Try nutrient manager for rice

Farmers often use fertilizer inefficiently because the amount of nutrients applied does not match those required by the crop. Fertilizers are expensive and when these are wasted because of a mismatch, farmers’ profit is reduced and the health of the environment is endangered. 

To help farmers cut fertilizer  expenses by half, extension workers in three regions in the Philippines are learning to use Nutrient Manager for Rice (NMRice). It is a computer-based decision support tool featuring fertilizer recommendations based on farmers’ field conditions, varieties, and current practices.  Farmers can access NMRice through mobile phone-based application when they need science-based fertilizer advice that matches their particular farming conditions. 

Sweat to sweet success: 85 new stress-tolerant rice varieties released after years of scientific work

Sweat to sweet success: 85 new stress-tolerant rice varieties released after years of scientific work
The last 4 years of research and development work of CURE under IFAD support, from laboratories to farmers’ fields, have flown swiftly, but this was not accomplished at a flick of a finger. Sweat, tears, and countless hours of labor have been invested in order to come up with stress-tolerant rice varieties.

In the next years to come, Asia in particular will become more vulnerable to drought, flooding, and other extreme climate pattern changes. The challenge to Asian governments is in creating and implementing policies and institutional structures that will embed and strengthen the process of climate-proofing of basic amenities, a crucial factor in ensuring society’s survival when extreme climate changes occur in unpredictable magnitude.

CURE, with its research breakthroughs on climate-ready rice, gives farmers much hope as it pursued its major goal of raising rice productivity in fragile ecosystems.

Sweat to sweet success unfolds 4 years of dedicated work on climate-proofing of rice in drought, flooded, salty, and upland soils-enabling the rice crop to be productive amidst adverse weather and soil conditions. Continue reading >>

Rapid value chain assessment for the Heirloom Rice project

Rapid value chain assessment for the Heirloom Rice project
Besides cool weather, more than 300 heirloom rice varieties thrive in the Cordilleras, according to farmers who have been maintaining the diversity of rice to preserve treasured culture and tradition. Some of these varieties are now in demand in both local and international markets. 

From September 22-30, 2014, the socioeconomics team of the heirloom rice project led by Dr. Digna Manzanilla and Dr. Matty Demont conducted a rapid value chain assessment in the Cordillera region.  This assessment was done, particularly in the provinces of Benguet, Mt. Province, Ifugao, and Kalinga. Continue reading >>

This lady has a magic touch

Dr. Nguyen Thi Lang
Not with a fleeting touch of a magic wand but with an enduring touch of genetic modification, this lady, Prof. Dr. Nguyen Thi Lang,
has successfully ‘empowered’ rice plants to stay alive in salty soils. This feat was achieved through 10 years of hard work, in tandem with
her husband, Prof. Bui Chi Buu, also a well-known-scientist. Continue reading >>

CURE family welcomes the new leader of the drought project, Yoichiro

CURE family welcomes the new leader of the drought project, Yoichiro
A brilliant young scientist, Yoichiro Kato, or Yoichi among his peers, is a welcome addition to the CURE family at the International Rice Research Institute. As the new Leader for the drought project, Yoichi brings into CURE a wealth of field experience that is sure to enrich the pool of experts working in unfavorable rice areas. 
A prolific writer, he has published more than 20 papers in refereed journals. These papers document his research work on rice genotypes, physiology, crop management, and themes related to drought, flood, and saline areas.  Continue reading >>

New CURE coordinator, Digna Manzanilla

Digna Manzanilla
She’s good at creating spaces for people to share ideas, chart new routes, and mark milestones. She is also equally adept at orchestrating events in multicultural settings. Digna Manzanilla takes the baton from former CURE coordinator David Johnson and leads the second phase of IFAD funding support for the Consortium (2014-17). Before taking on this huge responsibility, Digna served as CURE associate coordinator from 2010 to 2013. Continue reading >>

Busting blast through breeding: meet Mukund Variar

Mukund Variar
Blast caused by a fungus infects rice and causes more severe damage to upland rice compared with irrigated rice. When blast infects rice, future gains disappear like smoke in the air. Farmers worry about ways to recoup their lost investment.

Blast-busting is Mukund’s cup of tea. He has spent most of his research career developing, testing, and validating the performance of blast-resistant upland rice lines/varieties. Plant pathologist, breeder, organizer–these three features best describe our CURE site coordinator from eastern India, Mukund Variar. Continue reading >>

CURE honors one of its strong supporters: Ganesh Thapa

Ganesh Thapa
Winner of the prestigious Ramon Magsaysay Award, often considered Asia’s Nobel Prize, Ganesh Thapa is best recognized for his work favoring the small farmers’ plight to achieve food and income security in Asia and the Pacific region. For CURE in particular, Dr. Thapa has been instrumental in furthering its advocacy on rural poverty reduction in unfavorable areas of Asia and the Pacific region. Continue reading >>

Gelia Castillo encourages CURE to give priority to heirloom rice

Gelia Castillo
On December 9, 2013, the CURE coordinating unit convened a brainstorming workshop to review overall accomplishments of CURE and chart new directions and strategies for CURE Phase 2. Participants agreed that more focus be given to crop management, particularly nutrients and decision support for site-specific recommendations. In addition, Dr. Gelia Castillo, CURE consultant, expounded on how CURE could make a difference in farmers’ lives through heirloom rice. Below is her message during the workshop. Continue reading >>

Government’s Department of Agriculture in Meghalaya, northeastern India, adopts a seed village program

High purity and healthy seeds produced by Ms. Nebida Sohtun
The Sanskrit word Meghalaya means “abode of clouds.” It is the name of a northeastern Indian state whose socioeconomic system might seem Utopian to some at first glance. The Khasi people, who make up the largest ethnic group in the state, live in a matrilineal society where wealth is passed on from mother to daughter. In this part of the world, women are the ones who own land and property.  Continue reading >>

Computer-based technology for impact

Computer-based technology for impact
Some of these farmers are 70 years old or older. They are not the typical computer-savvy people whom you get to  meet everyday. They have never been trained in using computer keyboards, mouse, and all. In fact, their fingers are  more at home with touching the rough surfaces of their plows and removing the mud that many times gets stuck on  their trousers, rather than ticking those computer keys. Yet, for all their lack of computer literacy, they still  are thirsting, they still are willing to go high tech to learn new farming technologies.

Old age, lack of computer skills, and the like. How does one beat these odds? How can we best share computer-based  technology for impact? The technology for sharing: the Nutrient Manager for RiceContinue reading >>

Equipping extension workers in promoting community-based seed system (CBSS) among rice farmers

Practice to identify virus and bacterial disease at Fitopathology's laboratory
Addressing farmers’ seed needs and concerns is the priority of the Indonesian government. It has formalized the rice seed production system across the archipelago. The established system involves formal (government, research centers, private and public sectors) and non-formal (rice growers, farmers) institutions. In selected areas, interventions such as government subsidy were implemented. In the process, various issues have risen, mostly on proper timing of planting and the use of rice varieties. 
Continue reading >>

Boosting up upland rice harvest in Northeast India

Farmers interacting with scientists at MARD project site
When the barn is full, farmers rejoice; when it is empty, they worry…
Think of two scenes: barns that are filled with rice grains versus barns that are empty. How do we fill up empty barns? At the Regional Agricultural Research Station (RARS) in Diphu, Assam and at the Indian Council Agricultural Research (ICAR), in Borapani, Meghalaya, varieties are continuously being developed and validated by scientists with the purpose of filling up empty rice barns. Continue reading >>

IR83377-B-B-93-3: a potential rice genotype with drought tolerance for upland of Nepal

IR83377-B-B-93-3 under irrigated in PVS trial at CURE site, Patu of Mhottari district
In Nepal, the present rice production is not sufficient to meet  demand as 30% of the total rice area is prone to drought. To augment rice production, Nepal researchers are developing selected breeding lines depeloped from crosses of drought-tolerant donors with high-yielding varieties from IRRI. The research goal is to identify superior genotypes through CURE project under direct seeding in upland conditions. Continue reading >>

Increasing rice farmers' incomes in flood-prone areas of Myanmar

Increasing rice farmers' incomes in flood-prone areas of Myanmar
In August 2012, the worst flooding in years hit Myanmar, submerging 240,000 ha of rice fields and making about 85,000 people flee from their homes. Flooding has been a yearly occurrence in Myanmar and has robbed farmers of their income and food sustenance. There are two types of flooded areas in Myanmar: the  submergence areas (caused by flash floods from rivers) and the deepwater areas (caused by stagnant water resulting from heavy rain).  Continue reading >>

Thailand's best deepwater rice variety

Dessert with RD45 ingredient
This rice variety, RD45, stays alive in deep water for 2 to 3 months and comes out with its aroma still intact..., great for desserts! Continue reading >>

Heirloom rice: recovering a vanishing treasure

Heirloom rice
Heirloom rice varieties come in grains of astonishing colors: brown, black, pink, purple, and pearly white; fragrant, nutty in taste, high in fiber; healthy to eat; a gourmet’s delight. Yet for all their captivating look and taste, they thrive in the most fragile places, on mountain tops, where dew, rain, and air are their only means of sustenance. 
Continue reading >>

How much salt can rice plants take and still live?

How much salt can rice plants take and still live?
Salt, 6 grams of it a day, enables us to function normally; a dose more than this on a daily basis would cause our kidneys to fail.  Fortunately, we can flush this extra salt out of our system by drinking lots of water. Unfortunately, rice plants cannot get rid of extra salt the way we do. And those near coastal areas, where seawater tides overflow onto the fields; or those in inland areas where soluble salts in river streams or canals intrude into rice paddies are at high risk. Continue reading >>

Farmers reduce hunger months by at least 50% with new climate-ready rice

In Bangladesh, farmers who adopted BRRI dhan 47, a salinity-tolerant variety reduced their  “hungry period” from 6 to 2 months. Likewise, the farmers in Arakan Valley, Philippines who planted improved variety UPLRi-5 and adopted a suite of improved seed health management and other best practices had reduced their hungry months from 6-8  to 3. Continue reading >>

CURE Matters Vol. 6 No. 1

As we continue to share with you the results of our work, we present what we have garnered over the past year: stories on technology generation and development, on farmers who have gained a new source of pride (by using our high-yielding stress-tolerant varieties), and on partnerships we have nurtured during the 15 years that we’ve been here.

Past issues

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