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More rice with less water in Southeast Asia

Reisfeld

Since 1997 SDC has been funding a regional partnership program among 11 rice-growing countries in South and Southeast Asia: The International Rice Research Institute (IRRI) based in the Philippines. This partnership program has helped to improve each country’s irrigated rice production by developing and testing rice-growing technologies and crop-management approaches in farmers’ fields. The focus is on the more efficient use of resources such as land, labour, water and fertilizer with the aim of increasing yields in a sustainable, environmentally friendly manner.

An innovative approach
Concrete innovations are being adopted by thousands of farmers across Asia:

  • Alternate wetting and drying: a water-saving practice which allows farmers to harvest the same yields using 15-30% less water. If this practice is applied across Asia the amount of water saved would represent as much as 200 times the water consumption of the city of Paris.
  • Direct seeding of rice allows rice to mature 10-15 days earlier hence allowing farmers to sow other crops earlier and increasing their flexibility to respond to irregular rainfalls.
  • Post-harvest technologies, such as better driers, improve the quality of milled rice by 12-40% compared to sun-dried rice.

Additional Information and Documents