“Major Research on Upland Rice”
By Mar B. Arcega
The International Rice Research Institute (IRRI) recently published a 255 page report entitled Major Research on Upland Rice. It summarizes the results of IRRI research on upland rice between 1962 and 1973, and agriculturist should find it a valuable reference material.
Upland rice refers to rice grown on both flat and sloping fields that are not bounded (without embankment to control the flow of water), prepared and seeded under dry conditions, and dependent on rainfall for moisture.
“Upland rice is grown on three continents, mostly by small or subsistence farmers in the poorest regions of the world,” IRRI scientists say. “Yields are generally low: from 0.5 to 1.5 tons per hectare in Asia; about 0.5 ton per hectare in Africa; and from one to four tons per hectare in Latin America.”
The area planted to upland rice is so large (nearly a sixth of the world’s total rice land) that even a small increase in yield would substantially influence total rice production. In the Philippines, the Bureau of Agricultural Economics estimates that roughly 366,200 hectares—about 11 percent of the total rice area – were planted to upland rice in 1972.
Scientists say much of the future expansion of the world’s rice land will probably be in the uplands because most land suited to irrigated paddy culture is already planted to lowland rice.
High yields under upland conditions are indeed possible, and yields of seven tons per hectare have been recorded in Philippine experiment stations. Yields in farmer’s fields have remained low because few upland rice farmers know of the new rice technology. This is partly because most research agencies have emphasized irrigated rice research. However, significant research on upland rice has been conducted at experiment stations in Asia, Africa, and Latin America, and at IRRI.
Scientific literature on upland rice is also scarce and scattered. The IRRI report is the first major attempt to put results of research on upland rice in one book. Subjects of the book include upland rice around the world, climates of upland rice, varietal improvement, cultural practices, studies on insect pests, mineral microbial transformations in upland rice soils, and future emphasis on upland rice. IRRI scientists wrote chapters related to their areas of specialization.
Major Research on Upland Rice can be purchased at the office of information services, International Rice Research Institute, P.O. Box 933, Manila, at 10.00 pesos per copy.
Source:greenfields, February 1976