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Upland rice ecosystems

Despite the austerity of upland resources, a striking contrast in terms of acts of generosity abounds. Read this snippet regarding sharing from one kind farmer passing seeds onto other farmers.

The mountains of continental Southeast Asia and the Himalayan foothills are home to economically and marginalized ethnic groups who depend on upland rice for subsistence.Population pressures and land shortages have reduced the fallow periods for soil recovery in upland fields. Although remote, these communities are gradually being integrated into markets due to road development. Food security, cash income, and environmental quality are key issues for farm households.

Commercially oriented permanent cultivation systems prevail in upland areas of Southeast Asia, which are characterized by favorable climate and integration into the market economy. Increasing the efficiency of agricultural inputs and reducing negative environmental effects are important. Seed health, disease resistance, improved weed management, and access to good-quality seeds are major issues.

Sowing seeds of hope for the uplands. In a span of 4 years, CURE and its NARES partners have accomplished the following: 

  • Screened 22 new elite lines of different duration for drought and pest/disease tolerances. 
  • Put in place demonstration areas showcasing yield increases through the selection of stress- tolerant traditional varieties from landraces (in Laos and in the Philippines, etc.) and crosses between traditional and improved varieties for yield and grain quality. 
  • Obtained yield gains (1−2 t/ha) from farmer adoption of improved aerobic germplasm for uplands. 
  • Came up with better management of pests (e.g.,gallmidge in Laos) and diseases (blast in the Philippines, Vietnam, and Indonesia) through improved germplasm and suitable interrow planting. 
  • Tested options for suitable crop rotations with rice, for example,involving leguminous crops, for better weed control and nutrient management conferring additional benefit to farmers. 
  • Propagated the community seed bank system (CBSS) as a modality for preserving traditional varieties and introducing improved management technologies. 
  • The project work has contributed to the release of new upland rice variety Katihan 1 in the Philippines and Inpago 4, Inpago 5, and Inpago 6 in Indonesia with potential for higher productivity.

Upland varieties released. A total of nine upland varieties were released: seven from Indonesia, one from Myanmar, and one from the Philippines.

Upland rice varieties released from 2010 to 2013.
 Country Name of variety Year released
 Indonesia Inpago 9 2012
  Inpari 28 (Kerinci) 2012
  Inpago 7  2011
  Inpago 8  2011
  Inpago 4  2010
  Inpago 5  2010
  Inpago 6  2010
 Myanmar Yeanelo-2  2013
 Philippines NSIC Rc23 (Katihan 1) 2011

Performance evaluation by partners in several countries found many high- yielding rice varieties/lines.

[List of stress-tolerant varieties]

Countries. Philippines, Indonesia, Nepal, Lao PDR, and Vietnam.