Aerobic rice – one answer to climate change

February 27, 2008

Aerobic rice does away with flooding as a practice in the fields. Due to the deep roots the rice plants develop they are better able to draw nutrition from the soil as well as moisture. The generation of methane gas, a by product of flooding, is also minimized. As strains are crossed and varieties developed, which have the fine grains demanded by the consumer but the drought tolerance demanded by weather conditions, aerobic rice becomes a reality.

Arghyam through the Krishi Vidya Nirantara has sponsored a student to conduct his research on aerobic rice. Professor Shashidhar Reddy- http://www.aerobicrice.in – is working on this strain within the GKVK, the University of Agricultural Science Bangalore.
Manohar, the Ph.D. student explains the advantage of aerobic rice. Prof Srinivasamurthy of the soil chemistry department GKVK also pitches in to explain other advantages. Significant advantages of aerobic rice are Less water requirement. No flood irrigation. Watering once in 5 days.Equal productivity as other rice.less disease.less methane emission.

Huge advantages which need to be worked upon further to take it to our farmers.
Can KVN and Arghyam (www.arghyam.org) too rise to this challenge?

and finally

Climate change needs us to look at various alternatives for more drought tolerant and tougher strains. We need the research fast too. Students like Manohar and Prof Shashidhar Reddy are in the fore front of this research.

Key challenges will emerge. Will new pests develop in the non-flooded regime? How to manage weed growth a primary reason for flooding the crops? How to change the behaviour pattern ingrained in farmers s regards flooding paddy fields? How to improve productivity of the aerobic rice as more and more demands are placed on fields to feed a growing population economically better off than before? How to ensure maximum benefits to small and marginal farmers and increase their return on land?



  1. I was told by a colleague in India that this discussion contained some commentary on the System of Rice Intensification (SRI), but I was not able to find this on the entry that came up on aerobic rice. If there is an interest in SRI, I will be glad to cooperate with information on this innovation, which is quite different from ‘aerobic rice’ which has focused primarily on trying to improve rice genotypes rather than achieve the goal of drought resistance by modifying/improving plant root growth and other physiological processes by alterations in the way that the rice plants and their soil, water and nutrients are managed. SRI enhances the drought-resistance of any and all rice genotypes with which it has been used so far, so this makes it quite different from what is being promoted in many places as ‘aerobic rice.’

  2. Comment

  3. Dear sir,
    I had developed a new method of aerobic rice cultivation and relevant videos were presented to noman and the same wasalso reported in kissan world.I wish to mail the videos to all intrested persons.This is very sucessful and I am prepared to arrange demonstrations also.Pl reply
    gopal( inventor of kadiramangalam system of rice intensification)

    • dear sir
      please send your videos to my mail venkatareddy150@gmail.com iam a research student from g.k.v.k bangaluru

  4. I am working on various aspects of aerobic rice including root traits viz., root mass and root volume. The root characters were studied under field conditions unlike PVC pipes used in physiological studies.
    I therefore wanted to know the protocol for the root study under field conditions.

  5. This is Mehedi from Bangladesh Agricultural University, Mymensingh, a Ph D student of Department of Agronomy. I am very much interested to know more and more on aerobic rice cultivation.

    • Dear Md Mehendi Masood,

      Glad to see the comment. Please visit the website http://www.aerobicrice.in for more information. There is a strong science behind the work and the technology has already reached farmers fields.
      Shashidhar, HE

  6. I am working in Ministrey of agriculrural and i have training for aerobic rice so, i wont fresh information about this program

  7. Agro Norte Pesquisa e Sementes is a private company that operates at the forefront of rice production and marketing of rice seed and development of technology and varieties for upland rice system in Brazil. Sell seed for 15 states in the Cerrado (savannas) of Brazil. The company began 17 years selling seed to farmers, financing fertilizer, seed and pesticides. Sells several varieties of rice as the AN Cambará that has good yield, excellent tolerance to drought and different soil types, fertility levels and pH, excellent grain and cooking quality for the Brazilian market demands, and the hybrid rice Ana 9001 planting in areas Soybean with high productivity.

    The upland system in Brazil represents two thirds of the planted area and one third of actual production. This system has been a strong ally in the expansion of soybeans, corn and cotton, since rice is planted in the first two years before the establishment of soybean, because rice tolerates the presence of acidity and aluminum in the soil. In the states of Mato Grosso, Rondonia, Para, Maranhao, Piaui, Goias and Mato Grosso do Sul totaling over 1.3 million hectares of rice and 12 million acres of soybeans. The production of upland rice are strongly dependent of the dynamics of the soybean market, the main crop in the region, and the decrease or increase in area depends year by year of the price of soybeans. But we have all the soybean area that we could do crop rotation with rice and there are still over 20 million of degraded pastures that have to do renovation and rice is the most indicated to help in the costs of the reform of the pasture. Also, Agro Norte start breeding soybeans 8 year ago looking for new area in the North of Brazil. We are looking for material non genetic modifying organism with strong root system, high yield and high tolerance to drought condition.

    The potential for cultivation and production growth is very high considering that some of these areas could get back into rice production if there have finances funding and future marketing structure like soybeans. With regular rains that begin in October and end in April next year, we have the potential to plant the second crop on top of harvested soybean fields as is done today with more than 3 million acres of second crop for corn, as corn prices are low, the farmers start to grow rice in areas that is possible to do second crop. Among the advantage that the rice has in Brazil is the low production cost compared with soybean and maize, the reduction of nematodes in soybean area, sufficient areas for planting in crop rotation and renewal of pastures, increased profitability and very close to the consumer market.

    The challenges to increase production at this low liquidity at the time of sale, use of “pirates” seeds and their own use that takes off investment in research and breeding, the lack of prices and futures contracts as soybeans, corn and cotton, and the need to increase export of rice of the Rio Grande do Sul and Santa Catarina. The fact is that the upland rice returned to the limelight with the market release of the variety AN Cambará thats combine the quality of grain and cooking that the Brazilian market wants, and the soybean farmer like the results of the field range of Cambara and entry in the hybrid market of the hybrid ANa 9001 with of high yields 8-9 tons of rice in areas where soybeans still harvesting 3.5 tons per hectare. The future is promising because Brazil needs to increase production to supply demand of domestic rice.

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