Hybrid rice - necessary?


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The official concern for food productivity stagnation calls for a Second Green Revolution involving new hybrid rice and transgenic rice varieties. However, traditional rice landraces prove to be fine tuned to local soil and climatic conditions. Traditional farmer landraces can yield significantly greater in marginal environmental conditions than any modern hybrid variety. Traditional agoecological knowledge and farmer innovations are the best bet to address the food security issue.

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Hybrid rice - necessary?

  1. 1. 1The Green Revolution:The Green Revolution:Do We Really Need it -- Again?Do We Really Need it -- Again?Debal DebCentre for Interdisciplinary Studies, Barrackporewww.cintdis.org
  2. 2. 2The Ingredients of the GreenThe Ingredients of the GreenRevolutionRevolution1. Irrigation Package (Dams, Canals, Pumps)2. Synthetic Fertilizers (and the “NPKMentality”)3. Insecticides, Herbicides, Fungicides4. Hybrid Seeds
  3. 3. 3The ConsequencesThe Consequences1. Erosion of Folk Crop Genetic Diversity2. Loss of Local Food Cultures3. Corporate control of ALL Materials of Production4. Corporate Hijacking of Food Security… and there has been no exception!
  4. 4. 4Was Cereal Yield IncreaseWas Cereal Yield IncreaseReally Due to “Miracle Seeds”?Really Due to “Miracle Seeds”?The power function relationship of production (P) of rice and wheat with expansion ofcropland area (A). P = c A2+ zwhere z = 1.65 for rice and 0.4 for wheat, and c = 0.0005 forrice and 0.022 for wheat.[Data adopted from GOI 2001]Wheat0204060800 10 20 30Crop Area (million ha)Production(millionMT)Rice02040608010020 30 40 50Crop Area (million ha)Production(millionMT)
  5. 5. 5Regression of Production against % Cropland Under Irrigation.Slope = 3.44 for Rice, 0.99 for WheatCereal Output Growth Due to Irrigation ExtensionCereal Output Growth Due to Irrigation Extension
  6. 6. 6Not only Cereals, but Production of Legumes Have Also Increasedfrom Irrigation Extension
  7. 7. 7Increase in LocalRice VarietiesAlso IncreasedDue to Increase inGrossCrop Area andIrrigation. FolkVarieties’ RoleIn Crop Output IsSystematicallyIgnored in OfficialAgronomicLiterature.Source: AgriculturalStatistics At A Glance2009. Ministry ofAgriculture.
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  9. 9. 9Did You Say … Crop Yield Increase?
  10. 10. Hybrid RiceHybrid Rice::Fools ToolFools Toolfor Food Securityfor Food Security
  11. 11. 11Questions of Reason & RelevanceQuestions of Reason & RelevanceIs Hybrid Rice Technology the best ofall possible worlds?Do we have enough evidence to relyon it?Have we tried all cheaperalternatives?
  12. 12. 12Published CountryPublished CountryExamplesExamplesVietnamThe PhilippinesIndiaBangladeshChina
  13. 13. 13 “There was a minimal improvement in hybrid paddyyield in the period 1992-2006 (0.1% annually), whileinbred paddy yield grew at rate of 2.4% annually.Even though Vietnam experienced a high adoptionrate of hybrid as compared to other Asian countries(8% recently), this change in area structurecontributes much less than yield improvement. “On average, hybrid rice brought an additionalquantity of 589,800 tons of paddy annually duringthe period 1992 -2006, or 2.1% paddy outputcompared with case of no hybrids. “Hence, hybrid rice has contributed very littleto overall paddy yield improvement of Vietnamsince 1992.”Source: ECONOMIC IMPACT OF HYBRID RICE IN VIETNAM: AN ININTIAL ASSESSMENT2007 by Tran Duc Vien and Nguyen Thi Duong NgaHanoi University of Agriculture
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  16. 16. 16According to the Department of Agriculture(2005), total budget spent for the extensionprogram and R&D in hybrid rice productionfrom 1993-2005 is recorded at 5.5 million USD.Some provinces spent more for their hybridrice program. The hybrid rice developmentprogram in Vietnam has received support fromthe government in various forms., includinghigh subsidies. However, hybrid rice area hasnot shown increased development and eventhe hybrid seed area has declined to 1200 hain 2008.Costly Import andSubsidy
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  18. 18. 18Unreliable Seed Quality“Only 84.9% of imported seed in2006 was quality seed, and 74.4%of imported seed was certified tomeet the requirement of purity.”Source: Hung, Le Quang. 2007. Quality of HybridSeeds and their Performances. Hanoi AgriculturalDivision Publishing House, pp 228 -232.
  19. 19. 19Unstable Seed SupplyWith almost 80% of seed importedfrom abroad, the country’s farmersare dependent on seed supply fromoutside in terms of quantity, quality,variety and price. A tightening of thesupply from China or Thailand wouldresult in excess demand in domesticmarket and price would go up.
  20. 20. 20Inferior Grain Quality “China has developed super hybrid rice since 1996,which attained yields of 12 tons/ha in the period2001 -2005. Hybrid rice is expected to attain yieldsof 13 tons/ha in the country in the future. “However, the rate of hybrid rice adoption hasdecreased steadily (at low pace) because ofchanging demand. The average Chinese’s incomelevels have increased, consumers demand for goodquality rice has increased, while hybrid ricevarieties have not been able to meet this demand.”• In India and Bangladesh, all hybrid rice varieties are disfavored byconsumers.Source: David, Cristina C. 2006. Philippine Hybrid Rice Program: A case for Redesign andScaling Down. Manila: Philippine Inst itute for Development studies (PIDs).FAO 2008. Rice Production Externalities: Consumer preferences. Rome.
  21. 21. 21Poor Adaptation to LocalEnvironmental Conditions“Hybrid rice is susceptible to blast disease duringthe summer season, and this is especially true ofimported varieties. That is one of the reasonshybrid rice is not preferred during the summerseason. Some of 2-line hybrids have advantagesof shorter maturation time and less susceptibility toblast disease, but are not adaptable to a widerange of conditions.”Source: Tran Duc Vien and Nguyen Thi Duong Nga 2007. ECONOMIC IMPACTOF HYBRID RICE IN VIETNAM: AN ININTIAL ASSESSMENT. Hanoi Universityof Agriculture.
  22. 22. 22The Technophilia ParadigmThe Technophilia ParadigmNo modern rice (including Hybrid ) cultivar hasever been produced in any country that canwithdtand1. Drought2. Flood/ Submergence3. Soil salinity4. Pest attack5. Pathogen outbreakAll these properties are found in folk rice varieties.
  23. 23. 23AMAZING FARMER INNOVATIONSJugal: The Double-Grain RiceDebal Deb
  24. 24. 24AMAZING FARMER INNOVATIONSSateen: The Three-Grain RiceDebal Deb
  25. 25. 25The Myth of Exceptional High Yield “Actual field experience with farmer developedvarieties in the Philippines show that yields of upto 7 mt/ha are achievable using organic farmingpractices. This compares favorably to the lessthan 6 mt/ha average yield for hybrid rice.Rice farmers who employed the system of riceintensification managed to obtain yields reachingas high as 9 mt/ha. Moreover, the small rice farmers have beenreporting 70 to 75% milling recovery rateswhich is much higher than around 60%, asregistered by hybrid rice.” Source: Omi Royandoyan and Jimmy Tadeo 2009. Rice Hybridization isNOT the Solution. Centro Saka & National Rice Farmers Council. Manila.
  26. 26. 26The Myth of “Low-Yielding”The Myth of “Low-Yielding”Traditional Rice VarietiesTraditional Rice Varieties At Basudha, in situ demonstration for the past12 years show that at least 16 farmer landracescan outyield any HYV in marginal farmconditions (deep water/ dryland/ saline farms).Another 7 varieties (Bahurupi, Bou rani,Haijam, Kerala sundari, Panchali, Panjab-sal, Srabanti-sal) can yield as high as 8.3 t/ha with ZERO agrochemical inputs – higher thanthe hybrid rice varieties so far introduced.Source: Deb, D. 2005. Seeds of Tradition, Seeds of Future. RFSTE. New Delhi.
  27. 27. 27Our Heirloom Rice LandracesOur Heirloom Rice Landraces
  28. 28. 28Food Security NeedsFood Security Needsthe Hardwarethe Hardware (Seeds of Diversity)(Seeds of Diversity)andandthe Softwarethe Software (Knowledge and(Knowledge andTechniques of Bio-diverse,Techniques of Bio-diverse,Ecological Agriculture)Ecological Agriculture)Debal Deb
  29. 29. 29Debal DebFarmer Innovation – Inconsequential?Farmer Innovation – Inconsequential?
  30. 30. 30Alley cropping, Inter-cropping and Rotationalcropping can boostfarm productivityseveral-fold.Up to 220 plant speciesare grown in HomeGardens of Kerala,Meghalaya, Mizoram,Nagaland and southBengal.Debal DebMultiple Cropping Systems:Multiple Cropping Systems:A Sure Way to Outlive DisastersA Sure Way to Outlive Disasters
  31. 31. 31Transplant rice plantsbetween 7-15 days aftersowingSingle plants to betransplanted25 cm X 25 cm gapsbetween hillsSoil moisture is crucialDebal DebSRI: A Method of Enhancing Rice YieldSRI: A Method of Enhancing Rice YieldWithout Any Chemical InputsWithout Any Chemical Inputs
  32. 32. 32Combination of cropsin ponds, farm fieldand surrounding treestands. Examples:• Paddy, Fish & Duckculture• Trees, & bean cropson pond margins,deep-water rice inpond• Fodder crops,bamboos &medicinals• Multi-tier, multi-species agroforestry Debal DebComplex Ecosystems of Aqua-Agro-forestryComplex Ecosystems of Aqua-Agro-forestry
  33. 33. 33Do we really NEED TO INCREASErice production?A Final Question
  34. 34. 34Govt. of India (2010), Agricultural Statistics At A Glance 2009Total Available Food Grain in India: from Production Data
  35. 35. 35The central pool has a stock of 25.2 million tonnes of wheat and arice stock of 22.9 million tonnes as of 1 December 2009. With anestimated procurement of 26 million tonnes of rice in kharifmarketing season 2009-10 and the present level of stocks, therequirement of targeted public distribution at current level ofallocations will be comfortably met, the FCI release said.”http://www.domain-b.com/economy/general/20091226_food_corporation_2.htmlIn 2009-10, Rice production : 89.27 million tonsWheat production : 80.98 million tonsIn 2009-10, Rice in stock : 21.6 million tons2009-10, Wheat in stock : 30.3 million tonsPer capita availability of Rice alone : 0.13 tonPer capita availability of Rice+Wheat : 0.29 tonhttp://indiacurrentaffairs.org/agriculture-production-in-2009-2010/Consider the Other Food FactsConsider the Other Food Facts
  36. 36. 36• “Agricultural overproduction is coupled with the paradoxof hunger and malnutrition, because the poor remain deprivedof entitlement.” (WRI 2009)• India has produced 0.9 MT of rice per capita in 2009-10• In 2002 MPs of India were discussing dumpingof 32,000 tons of rotten cereal grains into thesea - while starvation deaths continued in 4States.• The amount of cereal grains rotten and wasted ingovernment storehouses exceed the amount needed toend hunger in Kalahandi, Shivpuri or Belpahari.Where do the EXCESS GRAINS end up?NOT IN HUMAN STOMACHS !
  37. 37. 37We need aWe need a new rationalnew rationalapproachapproach to problemto problemsolving more urgently thansolving more urgently thannovel genesnovel genes for cropfor crophybridization.hybridization.
  38. 38. 38For further information, contact:For further information, contact:Dr. Debal DebDr. Debal DebCentre for InterdisciplinaryCentre for InterdisciplinaryStudiesStudies9 Old Calcutta Road,9 Old Calcutta Road,Barrackpore, Kolkata 700 123Barrackpore, Kolkata 700 123Email:Email: info@cintdis.orginfo@cintdis.orgcintdis@hotmail.comcintdis@hotmail.comWebsite:Website: http://www.cintdis.orghttp://www.cintdis.org