Upland rice for highlands: New varieties and sustainable cropping systems for food security promising prospects for the global challenges of rice production the world will face in the coming years?

Ahmadi Nourollah, Dzido Jean-Luc, Vales Michel, Rakotoarisoa Jacqueline, Chabanne André. 2004. Upland rice for highlands: New varieties and sustainable cropping systems for food security promising prospects for the global challenges of rice production the world will face in the coming years?. . FAO. s.l. : s.n., 14 p. Rice in Global Markets and Sustainable Production Systems Conference, Rome, Italie, 12 February 2004/13 February 2004.

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Abstract : The highlands and high elevation areas of the inter-tropical regions of Asia, Africa and Latin America where rice is often the staple crop and food, are often characterised by a poor and fragile environment. Rapid demographic growth has broken the balance between the productivity of the traditional agricultural systems and the nutritional and cash-income needs of the population having to face food security. The high plateaux of Madagascar are a typical example of this situation. Rice is the staple food in this densely populated area. Farmers traditionally grow irrigated or rainfed lowland rice wherever possible, with admirable developments in inland valleys and terraces on hillsides. But as early as the end of the 1970s, the population has had to face the challenges of a growing demand for rice, the stagnation of rice yields in irrigated lowlands, and the scarcity of new lowland areas which could be devoted to rice cultivation. In other respects, because of the lack of suitable varieties, they couldn't grow upland rice on their vast upland stretches. Indeed, upland rice growing was limited to altitudes lower than 1,200 m. In the mid-1980s, CIRAD and FOFIFA launched a research program for the highlands with the aim of pushing forward the frontier of upland rice growing areas in high elevation areas of the tropics. This program was then consolidated with research on cropping practices that ensure the sustainability of upland rice based cropping systems. The program started in the high plateaux of Madagascar, and soon became a cross-continent collaborative research project - Andean area of Colombia and high altitude area of tropical China. Its results have opened up new prospects for some of the poorest farmers of the inter-tropical areas. Thanks to the creation of a new generation of upland rice variety, cold tolerant, of a short duration and of adapted eating qualities, it is now possible to cultivate upland rice as high as 1,800m above sea level. Rice cropping systems based on direct seeding on permanent plant cover without soil tillage were tested. The results are promising. As the new varieties proposed match the farmers¿ real needs, adoption is spectacularly fast in Madagascar as well as in the Colombian Andean areas. The global challenges of rice production the world shall face in the coming years are not very different from the ones already faced by the population of the high plateaux of Madagascar: a growing demand for rice while the dominant irrigated model of rice production is running out of steam. In this context, upland rice, thanks to quasi-unlimited cultivation areas and to the improved and sustainable cropping systems now available, offers promising prospects, complementary with the irrigated rice cropping system. (Résumé d'auteur)

Mots-clés Agrovoc : Oryza, Riz pluvial, Système de culture, Variété, Culture sous couvert végétal, Accroissement de production, Essai de variété, Région d'altitude

Mots-clés géographiques Agrovoc : Madagascar

Classification Agris : F01 - Crop husbandry

Auteurs et affiliations

  • Ahmadi Nourollah, CIRAD-CA-CALIM (FRA) ORCID: 0000-0003-0072-6285
  • Dzido Jean-Luc, CIRAD-CA-CALIM (MDG)
  • Vales Michel, CIRAD-CA-CALIM (FRA)
  • Rakotoarisoa Jacqueline, CENDRADERU (MDG)
  • Chabanne André, CIRAD-CA-GEC (VNM)

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