by Vanessa Meadu
In Vietnam, everywhere you look there is food. Before dawn, people haul away huge bags of produce, meat, fish and flowers to later sell on the city streets. On every sidewalk of every town, people are chopping, washing, cooking food. And from morning to night, folks are eating at makeshift pavement restaurants, or grabbing refreshment from a steaming or sizzling mobile stall, perched on the backs of their motorbikes.
This country takes food and agriculture very seriously, and has made incredible progress in the last few decades, going from importing most of its food to becoming a major food exporter, and a leading global rice producer and exporter. In recent years neglected crops like cassava have become major income generators in Vietnam, contributing to poverty alleviation.
Much of this growth is due to government and international investment in Vietnam's small-scale farmers. But climate change is a hazard to this progress. At worst, it threatens millions of people who depend on agriculture, from farmers in the Mekong Delta to consumers in the Philippines and beyond who depend on cheap rice for nutrition. Read more »
by Meryl Richards
Even though rice farmers in Bulacan province in the Philippines are quite concerned about the changing climate, they are even more concerned about water.
Surplus in the irrigation reservoir that provides water for the area has been steadily decreasing over the past 30 years, due to droughts and increasing water demand from the nearby capital of Manila. Since Filipino law prioritizes domestic use over agricultural irrigation use, when allocating water, this sometimes leaves farmers without enough water to irrigate their rice paddies during the dry season.
CCAFS researchers at the International Rice Research Institute (IRRI), have been working together with the Philippine Rice Research Institute (PhilRice), the National Irrigation Administration, and local irrigator’s associations to test a solution that reduces, not only water demand, but also greenhouse gas emissions (GHG) in rice paddies. This can be done through so called alternate wetting and drying (AWD). Read more »
By Alejandra Martins, BBC Mundo, 24 October 2012
When researchers from totally different continents met this year in Uruguay, they were looking to resolve one of the future’s great challenges: How to feed a growing world population that will reach 9 billion people in 2050.
The South American country has achieved rice yields comparable with what would be expected of the most fertile zones of the United States, thanks to a model that could contain vital lessons for other nations. The advance is one of those high-impact innovations that will be discussed at next week’s international summit, the Global Conference on Agricultural Research for Development (GCARD).
“We estimate that in 2035 it will be necessary to produce 116 million tons more of polished or dry rice every year to satisfy global demand,” said Achim Dobermann, the director of the International Rice Institute in the Philippines, to BBC Mundo. The current global production of dry rice (the kind that reaches the consumer) is close to 480 million tons. Dobermann is one of the experts who recently visited plantations of rice in Uruguay, together with representatives from Africa, Asia and other regions. “The advances in this country can offer lessons that could be adapted for other countries. We are looking at Uruguay in that context,” said Dobermann. How has Uruguay achieved its high yields? And to what extent can this strategy serve for other nations as well?
by Sonja Vermeulen
Participatory plant breeding has matured into a dynamic and cost-effective science that provides a pragmatic match between desired crop traits and local climates, soils and socio-economies. But can farmer-led crop breeding deal with the pace and uncertainty of climate change? Absolutely, argues the recent article Institutional and technological innovation: understanding agricultural adaptation to climate change in Nepal by Netra Chhetri, Pashupati Chaudhary, Puspa Raj Tiwari and Ram Baran Yadaw. Read more »
Southeast Asia is often called the world's 'rice bowl', due to the region's important role in the world rice trade. In fact, agriculture is the backbone of most economies in the region. But rapid climate change, which is likely to intensify droughts and floods, could devastate Southeast Asia’s agriculture, threatening the livelihoods of millions of people across the region, not to mention global food security.
National Geographic has picked up on these messages, which we highlighted at last month's conference on Climate Smart Agriculture in Asia: Research and Development Priorities.
National Geographic published an interview with Bruce Campbell (program director for the CGIAR Research Program on Climate Change, Agriculture and Food Security - CCAFS) and Matthew McCartney (from the International Water Management Institute - IWMI) about the expected impact of climate change on the region, and what adaptation strategies will be needed to ensure future food security: Read more »
CCAFS Coordinating Unit - University of Copenhagen, Faculty of Science, Department of Plant and Environmental Sciences, Rolighedsvej 21, DK-1958 Frederiksberg C, Denmark, phone +45 35331046; Email ccafs [at] cgiar [dot] org, EAN 5790000279012
Lead Center - International Center for Tropical Agriculture (CIAT)