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    In this issue

    RIPPLE is produced by the Irrigated Rice Research Consortium (IRRC) with support from the Swiss Agency for DevelopmentCooperation (SDC). The IRRC promotes international links among scientists, managers, communicators, and farmers in lowland irrigrice environments.

    April 2006, Vol. 1, No. 2

    Research streams ...........3AWD technology gains

    momentum in Bangla-

    deshThe truth about alter-nate wetting anddrying

    The pursuit of water-saving continues inVietnam

    Ripples of change ...........7Integrated weed man-agement in Nepal

    Humans outsmartingrats in Vietnam

    Fun-filled farmersfield day and forum

    Hermetic storage: a hottopic in Indonesia

    New edition of Rice: APractical Guide to Nutri-ent Management

    Waves of action .............10Rice science and farmersA quest to increase

    Indonesias national

    rice supplyA different take onpest management

    Profiles.................................13Getting her hands dirtyThe doctor is outand about

    Publications and............15upcoming events

    Irrigated Rice Research Consortium Rice Research for Intensified Production and Prosperity in Lowland Ecosyste

    July-September 2007, Vol. 2, No. 3

    International Rice Research Institute

    Food and water are

    two of the most

    important necessities

    for survival, but, with an

    increasing demand for food

    and a looming water crisis,

    a shortage of both may

    be on the horizon unless

    innovative technologies are

    developed. Water, especially,

    is fast becoming a precious

    commodity, as more and more

    people continue using water

    for the household, industry,

    and agriculture. Scientists arenow taking on the challenging

    task of developing rice

    production systems that can

    cope with water scarcity.

    We begin this special

    water-saving issue of RIPPLE

    with an introduction to a tech-

    nology that enables rice to

    be grown in dry land without

    flooding, and help farmers

    cope with water scarcity:

    the aerobic rice system.

    Less is moreAerobic rice is a new

    way of growing rice that

    needs less water than low-

    land rice. It is grown like an

    upland crop such as wheat,

    in soil that is not puddled,

    flooded, or saturated. The

    soil is therefore aerobic or

    with oxygen throughout the

    growing season, as compared

    to traditional flooded fields,

    which are anaerobic.

    The difference, however,

    between aerobic rice andupland rice is that aerobic rice

    produces higher yields, 46

    tons per hectare and perhaps

    beyond. This is possible

    because the crop is grown

    in aerobic soil but cared for

    with external inputs such as

    supplementary irr igation (if

    rainfall is insufficient) and

    fertilizers. This new way

    of growing rice started as

    early as the mid-1980s in

    China. To differentiate it from

    traditional upland rice, the

    International Rice Research

    Institute (IRRI) coined

    the term aerobic rice.

    Aerobic rice can be con-

    sidered a mature technology

    in temperate countries such

    as northern China and Brazil,

    where aerobic rice area is es-

    timated at 80,000 and 250,000

    hectares, respect ively. In both

    countries, breeding programs

    since the 1980s have resulted

    in the release of several high-yielding aerobic rice variet-

    ies by crossing high-yielding

    lowland rice varieties with

    traditional upland types. In

    northern China, new high-

    yielding aerobic varieties such

    as Han Dao 277, Han Dao

    297, and Han Dao 502 were

    released in the late 1990s

    with yield potential of up to

    > continued on next page

    Aerobic rice:

    responding towater scarcity

    Professor Wang Huaqi, an aerobic rice breeder from China AgriculturalUniversity, stands in an aerobic rice field close to Beijing that a farmerplanted with one of his varieties. B


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    6.5 tons per hectare. After a

    20-year breeding program in

    Brazil, aerobic rice var iet-ies have yielded 57 tons

    per hectare under sprinkler

    irrigation in farmers fields.

    In the tropics, aerobic

    rice systems are still very

    much in the research and

    development phase. IRRI

    started to develop variet-

    ies for the Asian tropics in

    2001. The first generation of

    tropical aerobic rice variet-

    ies consists of IR55423-01

    (Apo) and UPLRI-5 from the

    Philippines, B6144-MR-6-0-0

    from Indonesia, and CT6510-

    24-1-2 from Colombia. These

    varieties were mostly derived

    from crosses between indica

    and tropical japonica parents.

    Current research fo-

    cuses on the development

    of improved management

    systems and on breeding

    further improved varieties.

    Managing aerobic riceThe usual way of planting

    aerobic rice is the same as

    how you would plant wheat or

    maizeby dry direct seeding.

    And, like these cereal crops,

    aerobic rice can be rainfed,

    supplementary irrigated, or

    fully irrigated.

    However, compared with

    flooded rice, weeds pose a

    bigger threat in aerobic soils.

    To control

    weeds, the

    use of pre- or


    gence her-

    bicides is

    recommendedwhen weed

    pressure is

    high, plus


    manual or


    cal weeding

    in the early

    phases of

    crop growth.

    Yield decline has also

    been experienced after

    growing aerobic rice con-tinuously each year on the

    same piece of land. Possible

    reasons for declining yields

    or even failures to grow crops

    for the first time in an area

    could be soil-borne pests

    and diseases such as fungi,

    nematodes, and root aphids,

    particularly in the tropics.

    Current research focuses

    on determining the causes of

    yield decline under continu-

    ous cropping, and on develop-

    ing resistant varieties, suitable

    management options such as

    crop rotation, and integrated

    weed management practices.

    Latest researchIn the Philippines, par-

    ticipatory testing of aerobic

    Aerobic rice...from page 1

    rice by farmers is being done

    in the provinces of Tarlac,

    Nueva Ecija, Bulacan, and

    Bohol. The 2003-05 experi-

    ments produced yields of up

    to 6.4 tons per hectare. Farm-

    ers in India are also tryingout aerobic rice in their fields,

    and they have identified well-

    performing varieties. Water

    savings were also achieved at

    3040% for production levels

    of 4 tons per hectare. (Learn

    more about Indias progress

    inRIPPLEVol. 2, No. 2.)

    Varieties are being tested

    in Lao PDR, while activi-

    ties in northeast Thailand

    are set to evaluate geno-

    types and start on-farm teststo overcome problems of

    labor shortage and weeds.

    Experiments are actively

    ongoing in China, and the

    Chinese experience of

    developing aerobic rice will

    be highlighted at theInterna-

    tional Workshop on Aerobic

    Rice set for 22-25 October

    (see page 7 for details).

    Airing out aerobic riceVarious activities are

    being done to extend aerobic

    rice to farmers. Demon-

    strations are being held for

    farmers, researchers, and

    other stakeholders at most

    experimental sites in China,

    the Philippines, India, and

    Thailand. In the Philippines,

    the technology is included in

    a number of training pack-

    ages on water-saving tech-

    nologies in rice production.

    Training courses for farm-

    ers and irrigation engineers

    have been organized at thePhilippine Rice Research

    Institute and in several

    provinces in the Philippines.

    In China, aerobic rice

    concepts are circulated

    through two national exten-

    sion networks. Seminars have

    been organized at all sites for

    the targeted farming com-

    munities. The China Central

    Television network, a major

    TV network in the country, is

    coordinating with the ChinaAgricultural University to

    produce a video on aerobic

    rice to be shown nationwide.

    Internationally, informa-

    tion on aerobic rice is shared

    through the IRRC and the

    CGIAR-Challenge Program

    on Water and Food (through

    the STAR project). Lectures

    have been given in the

    Philippines and in Vietnam.

    Posters and oral presentations

    were given at conventions and

    at various Chinese national

    conferences and workshops.

    With predictions sug-

    gesting that many Asian

    countries will have severe

    water problems by 2025,

    aerobic rice gives hope to

    farmers who do not have ac-

    cess to enough water to grow

    flooded lowland rice. The

    Water-Saving Work Group

    of the IRRC is committed tofur ther developing this new

    technology and making it

    available to farmers in Asia.

    Trina Mendoza(

    Ruben Lampayan(

    and Bas Bouman(

    Prof. Yang Xiaoguang (left) and Ms. Zhao Junfang(right) from CAU study the panicles of aerobic ricevariety HD502 with Dr. Bas Bouman (center) atChangping Research Station near Beijing.

    Farmers experiment with hand dibbling oftropical aerobic rice (Apo variety) in CentralLuzon, Philippines.






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    Research streams

    AWD technologygains momentumin Bangladesh

    Bangladeshi farmers harvest boro rice under AWD conditions. Thepotential of AWD to reduce water input and its effect on yieldand water productivity depend on soil type, groundwater table depth,and climate.

    After years of field tests,

    the alternate wetting and

    drying (AWD) technology is

    now officially promoted by

    the Bangladeshi government

    and is being adopted by its


    In December 2005, Dr.

    T.P. Tuong, head of the Crop

    and Environmental Sciences

    Division of the International

    Rice Research Institute

    (IRRI), made a presentationon water-saving technologies

    at the Bangladesh Rice

    Research Institutes (BRRI)

    Department of Water Man-

    agement. Dr. M.A. Sattar,

    department head, used some

    of the concepts, submitted a

    proposal to the government,

    and received funds to test

    AWD in fields.

    Fast forward to February

    2007, when Dr. Tuong

    conducted a seminar with

    nongovernment organizations

    (NGOs) to discuss the

    implementation of AWD in

    farmers fields. These initia-

    tives led to the testing of

    AWD by the Asian Develop-

    ment Bank-funded project

    Development and Dissemi-

    nation of Water-Saving Rice

    Technologies in South Asia,

    and the Bangladesh Agricul-

    tural Development Corpora-

    tion (BADC).

    On 14 May, a group of

    high-level professionals,

    policymakers, and farmersattended a crop-cutting

    ceremony at BADCs Madhu-

    pur Farm, where AWD is

    being tested during the

    current boro (winter) season.

    The Irrigated Rice Research

    Consortium supported the

    attendance of Dr. Tuong.

    Mr. Md. Abdul Aziz,

    secretary of the Ministry of

    Agriculture, inaugurated the

    harvesting. He asked the

    countrys Agriculture Infor-

    mation Service to be more

    active in promoting the

    technology, and st ressed the

    Mr. Md. Abdul Aziz, secretary of the Ministry of Agriculture (middle),observes the crop grown under AWD conditions. Dr. Hamid Miah, IRRIliaison scientist for Bangladesh (with white hat), and BADC staff lookon.

    need to work with NGOs and

    other countries. Since AWD

    can possibly aggravate weedproblems, he discouraged the

    use of herbicides. He empha-

    sized that Bangladesh should

    save labor by using the

    drum seeder for direct

    seeding, save urea by using

    the leaf color chart, and save

    water by adopting AWD to

    make rice cultivation more


    The crop was transplant-

    ed on 8 February and grown

    under AWD technology. It

    needed only 5 irrigations,

    while conventional practice

    needed 9 irrigations. Under

    AWD, paddy yield was 8.4

    tons per hectare, while

    the conventional practice

    produced 8.1 tons per hectare.

    After learning about the

    yield and water savings, Mr.

    Aziz directed the BADC to

    validate this method on 1% of

    land on its 23 farms all overthe country. He also asked

    research and development

    organizations of the country

    to prepare an action plan

    to validate AWD on a wider

    scale for the boro season next


    The Barendra Multipur-

    pose Development Authority

    (BMDA), a government

    organization, was asked to

    adopt AWD more intensively,

    because their clients are

    farmers who have to pay for

    water. Therefore, the BMDAis the perfect body to test the

    benefit of the technology. The

    Department of Agriculture

    Extension (DAE) was asked

    to be the lead agency in

    different parts of the country

    to expose farmers to the

    technology, while BRRI was

    directed to monitor the

    profitability for farmers and

    their level of acceptance.

    During the conference,

    Dr. M. Zainul Abedin, IRRI

    representative for Bangladesh

    highlighted the background

    and need for water-saving

    technologies in the country.

    Keynote speaker Dr.

    Tuong described the details of

    water-saving technology

    through AWD, and presented

    impressive statistics that

    highlighted the advantages of

    saving water and the associ-

    ated irrigation costs. Thetechnique was quite new for

    many of the 90 participants

    from BADC, DAE, BMDA,

    and the other NGOs present.

    After Dr. Tuongs presenta-

    tion, a discussion was

    facilitated by BADC Chair-

    man Mr. Abdur Razzaque.

    The ceremony created

    awareness among the partici-

    > continued on next page

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    4Ripple July-September 2007

    The truth about alternate wetting and drying

    In alternate wetting

    and drying (AWD),

    the field is allowed to

    dry for a certain number

    of days before applying

    irrigation water. The number

    of days that the soil is left

    dry can vary from 1 day

    to more than 10 days.

    A practical way to im-

    plement AWD is to monitor

    the depth of the water table

    in the field using a perforated

    or punctured water tube.

    After an irrigation applica-

    tion, the field water depth

    will gradually decrease in

    time. When the water level(as measured in the tube)

    is 15 centimeters below the

    surface of the soil, it is time

    to irrigate and flood the soil

    with a depth of around 5

    centimeters. Around flower-

    ing, from 1 week before to 1

    week after the peak of flow-

    ering, ponded water should

    be kept at a 5-centimeter

    depth to avoid any water

    stress that would result in

    potentially severe yield loss.

    The threshold of 15

    centimeters is called safe

    AWD, because this will not

    cause yield decline since the

    roots of the rice plants will

    take up water from the

    saturated soil and the perched

    water in the roots. The field

    water tube helps farmers see

    this hidden source of water.

    In safe AWD, water savings

    may be relatively small,

    around 15%, but yield will not

    be smaller. After creating

    confidence that safe AWD

    does not reduce yield, farmersmay experiment by lowering

    the threshold level for

    irrigation to 20, 25, or 30

    centimeters, or even deeper.

    A decrease in yield may be

    acceptable when the price of

    water is high or when water is

    very scarce.

    In safe AWD, the follow-

    ing rules should be observed.

    AWD irrigation can be used

    from a few days after trans-

    planting (or a 10-centimeter-tall crop after direct seeding)

    until first heading. In the

    period of first heading to 1

    week after flowering, keep the

    field flooded at a 5-centimeter

    depth. After that, during grain

    filling and ripening, apply

    AWD again. When many

    weeds are present in the early

    stages of crop growth, the

    implementation of AWD can

    AWD technology...from page 3

    pants, who expressed opti-

    mism about the technology.

    Special guests included Dr.

    Nur-E-Elahi, BRRI director

    general, Dr. Rahim Uddin

    Ahmed, DAE directorgeneral, and Mr. Abdul

    Mannan, BMDA executive


    Dr. M.A. Hamid Miah,

    IRRI liaison scientist for

    Bangladesh, synthesized the

    points of discussion:

    a) AWD has reduced the

    frequency of irrigation

    without affecting yield, and

    yield was even a little higher

    in AWD-treated fields. Water

    saved through this techniquecan help increase the irriga-

    tion command area, or the

    area served by a specific tube

    well, by at least 10%.

    b) The cost of irrigation

    decreased, reducing farmers

    production cost. This haspositive effects for shortages

    in diesel fuel and groundwa-

    ter depletion.

    c) AWD is an easy

    technology for farmers to use.

    Farmers buying water by

    volume are likely to be fast

    adopters of this technology.

    d) The extra cost of

    weeding is compensated for

    by saving on fuel cost and

    extra yield. Thus, farmers

    may not receive cash benefitsimmediately, but large-scale

    adoption has a positive

    environmental impact


    Dr. Hamid Miah sug-

    gested that partnership be

    developed with BADC, BRRI,BMDA, DAE, IRRI, the

    Bangladesh Water Develop-

    ment Board, Rural Develop-

    ment Academy, Local

    Government and Engineering

    Department (LGED), elec-

    tronic media, and NGOs.

    In another event, Dr.

    Tuong presented an invited

    seminar for the scientific

    community on technologies

    for efficient use of water in

    rice production at the Bangla-desh Agriculture Research

    Council on 15 May. It drew

    around 60 scientists and

    managers in the water and

    agricultural sectors, and was

    well covered by the media.

    The seminar promoted furtherawareness on water manage-

    ment issues and presented the

    Water-Saving Work Groups

    efforts to help solve them.

    A training course on

    AWD is being planned for

    August this year at BRRI, to

    be facilitated by Dr. Ruben

    Lampayan (IRRC Water Sav-

    ing WG leader) and scientists

    of BRRIs Department of

    Water Management.

    M.A. Hamid Miah( and

    T.P. Tuong ( by M. Abdul Mannan

    be postponed for 23 weeks

    until weeds have beensuppressed by the ponded

    water. Under safe AWD, no

    special nitrogen (N) manage-

    ment routine is needed and

    local recommendations for

    flooded rice can be used.

    Apply N fertilizer preferably

    on the dry soil just before

    irrigation is applied.

    Bas Bouman(

    BANGLADESHThis AWD field (on the right) received only 5 irrigationsand produced paddy yield of 8.4 tons per hectare, while the conven-tionally flooded field (on the left), had 9 irrigations and yielded 8.1tons per hectare.



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    The pursuit of water-savingcontinues in Vietnam


    ince 2005, the Water-

    Saving Work Group

    of the Irrigated RiceResearch Consortium (IRRC)

    has established activities on

    water management and water-

    saving in rice in the Mekong

    Delta in collaboration with

    Vietnams Plant Protection

    Department (PPD).

    After an initial field

    visit of staff from the Interna-

    tional Rice Research Institute

    (IRRI) to the Central Delta

    region and a 1-day work-

    shop at Long Xuyen in AnGiang Province in January

    2005, the PPD and An Giang

    Department of Agriculture

    organized a series of train-

    ing activities for farmers and

    established demonstration

    fields on alternate wetting

    and drying (AWD) technol-

    ogy. Subsequent outreach

    activities resulted in 161

    farmers testing AWD on 168

    hectares in 11 districts of An

    Giang in the winter 2005/

    spring 2006 seasons, followed

    by around 1,500 farmers on

    1,700 hectares in the sum-

    mer of 2006. In Tien Giang,

    31 farmers tried out AWD in

    the summer, while 51 tested

    it in the autumn of 2006. In

    central Vietnam, PPD also

    tested AWD in Quang Nam,

    Thanh Hoa, and Nghe An.

    In outreach activities,

    AWD technology wasintegrated in the successful

    Three Reductions, Three

    Gains program, which

    proved to be a good example

    of the integrated crop man-

    agement approach. By asking

    farmers to record all opera-

    tions, inputs, and outputs

    obtained during the cropping

    season, this gave them an idea

    of the yield obtained and

    yield-contributing factors,

    and if there were any savings

    in water and irrigation (pump-

    ing) costs.

    An initial analysis of

    data from around 900 farmer

    respondents in the summer

    of 2006 in An Giang con-

    firmed that AWD reduced

    water use and pumping costs.

    AWD farmers had, on aver-

    age, two pumping operations

    (to irrigate their fields) less

    than the regular practice of

    continuous flooding, savingaround 200,000 Vietnamese

    Dong (US$13) per hectare.

    Yields were significantly

    higher with AWD (5.63 tons

    per hectare) than with the

    regular practice (5.36 tons per

    hectare), although in absolute

    terms, the differences were

    quite small. An important

    factor contributing to higher

    yields under AWD manage-

    ment seemed to be a decrease

    in lodging (rice plants falling

    over), which is often as-

    sociated with wet seeding,

    commonly practiced in the

    Mekong Delta. With AWD,

    lodging was on average 10%,

    whereas, with standard prac-

    tice, it was on average 19%.

    In late 2006, an extensive

    baseline survey was done in

    the Mekong Delta area where

    farmers are adopting AWD,

    to determine their attitudes

    toward and practices forwater management. With the

    initial promising results of

    AWD in the Mekong Delta,

    plans were developed to

    take water-saving technolo-

    gies to other parts of Viet-

    nam where water is scarcer

    than in the Mekong Delta.

    On 6 March, Dr. T.P.

    Tuong, head of the Crop and

    Environmental Sciences

    Division of IRRI, gave a

    presentation on Water-saving

    irrigation: from research to

    technology dissemination,focusing on AWD, at the Soil

    and Fertilizer Research

    Institute (SFRI). The seminar

    was organized by the Vietnam

    Academy of Agricultural

    Sciences (VAAS) and was

    attended by some 30 leaders

    and scientists from VAAS,

    SFRI, PPD, the Directorate of

    Science and Technology of

    MARD, Food Crops Research

    Institute (FCRI), the Depart-

    ment of Agriculture, Depart-ment of Agricultural Exten-

    sion, and Hanoi Agricultural


    On 3 May, Dr. Bas Bou-

    man (IRRI), Dang Thanh

    Phong (provincial PPD),

    and Le Quoc Cuong (PPD)

    organized a 1-day training

    course and workshop on water

    management and water-sav-

    ing technologies hosted by

    the Northern Regional Plant

    Protection Center in Hung

    Yen Province. Some 40

    participants from provincial

    PPDs in the Red River Delta

    attended the training, as well

    as representatives from FCRI,

    SFRI, and World Vision.

    The training included

    lectures on AWD and on

    sound water management

    practices such as land level-

    ing, bund maintenance, and

    construction of field channels.After the lectures, a forum

    was organized, followed by a

    short brainstorming with the

    participants on the usefulness

    and potential dissemination

    of the presented technologies

    in their own regions in the

    Red River Delta. At the end

    of the day, posters and fold-

    ers in Vietnamese and tubes



    > continued on next page

    MEKONG DELTAThe perched tube is asimple tool used in implementing AWDfor deciding when to irrigate fields.

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    6Ripple July-September 2007

    to monitor field water depth

    to assist in the implementa-

    tion of AWD were distr ib-

    uted to all the participants.

    Three VAAS institutes

    have expressed great inter-est in contributing to further

    research, scientific develop-

    ment, and dissemination of

    water-saving technologies in

    Vietnam (especially AWD):

    FCRI, SFRI, and the North-

    ern Mountainous Agriculture

    and Forestry Institute (NO-

    MAFSI). During a meeting at

    FCRI on 2 May, Dr. Bouman

    met with VAAS President

    Dr. Nguyen Van Bo, FCRI

    Director Dr. Nguyen VanTuat, SFRI Director Dr. Bui

    Huy Hien, and several staff

    members to discuss further

    collaboration on water man-

    agement. The first research

    already began at SFRI in

    2005 with field experiments

    that looked at the integrated

    effects of AWD and improved

    nutrient management on rice

    production at three loca-

    tions in Vietnam. This was

    an activity with the IRRC

    Productivity and Sustain-

    ability Work Group. In May

    2007, plans were made to star tfield experiments on AWD

    under different water table

    depths at the research station

    of FCRI at Gialoc, Haiduong.

    Exciting opportunities

    were identified to link the

    IRRC Water-Saving Work

    Group with another consor-

    tium hosted by IRRIthe

    Consortium for Unfavor-

    able Rice Environments

    (CURE)through collabora-

    tion with VAAS-NOMAFSIin the mountainous regions

    of northern Vietnam. One of

    the projects under the um-

    brella of CURE is par t of the

    Challenge Program on Water

    and Food. One of the projects

    aims is to disseminate water

    management technologies

    for rice to increase water

    productivity and make better

    The pursuit...from page 6

    use of scarce water resources.

    During a project field trip to

    Yen Bai Province on 4-7 May,

    technologies developed by the

    Work Group, such as AWDand aerobic rice, were identi-

    fied as very promising options

    for farmers growing lowland

    rice in inland valleys or on

    terraces on sloping hillsides.

    Plans were drafted for the es-

    tablishment of demonstration

    fields of AWD and partici-

    patory variety selection for

    aerobic rice for the spring rice

    crop in 2007 and 2008. Also,

    further experimentation on

    AWD and/or aerobic rice can

    be pursued at the research sta-

    tion of NOMAFSI at Phu ThoAs follow-up to these

    developments on water-saving

    technologies at the VAAS in-

    stitutes, a training course and

    planning workshop are set for

    September or October 2007.

    Bas Bouman (b.bouman@cgiarorg), T.P. Tuong (t.tuong@cgiar

    org), and Ruben Lampayan(r.

    The China Agricultural

    University (CAU)

    and the International

    Rice Research Institute

    (IRRI) will organize the

    International Workshop

    on Aerobic Rice on 22-

    25 October in Beijing,

    China. This workshopis a joint undertaking of

    the Water-Saving Work

    Group of the Irrigated Rice

    Research Consortium and

    the project Developing

    a System of Temperate

    and Tropical Aerobic Rice

    (STAR) in Asia of the

    CGIAR-Challenge Program

    on Water and Food.

    The workshop will bring

    Aerobic rice workshop in October 2007together breeders and scien-

    tists who are working on the

    development and dissemina-

    tion of aerobic rice in Asia.

    During the workshop,

    participants will present and

    discuss results from past

    years of research on variety

    development; water, crop,and nutrient management;

    mapping of yield potentials

    and water needs of aerobic

    rice; socioeconomic analy-

    sis of farming households

    growing aerobic rice; and

    adoption of aerobic rice.

    With China being the

    host country for this work-

    shop, special attention will

    be given to the Chinese

    experience with aerobic

    rice. Expected outputs of

    the workshop will be shared

    learning about aerobic rice

    development, identified

    target domains for aerobic

    rice in Asia, and identified

    new priorities for research.

    The working language

    will be English, for both oral

    presentations and poster


    Extension materials developed by the Work Group have beentranslated into the local language and intensively used by extensionworkers and farmers in Vietnam.


    In China: Dr. Tao Hongbin,

    secretariat of the Organizing

    Committee in China, China

    Agricultural University, Bei-

    jing, 100094 China.

    Tel: 86-10-62733761

    Fax: 86-10-62731298



    At IRRI, Philippines: Mrs.

    Lolit Adriano, secretariat of

    the Organizing Committee

    at IRRI.

    Tel: +62 (2) 580-5600

    Fax: +63 (2) 580 5699


    For more information, contact

  • 8/2/2019 Ripple Jul Sep 2007

    7/16Ripple July-September 2007

    Ripples of change

    Integrated weed management in Nepal

    As part of the

    continuing effort of

    the Irrigated Rice

    Research Consortiums

    (IRRC) program to build

    capacity, it stretches itshelping hand to Nepal, where

    the rice-wheat cropping

    system is common.

    Weeds are among the

    major constraints in the rice-

    wheat system. To address

    this problem, 15 of Nepals

    researchers and technical

    officers were equipped with

    knowledge and understand-

    ing about weeds and their

    ecology and control.

    The training on integrat-ed weed management was

    conducted on 25-27 April. It

    was spearheaded by Dr. Jagat

    Ranjit of Nepals National

    Agricultural Research

    Council in collaboration with

    David Johnson and Joel

    Janiya of the IRRC Labor

    Productivity Work Group, andthe International Fund for

    Agricultural Development.

    Topics covered in the

    training were introduction to

    weed management, weed

    identification and classifica-

    tion, weed population dynam-

    ics and survival, crop-weed

    interaction, tillage-weed

    interaction, weed control

    methods, and herbicide


    The team of trainersincluded Dr. Dharma Raj

    Dangol, who delivered a

    lecture on weed identification

    and herbarium preparation;

    Dr. Madhav Joshi, who gave a

    talk on tillage-weed interac-

    tion; and Dr. Ranjit, who gave

    a lecture on the positive valueof weeds, weeds associated

    with different crops, and

    herbicide use in Nepal. Dr.


    Dr. David Johnson (middle) shows how to usea sprayer properly when applying herbicides.

    Humans outsmarting rats in Vietnam

    Johnson and Mr. Janiya

    presented a range of topics

    that included hands-on

    exercises and group discus-


    Joel Janiya ( j.janiya@cgiarorg) and David Johnson


    Vietnamese farmers in

    the provinces of Ha

    Nam and An Giang

    collectively practice control

    actions against rodents, one

    of the top three pests in the

    country. Community action

    and the use of the community

    trap barrier system are

    the key management

    strategies implemented in

    Vietnam and Indonesia by

    the project Sustainable

    implementation of ecological

    rodent management. This

    is funded by the Australian

    Centre for International

    Agricultural Research.The projects objectives

    are related to the goals of the

    Irrigated Rice Research

    Consortium, particularly in

    disseminating mature lowland

    rice technologies. IRRC

    Coordinator Dr. Grant

    Singleton, a rodent expert, is

    the project leader at the

    International Rice Research


    Now in its second year,

    the project held a review and

    planning workshop for

    Vietnam in Ha Nam Provinceon 19-20 April to discuss the

    lessons learned from activi-

    ties in 2006what needs to

    be improved, what went well,

    and what to do for 2007 and

    beyond. A few days before the

    meeting, a training event on

    the biology of rats and

    ecologically based rodent

    management (EBRM) was

    conducted by Dr. Peter Brown

    of the Australian Common-

    wealth Scientific and Re-

    search Organisation (CSIRO),

    together with Dr. NguyenTuan of the Plant Protection

    Institute (PPI). The partici-

    pants were staff of provincial

    plant protection departments

    (PPD) and plant protection

    stations of the district sites,

    and village extension officers.

    Dr. Peter Roebeling

    of CSIRO (project coor-

    dinator) and Mr. Huan

    of PPD South organized

    the workshop, assisted by

    Mr. Tran Thanh Tung.

    Dr. Roebeling gave an

    overview of the workshops

    objectives. Results of the

    projects first year of imple-

    mentation were presented

    by Ms. Nga of Ha Nam and

    Mr. Lam of An Giang. Dr.

    Florencia Palis presented

    initial results of the survey

    on knowledge, attitudes, and

    practices in Ha Nam and An

    Giang. Interestingly, farm-

    ers identified television and

    video as preferred pathways

    for receiving information on

    new technologies. Develop-

    ing a video will help exten-sion staff promote EBRM

    among farmers in Vietnam.

    Scaling-up of project

    activities to the government

    and nongovernment orga-

    nizations, and institutions

    in other districts, is the top

    priority for this year, with

    scaling-out to farmers set

    for the following year.

    Florencia Palis (

    AnGi a




    Farmers in An Giang, Vietnam, floodthe burrows of rats, one of their tradi-tional methods of rodent management.

  • 8/2/2019 Ripple Jul Sep 2007


    8Ripple July-September 2007

    Fun-filled farmers field day and forum

    One bright, summer

    day in San Jacinto,

    Pangasinan Province,Philippines, farmers

    and scientists gathered

    enthusiastically for a farmers

    field day and forum on rice-

    growing technologies. About

    148 farmers, local government

    staff, extension specialists,

    and municipal agriculturists

    from five towns came on 9

    March, along with 9 guests

    from the Irrigated Rice

    Research Consortium (IRRC),

    Philippine Rice Research

    Institute (PhilRice), and the

    Department of Agriculture

    (DA). The event was made

    possible through partnership

    among the local government

    unit of Barangay Lobong, San

    Jacinto; PhilRice; and the

    International Rice Research

    Institute through the IRRC.

    Participants first vis-

    ited the rice field of farmer

    Francisco Aquino, a farmer-partner who began using site-

    specific nutrient management

    (SSNM) in November 2006.

    After a ceremonial harvest-

    ing of his crops, a lively

    forum between farmers and

    experts began. The experts on

    the panel were Engr. Aurora

    Corales and Mr. Rolando San

    Gabriel of PhilRice, munici-

    pal agriculture officer Floren-

    tino Batin, DA regional field

    unit representative Wilfredo

    Pallaya, and Mr. Joel Janiya,

    Dr. Ruben Lampayan, and Dr.Grant Singleton of the IRRC.

    Questions varied from

    fighting leaf blight disease

    (the yellowing and wilting of

    leaves and seedlings) to the

    inevitable global warming

    concern. Regarding the attack

    of tungro, a viral disease

    caused by green and zig-

    zag leafhoppers, Mr. Janiya

    advised farmers to practice

    synchronous planting, which

    means planting areas within

    2 weeks of each other. Dr.

    Lampayan, on the question

    of how much fertilizer is

    needed and when to apply

    it, advocated use of the leaf

    color chart and SSNM as a

    guide to help farmers make

    fertilizer recommendations

    for their own fields. When

    asked how to manage their rat

    problems, Dr. Singleton said

    that the trap barrier system

    is only one tool that is idealfor severe infestations, and

    he encouraged the whole

    community to participate.

    He emphasized further that

    farmers should first learn the

    rats breeding system and its

    relationship with its environ-

    ment, to know when and how

    to manage its population.

    Engr. Corales urged

    farmers to shop for ideas

    on technologies during

    events such as this, and to

    cooperate and help each

    other. When you do things

    together, hand in hand, no

    one will stumble, she said.

    (Get to know more about

    technology promotion expertAurora Corales on page 13.)

    As the forum came to a

    close near noon, it was clear

    that, based on the turnout of

    participants and the spirited

    discussion among them, the

    farmers in Pangasinan were

    receptive and eager for

    effective rice-growing

    technologies and venues such

    as this to learn them from.

    Text and photos by TrinaMendoza (

    Farmer-partner Francisco Aquino shares his experiences with SSNM.Last year, he harvested 4.4 tons from his 1-hectare field using traditionalpractices. This year, he harvested 4.8 tons using SSNM. He is now excitedto try the alternate wetting and drying technology.

    IRRCs Dr. Ruben Lampayan (second from right) and Dr. GrantSingleton (extreme right) look at a collage of pictures showingactivities by the local government unit, PhilRice, and IRRI.

  • 8/2/2019 Ripple Jul Sep 2007

    9/16Ripple July-September 2007

    Hermetic storage: a hot topicin Indonesia



    and researchers

    from nationaland provincial research

    institutions from West

    Java, South Sumatra,

    North Sumatra, and

    South Sulawesi,

    extension workers

    from West Java,

    and distributors of

    hermetic storage systems

    from the Philippines and

    Indonesia gathered on 24

    March at ICFORD, Bogor,

    to discuss issues andstrategies to disseminate

    hermetic storage systems

    to farmers in Indonesia.

    Five years of research

    at the International Rice

    Research Institute (IRRI) and

    three years in Indonesia have

    shown that hermetic or air-

    tight storage can help double

    the life of rice seeds, main-

    tain good milling quality,

    and protect grains from pests

    such as insects and rodents,

    without using pesticides. In

    a hermetic storage system

    such as the IRRI Super Bag,

    the atmosphere inside the

    storage container is modified

    through biological activities

    in the grain and respiration

    of insects, resulting in a

    drop in oxygen and increase

    in carbon dioxide levels. In

    this modified atmosphere,

    insects cannot survive.The meeting was con-

    ducted as part of the Irrigated

    Rice Research Consortium

    (IRRC) activities in Indone-

    sia. It was organized by the

    IRRI Indonesia office and

    hosted by the Indonesian Cen-

    ter for Food Crop Research

    and Development (ICFORD).

    During the meeting, research-

    ers from the Indonesian Cen-

    ter for Postharvest Research

    and Development (ICAPRD),

    the Indonesian Center for

    Rice Research (ICRR), and

    the provincial technology

    assessment centers (BPTPs)

    in Medan, Makassar, and

    Palembang gave updates on

    research findings in Indone-

    sia. IRRI provided a summary

    of findings in other countries.

    Representatives from Grain-

    pro Inc., the international sup-

    plier of commercial hermetic

    storage systems and the IRRI

    Super Bag, and from the

    Agribusiness Club Jakarta,

    distributor of the locally made

    hermetic bagKantong Semar,introduced their products.

    Participants agreed

    that hermetic storage is a

    practical technology that

    can improve storage of rice

    seeds, paddy, and other

    crops. Several private seed

    companies in Indonesia

    have already started buying

    hermetic storage systems,

    but the anticipated adop-

    tion of farmers still requires

    public-sector involvement in

    the promotion and dissemi-

    nation of the technology.In the afternoon ses-

    sion, the 40 participants

    identified additional adap-

    tive research needs and

    discussed issues related

    to national dissemination

    to farming communities.

    As an immediate follow-

    up, a research team was

    formed to collect region-

    specific data on potential

    target groups and their

    existing storage practices.Standardization of testing

    methods and hermetic storage

    systems was another impor-

    tant issue to be addressed.

    Providing training to

    farmer intermediaries and

    farmers is critical for a

    successful introduction of

    the technology. This can becomplemented with informa-

    tion dissemination through

    the Indonesian Rice Knowl-

    edge Bank. For national

    dissemination, the hermetic

    storage systems can be intro-

    duced through the Indonesian

    Prima Tani Program, which

    focuses on accelerating the

    transfer of research results

    to Indonesian farmers.

    Martin Gummer(

    The farmer-friendly Super Bag is aperfect sample of hermetic orairtight storage. It costs onlyUS$1.10, and fits as a liner insideexisting storage bags..

    New edition of Rice:A Practical Guide to Nutrient

    ManagementEdited by T. Fairhurst, C. Witt, R. Buresh, and A. Dobermann


    his 2nd edition of

    the practical guide

    became necessary

    to be consistent with newer

    developments on site-specific

    nutrient management.

    The pocket-sized guide

    introduces the concept of

    yield gaps and the underly-

    ing constraints. The func-

    tions of each nutrient are

    explained in detail, with a

    description of the deficiency

    symptoms and recommended

    strategies for improved

    nutrient management. The47-page color annex provides

    a pictorial guide to the

    identification of nutrient

    deficiencies in rice.

    This 2nd edition is

    about to be translated into

    several languages, includ-

    ing Bangla, Chinese, Hindi,

    Indonesian, and Vietnamese.

    To make this guide as

    widely accessible as possi-

    ble, the publishers decided not

    only to sell the guide through

    their Web sites and book-stores, but also to make the

    guide available in electronic

    format (pdf ) at the Web sites

    of IRRI ( and

    the Southeast Asia Program of

    IPNI and IPI (

    seasia) using a Creative Com-

    mons attribution-noncom-

    mercial-share alike license:




  • 8/2/2019 Ripple Jul Sep 2007


    10Ripple July-September 2007

    Rice science and farmers

    Waves of action

    When, in 1961, the

    International Rice

    Research Institute

    rose from Higamot Hill,

    which was once a rustic area

    planted to coconuts, citrus,

    bananas, and pineapples,

    a well-known Filipino

    educator who was visiting

    the place said: SomehowI find it difficult to see the

    connection between this

    20th-century Institute and

    the man who plants r ice.

    Five years after that remark,

    IRRI turned over to the

    Philippine government 50

    tons of IR8 seeds. In addition,

    IRRI distributed 5 tons in

    two-kilogram packages to

    the first 2,359 farmers to

    request such seed in person

    at the Institute. The press

    popularized these seeds as

    miracle rice. It was said that

    within exactly a year of the

    release of IR8 seeds, adequate

    seed supplies were available

    to meet local demand. This

    was also the start of a new

    era, dubbed as the Green

    Revolution, in the deliberate

    and intensified connection

    between rice science and

    the rice farmer. These seedsand their many successors,

    which are the products of

    rice science, have reached

    farmers even in remote areas.

    Some insightful les-

    sons, experiences, observa-

    tions, and research findings

    from relevant R&D activi-

    ties are cited here to illus-

    trate what the new thinking

    contributes to the knowl-

    edge-intensive character

    of emerging rice cultural

    management practices.

    Integrated pestmanagement (IPM)

    The concept of IPM is

    intellectually seductive. It is

    not a package of technology

    for pest control. It involves

    new ways of thinking, seeing,and doing things not only on

    the part of farmers but of ex-

    tension workers, researchers,

    policymakers, and the pesti-

    cide industry. IRRIs perspec-

    tive on IPM includes the basic

    premise that no single pest

    control method can be suc-

    cessful over a long period of

    time. IPM combines resistant

    cultivars, agronomic practices

    known to reduce losses due

    to pests, and conservation

    practices that preserve and

    increase natural enemies.

    Integrated nutrientmanagement (INM)

    The simple rule, Feed

    the rice plant as needed is a

    very appropriate description

    of INM. It applies to nutri-

    ents, water, and pesticides,and implies timing, amounts,

    and what inputs to feed. This

    is quite a contrast to the blan-

    ket prescriptions for fertilizer

    applications of yesteryear.

    The current concept is site-

    specific nutrient management

    (SSNM), which is an infor-

    mation- and technology-based

    agricultural management sys-

    tem to identify, analyze, and

    manage site soil, spatial, and

    temporal variability within

    fields for optimum profitabil-

    ity, sustainability, and protec-

    tion of the environment.

    In this approach, farm-

    ers knowledge and experi-

    ence become vital for the

    efficient management of

    nutrients in these environ-

    ments. It is a knowledge-intensive process for both

    scientists and farmers.

    The leaf color chart

    and the minus-one element

    technique are examples of

    simple tools that deliver

    simple messages to farmers

    to assist them in making deci-

    sions about when, how much,

    and what nutr ients to apply.

    Controlled irrigationand water-saving

    Rice is a thirsty crop

    and the production of 1

    kilogram of rice requires

    an average of 3,000 liters of

    water. Increasing scarcity of

    water has brought water-sav-

    ing technology in the form

    of controlled irrigation to a

    test for farmers adaptation

    and adoption using a farmer

    participatory approach. Con-

    trolled irrigation, also knownas alternate wetting and

    drying, entails an irrigation

    schedule in which, contrary

    to the normal practice of con-

    tinuous flooding, water is ap-

    plied to the field a number of

    days after the disappearance

    of ponded water. Just like pes-

    ticides and fertilizers, water

    must now be used judiciously,

    Gone are the heydays of scientists old blanket prescriptions on pest

    control and fertilizer application. A paradigm shift from prescriptions to

    decisions has occurred, and this is proven by new concepts and technologies

    that are often shared with farmers using the participatory approach. In this

    chapter of her book Rice in Our Life, Philippine national scientist and

    outstanding rural sociologist Dr. Gelia Castillo talks about rice sciencetechnologies and products, including some of the IRRC technologies.

    > continued on next page

    Researcher Bong Villareal shows how to catch insects during the IRRIRice Production Course in 2006. She emphasized IPM principles ofdistinguishing pests from predators and using chemicals for pestcontrol as the last resort.

  • 8/2/2019 Ripple Jul Sep 2007

    11/16Ripple July-September 2007

    but the use of irrigation water

    is much more difficult to

    control because it is a com-

    mon property resource that is

    often collectively managed.

    After a 3-year implemen-

    tation of controlled irrigation

    in a study in Tarlac, Philip-pines, farmers found no yield

    difference between their

    practice and that of controlled

    irrigation using less water.

    Water savings were about

    2030% compared with their

    traditional practice. Con-

    trolled irrigation saved time,

    labor, and expenses because

    farmers did not spend as

    much time in irrigation.

    Seeing is believing is notenough

    Based on what we have

    learned from IPM, INM, and

    collective action experiences,

    seeing is believing will no

    longer suffice. Some, if not

    most, of what is involved

    in integrated crop manage-

    ment, in growing a healthy

    crop with minimal health and

    environmental costs, is not

    going to be directly visible

    to the naked eye and will not

    always be immediately expe-

    rienced. Seeing and thinking

    not only in the abstract but

    also in the future must be

    learned. The pedagogy of this

    learning process, particularly

    the social learning part, has

    scarcely begun to unravel.

    We know, however, that

    we need to make significant

    additions to the old adage To

    see is to believe such asTo do is to believe;

    to use is to believe;

    to know is to believe;

    to understand is to

    believe; but

    to adapt is to succeed for

    adaptation localizes the

    application of ecological

    principles and the practice of


    Gelia Castillo, photos by TrinaMendoza

    A quest to increase Indonesiasnational rice supply

    An estimated 1015%

    of the rice produced

    by Indonesian

    farmers does not reach the

    market because postharvest

    losses are high. These losses

    consist of shattered grains

    during harvesting and

    transport, grains eaten by

    animals and spilled in sun-

    drying, and losses in rice

    mills due to poor equipment,

    poor maintenance, and low-

    quality raw material (paddy).

    In addition, the remaining

    rice that reaches the market

    is often of poor quality with

    low head rice, many broken

    grains, wrong moisture

    content, and discolored grains

    from delays in postharvest

    operations and improper

    drying. The poor quality

    grain is often downgradedto Grade 3, which sells

    at highly discounted

    prices, typically around

    20% less than Grade 1.

    Improved postharvest

    management and technologies

    can therefore help increase

    the milled rice available in

    the country and can signifi-

    cantly lead to better qual-

    ity and healthier rice.

    The Postproduction Work

    Group of the Irrigated Rice

    Research Consortium cur-

    rently contributes to reducing

    postharvest losses in Indone-

    sia by piloting hermetically

    sealed storage systems in

    collaboration with the As-

    sessment Institute of Agri-

    cultural Technology (BPTP)

    in North Sumatra, South

    Sumatra, West Java, and

    South Sulawesi. These storage

    systems include the Super

    Bag orKantong Semarwith

    a 50-kilogram capacity for

    the village level, and larger

    commercial systems with

    5200-ton capacity for the

    commercial sector. The seeds

    kept in hermetic storage forthe next seasons crop keep

    their germination rate above

    90% even after extended stor-

    age, and thus ensure even and

    vigorous crop establishment.

    This leads to reduced seed

    rates and higher yields com-

    pared to normal seeds. Paddy

    that is kept in hermetic stor-

    age before milling typically

    results in milled rice having

    10% higher whole grain than

    paddy from open storage.The Work Group, in col-

    laboration with BPTP South

    Sumatra and the South Suma-

    tra Forest Fire Management

    Project, also supports the

    introduction and adaptation of

    flat-bed dryers for mechanical

    drying of paddy. The dryers

    can be used by rice millers,

    traders, drying service pro-

    viders, and farmers groups.

    These dryers improve the

    quality of paddy compared

    to the traditional sun-drying

    method, and thus increase the

    milling recoveries and head

    rice recoveries of rice mills.

    Text and photos byMartin Gummer


    Hermetic storage system with 5-ton capacity for seeds

    used by a farmers group in Compreng, Subang, West Java.

    Inspecting a dryer installed at the farmer processing center at UpangVillage in South Sumatra.

  • 8/2/2019 Ripple Jul Sep 2007


    12Ripple July-September 2007

    A different take onpest management

    A2-week training


    management of

    pests (rodents, insects,

    and weeds)biological,

    economic, and social

    dimensions was held at IRRI

    on 19-30 March. This was an

    innovative and broad-reaching

    workshop because integrated

    ecological approaches to pest

    management rarely include a

    combination of rodent, insect,

    and weed management, as

    well as social and cultural

    dimensions of technology

    transfer. The aim of the

    workshop was to foster the

    importance of population

    ecology in pest management,

    with an emphasis on

    farmer participatory

    research as a foundation

    for technology transfer.

    During the course,

    participants were able to

    acquire knowledge and skills

    in using scientific approaches

    and computer technologies

    to study pest management

    at an agroecosystem level.

    The course also included an

    understanding of the differ-

    ent processes and factors that

    influenced farmers decision

    making in pest manage-

    ment, in which participants

    developed different ways to

    effectively t ransfer knowledge

    to target end-users. A field

    excursion to interview local

    farmers using their newly ac-

    quired skills was a highlight

    for many of the part icipants.

    Fourteen participants

    from Belgium, Cambodia,

    China, India, Myanmar,

    Pakistan, the Philippines,

    United Kingdom, and Viet-

    nam attended and success-fully completed the course.

    There were two PhD students:

    Vincent Sluydts working in

    Tanzania in eastern Africa

    and Alex Stuart working in

    Baler, Aurora Province, in the

    Philippines. Unfortunately,

    two of our colleagues from

    Africa had to withdraw a few

    days before the course began.

    The course was facili-

    tated by Dr. Grant Singleton,

    who was also the coursecoordinator, and Professor

    Charles Krebs (emeritus

    professor, University of

    British Columbia, Cana-

    da). There was an impres-

    sive lineup of an enthu-

    siastic team of resource

    people (from IRRI unless

    otherwise indicated):

    Dr. Lyn Hinds (CSIRO

    Entomology, Australia),

    Dr. David Johnson, Dr.

    Yolanda Chen, Dr. K.L.

    Heong, Professor Zhang

    Zhibin (Institute of Zool-

    ogy, China), Dr. Bhagirath

    Chauhan, Dr. Debbie Temple-

    ton, Dr. Noel Magor, Dr. Flor

    Palis, Mr. Arnold Manza, Ms.

    Jo Catindig, Mr. Joel Janiya,

    Ms. Arelene Malabayabas,

    and Ms. Trina Mendoza.

    Engr. Eugene Castro, Jr.,

    completed a monumental task

    in facilitating the training

    across such a wide range of

    disciplines. And, despite the

    competing demands on his

    time, he did this with tremen-

    dous enthusiasm and some-how continued to be smiling

    at the end of the two weeks!

    The participants found

    the training course to be

    challenging but in a positive

    way. They rated it as a great

    success. We are confident

    that the participants will

    be excellent emissaries for

    what we see as an exciting

    advance in pest management

    over the next decadecom-

    munity-based ecological

    management. Community in

    this context has a deliberate

    double meaning; a community

    of smallholder families in-

    volved in the management of

    a community of pest species

    (insects, rodents, and weeds).

    The main sponsors for

    the course were the IrrigatedRice Research Consortium,

    the Institute of Zoology of

    the Chinese Academy of

    Sciences, LEARN IT (Link-

    ing Extension and Research

    Needs through Informa-

    tion Technology), and the

    Rice-Wheat Consortium.

    Grant Singleton(

    photos from IRRI Training Cente

    Dr. David Johnson explains the effect of water depth on weeds.

    Participants explore the secret livesof rats.

    The participants, resource team, IRRI Training Center coordinators,and IRRI Director General Dr. Robert Zeigler (middle, bottom row).

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    13/16Ripple July-September 2007

    Getting her hands dirty

    Nueva Ecija

    is often

    referred to

    as the rice bowl

    of the Philippines,since it is the largest

    province and biggest

    rice producer in

    the Central Luzon

    region. Rightfully so,

    Nueva Ecija is home

    to the Philippine Rice

    Research Institute

    (PhilRice), the

    countrys lead agency

    for the planning,


    implementation, andmonitoring of all rice research

    and development activities.

    The famous rice-producing

    province is also called

    home by one of PhilRices

    top technology promotion

    experts, Engr. Aurora Corales.

    Engr. Corales, or Au,

    is a senior science research

    specialist at the Technology

    Management and Services

    Division of PhilRice. She

    handles the integrated area-

    based technology promo-

    tion project, which aims to

    make the most of the r ice

    and rice-based technolo-

    gies developed by PhilRice

    through innovative strategies

    and partnerships with local

    government units, nongovern-

    ment organizations, and the

    private sector. This project is

    being implemented in close

    coordination with the branchstations of PhilRice in differ-

    ent provinces. The collabora-

    tion between PhilRice and the

    International Rice Research

    Institute on the development

    and promotion of improved

    technologies on rice produc-

    tion falls under this project.

    In addition, the technol-

    ogy promotion activities

    within Central Luzon and

    Pangasinan Province are also

    under her study leadership.

    With all the responsibilities

    under her belt, not a week

    goes by that Engr. Corales

    doesnt head to one of the

    branch stations or farmers

    fields to monitor the projects.

    Out in the field, she

    provides technical assis-

    tance to partners, conducts

    hands-on training on tech-

    nologies, and holds consul-

    tation meetings to identify

    key production constraints.

    The PhilRice group is also

    responsible for conduct-

    ing farmers field days and

    information campaigns, such

    as the successful Boo Boo

    Rat campaign (seeRat patrol

    in Nueva Ecija, Philippines

    inRIPPLEVol. 1, No. 3).

    Her efforts are now pay-

    ing off. Year 2006 was a goodone for her, as she received

    the 2006 Pagasa Award, a

    nationwide competition held

    yearly by the governments

    civil service commission.

    Her division also bagged the

    Outstanding Division award

    at PhilRices 21st anniversary

    celebration, and she, as Out-

    standing R&D staff (level 2).

    It is difficult doing

    technology promotion

    because we are dealing with

    different personalities, Engr.

    Corales says. Some farmers

    are more receptive than

    others. But it is very fulfillingbecause we see that we are

    serving and helping them.

    When I go to the fields, they

    ask so many questions. This is

    probably why I got pulled into

    this kind of work.

    This agricultural engi-

    neer started off as a statisti-

    cian in 1982 at the Philip-

    pine Cotton Corporation in

    Pangasinan, where she met

    her husband, Rizal. When I

    was studying for my mastersdegree in rural develop-

    ment, I didnt realize that I

    was already shifting careers.

    I was then working with

    community organizers in my

    office at the Philippine Rural

    Reconstruction Movement,

    and they were using differ-

    ent terms in the local dialect.

    It was a shocking experi-

    ence for me, she reveals.

    Nowadays, Engr. Corales

    is most comfortable deal-

    ing with farmers, especially

    since her father is a farmer

    as well. Another hobby that

    she finds comfort and peace

    from is gardening. My

    husband and I enjoy work-ing together in our small

    garden, she shares. When I

    wake up each morning, I look

    at my plants and see if they

    have any beautiful flowers.

    This mother of three girls

    hopes to continue her studies

    in community development,

    so she can better equip herself

    to help farmers. Our farmers

    are in a continuous cycle of

    debt. The sad thing is most of

    the proceeds of sellingpalay(rice grains) will be used to

    pay their loans, she says.

    Her advice to Filipino

    farmers is to cooperate with

    one another to help uplift

    their sector. Do not rely only

    on the government for you to

    progress; continue to strive

    hard and not give up because

    of poverty, she says. Many

    technologies have been dis-

    covered to help in rice-grow-

    ing; let us not waste them.

    Trina Mendoza(


    Au in her element: Getting her hands dirty is an ordinary thing forEngr. Au Corales, as she promotes rice technologies to farmers (topphoto), and while relaxing and caring for her plants.

  • 8/2/2019 Ripple Jul Sep 2007


    14Ripple July-September 2007

    The doctor is out and about

    It was a long journey

    indeed for this medical

    doctor turned secretary

    general of the Myanmar

    Rice and Paddy Traders

    Association (MRPTA) torealize his true calling. As

    diverse as these disciplines

    are, one thing remains

    constantDr. Myo Aung

    Kyaws concern for people,

    especially the poor.

    He received his medical

    degree in 1984 and opened

    his own clinic in 1985 in his

    hometown in Pathein, Ayeyar-

    waddy Division (in Myanmar,

    a division refers to a province

    or state). Around 250 patientssought his care every day,

    30% free of charge (includ-

    ing monks and other religious

    people, and the poor and old

    patients), and his clinic turned

    into a small hospital. I was

    like a robot and had no time

    to rest, no time to spend withmy family, even to take care

    of my parents when they be-

    came ill, narrates Dr. Kyaw.

    That was the time he began

    thinking of shifting from pri-

    vate practice to government

    service, and pursuing his

    dream of becoming a surgeon.

    So he worked under the

    governments Minist ry of

    Health from 1990 to 1997,

    and, although he planned

    to take clinical subjects,

    he was assigned to handle

    administrative matters such

    as promotion and transfer

    of employees, budgets, and

    training. In 1994, he receivedhis diploma in management

    and administ ration at the Yan-

    gon Institute of Economics.

    While working in the

    government, his fathers

    health worsened and he had

    to take over two rice mills

    of medium-scale capac-

    ity in Pathein. He opened

    a wholesale market cen-

    ter in Yangon in 1995.

    It was in 1997 when the

    former chair of the MRPTAapproached Dr. Kyaw dur-

    ing a rice-trading affair and

    invited him to become a

    member. He accepted, and the

    rest, as they say, is history.

    Now, Dr. Kyaw is the

    secretary general of the orga-

    nization, and he finds fulfill-ment in his pursuit to uplift

    the livelihood of poor farm-

    ers. The MRPTAs mission

    is to create a fair and free rice

    market trading environment

    not only locally but also with

    export markets that is in line

    with government policy, he

    explains. We aim to help rice

    producers increase their trad-

    ing volume of rice and rice

    products, and we take part

    in implementing government

    economic policy guidelines

    by cooperating with govern-

    ment agencies and nongov-ernment organizations.

    Part of Dr. Kyaws duties

    include conducting training

    and seminars on postharvest

    technologies for farmers and

    private entrepreneurs. In early

    February, the MRPTA spon-

    sored a seminar on rice pro-

    duction technology in Nat Ta

    Lin, West Bago, with the Thit

    Cho Government Seed Farm

    of the Myanma Agricultural

    Services. In March, Dr. Kyaw

    went to Mandalay, the upper

    part of Myanmar, to present

    a seminar on postharvest and

    grain-drying technology. He

    also recently gave a lecture on

    commercial dryers in May in

    Ayeyarwaddy, Bago, Manda-

    lay, and Yangon divisions.

    Although his tasks are

    demanding, they arent as

    time-consuming as when he

    was still working round theclock as a doctor. He now has

    time for his family

    and for hobbies such

    as gardening, traveling, pho-

    tography, reading, and medi-

    tating. A cert ified homebody,

    Dr. Kyaw recounts a summer

    holiday that didnt go quite as

    planned. My family plannedto go to the beach for 4 days,

    to go swimming and play

    football. But, after one night,

    we got bored and decided to

    go home. We were happier

    at home, he recalls fondly.

    His plans for MRPTA,

    though, are on track and

    unswayable. He envisions

    more capacity building among

    farmers, millers, and trad-

    ers by providing them with

    training, and developingpostproduction technologies

    in grain drying, seed stor-

    age, milling, and more. This

    dream entails the full sup-

    port and cooperation of the

    organization members.

    Life does begin after

    40, Dr. Kyaw says in hind-

    sight. Before I turned 40, I

    always considered things

    from my point of view only,

    but that changed. We might

    have difficulties and unfore-

    seeable things along our path,

    but I believe we can overcome

    them with compassion,

    goodwill, and efforts and


    He may not be practicing

    medicine any more, but many

    more farmers all over Myan-

    mar are benefiting from his

    genuine kindness and sincer-

    ity to help those in need.

    Trina Mendoza(

    During his rare freetime, Dr. Kyaw indulgesin one of his hobbiesphotography. Thephoto on the left is thestone mine at Tat Kone,while the Buddha statue(photo, right) is foundat Bawdi Thousand,Monywa, Myanmar.

  • 8/2/2019 Ripple Jul Sep 2007

    15/16Ripple July-September 2007


    International journals

    Bouman BAM, Feng Liping,

    Tuong TP, Lu Guoan,

    Wang Huaqi, Feng

    Yuehua. 2007. Explor-

    ing options to growrice using less water in

    northern China using a

    modelling approach. II.

    Quantifying yield, water

    balance components, and

    water productivity. Agric.

    Water Manage. 88:23-33.

    Bouman BAM, Humphreys

    E, Tuong TP, Barker R.

    2007. Rice and water.

    Adv. Agron. 92:187-237.

    Choudhury BU, Bouman BAM,

    Singh AK. 2007. Yield

    and water productivity of

    rice-wheat on raised beds

    at New Delhi, India. Field

    Crops Res. 100:229-239.

    Feng Liping, Bouman BAM,

    Tuong TP, Cabangon RJ,

    Li Yalong, Lu Guoan,

    Feng Yuehua. 2007. Ex-

    ploring options to grow

    rice using less water in

    northern China using a

    modelling approach. I.

    Field experiments and

    model evaluation. Agric.

    Water Manage. 88:1-13.

    Hu R, Cao J, Huang J, Peng S,

    Huang J, Zhong X, Zou

    Y, Yang J, Buresh RJ.

    2007. Farmer participa-

    tory testing of standard

    and modified site-specificnitrogen management for

    irrigated rice in China.

    Agric. Syst. 94:331-340.

    Singleton GR, Tann CR, Krebs

    CJ. 2007. Landscape

    ecology of house mouse

    outbreaks in southeast-

    ern Australia. J. App.

    Ecol. 44:644-652.

    Conference proceedings

    Belmain S, Meyer A, Singleton

    GR, Aplin K, Mohammed

    Harun, Nazmul Islam Kadri,

    Abu Baker, Rokeya Begum

    Shafali, Abul Kalam Azad,Nazira Quraishi Kamal,

    Md. Adnan Al Bachchu,

    Mofazzel Hossain. 2006.

    Methods for assessing

    rodent loss, damage and

    contamination to rice stored

    at the household level in

    Bangladesh. Proceedings of

    3rd International Conference

    on Rodent Biology and Man-

    agement, September 2006,

    Hanoi, Vietnam. p 121-122.

    Ben DC, Liem PV, et al. 2006.

    Effect of hermetic storage in

    the super bag on seed quality

    and on milled rice quality

    of different varieties in Bac

    Lieu, Vietnam. 2nd Interna-

    tional Rice Congress 2006.

    New Delhi, India. p 567.

    Buresh RJ, Larazo WM, Laureles

    EV, Samson MI, Pampolino

    MF. 2006. Sustainable soil

    management in lowland rice

    ecosystems. Proceedings

    of the 9th Annual Meet-

    ing and Symposium of the

    Philippine Society of Soil

    Science and Technology,

    1-2 June 2006, Central

    Luzon State University,

    Nueva Ecija, Philippines.

    Book chapter

    Mueller J, Gummert M. 2007.Agricultural engineering in

    tropics/subtropics. Yearbook

    of Agricultural Engineer-

    ing. H. Harms and F. Meier.

    Muenster, Landwirtschafts-

    verlag GmbH, VDMA

    Landtechnik, VDI-MEG,

    KTBL. 19:211-215.

    Conferences and workshops

    20th Asia-Pacific Weed Science

    Society Conference, Sri

    Lanka, 2-6 October 2007

    The IRRC Steering Committee

    meeting will be hosted by

    the Vietnamese Agricul-

    tural Academy of Sci-

    ences in Hanoi, Vietnam,

    8-11 October 2007

    International Workshop on

    Aerobic Rice jointly

    organized by the IRRC

    Water-Saving Work Group

    and the CPWF STARproject, China Agricultural

    University (CAU), Beijing,

    China, 22-25 October 2007

    Country visits

    Productivity and Sustain-

    ability Work Group

    Visit field demonstration and

    verification trials in

    Indonesia, July 2007

    Workshop with farmer groups on

    improved nutrient manage-

    Upcoming events (July-September 2007)

    ment for rice in central

    Vietnam, Quang Nam

    Province, August 2007

    Postproduction Work Group

    Follow-up on IRRC drying and

    storage activities in

    Sumsel, and on proposed

    farm-level storage research

    Palembang, South Sumatra

    Indonesia, July 2007

    Seed and grain quality training

    for extension staff and

    mini-combine harvesterdemonstration, Myan-

    mar, September 2007

    Labor Productivity Work


    Visit field sites in India and

    Bangladesh, July/August


    Visit field sites in Indonesia,

    August 2007

    Training on weed management in

    Myanmar, September 2007


    IRRC:Trina Leah Mendoza, Grant Singleton,Jennifer Hernandez

    CPS: Tess Rola, Bill Hardy, George Reyes, Juan Lazaro IV

    CONTRIBUTING AUTHORS: Bas Bouman, Ruben Lampayan,M.A . Hamid Miah, T.P. Tuong, Martin Gummert,Gelia Castillo, Florencia Palis, Joel Janiya, David Johnson


  • 8/2/2019 Ripple Jul Sep 2007


    Credits: The authors kindly provided pictures for their

    articles. Copyright for pictures belongs to the authors.

    Please direct further correspondence, com-

    ments, and contributions to

    Dr. Grant Singleton

    IRRC Coordinator

    International Rice Research InstituteDAPO Box 7777

    Metro Manila, Philippines


    This newsletter presents the personal views of in-

    dividual authors and not necessarily those of IRRI,

    SDC, or collaborating organizations in the IRRC.

    Copyright IRRI 2007

    Target area in northern Vietnam for dissemination of alternate

    wetting and drying or aerobic rice in the spring season, when

    irrigation water availability is insufficient to grow continuously

    flooded lowland rice in all fields. (Photo by Bas Bouman)