ISSN (Print) - 0012-9976 | ISSN (Online) - 2349-8846

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India’s Contribution to Rice Development in South and South East Asia

India supports and contributes to agricultural research and development in about 40 other countries through bilateral, multilateral, and international cooperation and agreements. In this context, India’s contribution to rice development—in terms of capacity building, rice varietal development, adoption rate of Indian-linked rice varieties, and their effects on rice production in Nepal, Bangladesh, Myanmar and Vietnam—has been explored.

Is the Productivity Impact of the Green Revolution in Rice Vanishing?

Serious concerns have been raised recently about the long-run sustainability of the productivity effects of green revolution technologies in the light of the decelerating trend in the yield growth of rice since the mid-1980s under the irrigated ecosystem. However, it is also important to recognise that the changes in physical yield are not true measures of productivity from an efficiency perspective. The paper addresses the crucial issue of total factor productivity, which is a true measure of the economic efficiency of any technological impact. Results suggest that various modern technologies (such as modern varieties) adopted by the farmers over the period have continued to make a considerable impact on rice productivity growth - as reflected in the increasing trend of TFP growth. However, the rate of increase in TFP growth has started to decelerate under the irrigated ecosystem during the late GR period. This implies that the "level" of productivity impact of the successive generations of modern technologies has apparently been going down. A plateau or deceleration in TFP growth in the progressive areas is not unusual because TFP levels cannot be expected to increase at the same rate during the late GR period as it was during the early GR period.

Partnership in Public Sector Agricultural R&D

This paper broadly explores the hypothesis that scientists working together for a common cause can do wonders in a group, if the system is fairly transparent and institutionalised. As a case study, it assesses the synergetic effects of partnership research in public sector R&D in India, with the all-India coordinated rice improvement programme as an example. The study finds that the partnership mechanism of AICRIP has played an important role through free interstate and inter-institutional movement of improved germplasm, which has accelerated the adoption of modern varieties of rice for cultivation in many parts of India.

Can Hybrid Rice Technology Help Productivity Growth in Asian Tropics?

The 1990s witnessed a significant deceleration in growth of rice productivity. The productivity potential of the existing modern rice varieties is getting exhausted especially under irrigated environments. This raises a serious concern about Asia's ability to sustain its food security in the 21st century. To find solutions to reverse this trend in irrigated systems, and raise yield levels in rain-fed areas, many public sector R and D institutions across Asia have invested huge public resources to explore new frontiers of rice science. However, many farmers, who grew hybrid rice initially, have started dropping out from hybrid rice cultivation. Can the currently available hybrid rice technology sustain productivity growth in the Asian tropics? Why has it not been possible to replicate in the Asian tropics China's success with hybrid rice? The paper provides a synthesis of major findings of a multi-country evaluation of farmers' experiences with the adoption of hybrid rice varieties.

Hybrid Rice Cultivation in the Philippines

The development and promotion of hybrid rice is a strategy being pursued by the government to attain self-sufficiency in rice supplies and improve farmers' welfare. On-farm experiments have shown significant yield advantage of hybrid rice over the best-inbred rice varieties. The government launched a special hybrid rice promotion programme during 1999-2000 and has been providing subsidy on seeds as a special incentive to farmers. The private sector, including a Chinese company is also actively involved in research and seed production. But the adoption of hybrid rice is still at a low level. This paper provides some insights into the constraints to expansion of hybrid rice technology.

Hybrid Rice in Bangladesh

The government of Bangladesh permitted four private seed companies to import seeds of rice hybrids for the 1998-99 boro season to make up the shortage of rice seeds after the floods in the 1998 aman (monsoon season rice) season, since there were no locally bred rice hybrids This paper primarily evaluates the farm-level performance of imported rice hybrids, based on representative sample farmers who grew hybrids during the 1999 boro season. The study findings support the view that hybrids were introduced in Bangladesh without a clear deployment strategy and without scientific evaluation of new rice hybrids under farmers' conditions before importing seeds.

Hybrid Rice in Tamil Nadu

Nine years after release of the first rice hybrid, its adoption rate in Tamil Nadu was found to be too meagre and scattered to measure its impact. The present study aimed at documenting farm-level insights into why hybrid rice has not made a dent on the rice sector in Tamil Nadu. Results show that there was not much progress made over the past decade in terms of developing farmer-acceptable rice hybrids and achieving the higher yield gains through hybrid rice under farmers' field condition in Tamil Nadu.

Profitability of Hybrid Rice Cultivation

Hybrid rice cultivation has not increased significantly in Karnataka since the introduction of hybrids in the state in the mid-1990s. This study focuses on the profitability aspects of hybrid rice cultivation based on farmers' experiences during the 2000-01 crop year. Hybrid rice was found to be higher yielding but less profitable than existing high-yielding varieties. The paper provides reasons for lower profitability and explains the constraints in hybrid rice expansion based on farm-level data.

Hybrid Rice for Indian Farmers

In spite of huge capital and human resources invested over the past decade to develop and supply hybrid rice technology for Indian farmers, there has not been a noticeable impact on the sector. India has tried to emulate China's success story in the area of hybrid rice research and development, but Indian farmers have not readily accepted hybrid rice technology. This paper provides insights on why this has been so, based on the evaluation results of a study on farmers' experiences with hybrid rice adoption in India.
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