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Entry points for eco-efficient aerobic rice production system in Punjab, Pakistan


Awan, MI and Meinke, HB and van Oort, P and Bastiaans, L, Entry points for eco-efficient aerobic rice production system in Punjab, Pakistan, Proceedings of the 17th Australian Society of Agronomy Conference, 20-24 September 2015, Hobart, Australia, pp. 1-5. (2015) [Refereed Conference Paper]

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Copyright 2015 Australian Society of Agronomy Inc.

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Major issues challenging the sustainability of conventional flooded rice systems in Pakistan are: low input conversion efficiencies, productivity stagnation, rising costs of production, and shortage of water, labour, and energy. An emerging opportunity is an alternative, eco-efficient production system called ‘aerobic rice’, which entails the growing of direct-seeded crops in non-puddled fields under non-flooded conditions. Ecoefficiency is about achieving more agricultural output per unit of input, through substitution of production factors including knowledge. We evaluated the aerobic rice system in Punjab, Pakistan from biophysical and socio-technological perspectives employing a combined approach of experimentation (i.e. field trials on resource-use efficiencies and growth chamber studies on phenology) and farmer surveys. Our findings suggest that the aerobic rice system is a rational approach for improving the eco-efficiencies of water, labour, and energy. However, for subtropical conditions, the knowledge-intensive system is still very much in the development phase, thus requiring a thorough understanding of the entry points (i.e. opportunities and threats). Based on our findings, the entry points for aerobic rice systems are: availability of fine grain basmati varieties; savings on water, labour, and energy; net profitability; extension outreach programmes to raise awareness among farmers; good quality biocides; prospective areas for crop diversification; optimisation of agronomic practices such as seed rate, water, and fertiliser inputs; land levelling; and mechanical interventions for appropriate seeding and weeding. In order to balance production and sustainability, risks of crop failure can be reduced by optimisation of scarce resources and provision of suitable genotypes.

Item Details

Item Type:Refereed Conference Paper
Keywords:resource-use efficiency, rice systems, transformational technology, Punjab, Pakistan
Research Division:Agricultural, Veterinary and Food Sciences
Research Group:Agriculture, land and farm management
Research Field:Sustainable agricultural development
Objective Division:Plant Production and Plant Primary Products
Objective Group:Grains and seeds
Objective Field:Rice
UTAS Author:Meinke, HB (Professor Holger Meinke)
ID Code:107184
Year Published:2015
Deposited By:Tasmanian Institute of Agriculture
Deposited On:2016-03-07
Last Modified:2016-08-02

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