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Aerobic Rice – Part Deux

May 6, 2008

New ‘aerobic rice’ by Jan
From Kalyan Ray, DH News Service, New Delhi:
A new rice variety that can thrive on less than half of water needed for existing varieties is expected to be released in Karnataka for commercial cultivation by January, 2009.

And what may be an additional plus point, this rice line does not contribute much towards global warming unlike the regular rice varieties. The new rice variety called “aerobic rice” has been developed by plant breeders at the University of Agricultural Sciences(UAS) in Bangalore. Begun as part of an all-India project of the Indian Council of Agricultural Research’s (ICAR), it has completed an independent trial for three years.

However, since entering into the central trial is the official requirement for a state-wide release, the UAS is trying to make a beginning with a release in the dry zones of Karnataka early next year. “I am proceeding with release formalities at the UAS, Bangalore starting January, 2009. That is the earliest we can do it. Since water is a scare resource, we need to show results at the earliest,” Dr H E Shashidhar, the developer of aerobic rice, told Deccan Herald.


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Around the same time, Raipur’s Indira Gandhi Krishi Vishwavidyalaya may also release the line for the farmers in Chhattishgarh. Due to their low water use efficiency, the existing rice varieties need 3,000 to 5,000 litres of water to produce one kg of grain. Usage of excess water also reduces the efficiency of the fertiliser.

On the contrary, the new line’s water requirement has been cut down by 40-50 per cent, making it suitable for cultivation in the state’s drought-prone areas.

Moreover, because of the absence of standing water for days, it does not generate the green house gas methane, which is one of the major contributors to global warming. Normally, methane is produced during irrigated rice cultivation.

“Because of standing water in paddy fields, soil organic matter is decomposed in an anaerobic (without oxygen) processes generating methane,” said Dr Shashidhar, who is currently working in Barwale Foundation in Hyderabad.

As there will be no such decomposition during the cultivation of this line, it is called aerobic rice. He claims that with the rice root running almost three times deeper, there would be better water absorption and air circulation.
While the new variety gave a yield of about 55 quintals per hectare, which is par with the regular varieties, it becomes ready for harvesting between 120 and 130 days. The UAS has completed trials at six locations between 2005 and 2007 in collaboration with the International Rice Research Institute (IRRI) in Manila. Trials took place at Bangalore, Raipur, Cuttack, Faizabad, Coimbatore and Hazaribagh.

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2 comments

  1. architects


  2. 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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