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July-September 2008, Vol. 3, No. 3

April 2006, Vol. 1, No. 2

Irrigated Rice Research ConsortiumInternational Rice Research Institute

Rice Research for Intensied Production and Prosperity in Lowland EcosystemsRIPPLE is produced by the Irrigated Rice Research Consortium (IRRC) with support from the Swiss Agency for Development and Cooperation (SDC). The IRRC promotes international links among scientists, managers, communicators, and farmers in lowland irrigated rice environments.

IRRC gears up for Phase 4In this issueRipples of change .......... 3 Water saving workshop quenches thirst for technologies Research to impact workshop: managing natural resources in Asias irrigated rice systems Research streams .............5 IRRC responds to rice crisis in the Philippines Weed science reaps awards Waves of action..................7 Flexing muscles for aerobic rice Taking stock: sharing lessons learned in postproduction The Nutrient Manager: innovative interactive decision support system Strength in numbers: An Giangs triumph over rats Profiles .................................... 12 A national champion of new rice technologies Dr. J and the BASC dream team More news, publications & upcoming events ...16people, which will be achieved through scaling up and scaling out of successful technology options with national agricultural research and extension systems (NARES), along with other stakeholders; and (2) to foster innovative research on natural resource management of irrigated rice-based cropping systems. The meeting was attended by 17 delegates from research and extension agencies in Cambodia, Indonesia, Lao PDR, Myanmar, the Philippines, and Vietnam. Seven IRRI scientists and a senior project adviser from the donor Swiss Agency for Development and Cooperation (SDC) attended as resource persons. The opening remarks were given by Dr. Monthathip Chanphengxay, director general of the National Agriculture and Forestry Research Institute, Lao PDR. Dr. Grant Singleton, IRRC coordinator, presented the aims of the workshop and updates from the Phase 4 planning workshop. Each country gave an overview of its priorities in lowland irrigated rice for Phase 4. A number of common issues emerged from the presentations:> continued on page 2

IRRCs Phase 4 aims to increase rice production and income of smallholder familiesimproving livelihoods of 500,000 people and to foster innovative research on natural resource management of irrigated rice-based cropping systems. (Photo by G. Singleton)


artners and stakeholders of the Irrigated Rice Research Consortium (IRRC) from Southeast Asia gathered on 13-14 June in Vientiane, Lao Peoples Democratic Republic (PDR), to discuss a new 4-

year program of activities for IRRCs Phase IV (2009-12). The main goals for Phase 4 are (1) to increase production of rice by 10% and income by 15% for smallholder families, leading to improved livelihoods for 500,000

Ripple July-September 2008

IRRC gears up ...from page 1

All countries have set targets for increases in national rice production from 2008-101.6% in Vietnam, 2.7% in Cambodia, 4.4% in Myanmar, 5% in Indonesia, and 7.3% in the Philippines and Lao PDR. Very little extra land will be converted to rice production. Indeed, all countries are continuously losing prime rice production land to urban and industrial growth. Vietnam lost 337,490 hectares of rice land from 2000 to 2006 (48,200 hectares per year), and Indonesia loses 40,000 hectares per year. Irrigated lowland rice systems will be the primary focus to achieve the targets

expressed for access to the IRRCs socioeconomic skills, particularly to help monitor and evaluate the uptake of technologies by farmers, and to understand the factors that inuence farmers decisions to adopt the technologies. More capacity building is urgently required. The networks provided by the Consortium enabled impressive progress with capacity building during the current phase of the IRRC. However, for most countries, capacity building is still a high priority in Phase 4 because of cohort creep leading to many retirements of experienced personnel from 2008 to 2010. Assistance for capacity-building and mentoring was particularly expressed by Indonesia, Myanmar, and Lao PDR.

After the presentations, the participants were grouped into teams to discuss key potential pathways for extending technologies to farmers, designate principal outputs for 2009-12, and identify key stakeholders or actors (collaborators and donors) for The IRRC will focus on disseminating technoloextension and gies with NARES partners and other stakeholders to be able to improve the lives of people like this policy advice. boy. (Photo by G. Singleton) An important challenge for increased production. for Phase 4 of the IRRC is to All countries expressed expand its reach from tens their need to have betof thousands to hundreds of ter extension materials. thousands of farmers. There A strong demand was fore, the discussion on poten2

More than 2.7 billion Asian farmers and consumers depend on irrigated rice for their food. To get through the current rice crisis and improve livelihoods of people in Asia, yields from the irrigated lowlands must be increased. (Photo by R. Panaligan)

tial pathways for extension was particularly engaging. Some key issues that emerged were the need to focus on institutional pluralism (to include a range of government and nongovernment actors), to integrate a range of pathways from national to province to subdistrict to farmer clusters, to foster innovative approaches to extension (e.g., more effective use of media, including videos of technologies in DVD format), and to cultivate effective policy engagement. All participants agreed that farmer-to-farmer extension is an effective route for technology diffusion; the challenge is how to

promote this on a large scale. The meeting concluded with each country providing advice on outputs for 2009-12. These will form the basis for identifying priority activities in each country for Phase 4 of the IRRC. The 2-day meeting was held in tremendous spirit with open and frank discussion on many issues. There was an impressive level of interactions between delegates from different countries during the meal and coffee breaksan excellent indicator of an active, strong, and effervescent network.Grant Singleton

Ripple July-September 2008

Ripples of change

Water saving workshop quenches thirst for technologies


atera precious resource that no life on earth can live without. Through the years, water for human use has become scarcer. The costs we are now paying to get water have risen sharply. This is true especially in rice production. To alleviate this situation, water-saving practices should be observed not only to lessen wastage, but also to bring down the costs of water consumption. With this in mind, on 2630 March, the International Rice Research Institute hosted a workshop on the adoption and impact of water savings in rice production in the Philippines. The workshop was jointly undertaken by the Irrigated Rice Research Consortium and the project Developing a System of Temperate and Tropical Aerobic Rice (STAR) in Asia under the Challenge Program on Water and Food (CPWF). Around 50 participants represented the different partner agencies. (See Save water, save our rice! in RIPPLE, Vol. 3 No. 2.) Attendees presented and discussed the status of dissemination and adoption of water-saving technologies in rice production from eld to farm to the irrigation system. Gaps and opportunities for large-scale dissemination of water-saving technologies were identied, as well as opportunities for future research.

outscaling activities were discussed. Case studies showed the economics and impacts of AWD. Farmers who directly bear the costs of pumping water in deep-well areas were motivated to adopt AWD, which allowed them to bring

agent, when partner agencies are strategically chosen, and when farmers eld schools are well in place. In Session 3, the Philippine Rice Research Institute (PhilRice) presented the water-saving activities they

Ms. Crisanta Bueno (right) explains their experiment on AWD and adapted plant types. Participants also visited AWD eld experiments on crop management, methane emissions, weeds; and aerobic rice. (Photo by R. Flor)

AWD and aerobic riceIn Session 1, the adoption of alternate wetting and drying (AWD) in deep-well systems in Tarlac and related

down costs by 20%, widen the area served by the deep well, and reduce social conicts. In Session 2, the status of farmers adoption of aerobic rice technology in Bulacan was discussed, including a case study of the learning process from the participatory development of technology. Aerobic rice technology suits Bulacan because of its unfavorable climate as a rainfed environment. Farmers reasons for possibly adopting aerobic rice technology include less inputs needed, manageability, protability, and early establishment that allows farmers to produce other crops. Farmers consider the credibility of knowledge sources when deciding whether to adopt aerobic rice technology or not, as well as access to seeds. Extension succeeds when farmers trust the extension

are conducting, how they go about outscaling AWD to large irrigation systems such as the Upper Pampanga River Integrated Irrigation System. PhilRice works with the National Irrigation Administration (NIA) and IRRI in training key persons via demonstration updates, seminars, group discussions, and workshops. Channels used include print, broadcast, and online media and other inexpensive but useful materials. PhilRice also reported that farmers enjoyed benets and peace of mind that water will be available when they need it. Farmers have now accepted the new idea that rice need not be ooded at all times and are urging their neighbors to adopt AWD.

Irrigation systemsSession 4 enabled attendees to discuss what NIA

is doing to initiate reforms in policy relating to water saving and how NIA is outscaling AWD in large irrigation systems. The NIA reported three strategies they use in outscaling AWD: pilot technology demonstrations to validate and show AWD to farmers; an imposed schedule applying AWD at 10- to 14-day intervals; and trainings for NIA staff, water managers, and local government ofcials. In Session 5, activities in the Bohol Integrated Irrigation System (BIIS) were presented. In BIIS, AWD was adopted as a watermanaging scheme by engaging farmers in monitoring their eld water levels and evaluating the standing crop. Initial impacts include an increase in cropping intensity from 100% to 125%. Session 6 was devoted to a group workshop, which considered the following questions: (1) What is the extent of adoption of AWD in the Philippines? (2) How can we effectively disseminate AWD? (3) What are the issues in the wide-scale promotion of AWD and their solutions? (4) What are the research gaps? The attendees discussed the requirements for upscaling and outscaling, such as incentives and how they could encourage adoption of watersaving technologies, capacity building, and policy. Then the participants were grouped by area (Luzon, Visayas, and Mindanao) to discuss how outscaling is being done and further plans. To help the attendees understand more fully the science behind water-saving technologies, they were treated to eld visits to experiment sites. As an offshoot of this workshop, an administra> continued on page 43

Ripple July-September 2008

Water workshop ...from page 3

tive order (AO) is now being drafted for approval by the Department of Agriculture. This AO is entitled Guidelines on mainstreaming water saving technologies in irrigated rice production systems in the Philippines. AWD will be institutionalized in the countrys national rice programs. Now that this workshop has brought to light what is happening with water-saving technologies, hopefully, more

and more farmers and communities will begin to reap their benets. If we could make every drop of this precious resource count, then increased efciencies in rice production will follow.To get a copy of the workshop narrative report, e-mail Dr. Ruben Lampayan at de la Cruz

Measuring water level with a eld water tube allows farmers to save water by ooding only when needed. (Photo by B. Bouman )

Research to impact workshopManaging natural resources in Asias irrigated rice systems


ice farmers belong ment of Irrigated Rice in how to efciently provide to a class all of their Asia. This workshop aims farmers with the best rice own. They are unto capture the cross-country management practices. sung heroes, trying to win learning of the IRRC during The adoption and impacts the battle against water scarthe past 4 years, in preparaof NRM technologies and lescity, labor shortage, pests tion for its next phase, which sons learned will be presented and diseases, and other by IRRC partners problems in rice growfrom Bangladesh, ing. Their constant hope Cambodia, China, is that their efforts will India, Indonesia, result in sweet victory: Lao PDR, Myana healthy, bountiful harmar, the Philipvest. The Irrigated Rice pines, Vietnam, Research Consortium and Thailand. (IRRC) aspires to help Civil society farmers in the irrigated organizations lowlands of Asia win This September workshop aims to capture the cross- and academics country learning of the IRRC during its Phase 3. this battle and achieve will also pres(Photo by A. Javellana) increased protability, ent case studies food security, and envito share their ronmental sustainability. will build on the delivery of learning in research to impact On 23-24 September, technologies to farming comdelivery. The lessons learned around 60 participants from munities. The workshop is from spreading technologies 10 Asian countries, plus a timely because the learnings nationally through IRRC few extension experts from will help address the global Country Outreach Programs Europe, will gather to docurice crisis. The papers pre(ICOPs) will provide a special ment progress on developsented will be published by subset of presentations from ing effective pathways for IRRI in a book in early 2009 participants from Myanmar, delivery of natural resource with funding from the Swiss Indonesia, and the Philippines management technologies Agency for Development and The ICOP model has strengthfor increased rice producCooperation. By documentened links between research tion. The IRRC will sponsor ing the lessons learned from and extension (educating a workshop on Research experiences of local partners farmers about new technoloto Impact: Case Studies for in different countries, the gies and how to use them), deNatural Resources ManageIRRC can further work on veloped crucial links to policyRipple July-September 2008

advocates, and enabled IRRC partners to respond to important national policy initiatives in each country. Co-hosted by the International Rice Research Institute (IRRI) and the Philippine Rice Research Institute (PhilRice), the 2day workshop will be held at the PhilRice headquarters in Nueva Ecija. The deadline for abstract submission is 25 July, and full papers are due on 22 August. Abstracts are to be submitted to IRRC Coordinator Dr. Grant Singleton ( and copied to Dr. Florencia Palis ( and Ms. Jenny Hernandez ( This workshop will be important in bringing the IRRC one step closer to achieving its main goal of improving the livelihoods of the rural and urban poor who depend on rice. These are the thousands of people from rice-farming communitiessuch as farmers, farm laborers, and their familiesas well as the urban poor for whom rice is the most important food.Trina Mendoza


Research Streams

IRRC responds to rice crisis in the Philippines


hilippine President Gloria MacapagalArroyo released on 2 May guidelines on nutrient management for rice in the 2008 wet season as a rapid response to the rice crisis. The recommendation incorporates ndings from research of the Productivity and Sustainability Work Group of the Irrigated Rice Research Consortium, which were obtained in partnership between the Philippine Rice Research Institute (PhilRice) and the International Rice Research Institute. The recommendation is being promoted through the Ginintuang Masaganang Ani (GMA) Rice Program of the Philippines with the aim of producing 5 tons of rice per hectare in favorable irrigated areas in the 2008 wet season. The 2008 wet season recommendation, while striving to ensure efcient use of fertilizer inputs, aims to increase rice yield through the optimization of fertilizer rates and timing. One-page guidelines specic for Iloilo Province, a major rice-growing area, were developed through a consultation meeting on 14 May with West Visayas State University (WVSU), GMA Rice Program, provincial agricultural ofcials, PhilRice, and Atlas Fertilizer Corporation. Subsequent one-page regional guidelines were developed through consultations for Luzon and Bohol. Each provincial and regional guideline, while tailored to local rice production conditions, is> continued on page 6

This one-page recommendation is the version originally presented by the President in May.

Ripple July-September 2008


Trina Mendoza

IRRC responds ...from page 5

consistent with the one-page national recommendation. Training on the guidelines for municipal agricultural ofcers and agricultural technicians started in Iloilo in May with Dr. Greta Gabinete, a collaborator of the Work Group from WVSU, serving as a resource person. (See RIPPLE April-June

2007 for more on her collaborative work in Iloilo.) Training for agricultural ofcers and technicians is ongoing at other locations in the country. Training in Bohol, an IRRC ICOP site, will be conducted in July through another active partner, Dr. Mary Jean Du of the Bohol Agricultural Promotion Center. PhilRice is promoting the one-pagers through their PalayCheck

System, which is a dynamic rice crop management system that presents easy-to-follow practices in rice production in the Philippines. A computerbased decision support system, named Nutrient Manager, was provided in June at locations across the country to assist eld technicians in tailoring the guidelines to eld-specic conditions of farmers. Nutrient Manager will be

re ned through experiences with technicians and farmers in this wet season, and then it will be released nationally for wide-scale use in the fourth quarter of 2008.Trina Mendoza with reports from Roland Buresh ( and Mirasol Pampolino (

Weed science reaps awards

Good luck, Aibee!


t was a shining moment twice over for weed scientists of the International Rice Research Institute (IRRI) as two awards were received at the 39th Anniversary and Annual Conference of the Pest Management Council of the Philippines held in Puerto Princesa, Palawan, 6-9 May. Joel Janiya was awarded the Pest Management Award in Research from the Pest Management Council of the Philippines (PMCP), in recognition of his outstanding achievements on crop protection research. The citation states that his work on ecologically based weed science options allows less reliance on chemical control and expensive labor, thus reducing costs of weed control inputs and increasing farmers prots, while at the same time minimizing environmental and human health hazards. His enthusiasm, energy, and dedicated efforts have beneted farmers in the Philippines as well as other rice-producing countries, and have contributed to the advancement of weed science research in the Asia-Pacic

Mr. Joel Janiyas hard work has made life easier for farmers worldwide. (Photo by R. Fuentes)

region. Mr. Janiya has worked in weed science at IRRI for 30 years and is a key member of the Labor Productivity Work Group of the Irrigated Rice Research Consortium. Rolly Fuentes won the Best Paper Award in Weed Science for Biochemical study on the ecotypic variation of upland and lowland purple nutsedge (Cyperus rotundus L.). Mr. Fuentes conducted his studies in 2006-08 with Dr. David Johnson in the weed science and physiology groups at IRRI in collaboration with Dr. Aurora Balta-

zar and Dr. Florinia Merca of the University of the Philippines Los Baos (UPLB). The conference was attended by about 230 entomologists, plant pathologists, and weed scientists from UPLB, other state universities, Philippine Rice Research Institute, Department of Agriculture, plantations and private companies. The Pest Management Award, given by the PMCP, recognizes members who, according to the best judgment of the Council, have contributed signicantly to the pursuit of the concepts, principles, and practices of pest management. The award highlights outstanding contributions in solving the complex problems of crop protection caused by insects, weeds, plant diseases, mites, vertebrates, nematodes, and other pests.David Johnson (

IN HER ELEMENT: Aibee hangs out with farmers after a eld survey in Cambodia. (Photo by R. Flor)


he Irrigated Rice Research Consortium (IRRC) bids Divina Gracia Aibee Rodriguez farewell as she embarks on a different journey to do postgraduate studies at the University of Illinois at UrbanaChampaign, USA. Aibee has been working as a consultant agricultural economist on assessing the impact of sitespecic nutrient management, alternate wetting and drying, and postharvest technologies brought out by the IRRC in Vietnam, Cambodia, and the Philippines. The IRRC family will surely miss her bubbly presence but sends her off with best wishes for her success.


Ripple July-September 2008

Waves of action

Flexing muscles for aerobic rice


ice. The mere mention of the word conjures images of a steaming hot bowl of the worlds most famous staple. Ask where it comes from, and one sees a ooded eld of green, glinting in the sun like a giants broken mirror. But what happens when there is not enough water to ood a rice eld?

Enter aerobic rice. It is named after its ability to withstand long periods of not being ooded (thus aerobic, with oxygen throughout the growing season). This alternative cropping system lets farmers use non-irrigated upland areas for planting rice, depending on rain as the primary source of water. Aerobic rice

search Consortium (IRRC). The BASC has been successful in eld-testing aerobic rice in Bulacan in Central Luzon, Philippines. It is the most systematic effort I have seen in the Philippines in creating aerobic rice seed supply, says Dr. Bouman, and farmers are fast adopting the technology.

certied, only a few agencies and state colleges are licensed to produce foundation, registered, and certied seed.

Young technologyFarmers have access to aerobic rice seeds, but scientists are still reluctant to promote it on a large scale. Dr. Bouman explains, The demand is bigger than I would want to supply because the technology is quite new and there are challenges that we need to learn to overcome, such as nematode and fungal problems and soil nutrient deciencies. We also need to get new varieties and have salt management technologies. Scientists are studying the reasons for the good performance of aerobic rice in certain areas, such as in Bulacan, and for the yield failure in others. Farmers invest so much in their crops, so yield failures would translate to big losses for them if aerobic rice turns out to be unt for their particular areas. Because aerobic rice is still maturing as a technology, potential risks still have to be identied. Until it is tried and tested repeatedly, there is yet no foolproof way to tell if aerobic rice is indeed the best planting system to use in other rainfed areas, given the differences in planting conditions.

NIA partner Armelito Lactaoen shows the healthy grains of aerobic rice. Thanks to aerobic rice, harvest day will come early for farmers despite having less water to work with. (Water-Saving Work Group photo)

Water, water everywhere...Of all the worlds water, only 3% is fresh water, and only 1% is available to humans. The other 2% is locked away in the continental ice caps. Usually, 70% of the available 1% goes to agriculture, 20% goes to industry, and only 10% is actually consumed by humans. But this precarious balancing act is tipping over as the urban population demands more water for industrial and domestic use. This means less water for farming. The reality is that rice production needs to produce more rice with less water.

may be directly seeded unto an unooded eld, saving water and decreasing labor.

Certied, tried, and trueRice seeds undergo years of testing by government agencies before they are ofcially released. The rst step is breeder seed, which is directly controlled by the breeding institution. The next generation of plants arising from breeder seeds will produce foundation seeds, handled to maintain genetic purity. The third-generation rice plants will produce registered seed, again, genetically pure to a certain level. The fourth generation will produce certied seeds, again, pure breeding. Because of the strict standards upheld in getting seeds

Bulacan up frontOn 10 April of this year, the International Rice Research Institute (IRRI) received an award from Bulacan Agricultural State College (BASC) for supporting BASCs research and development work on aerobic rice. (See related story on page 13). On IRRIs behalf, the award was received by Dr. Bas Bouman, a water scientist. BASC is one of the many collaborators of IRRIs Irrigated Rice Re-

Promising futureOnce these challenges are overcome, Dr. Bouman is optimistic that aerobic rice will benet farmers. What we want to do is have a basket of options responding to different levels of water scarcity that a farmer can choose from. If we anticipate that it is going to be a dry wet season, and the farmers> continued on page 87

Ripple July-September 2008

Flexing muscles...from page 7

know that, then they can opt to plant aerobic rice. If the forecast is for a very wet or good rainy season, then farmers may opt for ooded rice. Nowadays, global climate change has posed new problems. Dr. Bouman assures us, Aerobic rice would certainly t in as a technology when rainfall becomes more erratic.

In the wet season, it is more robust than the puddle-transplanted lowland system. Aerobic rice, while doing well in unooded elds, can also thrive well in ooded conditions and are more resistant to pests and diseases. In Bulacan, the IRRC is trying to get two crops in the wet season by growing aerobic rice. Right now, the farmers just grow one

lowland rice variety in the rainiest part of the wet season. The IRRC is trying to get aerobic rice established earlier using lower rainfall crops for the rst planting and harvesting them in time, and putting in a second crop. This saves water while getting the land to yield more. Thanks to aerobic rice, the future of our world seems brighter. Tomorrows rice

elds may no longer glint in the sun like a giants broken mirror, but they will clothe the mountainsides with their verdant green and goldcolors of hope and abundance for a thriving world.Lorelei de la Cruz

Taking stock: sharing lessons learned in postproduction


ts not easy being a rice farmer. Not everybody can wake before dawn to endure hours of backbreaking labor under the scorching heat of the merciless sun, skin tanned and cracked, and hands and feet calloused from years of being drenched in sun and sweat. Not everyone understands how heartbreaking it is to watch ones beloved rice crops ghting to stay alive when a long drought leaves the soil dry, chapped, and barren. And when harvest time nally arrives, there is no rest for the weary farmer as he goes through great lengths to dry his grain lest spoilage ruins it, and to store seeds away from voracious pests and the damp air. Until the last of his grain is sold in the market, the rice farmer is in a constant vigil to protect the crop on which the survival of his family and half of humanity depends. If you think a few damaged grains are not at all that bad, think again. Farmers suffer 30-50% in nancial losses from eld to market because of spoilage, delayed drying, poor milling facilities, and pests. To minimize losses, improved postproduction technologies can be applied to

Group leader and workshop organizer, if postharvest losses can be cut by at least 5%, a country such as Indonesia would not have to import rice.

A step-by-step processAt rst glance, it seems easy enough for technologies to become popular, considering the big benets they promise. So how come it seems to take so long? Before a technology can gain widespread use, it is important that people become willing to try it rst. After all, a farmer has limited resources to invest. When farmers agree to try new technologies, this is called validation. Of course, the way a farmer uses the technology may vary according to the demands of his planting area. Thus, local adaptation and related innovations follow to tailor-t the technology to local conditions. And if the technology proves benecial to other members of the farming community, this is known as adoption at the community level. Some of the technologies will then have to be locally produced, requiring support to local manufacturers. At the end of the day, we would like to see widespread dissemination by farmers and millers.> continued on page 9

A mechanical at-bed dryer can dry up to 4 tons of grain per batch, and is especially useful during the rainy season when sun-drying is a challenge.

solve these problems. But how can the average farmer get hold of these technologies? Such is the task of the Postproduction Work Group (PPWG) of the Irrigated Rice Research Consortium (IRRC), which makes sure that the outputs of postharvest research indeed reach the farmers who are intended to benet from research. So, on 26-28 May 2008, the International Rice Research Institute conducted a 3-day workshop on Research to Impact in Postharvest: Lessons Learned in Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam. Just how far have postproduction activities gone to help improve the livelihoods of farmers? This is the

question that was answered by 37 participants from the rice-growing countries of Cambodia, Indonesia, Lao Peoples Democratic Republic (PDR), Myanmar, Philippines, Thailand, and Vietnam. These activities are part of the efforts of the IRRC and the Asian Development Bank/Japan Fund for Poverty Reduction project Improving Poor Farmers Livelihoods through Improved Rice Postharvest Technology. The workshop was timely as it took place during the rice crisis, when the world was tuned in to what the International Rice Research Institute had to say. According to Engr. Martin Gummert, PPWG Work


Ripple July-September 2008

Taking stock..from page 8

Success storiesParticipants shared an impressive number of success stories, highlighting how more and more farmers have beneted from postproduction technologies in their respective countries. Flatbed dryers help farmers dry grain more evenly than traditional sundrying, preventing spoilage and yielding better quality grain. Mini combine harvesters reduce harvesting cost and produce more and better quality grain. Rice husk- red atbed dryers lower the fuel cost and are more environment-friendly. With hermetic storage systems, farmers can keep their seeds dry and free of insect pests without the use of chemicals. Up-to-date information on rice prices in local markets empower farmers to make wise decisions on what to produce, where to

sell, and how high the quality of produce should be for them to earn higher returns from their harvestsimportant information when dealing with middlemen. The Vietnamese are also widely adopting laser-assisted land leveling, with strong interest shown by their Lao and Myanma counterparts, to produce better quality rice for postharvest operations. These success stories will be captured in online pages of the Cereal Knowledge Bank for all to read. Now that postharvest technologies have started delivering the benets they promise in a number of Asian countries, where do we go from here? For these technologies to strike a huge impact on improving farmers livelihoods, they need to be disseminated widely to farming communities. Plans for doing just this were mapped out during the workshop and will form an important plat-

form for activities in 2009-12.

Technology tripTo cap off this eventful workshop, the participants visited a manufacturing company that makes some of the equipment the participants had been discussWorkshop participants look at rice milling equipment at the VINAPRO showroom in Long An ing. This eld Province. trip to Long An believes that farmers will be Province provided the chance more equipped to produce to see up close the combine more and better quality rice, harvesters made by Vinapro, enough to improve their atbed dryers at work in the livelihoods. After all, the ADB project site, and rice mill equipment manufactured world owes its survival to the hard work and sacrices of by Buivanngo. Some particinoble farmers. It is time they pants placed orders, eager to earn what they truly deserve. apply the technologies and reap their benets back home. story by Lorelei de la Cruz With the current growwith reports and photos from ing success of postproducMartin Gummert and Rica Joy Flor tion technologies in these seven countries, the IRRC


ers, especially with the rising fertilizer innovative interactive decision support system prices. Sitespecic nutrient manageany rice ment (SSNM) farmers provides are in the principles dark when it comes of improved to applying the right nutrient manamount of fertilizer agement for in their elds. Often, rice, but these their lack of knowledge principles leads to inefcient need to be use of fertilizers, transformed leading to low rice into simple yields, increased risk messages that of diseases to the can be readrice plant, and low IRRCs Mirasol Pampolino shows Indonesias SSNM ily dissemiprots from farming. technical team how to use the Nutrient Manager. (Photo by P. Sinohin) nated to many The Productivto empower farmers with rice farmity and Sustainability ers to rapidly change their knowledge that will contribWork Group (PSWG) of the fertilization practices. ute to higher rice production, Irrigated Rice Research The PSWG, through partwhich is protable for farmConsortium (IRRC) strives

The Nutrient Manager:

nerships with public and private sectors, recognized that eld-specic nutrient management guidelines can be developed based on information that can be easily given by a rice farmer. This information can then be re ned into clear guidelines through a simple process, handled in a participatory fashion between farmers and local extension personnel of the public and private sectors.

Interactive toolsFor farmers to quickly adopt knowledge-intensive technologies such as best management practices for fertilizers, simple tools are needed to help agricultural technicians quickly formulate guidelines for> continued on page 109

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The Nutrient Manager ...from page 9

dissemination in Indonesia.

improved management tailored to specic elds or rice-growing areas. This led to the development of an interactive computerbased decision support tool known as the Nutrient Manager. The Nutrient Manager consists of about 10 questions with multiplechoice answers that can easily be answered by an extension worker or farmer. Based on responses to the questions, a printout with amounts of fertilizer by crop growth stage is provided for the rice eld. This tool accommodates both transplanted and direct-seeded rice with a range of growth durations from seed to harvest, and it is compatible with crop management approaches based on critical crop growth stages.

Prototypes and eld testsPuPS was conceptualized in February 2008 after a consultation meeting in Bogor between Dr. Roland Buresh, PSWG leader and IRRI soil scientist, and members of Indonesias National Fertilizer Work Group. In early March, the initial version of the PuPS 1.0 was eld-tested in West Java by partners from extension. Immediately after, two staff members from the PSWG, Dr. Mira Pampolino and Mr. Philip Joshua Sinohin, traveled to Bogor to consult with Indonesian scientists on the development of a revised version of the PuPS 1.0. The revised version was presented through a seminar on 13 March to members of the National Fertilizer Work Group, partners from research and extension, and scientists from universities. Based on suggestions from the seminar and feedback from eld testing, the PuPS 1.0 was further revised and presented at a training of trainers on integrated crop management at the Indonesian Center for Rice Research (ICRR) in late March. Dr. Sunendar, chair of the Indonesian Technical Team, presented the revised version to the directors of partner organizations on 2 April. In early April, staff members from the Assessment Institute for Agricultural Technology (AIAT) in North Sumatera demonstrated the PuPS 1.0 during a training course for eld extension organized by the Agriculture Ofce of Simalungun District and facilitated by the Farmer Empowerment through the Agricultural Technology and Informa-

Indonesias ownIn Indonesia, government organizations are striving to increase rice production through the use of improved rice production practices; thus the urgent need and opportunity for the Nutrient Manager. Known as PuPS 1.0 (Pemupukan Padi Sawah Spesik LokasiRice Fertlization for Specic Location), Indonesias version of the Nutrient Manager has now been evaluated in ve provinces through a partnership of organizations within the Indonesian Agency for Agricultural Research and Development (IAARD). An Indonesian Technical Team, with members from four partner organizations in IAARD, facilitates the development, testing, and10

Using the Nutrient Manager, farmers and extension workers can quickly get guidelines for improved management tailored to their specic eld or rice-growing area. (Photo by R. Panaligan)

tion Project. The PuPS 1.0 was subsequently introduced to extension workers and researchers of the AIAT ofces in West, Central, and East Java and South Sulawesi to gain their feedback and evaluate the applicability of the module at the farmers level. The nal PuPS version in CDs is slated for launching in July hosted by IAARD.

Going global, proudly localExperiences in Indonesia can be replicated in other countries, but the Nutrient Manager will be tailored to specic conditions and needs in each country. A Philippine version of the Nutrient Manager has been developed with partners from the University of the Philippines Los Baos (UPLB), PhilRice, and the Bureau of Soil and Water

Management (BSWM). A beta version was released in the Philippines in June 2008 for evaluation with extension workers and farmers. A nalized version for wide-scale distribution and use in the Philippines should be available in September 2008. Nutrient Manager decision-support tools are also being developed for Bangladesh, China, and West Bengal, India. With the advent of the Nutrient Manager, farmers all over Asia will have easier access to improved nutrient management principles and be better able to see and adopt the best fertilizer best management practices for rice.Roland Buresh and Mirasol Pampolino

Ripple July-September 2008

Strength in numbers: An Giangs triumph over rats


s the vehicle approached, children were running hurriedly to the meeting place, still in their school uniforms. The men and women were already waiting at the ofce of the Peoples Committee in Tinh Bien District in An Giang, Vietnam. They carried long, thick sticks, shovels, and plastic bags, and some even brought their pet dogs. This was no sleepy, ordinary day for the people of Tinh Bien. On that hot April day, they were rat catchers. The community action is timed before the rats begin breeding in the elds. From their collaboration with biologists, the local folk now know that at the early tillering stage of rice, every female rat they remove from the population before they breed represents 35 less rats during the ripening crop. Dr. Florencia Palis, a sociocultural anthropologist

directly affect the lives of poor farmers, damaging the growing crops, causing about 5% of postharvest losses, spreading diseases to people and livestock, contaminating food and water, and damaging buildings and other possessions. The good news is that in An Giang, a province in the border region with Cambodia in the Mekong Delta, people work together as a community to control these pests. Farmers and nonfarmers, men, women, and children, gather at least twice each cropping season to catch rats in the elds. Community action is one of the most important strategies in ecologically based rodent management, which was adopted as the national policy for rodent management in Vietnam in 1999. Farmers work together to control these pests by ooding rat burrows and setting up com-

BODY COUNT: Rat hunts not only lower rat damage to rice crops but also provides rat hunters meat that they will cook for lunch.

of the Irrigated Rice Research Consortium, observed the rat hunt and held a group discussion with the people. Rats are a major problem in these parts and are among the top three rice pests in Vietnam. They

munity trap-barrier systems. Now, ve provinces in the Mekong River Delta are using this environment-friendly approach, replacing the harmful use of rodenticides, chemicals, and electrocution.

The rat hunt starts with the crowd splitting into smaller groups and heading into different directions across the SEARCH AND DESTROY: An Giang folk eld. The men then know where to nd the rats and how begin searching for their collective action can keep the rat population down. rat holes in the paddy bunds. Once they spot a when they gather for lunch hole, they dig and enlarge the with a special rat meat recipe hole. After pouring several that matches their local rice pailfuls of water, rats soon wine. In the Mekong Delta, creep out of the hole. People people eat rat meat so they then scramble to catch the do not use rodenticide on rat scurrying across water their crops. Some 3,000 tons and land. The rats are quick of rat meat are processed but so are the people, now in Vietnam for human experts at rat hunting from consumption each year. having done it many times. Dr. Palis commends the The excitement intensidedication of the people of es as more and more rats are An Giang in catching rats as a caught. The hunt is even more community. She has observed effective if a dog is used to several hunts in Tinh Bien smell the rats burrows. The and Tri Ton Districts, where dog leads its owner and the soldiers have volunteered to pack, snif ng at the bunds. help and students have even The trained dog stops at a brought loudspeakers to spot where it smells rats and monitor each groups catch begins barking excitedly. from across the eld. Their There the men then start community action techniques digging, and true enough, are well coordinated and are families of rats are living timed based on our detailed below. The only problem with knowledge of the breeding dogs, it seems, is that they ecology and habitat use of see the rats as their prize, rats in this province. The high and the rat catchers must be level of community involvecareful not to cross it lest ment is inspiring and can they be bitten by the dog. be used as a model for other By noon, the community countries to manage their rat starts heading back to the problems, says Dr. Palis. ofce. Tired and muddy but Come harvesting seawith bright smiles on their son, there will be some rats, faces, the people know that which have migrated into the its been a good hunt. At the crops to take up residency ofce, the rat count reaches where rat densities are low a total of 386. If we assume following the successful half of these are females then community campaign. The they will have 6,750 less rats rat population will slowly feeding on their ripening rice recover and prepare for their crop some 3 months later! feast of the next rice crop. They divide the rats among But the rat hunters of An families and head their way Giang will be ready for them. home, with rat meat for lunch. Story and photos by Trina Mendoza The men get an extra treat11

Ripple July-September 2008


A national champion of new rice technologies


hat makes a great leader? Experts say that a great leader should have a clear vision and be able to paint that vision so vividly that others can see it. One should have passion infectious enough to inuence others. A great leader must be a team builder and a good decisionmaker. And lastly, he or she should have character. Nguyen Huu Huan is one clear example of a great leader. As vice director general of the Plant Protection Department (PPD) of Vietnams Ministry for Agriculture and Rural Development, he spearheaded Three Reductions, Three Gains (3R 3G), a campaign that urged farmers to stop early pesticide sprays and adjust seed and fertilizer rates. The program was endorsed in June 2006 as a national policy in Vietnam, and he shared in international awards for the success of this innovative project. Now, he is leading a new initiative to develop An Giang in the Mekong River Delta as a model province on best rice production practices. But that is getting ahead of our story. Mr. Huan has delved in the eld of crop production and protection from his BS degree in Cantho University, up to this day as he nishes his PhD in Nong Lam University. His rst hands-on experience was in 1978, when a massive brown planthopper (BPH) attack threatened the Mekong Delta. He was then a third-year agronomy student. The Vietnam conict had ended 3 years earlier, and with the local government structure still weak, the University had to close. MARD and the University instructed all agronomy students to go into the eld and

help farmers protect their rice crop from the pests. MARD didnt have enough staff to help farmers against BPH, says Mr. Huan. But it gave us a chance to communicate with farmers. Ive been an agronomy student for 3 years but it was the rst time I saw a BPH insect, he says. Since then, his passion for crop protection never faltered. Mr. Huan took on the challenging role as PPD vice director general in 1999, with the main responsibility of managing pests of all crops in South Vietnam. The Mekong River Delta produces 52% of Vietnams rice, but its good irrigation infrastructure and soil makes it easy to grow diverse cash crops such as coconut, coffee, black pepper, cotton, and maize. Mr. Huan and his team help farmers manage their crops so that pest impacts are minimal. This is done by holding demonstrations on how to grow clean, safe-toeat produce, proper pesticide management, and transferring these technologies to farmers. He worked with the national integrated pest management program from 1992 to 2002, and saw rsthand the devastation caused by outbreaks of BPH, rice ragged stunt virus and rice grassy stunt virus, locust, and coconut leaf beetle. He realized that research institutions applied technologies to grow healthy crops, but these were promoted separately. This inspired him to lead the 3R 3G or Ba Giam Ba Tang campaign using radio and TV, starting in Vinh Long and Can Tho provinces and spreading across the southern provinces. The campaigns message was simple: reducing insecticide spray, nitro-

gen fertilizer, and seed rate All this work leaves him translates to more harvests, little time to relax, but when better quality, and higher inthe long holidays come, he come. Over 1 million farmers enjoys traveling with his in Vietnam now practice Ba wife Ha, and daughters Lien, Giam Ba Tang. The campaign 24, and Phuong, 20. I like was supported by the Swiss to travel, but I am happier Agency for Development and staying here at home, says Cooperation, and was part of Mr. Huan. He is a grathe Irrigated Rice Research cious host, willing to teach Consortiums (IRRC) Phase a rst-timer in Vietnam 2. The lesson I learned in 3R 3G was how to combine, then distill a combination of technologies and come up with simple messages, and how to transfer the messages to the farmMr. Huan stands in front of a rice eld with weedy ers, Mr. Huan rice. First detected in Vietnam in 1994, weedy rice is a serious threat for direct-seeded ricethe main explains. rice system in the Mekong Delta. (Photo by G. Singleton) Mr. Huan now focuses on the broad-scale dissemina- how to make spring rolls tion of IRRC technologies in and point out the biggest An Giang Province. An Giang sh in the Mekong River. shares a border with CamAnd his love for the country bodia and is in the top three and its farmers run deep. rice-producing provinces Vietnam is an agriculin the country. Mr. Huan, tural country where nearly together with IRRI scientists, 90% are farmers, he says. will partner with the DepartIn agriculture, everyone has ment of Agriculture and Rural lots to do. The rice farmers Development (DARD) and in South Vietnam work hard, regional PPDs to develop An all day in the eld. They are Giang as a model province for very active and intelligent. best practices in rice proThey can easily adapt a new duction. DARD now has 30 technology by learning from hectares under best practice the radio or television. They in Thoai Son District, with can discern a promising new plans to expand to 10,000 technology, adapt it, and prohectares and 15,000 housemote it among themselves. holds by 2010. The IRRC will With Mr. Huans amazwork with Mr. Huan and other ing gift of being a visionary, national partners by providhis passion for his work, and ing technical assistance and his leadership, it is without helping document the learna doubt that his projects ing and impact on farmers. will greatly help farmers (See An Giang, Vietnamset- and the people of Vietnam. ting an example in RIPPLE Trina Mendoza April-June 2008 issue).


Ripple July-September 2008

Dr. J and the BASC Dream Team


any people at age 32 are still building their career, pursuing their dreams, or still nursing a biological hangover from a well-enjoyed youth. Not so with Junel Soriano, an accomplished doctor and engineer. Dr. Junel Soriano teaches at Bulacan Agricultural State College (BASC), about 2 hours drive from Manila, Philippines, and an energetic member of the Irrigated Rice Research Consortium (IRRC). He got his doctorate degree in agricultural engineering from the Central Luzon State University in April. His scholarship was supported by IRRC, and the Developing a System of Temperate and Tropical Aerobic Rice in Asia (STAR) project under the Challenge Program on Water and Food. When asked how he got into his profession, Dr. Soriano narrates, I grew up on the family farm in Isabela. So from my childhood years, I learned from experience how important agriculture is to daily life. When time came for me to choose my own career, agricultural engineering was the natural choice. His bachelors and masters degrees are also in agricultural engineering, which he received from the Tarlac College of Agriculture (TCA). Dr. Soriano rst joined the IRRC Water-Saving Work Group when he worked in the National Irrigation Administration in 2000, doing projects on alternate wetting and drying (AWD) in Tarlac. In 2003, Dr. Soriano transferred to BASC, under the mentorship of Dr. Josie Valdez, his former adviser and professor during his student days at

TCA, now the president of BASC. Having established a good network with the IRRCs Water-Saving Work Group when he was still at NIA, he sensed an excellent opportunity to involve BASC in IRRC activities. He convinced Dr. Valdez and his colleagues to initiate research on water-saving technologies, including AWD and aerobic rice. The IRRC supported BASCs research on water-saving technologies in 2004. The rest, of course, is history. Right now, Dr. Soriano is BASCs director for research, extension, training, and production. Led by Dr. Soriano and in collaboration with IRRI, BASC soon emerged as an authority on aerobic rice, a production system for rice under nonooded conditions. Aerobic rice lets farmers produce more rice in rainfed areas using less water. Aerobic rice is more robust than conventional ooded lowland rice and is generally grown in nonpuddled conditions. Farmers attest to the fact that aerobic rice needs less labor and water and yields more than rice cultivated using conventional methods, thus providing them more income. Aerobic rice is also more tolerant of pests and is more competitive against weeds. Dr. Soriano has worked closely with farmers, especially in Bulacan, who welcomed aerobic rice, which allowed them to plant earlier in rainfed areas. Some 200 lowland farmers from Bulacan now enjoy two cropping seasons instead of one, doubling their annual production from 3.54 tons per hectare to 78 tons per hectare. Dr. Sorianos team now works with other state univer-

sities and colleges and government agencies to advance aerobic rice research and extension in the country. BASC has entered into memoranda of agreement with Bataan Peninsula State University, Don Mariano Marcos State University, Palawan AN EXAMPLE FOR THE YOUNG: State University, and Dr. Soriano inspires a whole new Aurora State Colgeneration of agricultural experts to work hard for the good of many. lege of Technology. Dr. Soriano also holds trainers training develop the BASC teams on aerobic rice technology for R&D skills and paved the faculty and agricultural way for national funding for technicians of the Department aerobic rice, which enabled of Agricultures regional them to reach more farmers. ofces. His team is also Now that BASCs work developing a technology on aerobic rice has gained guide to help spread best momentum in Central Luzon, management practices for Dr. Soriano is envisioning aerobic rice in the wet season. something grander for aerobic The hard work of Dr. rice. His team is now seriSorianos team recently ously toying with the idea received well-deserved merit. of putting up a Philippine This year, BASC and its colAerobic Rice Program that laborators were given the Best includes not only research but Research Paper award in the more importantly what hapRegional Development Sympens afterwardsextension, posium, in competition from seed production, marketing, all other state universities and and promotion. By expandcolleges and other research ing the present program agencies in Central Luzon. and embarking on incomeAs Central Luzons ofcial generating projects, we can entry to the 2007s National provide complete services to Symposium on Agriculture farmers, especially during and Resources Research and these needy times. FarmDevelopment, their work got ers growing rice in rainfed second place for best paper areas dont have good access in the research category. to credit facilities, but with Surprisingly, this dynam- aerobic rice programs, they ic and forward-facing team can be given capital through comprises only six people. technology commercialization When asked how they manprojects. So what is holding age all the work, Dr. Soriano back the Dream Team from quickly acknowledges the fully promoting aerobic rice? funding support from the naAt present, aerobic rice is not tional government through the yet a mature technology. It Department of Agriculture is still undergoing improveand other agencies and tie-ups ments, and much remains for with other institutions. Their > continued on page 14 partnership with IRRC helped13

Ripple July-September 2008

Dr. J and the BASC...from page 13

scientists to learn. So until the technology is perfected, all-out promotion is not yet advisable, especially in the dry-season cropping. For Dr. Soriano, time is a valuable resource, so he makes each waking moment count. When not at work, he is

intelligent, magnicent, patient, loving, and eventful. And simple he is, nding fulllment in the little things that matter in life. For those who have been in the agriculture eld for quite some time, he may come across as a bit too ambitious, perhaps because of his youthful enthusiasm or his idealistic

In BriefIn May, Joel Janiya of the Labor Productivity Work Group visited weed management trials in Bohol, Philippines, and presented two papers at the PMCP Annual Conference. He also conducted rapid rural appraisal with IRRC anthropologist Rica Joy Flor in South and Southeast Sulawesi, Indonesia, in April. Ms. Flor and IRRC agricultural economist Divina Gracia Rodriguez conducted qualitative and economic impact assessment surveys from May to June in Prey Veng and Battambang, Cambodia. IRRC coordinator Grant Singleton visited the Swiss Agency for Development and Cooperation headquarters in Bern, Switzerland, in May. He met with Carmen Thoenissen (program manager, Mongolia Desk), Walter Meyer (head of East Asia Division), Nicolas Randin (program manager for Lao PDR and deputy director of East Asia Division), Lucia de Segis (junior program ofcer, East Asia Division), and Urs Scheidegger (SDC representative for the development of IRRC Phase 4). IRRC Labor Productivity Work Group leader David Johnson now leads the Coordinating Unit of the Consortium for Unfavorable Rice Environments (CURE) effective 1 April. He has been conducting research in most of the diversied ecosystems covered by CURE. Following the strong recommendation of external reviewers in January for IRRC Phase 4, an internal IRRI planning meeting was held in April at the IRRI Training Center. Phase 3s strengths and weaknesses were identied as well as outputs for Phase 4. (See related story on page 1 on IRRC stakeholders meeting in Lao PDR.)

AEROBICS IS GOOD FOR YOU. Dr. Soriano teaches farmers in rainfed areas how aerobic rice can help them make their land more productive.

at home gardening, watching the local news, or spending time with his wife and three daughters. He also hangs out with friends while thinking about work. To take a break from his busy schedule, he goes to the beach or the mountains, where the serenity of nature is sure to recharge him. I like to spend my free time in quiet places, and revealing a sentimental side, confesses, love songs bring special meaning to my life. As a person, Dr. Soriano describes himself with the acronym SIMPLEsmart,

sense of duty to help others in need. After all, aerobic rice is still a young technology, with much left for scientists to understand. But Dr. Soriano has every right to dream and dream big. If he were dreaming alone, it is only a dream. But because others share his vision, then it is the birth of reality. To Dr. Jthe professional, the nature lover, and the family manand the rest of the BASC Dream Team, may the seeds you sow bring a golden harvest!Story by Lorelei de la Cruz with photos from J. Soriano

Bas Bouman of the IRRC Water-Saving Work Group went live on air in May on ANCs Prime News, a TV program in the Philippines. He discussed IRRIs collaborative plan with the Philippine Department of Agriculture to look for ways to meet the future rice needs of the country. He also explained the problem of water scarcity. He stressed that technology adoption by farmers is slow because, unlike other industries, in agriculture, one has to deal with millions of poor farmers who are not well-connected to market information systems, so it takes a long time for technology to get seen and accepted by farmers.

TeamEDITORIAL AND PRODUCTION TEAMIRRC: Trina Leah Mendoza, Grant Singleton, Lorelei de la Cruz, Jennifer Hernandez CPS: Tess Rola, Bill Hardy, Juan Lazaro IV CONTRIBUTING AUTHORS: Martin Gummert, Roland Buresh, Mirasol Pampolino, Rica Joy Flor, Carlito Balingbing14

The book Philippine Rats: Ecology and Management was released in early July. This book features current knowledge of Philippine rodents, their ecology, systematics, diseases, and management. It covers a wide array of topics from the historical perspective of the development of rodent pest management from 1968 to 1988 to biology and management in complex agroecosystems, ecology of pest and native rodent species, and their impacts on farming communities. For more details, email Dr. Grant Singleton at

Ripple July-September 2008

Rice production and postharvest training course kicks off


ith the leadership of the International Rice Research Institute (IRRI) East and Southern Africa ofce, the IRRI Training Center collaborated with the Postharvest Unit in facilitating a 3-week training course on rice production and postharvest to IRRIInternational Fund for Agriculture and Development (IRRI-IFAD) project staff which started on 23 June at the IRRI campus. At least 17 participants from various countries in Africa (e.g., Burundi, Kenya,

Mozambique, Rwanda, Tanzania, and Uganda), enrolled in the course as part of the IRRI-IFAD project, along with one nongovernment worker from Hongkong, a high school senior student from the United States, and 7 IRRI staff. The rst week dealt more on rice production aspects from land preparation to crop establishment, rice diseases, and nutrient management. Topics on rice environment, rice morphology, breeding, seed production, weed management, and water-saving technolo-

gies were also tackled. The second part covered the postharvest side, which exposed the participants to the different processes involved in rice postproductione.g., harvesting, drying, storage, rice milling, and maintaining rice quality. The participants got their feet and hands muddy and dusty when they did practical exercises about the various processes involved in the production of this major staple. They also confronted the gender issues in agricultural research and development, rice supply and demand

implications on research, and learned about the rice and cereal knowledge banks. A project proposal that captures some major issues gleaned from the training was the main output of the participants, according to Dr. Achim Dobermann, IRRIs deputy director general for research. The African participants project proposal will be used to seek funds from donors.Carlito Balingbing

e-learning module on water-saving technologies in the works

This e-learning module will be a major element that will contribute to rice self-sufciency of the Philippines, says Dr. Bas Bouman during the 27 June meeting of partners of the Irrigated Rice Research Consortium (IRRC) WaterSaving Work Group. A total of 24 participants from the International Rice Research Institute (IRRI), Department of Agriculture (DA) institutions, PCARRD, and state universities and colleges gathered at IRRI to discuss the development of a computer-based training program on water-saving technologies. The need for a training module cropped up during a water-saving workshop at IRRI on 26-28 March. (See pages 3-4 for details.) One of the issues raised then was how to sustain capacity building for effective delivery of information to stakeholders. Over the past 5 years, we have been beset with increasing demands for water-saving training as more people

in the Philippines but in Southeast Asia as well. This e-learning module can be used to strengthen people who have already been exposed to these technologies and it will serve as a resource for them to MAKING IT CLICK: Bas Bouman of IRRC classies the target audiences for the train other people in computer-based training module being their districts, says developed. Dr. Singleton. The module can be placed recognized the need to save online, in computer kiosks in water due to the declining wa- provinces and villages, and ter for rice production, says used as a supplementary tool Dr. Ruben Lampayan, Work during training workshops. Group leader. To deal with During the rst planning this training bottleneck, we meeting, participants de ned plan to enhance our extension the target users, content, materials and develop e-learn- course structure, and support materials for the training ing tutorials that can easily be module. Policymakers, trainfollowed and understood by ers (academe, DA institupotential users. The group tions, local government units, aims to nish the module by nongovernment organizaend of this year and have it tions), farmers, and students tested early next year, at the start of IRRCs Phase 4. were identied as the target Dr. Grant Singleton, users of the module. The conIRRC coordinator, emphatent will come mainly from the IRRI book Water mansized that this e-learning agement in irrigated rice: module will be used not only

coping with water scarcity, written by Dr. Bouman, Dr. Lampayan, and Dr. TP Tuong. Topics will include rice and water interaction, plant-soil water system, technologies for coping with water scarcity, ecosystem services and the environment, and irrigation systems. Alternate wetting and drying, a water-saving practice that allows farmers to harvest the same yields using 1530% less water, will be the main technology to be promoted in the module. IRRI and partner institutions will contribute electronic copies of posters, brochures, scientic literature, ipcharts, video clips, and other information materials as added references. A technical working group was formed to spearhead the development of the module with technical assistance from the Mindanao eLearning Space (MiSpace) of the University of Southeastern Philippines in Davao.Story and photo by Trina Mendoza

Upcoming events(July-December 2008)

Workshops and conferencesResearch to Impact: Case Studies for Natural Resources Management of Irrigated Rice in Asia, PhilRice, Nueva Ecija, Philippines, 23-24 September. Productivity and Sustainability Work Group Orientation/training on Nutrient Manager decision support system and eld visit in Bohol, Philippines, 14-16 July. Visit to Vietnam for the Development of Nutrient Manager decision support system, July. Visit to India and Bangladesh for follow-up on development of Nutrient Manager decision support systems, August. Postproduction Work Group Training course on rice production and postharvest for IRRI-IFAD project staff, IRRI, Philippines, June-July. Economic impact assessment survey in Nam Dinh Province, 11-21 July, and Long An Province, Vietnam, 22 July-1 August. Water-Saving Work Group Meetings on implementing guidelines for adoption of water-saving technology for rice in the Philippines, BSWM, Quezon City, Philippines. 11 July-Brainstorming and presentation to the IRRC Water-Saving Work Group for comments 18 July-Presentation to NIA, BSWM, PhilRice, IRRI, DA-FOS, and ATI 25 July-Presentation of edited and corrected draft to the DA legal ofce 1 August-Presentation to DA secretary and other DA of-

cials and agencies; scheduling of public consultation 1, 4, 11, 18 Sep-Public consultations. Luzon Cluster 1 (PhilRice UPRIIS) and 2 (Laguna or Quezon), Visayas Iloilo, Mindanao Davao City. 17 October-Newspaper publication 15 November-Issuance and printing of administrative order

Credits: The authors kindly provided pictures for their articles. Copyright for pictures belongs to the authors. Please direct further correspondence, comments, and contributions to Dr. Grant Singleton IRRC Coordinator International Rice Research Institute DAPO Box 7777 Metro Manila, Philippines E-mail: This newsletter presents the personal views of individual authors and not necessarily those of IRRI, SDC, or collaborating organizations in the IRRC. Copyright IRRI 2008

Field visit and conduct of Integrated Field Water Management Training Course in Laos, August. Presentation of keynote paper on System for Tropical and Temperate aerobic rice in the International Forum on Water and Food, Ethiopia, November 2008.

PublicationsInternational journalsBijay-Singh, Shan YH, JohnsonBeebout SE, YadvinderSingh, Buresh RJ. 2008. Crop residue management for lowland rice-based cropping systems in Asia. Adv. Agron. 98: 117-199. Chauhan BS, Johnson DE. 2008. Germination ecology of two troublesome Asteraceae species of rainfed rice: Sam weed (Chromolaena odorata) and coat buttons (Tridax procumbens). Weed Sci. 56(4): 567-573. Chauhan BS, Johnson DE. 2008. Seed germination and seedling emergence of giant sensitiveplant (Mimosa invisa). Weed Sci. 56(2): 244-248. Chauhan BS, Johnson DE. 2008. Inuence of environmental factors on seed germination and seedling emergence of eclipta (Eclipta prostrata) in a tropical environment. Weed Sci. 56(3): 383-388.

Pampolino MF, Laureles EV, Gines HC, Buresh RJ. 2008. Soil carbon and nitrogen changes in long-term continuous lowland rice cropping. Soil Sci. Soc. Am. J. 72: 798-807. Rachmat R, Sudaryono et al. 2008. Field application of modied low cost dryers for rice seed dryinga case study in West Java and Central Java, Indonesia. AMA 39(1): 46-48. Satish K. Kedia and Florencia G. Palis. 2008. Health Effects of Pesticide Exposure among Filipino Rice Farmers. Appl. Anthropol.28: 40-59. Singleton GR, Brown, PR, Jacob J, Aplin KP, Sudarmaji. 2007. Unwanted and unintended effects of culling: A case for ecologically-based

rodent management. Integr. Zool. 2: 247-259.

BookSingleton GR, Joshi RC, Sebastian LS (eds). 2008. Philippine rats: ecology and management. Science City of Muoz, Nueva Ecija: Philippine Rice Research Institute.

Book chaptersBuresh RJ, Reddy KR, van Kessel C. 2008. Nitrogen transformations in submerged soils. In: Schepers JS, Raun WR (eds). Nitrogen in agricultural soils. Agronomy Monograph 49. Madison, WI. ASA, CSSA, and SSSA. p 401-436.