Can a hungry African country flip rice technology into ‘white gold’?

BAGUINEDA: once rice farmers started manufacturing yields ninefold larger than traditional within the Malian desert close to the known city of Timbuktu a decade past, a footer may have mistaken the crop for one more desert mirage.
Rather, it had been the results of AN engineering accomplishment that has left specialists during this impoverished nation in awe — however one that has however to unfold wide through Mali’s farming community.
“We should redouble efforts to urge political leaders on board,” same Djiguiba Kouyaté, a arranger in African country for German development agency GIZ.
With hunger a relentless menace, Malians area unit cautiously turning to a debatable farming technique to adapt to the results of global climate change.
Dubbed the System of Rice Intensification (SRI), the new technique was pioneered in Madagascar in 1983. It involves planting fewer seeds of ancient rice varieties and taking care of them following a strict regime.
Seedlings area unit transplanted at a really young age and spaced wide. Soil is enriched with organic matter, and should be unbroken damp, although the system uses less water than ancient rice farming.
Up to twenty million farmers currently use SRI in sixty one countries, together with in near Republic of Sierra Leone, African country and Ivory Coast, same Norman Uphoff, of the SRI International Network and Resources Center at Cornell University within the United States of America.
But, despite its success, the technique has been embraced with variable degrees of enthusiasm. Uphoff same that’s as a result of it competes with the improved hybrid and inbred rice varieties that agricultural companies sell.
For Faliry Boly, UN agency heads a rice-growing association, the prospect of rice turning into a “white gold” for African country ought to spur on authorities and farmers to adopt rice intensification.
The method may increase yields whereas conjointly providing a a lot of environmentally-friendly different, together with by replacement chemical fertilizers with organic ones, he said.
He conjointly noticed that rice intensification naturally lends itself to Mali’s mostly arid climate.(FA9NEWS)

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