Participatory Development and Validation of culture models of integrating fish polyculture-livestock into irrigated ricefields to enhance competitiveness of rice farming in Kenya
Participatory Development and Validation ofculture models of integrating fishpolyculture-livestock into irrigated ricefieldsto enhance competitiveness of rice farmingin KenyaKariuki, F. W., Maina, J. G., Wanjogu, R. K., Ndogoni, J. N. and Gathaara, V. A paper presented during the Third Regional Universities Forum for Capacity Building in Agriculture Biennial Conference 24-28 September, 2012; Entebbe, Uganda
Introduction• Evidence suggests that there is little new land to put under the plough in sub-Saharan Africa (McCalla, 1994).• This means that the large increase in food production and household income needed, have to be achieved through an increase in biomass produced per unit land and per unit water.
• Irrigated agriculture is the largest user of the world’s water accounting for about 70% of total water withdrawals worldwide (Seckler et al., 1998) with rice growing being the heaviest consumer of water (IRRI, 1998).• Irrigated rice is a heavy consumer of water using 5,000 liters of water to produce 1 kilogram of rice (IRRI, 1998).
• As less water will be available for agriculture in future due to increasing water demands (Guerra et al,. 1998), the potential for expanding the irrigated area is increasingly becoming limited (Dong et al., 2001).
• The available amount of water for irrigation, however, is increasingly getting scarce worldwide (Guerra et al., 1998).• Climate change associated decline in water resources will also add a new dimension to food security challenges.• Since many irrigation systems are highly inefficient, strategies aimed at increasing water use efficiency and improve productivity in rice irrigation systems needs to be explored.
• Problem of low water use efficiency in rice irrigation can be addressed through efficient and effective utilization of the available water resources to provide food and nutritional security.• The future of rice production and stable prices in forthcoming decades depends on developing and adopting strategies and practices that will use water efficiently .
• Also, the concern especially due GHG emissions in ricefields• Only about half of the fertilizer applied is typically used by the plants• The rest seeping into the ground, becoming a primary contributor to water pollution, or is emitted into the air as nitrous oxide, a GHG nearly 300 times as potent as carbon dioxide.• Also under intensive rice monoculture management, rising fertilizer prices are
Rationale for the research• Rice is the 3 rd most important staple food in Kenya after maize and wheat & forms part of the larger diet for urban population Fish as a food is gaining importance in the attainment of food and nutritional security• With the population increasing, demand for both rice and fish is constantly rising
• BUT rice yields are declining & currently stand at an average of less than 2 tons/ha against an average of 5.5 tons/ha.•
Rice straws contain:• 36kg N/ha• 4.5kg P/ha• 112kg K/ha• Also farmers have about 40% of rice to market
• AND Fish production from capture fisheries has also been declining & aquaculture is the only sustainable way of meeting this demand• In Mwea Irrigation Scheme (MIS) which produces 80% of rice in Kenya, farmers practice mixed farming that involve rice cultivation combined with other farming activities
BUT these activities areundertaken independently
• This extensive type of farming is unsuitable for the small-scale and because the carrying capacities of the land and water are not being fully utilized, the individual farming activities do not utilize water, land and labour efficiently.• As a result the returns that accrue from the different forms of farming practiced by the farmer are generally low & rice farmers are abandoning rice cultivation and shifting to growing other crops on rice fields.• Farming in Mwea has not translated into economic prosperity and the area is ranked as one of the poorest areas in Central Province of Kenya (CBS, 2005).
Main Objective:To develop and validate IAA technologies that increasethe productivity of water, land and associated resourceswhile contributing to sustainable rice and fish production.Specific Objectives• assess the suitability of rice varieties/ cultivars grown in Mwea for rice-fish culture.• develop and pilot test integrated agriculture polyculture farming systems and investigate their performance at different polyculture combinations.• determine/assess if fish polyculture integrated into locally planted disease resistant rice varieties can be an effective IPM strategy
HypothesesHO: Rice varieties/cultivars grown inMwea are suitable for rice-fish culture.HO: Existing types of monoculturefarming systems in Mwea can beintegrated into profitable systems Research Approach The study uses a participatory researchapproach and guided by a situationanalysis through PCA to identify and beginto address constraints to the uptake of inrice-fish farming in Mwea.