] are still able to enter that market.”
China is Vietnam’s largest rice importer. In May Vietnam’s rice exports to China topped 400,000 metric tons, down 31 percent from a year earlier.

What’s on the menu today?

Hundreds of Fast & Tasty Recipes in the Recipe Toolbar -Download
Creative 'n' healthy options: Carrot drumstick leaves fried rice --Photos: Srivalli Jetti
Channa Rice
Indian calzone with capsicum, corn and cottage cheese
Paneer-stuffed wheat kulchas
Vermicelli vegetable pulao


Stressed about what to pack for your ward’s lunch? Give these recipes, which promise to be a balance between taste and health, a shot

Schools have started. One is not faced with just the challenge of getting the kids ready to school on time, but also packing lunch that tastes good and is packed with health. This particular task demands your creative thinking and ability to ensure you pack a balanced meal. Since kids spend less time in actual eating, one has to send dishes that are easy for them to eat and enjoy. Planning ahead or at least the night before helps. If you are planning on fried rice, you can cook the rice the previous night and refrigerate it. Children love ingredients like paneer, channa, corn, potato etc. Try to include vegetables too. Here are a few recipes that you can give a shot.
Paneer-stuffed wheat kulchas
Ingredients (for four to six small-sized kulchas)
For the Kulchas:
Wheat flour – 2 cups
Milk – quarter cup
Curd or yogurt – quarter cup
Baking powder – 1 tsp
Baking soda – half tsp
Salt to taste
Oil – 2 tbsp
For Paneer stuffing:
Paneer – one-and-a-half cups, grated
Red chilli powder – 1 tsp
Cumin powder – quarter tsp
Garam masala powder – 1 tsp
Coriander leaves – a handful
Salt to taste
In a bowl, add all the ingredients for the kulcha and knead a soft, firm dough. Let it rest for 10 minutes. Grate paneer, add red chilli powder, cumin powder, salt, garam masala and coriander leaves to it and mix well. Divide into small-sized balls. Divide the dough into equal-sized balls. Flatten them and stuff with the filling. Seal the ball completely, dust and roll out into tiny parathas. Heat a non-stick pan, grease with oil and cook the kulchas on both sides. Serve with curd and pickle of choice.
Indian calzone with capsicum, corn and cottage cheese
Calzone is a healthier low-cal version, where wheat flour is used and the calzone is pan-cooked.
Ingredients (Makes four)
For the chapatis
Wheat flour – 2 cups
Salt to taste
Water to knead the dough
For the stuffing
Paneer – 1 cup, crumbled (made from one litre milk)
Onion – 1 medium, julienned
Capsicum – quarter cup, finely chopped
Corn kernels – quarter cups
Salt to taste
Red chilli powder – half tsp
Coriander powder – half tsp
Garam masala – quarter tsp
Turmeric powder – a pinch
Kasuri methi or coriander leaves – a handful
Oil – 1 tbsp
Cheese cubes – 2
For the dough
In a wide bowl, take the wheat flour, salt and knead the dough and keep aside for 10 minutes.
For the stuffing
Heat a non-stick pan, add onions, sauté well. Add capsicum, corn and mix well. Add all the spice powders, sprinkle a few drops of water and stir well.
Now crumble the paneer into this mix and combine everything.
To assemble
Divide the dough into equal balls. Dust well and roll into 6-diameter discs. Place a tbsp of stuffing in the centre, grate some cheese over it. Bring one side of the disc towards the other to make a half moon or a crescent shape.
Press the sides with a fork to seal well. Heat a pan with oil, place the calzone and sprinkle oil over it and cook well, by pressing on all sides. Slice into halves and serve with sauce or any dip.
Note: The sauce is spread on the base; but tastes good without the sauce as well.
Channa Rice
Channa is a good source of protein. Always have frozen boiled chickpea on hand to make this easy dish.
Raw rice – 1 cup
Boiled channa – 1 cup
Onion, chopped – half, medium
Tomato – 1 small
Ginger-garlic paste – half tsp
Green chillies – 2 medium
Red chilli powder – three-fourth tsp
Coriander powder – three-fourth tsp
Turmeric powder – a pinch
Salt to taste
Oil – 2 tsp
Ghee – 2 tsp
Coriander leaves – a handful
Whole spices – 1 bay leaf, 2 cloves, 1-inch cinnamon, 1 cardamom
Wash and soak the rice in water for 10 minutes. Heat a pressure cooker with oil and ghee. Add all the whole spices and sauté well. Now, add the onions and fry till it turns brown. Add ginger-garlic paste, sauté well. Now add chopped tomatoes, all the spice powders and simmer for five minutes. Drain the rice and add to the pot. Combine everything and stir for two minutes. Add two cups of water, salt and cover and cook in the pressure cooker for three whistles. Serve with onion raitha.
Carrot drumstick leaves fried rice
Fried rice is always a hit with children. Add drumstick leaves to make it healthier. If you have cooked rice, then you sure will breeze through this one.
Cooked basmati rice – 2 cups
Drumstick leaves – 1 cup
Carrots – quarter cup, chopped in 1-inch fine sticks
Green chillies – 2 medium
Green chilli sauce – 1 tsp
Soya sauce – 1 tsp
Oil – 2 tsp
Ghee – few drops
Salt to taste
Pepper powder to taste
Cook the rice and keep aside. Wash and cut the drumstick leaves. Heat oil in a non-stick pan, add the carrots sticks, and slit green chillies, sauté till carrot are cooked. Next add drumstick leaves, sauté well. Add salt, pepper, soya sauce, green chilli sauce and toss well.
Allow it to cool before packing it in the box.
Vermicelli vegetable pulao
Try this interesting version of pulao with vermicelli loaded with vegetables.
Roasted vermicelli – 1 cup
Water – 3 cups
Whole spices for the masala – 1 bay leaf, 2 cloves, 1 cardamom, 1-inch cinnamon
Mixed Vegetables – 1 cup (potato, carrots, peas, beans)
Onions – 1 medium, sliced
Ginger garlic paste – half tsp
Green chillies – 2 medium
Turmeric powder – a pinch
Garam masala powder – half tsp
Oil – 2 tsp
Salt to taste
Roast the vermicelli for couple of minutes and keep aside. In a pan, boil water, add vermicelli and cook till done. This takes about five minutes. Drain over a colander and fluff with drops of oil and keep aside.
Meanwhile, either microwave the vegetables for five minutes or par boil in a small pan with little water and keep aside.
Heat a non-stick pan with oil, temper with all the whole spices, sauté well. Next add the onions, sauté till browned. Add ginger garlic paste, salt, turmeric powder and fry well.
Now add the cooked vegetables, give it a stir, add the cooked vermicelli. Mix everything well and simmer for couple of minutes. Your vermicelli pulav is ready to be relished.

Mujadara (Rice with lentils and fried onions)

A perfect, warming bowl-food dish, with its sweet spices tempered by cooling Onken natural yogurt.
  • 200g brown or green lentils
  • 175g basmati rice
  • 50g natural yogurt
  • 3 medium red onions, thinly sliced
  • ½ tsp cumin
  • ½ tsp cracked black peppercorns
  • ½ tsp cayenne pepper
  • ½ tsp cinnamon
  • Extra virgin olive oil
  • Seasoning
  1. Place the lentils in a medium saucepan and cover with cold water. Bring to a boil over a medium/high heat, turn down to a simmer and cook for 20 minutes until tender
  2. Fry the onions on a medium heat in a frying pan with a splash of oil and a pinch of salt for about 15 minutes, until they start to caramelise and crisp up on the edges. Remove half to a kitchen towel-lined plate for garnish
  3. Add the cumin, black pepper, cayenne and cinnamon and fry for 1 minute
  4. Add the uncooked basmati rice and cook for a 2-3 minutes until the rice starts to brown. Immediately add the cooked lentils, 600ml of water, and a good pinch of salt and bring to the boil.
  5. Turn the heat down to a simmer, cover and cook for 30 minutes. The water should have completely evaporated
  6. Take off the heat and cover with a lid to steam for another 5 minutes
  7. Serve with a sprinkle of the remaining fried onions and a generous spoonful of Onken natural yogurt
To find more recipes from Onken please visit:

Attaining Self-Sufficiency In Rice Production

| Leave a comment
With the implementation of the first leg of the Anchor Borrowers Programme (ABP) in Kebbi State, Nigeria is certain of the local supply of 14.5 per cent of its total rice consumption in 2016. This is a step towards achieving self-sufficiency in rice production.
Total rice consumption of Nigeria is estimated at 6.9 million metric tonnes and Kebbi State is expected to deliver one million metric tonnes of rice at the end of this year’s harvest, according to estimates from the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN).
Although Nigeria is the largest producer of rice, a staple food for almost all household in the country, it is the second largest importer of rice in the world. Rice is mainly imported from Thailand, Brazil, India, USA, UAE.
Rice is grown in approximately on 3.7 million hectares of land in Nigeria, covering 10.6 per cent of the 35 million hectares of land under cultivation, out of a total arable land area of 70 million hectares. 77 per cent of the farmed area of rice is rain-fed, of which 47 per cent is lowland and 30 per cent upland. The range of grown varieties is diverse and includes both local and enhanced varieties of traditional African rice.
Over the years, yields on rice production has been on the rise, but area of land harvested and the number of tonnes produced has been on the decrease, showing a possibility of a declining number of rice farmers.
This decline began in 2008. Before then, government’s  policies affecting rice production had been directed at protecting the local industry through tariffs and providing extension support to rice farmers. The import tariff on value-added rice was 100 per cent in 1995, 50 in 1996 through 2000 and 85 in 2001.
However, with effect from May 2008, rice imports into Nigeria were declared free from all duties and charges, including customs duty, 7 per cent surcharge, value-added tax and levies. This caused a surge in rice importation and discouraged local farmers as it became cheaper to import the calorie-giving food.
Currently, Nigeria spends about N1 billion importing rice to feed its over 170 million population, putting farmers to work in countries like the United States,India and Thailand, while putting farmers out of work in Nigeria.
Despite various interventions, the situation seemed not to change prompting the apex bank to introduce the ABP. The Anchor Borrowers Scheme(ABS) was conceived out of the CBN’s resolve to achieve a strong and viable agriculture base with more integrated value chains, enhanced food security, fewer imports and higher productivity.
In line with the federal government’s target of achieving food security for the country, the CBN governor, Godwin Emefiele, explained that the APB was one of the apex bank’s initiatives to pursue creation of jobs, reduction in food imports, and diversification of our economy.
“The programme aims at creating economic linkages between over 600,000 smallholder farmers and reputable large-scale processors with a view to increasing agricultural output and significantly improving capacity utilisation of integrated mills.”
The CBN said it established the ABP with a view to collaborating with anchor companies involved in the production and processing of key agricultural commodities. Specifically, the APB has been pushed for rice and wheat farmers in 14 states, Kebbi, Sokoto, Niger, Kaduna, Katsina, Jigawa, Kano, Zamfara, Admawa, Plateau, Lagos, Ogun, Cross-Rivers and Ebonyi, to advance their status from smallholder farmers to commercial or large growers.
This has become essential as the federal government has set a target of 2018 and 2019, for self sustenance in rice and wheat, a target that is achievable if the success being recorded in Kebbi was replicated in the other states that had been penned down for the programme.
The CBN had earmarked N40 billion out of the N220 billion Micro Small and Medium Enterprises Development Fund to be given to farmers at single digit interest rate of nine per cent per annum.
Under the scheme, a total of 78,581 farmers were engaged in Kebbi State with a total of 573,958 direct and indirect jobs created in the process. According to the Fact Sheet on the scheme released by the CBN, N2,971,532,000 was disbursed under State Government to 70,871 labour- related farmers, N1,224,289,400 was also given to 2,710 farmers, who registered under a group known as Umza, while N740,500,000 was disbursed to another 5,000 farmers under Labana, another farmers’ group in the state.
The apex bank also stated that 73,001 farmers had been supplied inputs so far under the initiative with the total number of 66,765 farmers receiving the inputs under State Government, 3,526 under Labana and 2,710 under Umza.
Apart from the number of jobs created, the Fact Sheet indicated that 70,871 rural farmers now own and operate bank accounts and were also captured under the Bank Verification Number (BVN) biometric project. With 78,581 hecterage of land secured for dry season farming, about 7,710 retained in farming business under ABP, while at least seven indirect jobs had been created per hectare of rice farm through land preparation, nursery, transplanting, weeding, harvesting, threshing, and transportation