Friday, September 23, 2011

Learning to grow Rice

I have neglected this blog since I haven't had the time or energy to keep up on the news in Zimbabwe.

But I will keep posting various news items that have to do with development.

For example, this is from Oryza, a website for the rice industry:

Twenty-five African agriculture extension workers have been training in the Philippines for the duration of the rice season. It's left them with the confidence to help increase the rice yields in their countries two-three times over. The head of the extension group says the group will return home to teach farmers there about technologies and practical experience gained in the Philippines. The participants were given training on the “PalayCheck” and “Palayamanan” systems at PhilRice farms and lecture areas and in six rain-fed areas. PalayCheck is an integrated crop management system for rice while Palayamanan is a diversified rice-based farming system. At least 75 agronomists, researchers and agriculture technicians from 10 more African countries are scheduled to train on rice farming in the Philippines in the next two years, PhilRice officials said. In Uganda, for example, rice farmers yield 1.5-2.5 tons per hectare. With a production area of only 95,000 hectares and increasing demand, Uganda imports an average of 45,000 tons of rice yearly. Most Ugandan farmers are using the New Rice for Africa (Nerica) in favor of traditional varieties that yield lower harvests.

yes, I know: Zimbabwe doesn't have the rain to grow rice...however, with irrigation they could do it.

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