Irrigated rice production provides about 75 percent of the world’s rice needs, and has a particularly important role to play at the moment as international rice prices are at a 10-year high, while global stocks are at a 30-year low. However, at a meeting in Vietnam of more than 50 rice scientists from 13 countries, the problems facing irrigated rice farmers are being highlighted.
In Vietnam alone, industrial development has caused the loss of 300,000 hectares of irrigated rice land in the past 5 years. There is also increasing competition between rice farmers and industry over water needed for energy production and for access to water from the main reservoirs around Hanoi.
Other problems are the increased migration of farm laborers to cities, the reemergence of rice pests and diseases, and the increasing costs of production and inputs. However, there is also some good news.
Research efforts to help rice farmers boost their production efficiency and rein in their costs are being helped by new scientific knowledge in several key areas, including new technologies to optimize the use of fertilizers and reduce water use.
On 8-9 October, about 60 international rice scientists from 13 countries are to gather for the 3rd Steering Committee meeting of the Irrigated Rice Research Consortium (IRRC) of the International Rice Research Institute and hosted by the Vietnamese Academy of Agricultural Sciences (VAAS). High on the agenda is how to assist farmers with access to irrigation to be more efficient in their production of rice.
Irrigated rice accounts for 80 percent of Vietnam’s rice area, and is grown on about 3.4 million hectares, providing about 90 percent of the national production of 36 million tons. Vietnam is the second-largest exporter of rice, exporting 4–5 million tons every year.
For the past 10 years, the IRRC has worked with Vietnamese partners, mainly from VAAS institutes. The research, chiefly in farmers’ fields, with the strong involvement of farmer communes, has shown that farmers can increase production by as much as 15% through better timing and a more balanced use of fertilizers. Also, farmers are able to reduce their water usage by 15–20 percent in the dry season and still maintain their rice yields.
Help is also on the way to fight the labor shortage through new methods of land preparation, crop establishment, and drying of the rice crop after harvest. Advances in ecological management of weeds and rats will also assist the farmers in their age-old struggle against these pests.
The IRRC, with major support from the Swiss Agency for Development and Cooperation, promotes and sustains partnerships between national agricultural research and extension systems and the International Rice Research Institute to help farmers achieve increased profitability, food security, and environmental sustainability. The IRRC operates in the Philippines, Bangladesh, China, Cambodia, India, Indonesia, Lao PDR, Malaysia, Myanmar, Sri Lanka, and Vietnam.
With the consortium nature of this partnership, success stories, knowledge, and lessons learned from other countries can be applied in Vietnam to better manage its natural resources such as water and soil, and help increase and sustain rice productivity for small farmers.
Duncan Macintosh | EurekAlert!
Plasma-zapping process could yield trans fat-free soybean oil product
02.12.2016 | Purdue University
New findings about the deformed wing virus, a major factor in honey bee colony mortality
11.11.2016 | Veterinärmedizinische Universität Wien
A multi-institutional research collaboration has created a novel approach for fabricating three-dimensional micro-optics through the shape-defined formation of porous silicon (PSi), with broad impacts in integrated optoelectronics, imaging, and photovoltaics.
Working with colleagues at Stanford and The Dow Chemical Company, researchers at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign fabricated 3-D birefringent...
In experiments with magnetic atoms conducted at extremely low temperatures, scientists have demonstrated a unique phase of matter: The atoms form a new type of quantum liquid or quantum droplet state. These so called quantum droplets may preserve their form in absence of external confinement because of quantum effects. The joint team of experimental physicists from Innsbruck and theoretical physicists from Hannover report on their findings in the journal Physical Review X.
“Our Quantum droplets are in the gas phase but they still drop like a rock,” explains experimental physicist Francesca Ferlaino when talking about the...
The Max Planck Institute for Physics (MPP) is opening up a new research field. A workshop from November 21 - 22, 2016 will mark the start of activities for an innovative axion experiment. Axions are still only purely hypothetical particles. Their detection could solve two fundamental problems in particle physics: What dark matter consists of and why it has not yet been possible to directly observe a CP violation for the strong interaction.
The “MADMAX” project is the MPP’s commitment to axion research. Axions are so far only a theoretical prediction and are difficult to detect: on the one hand,...
Broadband rotational spectroscopy unravels structural reshaping of isolated molecules in the gas phase to accommodate water
In two recent publications in the Journal of Chemical Physics and in the Journal of Physical Chemistry Letters, researchers around Melanie Schnell from the Max...
The efficiency of power electronic systems is not solely dependent on electrical efficiency but also on weight, for example, in mobile systems. When the weight of relevant components and devices in airplanes, for instance, is reduced, fuel savings can be achieved and correspondingly greenhouse gas emissions decreased. New materials and components based on gallium nitride (GaN) can help to reduce weight and increase the efficiency. With these new materials, power electronic switches can be operated at higher switching frequency, resulting in higher power density and lower material costs.
Researchers at the Fraunhofer Institute for Solar Energy Systems ISE together with partners have investigated how these materials can be used to make power...
16.11.2016 | Event News
01.11.2016 | Event News
14.10.2016 | Event News
02.12.2016 | Medical Engineering
02.12.2016 | Agricultural and Forestry Science
02.12.2016 | Physics and Astronomy