Realizing Africas rice promise


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Research Focus

This factor rima is now considered very difficult to pound prevails among upland farmers in Guinea. Nuijten, Another example of how social Another important reason in The Gambia, Guinea change and access to labour can impact on vari- and Guinea-Bissau is bird scaring. If varieties etal choice may be given from mangrove-rice differ in crop duration, the crops mature over a farming in southern Guinea-Bissau.


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Farmers who sow their rice much sively grown varieties because of their high earlier or sow earlier-maturing varieties, run the productivity and good cooking and eating char- risk of a complete failure due to birds, if they acteristics. Social change after independence led cannot organize proper bird scaring. This implies to a reduction in their cultivation due to the dif- that if farmers want to adopt a new variety with ficulty of finding youth labour-groups willing to a shorter duration, farmers will need to test this do the intensive threshing required for these variety simultaneously as a group, to avoid the varieties Temudo, Since a pattern in which a single farmer will test a the s, farmers have been adopting cashew variety, and then give it to neighbours or family Anacardium occidentale as a cash crop, reducing members for further testing.

Some farmers with large cashew ing villages. But for some traits, like crop cycle orchards stopped rice production altogether, duration, a different way of testing varieties is other farmers reduced their portfolio, while yet required, and a critical mass of farmers involved others began to prefer more tasty varieties. Where poor-tasting rice with very tasty varieties to slow adoption of better varieties requires changes in consumption of stock.

Instead, a group innovation approach are conceived in relation to the diversity of avail- is required. In communities where Nuijten, Substantial adoption said for yield Nuijten, In the past, Gambian farmers pre- increasing the food intake either by the con- ferred varieties that matured within the rainy sumption of more rice, and therefore larger season in order to have as long a growing season fields for which more labour would be needed, or as possible.

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With increasingly erratic rainfall, through diversification of the diet, for which a many farmers now prefer early varieties, larger range of crops would need to be cultivated although they do not want varieties that mature with consequent re-organization of tasks and too early Nuijten, , Farmers in a the labour calendar and related rules and rights. In various West African soci- intensive bird scaring Nuijten, unpublished eties, it is important to be able to offer strangers observations, — In the past they food at any time of the day, or to keep the food till grew these early varieties next to varieties with a the next morning and eat it as breakfast.

These longer crop cycle duration in the uplands, but aspects need to be evaluated as part of any rice were able to do so because children did the bird innovation strategy. Taste duration in the uplands, so they can do bird scar- is determined by social dynamics, but is also to ing and harvesting at the same time.

Agriculture Minister from Sierra Leone : Panel discussion on the rice sector in sub-Saharan Africa

For farmers to adopt a new any disadvantage for its cultivation. Over time, it variety for its yield, this new variety needs to per- may or may not be adopted by other farmers. Farmers ing to circumstances. A good illustration is the do not use multiple replications or advanced positive evaluation given to certain rices with a statistical analysis , but only single ones, which poor taste by farmers in southern Guinea-Bissau implies the yield difference needs to be substan- that might elsewhere be rejected because of this tial for a farmer to appreciate it enough to adopt poor taste.

The lack of attractive taste is deemed the new variety. Famers may also test the new to slow down consumption, and so prevents eat- varieties in the worst part of their plots, and if ing more than necessary in times of food short- they perform well there, then they feel they are age, such as during the pre-harvest season sure to get good productivity and yield stability Temudo, Equally, farmers in Guinea and elsewhere Richards, ; Temudo, The may play a role when many new varieties are initial slow growth phase may be slower or introduced simultaneously in a community.

In faster, and the steepness of the middle part of the such a case the adopted variety may not be the curve may also vary. Thus, knowing about moderate or low uptake. Explanation of what these networks and how they are constituted — works, where and why, can be quite hard or e. Farmers need to choose varie- ties that do well in the field, even though those varieties do not meet all their preference require- ments Nuijten, For example, Gambian Discussion rice farmers prefer tall rice varieties, but if only short varieties are available with the right crop The implication of the factors described above is cycle duration, they will work with short varie- that a better understanding of the interactions ties.

It farmer and modern have small grains. In short, may also facilitate the distribution of farmer not all preferences count with the same weight. Farmer varieties are often con- grained rice will do better among Gambian sidered to be adapted to the local context, farmers than a rival short, small-grained variety, whereas modern varieties are developed for wide but cannot indicate whether the tall, bold- adaptation.

Research comparing farmer varieties of This implies that adoption curves of new African and Asian rice in trials in Guinea-Bissau, varieties are likely to differ depending on par- Guinea, Sierra Leone, Ghana and Togo, shows ticular traits of those varieties in relation to the that many farmer varieties are widely adaptable farming system and the wider socio-cultural and in agroecological terms Mokuwa et al.

Some farmer varieties are with different traits. Similarly, socio-cultural adapted to both the agroecological and the and economic conditions may reduce or enlarge socio-cultural contexts. An example is a variety the number of desirable varieties, and may nar- collected in Guinea-Bissau, called Untufa and row or enlarge the variation in traits considera- belonging to a new interspecific rice type identi- bly, for reasons as diverse as ethnic and religious fied by Nuijten et al.

Teeken et al. In our examples we focused As a result, the uptake of the same new on rice varieties. For other technologies, for technology a variety may show different pat- example sowing and harvesting tools, or fallow terns in different farming systems due to the dif- management and postharvest management ferent agroecological and socio-cultural contexts: practices, the same dynamics are also likely to the S-curve describing the uptake of a single emerge when studied.

Some practices may fit technology may be quite variable in gradient various agroecological contexts, but not the according to local variations in the configuration socio-cultural contexts. The disadvantage of the technology-by-society interaction, or vice versa. Researchers there is little or no interaction or be limited to a working on participatory plant breeding PPB few localities because there is strong technology- have suggested that the environment should by-environment-by-society interaction. To systematically compare developed technologies across the region and to and integrate technological, agroecological, assess whether they are plastic i.

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If they show potential they societies in terms of social dynamics and deserve region-wide dissemination. The examples action e. The idea is not to generate a single data set mechanism, or behind which there is no par- of biological and sociological data, but to gener- ticular intentionality other than farmer per- ate data sets in such a way that a range of formance see Richards, ; Batterbury, hypotheses in relation to the actual functioning Richards , calls the of a particular mechanism within a certain con- process of adjusting the farming decisions to text can be validated.

The nature of these factors depends on the research question. The factor e is often At this stage, there is insufficient data available considered unimportant in natural-science for a systems approach for rice farming in West research, but in our view it is very important: it Africa. It is also argued that a disadvantage of a not only stands for random noise that is too systems approach as currently practised is that it complex to explain, but also for contexts that largely ignores power issues inequality, gender, at some point in time may yield interesting age, etc.

In this chapter we have provided some specific background Nuijten et al. We need more examples relat- Mokuwa et al. For a systematic integra- ing to other technologies, such as soil and water tion of the various social and biological research management, and the control of pests and dis- methods, including qualitative and quantita- eases. The local farming system needs to be tive research methods Fig. Jansen and Vellema, can be used as a A comparison between sub-Saharan framework.

Technography the description and Africa and Asia may provide some useful analysis of technological activity as a systemati- insights in terms of technology development cally related set of material and sociological pro- and adoption at a macro level. For example, in China material and sociological nature. Social facts are the state plays a dominant role in technology real but not necessarily material in constitution.

Qualitative data A. Four basic research styles in the natural and social sciences, and humanities. After Nuijten, , with permission from Elsevier. In India, landscape exogenous context , the socio- many NGOs are involved in the promotion of technical regime the dominant practice and new technologies, such as the System of Rice niche innovations other practices. However, technical regime is shaped by technology, cul- in sub-Saharan Africa the role of the state in ture, science, industry, market and policy, and agricultural and rural development has adopts innovations developed in niches under declined drastically since the mids, and certain conditions Geels and Schot, NGOs in West Africa have taken up related to the wider context and to niche inno- agricultural development only to a limited vations.

The multi-level perspective may be use- extent, often only for limited periods of time, and ful for illuminating strengths and weaknesses their agendas are influenced by the priorities of of various participatory approaches, and may international donors.

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Measurement of Rice Grain Dimensions and Chalkiness, and Rice Grain Elongation Using Image Analysis

This sometimes results in possibly explain the relative lack of success of contrary efforts, such as in The Gambia where some of them. For example, several case studies some NGOs promoted tree planting in vegetable on participatory approaches and farmer field gardens developed earlier by other NGOs school approaches in East Africa show that Schroeder, More information is needed often the old extension approaches were con- to better understand the differences in institu- tinued using new labels Isubikalu, ; tions and social contexts between Asia and Kamau, However, a difficulty of the sub-Saharan Africa.

Geels and Schot, may be a useful way of The multi-level perspective agrees with explaining the importance of technographic the idea that a broad base is needed for tech- methodology to technical scientists.


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  7. In Fig. Multi-level perspective. Adapted from Geels and Schot, However, scientists ; Mokuwa et al. With more studies and farmers use different modes of communi- of this kind, the multi-level perspective may cation.

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    Almekinders et al. The trials can have different formats, differing in number of treatments and management, and still be suitable for advanced statistical Acknowledgement analysis Mutsaers et al. Research has shown that farmers can Figure Nuijten, et al. Notes 1 At this stage, the framework cannot be used for sophisticated statistical analysis, but its advantage is that it can be used as an analytical framework to better understand how the technical, environmental and societal interact. References Almekinders, C. Euphytica , — Almekinders, C. Wageningen Academic Publishers, Wageningen, Netherlands.

    Batterbury, S. Reflections on indigenous dryland farming in northern Burkina Faso. Agriculture and Human Values 13, 12— Bentley, J. Human Organization 69, 29— Binswanger, H. Journal of International Development 1, 45— Ceccarelli, S. Dalton, T. Agricultural Economics 31, — Desclaux, D. Environment interactions to fit agriculture diversification and decentralized participatory plant breeding: pluridisciplinary point of view.

    Dorward, P. Efisue, A. Journal of Agronomy and Crop Science , — Geels, F. Research Policy 36, — Glover, D.

    Food Policy 36, — Gridley, H. In: Witcombe, J. Isubikalu, P. Jansen, K. Sociologica Ruralis 49, — Much of that land is deficient in one or more essential nutrients Haefele et al. While deficiencies of both macronutrients such as nitrogen N , phosphorus P , potassium K , and calcium Ca , and micronutrients including zinc Zn , boron B , copper Cu , and molybdenum Mo , can constrain rice growth in specific soils and environments Ismail et al. Since the onset of the Green Revolution, such deficiencies have been addressed by fertilizer application in combination with the use of high-yielding modern varieties HYMVs that respond far better to fertilizer than traditional varieties Khush, While the phenomenal success of the Green Revolution in providing food security is undeniable, the reliance on fertilizer inputs has caused environmental problems, including increased eutrophication of waterways due to erosion of P-rich sediments, and deposition of N, into watercourses Carpenter et al.

    The nutrient issues arise primarily because of the poor crop recovery of N, P, or Zn fertilizers due to soil fixation P, Zn or gaseous losses lowland crops and leaching upland crops in the case of N Fageria and Barbosa Filho, ; Linquist et al. While N 2 losses are not problematic in terms of environmental damage, deposition of NH 3 in later rain events can lead to higher N concentrations in watercourses, with subsequent eutrophication issues Carpenter et al.

    A second issue related to fertilizers is cost and access. Poor transportation infrastructure in more remote inland regions adds a considerable cost to fertilizers; this is particularly evident in Africa, where local fertilizer prices can be twice as high as world market prices Otsuka and Kalirajan, This erodes farming profits and effectively denies access to fertilizers to many resource-poor farmers Ismail et al. Further increases in the cost of fertilizers are likely because the source of most P fertilizers—rock phosphate—is a non-renewable resource, and the price of N fertilizers tends to increase concurrently with the price of oil Cordell et al.

    Realizing Africas rice promise Realizing Africas rice promise
    Realizing Africas rice promise Realizing Africas rice promise
    Realizing Africas rice promise Realizing Africas rice promise
    Realizing Africas rice promise Realizing Africas rice promise
    Realizing Africas rice promise Realizing Africas rice promise
    Realizing Africas rice promise Realizing Africas rice promise

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