Water-Efficient Production of Rice and Other Cereals: Exploring Alternative Cultivation Methods in a Changing Climate
As the impact of climate change manifests in changing patterns of drought and rainfall; and as the global population rises, scientists and farming communities are focusing on new grain varieties that require less water to grow. One crop that has attracted increasing interest among researchers is rice. About 3 billion people, nearly half the world’s population, depend on rice for survival. In Asia, much of the population consumes rice in every meal. In many countries in the region, rice accounts for more than 70 per cent of human caloric intake.
For other regions, particularly Africa, although the focus to achieve food security might not be rice, it is increasing in popularity at the rate of 6 per cent. Still, there is need to introduce new cereals to areas that have historically not grown them in order to increase communities’ food options. This could be coupled with introduction of technologies that increase efficiency in the use of water. To ensure that production of maize, the main grain staple in the continent, is maintained, the focus will need to be on the improvement of maize-growing techniques to use less water.
The next issue of Baobab will focus on alternative ways of cultivating rice, with special attention on highland rice and the emerging System for Rice Intensification (SRI). We will also feature stories on other grain staples grown on the continent. Of interest also are articles featuring innovative processes that have resulted in adoption of new grain varieties and readiness by affected communities to consume food types they have not traditionally consumed.
We welcome articles on this topic including pictures and suggestions of other people, experts or organisations that can contribute to it. All pictures must be 300 pixel resolution and above and should be in jpeg format. Please write to the Editor FImbali@alin.net by February 15, 2013.