Stream D - Integrated Rice Sector Development in a Changing Climate
20 May 2021
Virtual | East Africa Time (GMT+3)
11:00 - 12:30
Seed is the most critical input in agriculture. Quality seed of a improved variety is must to ensure its good productivity at farmers’ fields. Depending upon a crop, varietal development takes 6 to 10 years of time. Even after development of a variety it takes 5 to 6 years for evaluation, release and notification and another 3 to 4 years in seed chain before it becomes available to the farmers. More often varieties are released and notified for cultivation for a defined area. However, there are varieties which are being cultivated, unofficially/officially, across countries or even continents.
About the presenter
14:30 - 16:00
The system of rice intensification (SRI) was developed in Africa, specifically in Madagascar in 1975. The technology remained unknown to the rest of the world for many years till it was documented by scientists and promoted from the 1990s. Since then, SRI has been adopted by millions of farmers worldwide, accepted as a valid set of agronomic practices that incredibly help increase rice yields while also saving water. SRI has other multiple benefits, such as better grain quality, improved health and work environments through reduction of water-borne disease vectors and ergonomic advantages. In essence, SRI is attractive especially to small-scale rice farmers who have adopted the system in place of traditional fully flooded paddy systems. Within Africa, some 25 countries are documented to have adopted SRI, as is evident on the SRI-Africa website https://sri-africa.net Prof. Bancy Mati is the convenor and manager of the SRI-Africa knowledge portal, in which the data, publications and happenings of SRI in Africa are collated and posted on the website on a regular basis. This paper summarizes the progress made by the African countries in pushing forward with SRI as a sustainable way to grow more rice to feed the continent, while also saving water.
About the presenter
Improved nutrient management is a key for sustainable food production under the depleting fertilizer resources and increasing environmental impacts with its use and production of mineral fertilizer in the agricultural systems. The importance of improved nutrient management can be emphasized for increasing rice production in East Africa where smallholder farmers grow rice with little fertilizer inputs on relatively nutrient-poor soils. The P-dipping is a simple manipulation to dip rice seedlings into muddy soils added with a small amount of phosphorus (P) fertilizer, whereby the seedling roots are coated with the P-enriched slurry and transplanted in the main field. Repeated experiments demonstrated that both rice yields and nutrient use efficiencies greatly improve with the P-dipping even under severely P-deficient or highly P-fixing soils in Madagascar where rice has little response to conventional P application via broadcast. Our recent trial identified that the effect of P-dipping can be enhanced by combining with a shallow root genotype. Furthermore, our observations revealed that the P-dipping has an advantage against low temperature stress at the end of the rainy season by shortening the growth duration and against flash flooding by accelerating the initial growth of rice. As these stresses are commonly found for rice production in East Africa, the technique can be one potential approach to simultaneously address the issues of improved nutrient management and resilience to climate change. At the same time, our observations imply the importance of further studies to understand the interaction between nutrient deficiency and climate-induced stresses, both are key constraints for sustainable rice production in the region. The P-dipping technique is currently promoted and tested in more than 300 farmers’ fields in Madagascar in collaboration with the Ministry of Agriculture, Livestock, and Fisheries (MAEP), national research institutes, the JICA technical cooperation project (PAPRIZ), private sectors, and smallholder farmers in Madagascar.
About the presenter