Posts Tagged ‘India’

Quantifying changes to the global warming potential of rice wheat systems with the adoption of conservation agriculture in northwestern India

Posted by gabrielamartinez on , in Journal Articles

57504Authors: Tirol Padre, A.; Munmun Rai; Kumar, V; Gathala, M.K; Sharma, P.C; Sharma, S; Rakesh Kumar Nagar; Deshwal, S; Singh, L.K; Jat, H.S; Sharma, D.K; Wassmann, R; Jagdish Kumar Ladha.

Published in: Agriculture, Ecosystems and Environment, 2016, vol. 219, p.125-137


Field trials were conducted in Haryana representing the northwestern Indo-Gangetic Plains (IGP) to assess the changes brought about by management, including conservation agriculture (CA) practices, in the global warming potential (GWP) of conventional rice–wheat systems. Conservation agriculture is an approach to managing agro-ecosystems for improved and sustained productivity, by way of minimal soil disturbance, permanent soil cover with organic matter or cover crops and crop rotation. Methane (CH4) and nitrous oxide (N2O) fluxes were measured using static chambers. Experiments involved four cropping system scenarios with different CA components, and different N rates. In addition, emissions of CH4 and N2O fluxes were measured in farmers’ fields to establish baselines. The dynamics of CH4 emissions were controlled by floodwater levels, and fertilizer N had no effect. On the other hand, N application rates and timing in relation to soil water status determined the N2O emissions in rice fields. Nitrous oxide fluxes could be avoided by applying N fertilizer to wet soil or by irrigating the field not later than 1 day after N application. Applying crop residues on soil surface had no significant effect on the seasonal CH4 and N2O emissions. It was estimated that switching rice crop establishment method from conventional to CA-based practices in Haryana could reduce GWP for rice by 23% or by 1.26 Tg CO2 eq yr−1. An intensive CA-based rice–wheat and maize–wheat system reduced GWP by 16–26% or by 1.3–2.0 Tg CO2 eq yr−1 compared with the conventional rice–wheat system. However, this reduction in GWP would be from a decrease in diesel and electricity consumption and not from direct emissions of CH4 and N2O, which were higher in the maize–wheat system than in the rice–wheat system.

Guidelines for Dry Seeded Rice (DSR) : in the Terai and Mid Hills of Nepal

Posted by gabrielamartinez on , in CIMMYT Publications

56858Authors: Devkota, K., Sudhir-Yadav, Ranjit, J.D., Sherchan, D.P., Regmi, A., Akhtar, T., Humphreys, E., Chauhan, B.S., Malik, R.K., Kumar, V., McDonald, A., Devkota, M.

Published in: Nepal, CSISA; IFAD; IRRI; CIMMYT, 2014.


Dry seeded rice (DSR) is becoming an attractive option for farmers as it has a much lower labor requirement and establishment cost than manually transplanted rice. Labor for transplanting rice has become scarce and costly because laborers are shifting from agriculture to industry, public works, and overseas employment. DSR can be readily adopted by small farmers as well as large farmers, provided that the required machinery is locally available (e.g., through custom hire). Best practice involves using a 2- or 4-wheel tractor-drawn drill to seed in rows in nontilled or dry tilled soil, as for wheat. Because the soil is not puddled, DSR also has a lower water requirement for crop establishment.

Guidelines for Dry Seeded Rice (DSR) : in the Eastern Gangetic Plains of India

Posted by gabrielamartinez on , in CIMMYT Publications

56853Authors: Yadav, S., Humphreys, E., Chauhan, B.S., Kamboj, B.R., Laik, R., Kumar, V., McDonald, A., Jat, M.L., Gathala, M.K., Malik, R., Sukhwinder-Singh

Published in: India: CSISA; IFAD; IRRI; CIMMYT, 2013.


Dry seeded rice (DSR) is becoming an attractive option for farmers as it has a much lower labor requirement than manually transplanted rice. Labor for transplanting rice has become scarce and costly because laborers are shifting from agriculture to industry, public works, and services. DSR can be readily adopted by small farmers as well as large farmers, provided that the required machinery is locally available (e.g., through custom hire). Best practice involves using a 2- or 4-wheel tractor-drawn drill to seed in rows in nontilled or dry tilled soil, as for wheat. Because the soil is not puddled, DSR also has a lower water requirement for crop establishment.

Exploring the supply and demand factors of varietal turnover in Indian wheat

Posted by gabrielamartinez on , in Journal Articles

56868Authors: Krishna, V.V.; Spielman, D.J.; Veettil, P.C.

Published in: Journal of Agricultural Science, 2015.


Cultivar depreciation – the gradual decline in relative advantage of a cultivated variety over time – accentuates the vulnerability of resource-poor farmers to production risks. The current paper addresses constraints in combating cultivar depreciation of wheat in India. National level data on quoted demand for breeder seeds and breeder seed production indicated a slowdown in the rate of cultivar turnover of wheat, with average varietal age increasing from 9 years in 1997 to 12 years in 2009. Analysis of cultivar adoption patterns among farmer households of Haryana State also indicates that farmers prefer cultivars that were released a decade ago over the recent ones.

Cultivar turnover rates are found to be particularly low among marginal farmers. While the structure of India’s wheat breeding and seed delivery systems might be the primary cause of slow cultivar turnover, a number of social and economic factors at the micro-level are also responsible. Many of the constraints to technology adoption and wheat productivity growth, identified during the Green Revolution era, persist even today.

Mechanized Transplanting of Rice (Oryza sativa L.) in Nonpuddled and No-Till Conditions in the Rice-Wheat Cropping System in Haryana, India

Posted by gabrielamartinez on , in Journal Articles

56839Authors: Malik, R.; Kamboj, B.R.; Yadav, B.D.; Yadav, A.; Goel, N.K.; Gill, G.; Chauhan, B.S.

Published in: American Journal of Plant Sciences, 4: 2409-2413, 2013.


The common practice of establishing rice in the rice-wheat system in India is manual transplanting of seedlings in the puddled soil. Besides being costly, cumbersome, and time consuming, puddling results in degradation of soil and the formation of a hard pan, which impedes root growth of subsequent upland crops. In addition, decreased availability and increasing cost of labor have increased the cost of rice cultivation through conventional methods. Because of these concerns, there is a need for mechanized transplanting of rice which is less labor-intensive and can ensure optimum plant population under nonpuddled and/or no-till conditions. A large number of on-farm trials were conducted at farm- ers’ fields in Haryana, India, from 2006 to 2010 to evaluate the performance of the mechanical transplanted rice (MTR) under nonpuddled and no-till situations as compared to conventional puddled transplant rice (CPTR). Compared with CPTR, nonpuddled MTR produced 3% – 11% higher grain yield in different years. Rice cultivars, viz. HKR47, HKR127, PR113, PR114, PB1, PB1121, CSR30, and Arize6129, performed consistently better under nonpuddled MTR as compared to CPTR. Performance of different cultivars (PR113, PR114, HKR47, and Pusa 44) was also better under no-till MTR as compared to CPTR. The “basmati” cultivar CSR30 performed equally in no-till MTR and CPTR sys- tems. The results of our study suggest that rice can be easily grown under nonpuddled and no-till conditions with yield advantages over the CPTR system. Even in the case of similar yield between CPTR and MTR systems, the MTR system will help in reducing labor requirement and ultimately, will increase overall profits to farmers.

Options for increasing the productivity of the rice–wheat system of north-west India while reducing groundwater depletion : Part 1. Rice variety duration, sowing date and inclusion of mungbean

Posted by gabrielamartinez on , in Journal Articles


Authors: Singh, B. ; Humphreys, E.; Yadav, S.; Gaydon, D.S.

Published in: Field Crops Research, 173: 68–80, 2015.


The irrigated rice–wheat (RW) systems of north-west India are critical for food security. However, these systems are not sustainable due to over-exploitation of the groundwater resource on which they largelyrely. Current farmer practice (FP) involves manual transplanting of rice into heavily tilled/puddled soil from 10 June to early July, prolonged periods of flooding, rice residue burning, and heavy tillage prior to sowing wheat. Inclusion of a short duration mungbean crop between wheat harvest and rice transplanting has also been promoted at times. Options for reducing irrigation input to the RW system include delaying transplanting until after the monsoon rains start (late June), switching to shorter duration rice varieties, and alternate wetting drying (AWD) water management for rice. However, the effect of such practices on groundwater depletion is not well-understood. Examining the effects of these options on cropping system yield and components of the water balance and water productivity is highly complex because of the need to consider the interactions between each crop in the system. Therefore, we used a cropping system model (APSIM) to compare the performance of RW systems with a range of rice transplanting dates (4 dates from 10 June to 10 August) and rice variety durations (long – 158 d, medium – 144 d, short – 125 d), with and without mungbean in the system. The results suggest that changing from long to short duration varieties would reduce ET by around 250 mm, more than enough to halt the groundwater decline, but with a reduction in rice-equivalent system yield of about 2.5 t ha−1 compared with current FP.
On the other hand, inclusion of mungbean into the RW system results in much higher system yield than recommended farmer practice (by over 3 t ha−1), but the tradeoffs are much higher ET (by 250–300 mm) and irrigation requirement (by 300–450 mm). The results of this study suggest that more effort should be directed towards the development of higher-yielding, short duration rice varieties to reduce groundwater depletion of the RW system while maintaining yield, and that inclusion of short duration summer crops such as mungbean should not be recommended.

Agricultural information networks, information needs and risk management strategies: A survey of farmers in Indo-Gangetic Plains of India

Posted by Carelia Juarez on , in CIMMYT Publications

Agricultural information networks, information needs and risk management strategies: A survey of farmers in Indo-Gangetic Plains of India. 2013. Mittal, S.; Mehar, M.. : ix, 28 p.. Mexico, DF (Mexico). CIMMYT. Series: Socioeconomics Working Paper.

98167.pdfAccess to reliable, timely and relevant information can help significantly and in many ways to  reduce farmers’ risk and uncertainty, empowering them to make good decisions. However, whether or not this access leads to impact often depends on issues related to markets, institutions, policies and resource availability. Several studies have shown that the wide  availability and multiple sources of information have not significantly changed farmers’ behavior  towards new technologies and information – a fact that is often attributed to a lack of knowledge or understanding of farmers’ perspectives and needs on the part of information providers.

Molecular genetic diversity analysis in emmer wheat (Triticum dicoccon Schrank) from India

Posted by Carelia Juarez on , in Journal Articles

Published in Genetic Resources and Crop Evolution 60 (1) : 165-174, 2013

Arvindkumar Salunkhe, Shubhada Tamhankar, Sujata Tetali, Maria Zaharieva, David Bonnett, Richard Trethowan and Satish Misra

Emmer wheat (Triticum dicoccon Schrank) is still largely cultivated in India, and highly appreciated for the preparation of traditional dishes. Moreover, its nutritional characteristics could justify a development of its cultivation. The perspective of genetic improvement however requires a good knowledge of the genetic diversity existing within the eco-geographic group of Indian emmer wheats. A set of 48 emmer wheat accessions from India including 28 from a local collection and 20 Indian accessions obtained from CIMMYT, Mexico, was assessed for genetic variability using 47 microsatellite (SSR) markers, distributed over all the 14 chromosomes. The number of alleles per locus ranged from 2 to 9, with an average of 3.87 alleles per locus. A total of 201 alleles were detected at 52 loci with average polymorphic information content of 0.35 per locus and a mean resolving power of 1. The pair-wise similarity coefficients calculated from binary data matrix based on presence or absence of alleles varied from 0.15 to 0.98, but was greater than 0.5 for most accessions, indicating a high level of similarity. A cluster analysis based on the similarity matrix identified nine distinct accessions and three clusters. All the recently developed commercial varieties were distinctly different from the clusters. Based on the analysis, it appears that Indian emmer wheats are not very diverse. Consequently, there is a need to increase the diversity within the Indian emmer wheat eco-geographic group, by introducing diversity from other eco-geographic groups, or even from other wheat species.

Microsatellite marker-based diversity and population genetic analysis of selected lowland and mid-altitude maize landrace accessions of India

Posted by Carelia Juarez on , in Journal Articles

Published in Journal of Plant Biochemistry and Biotechnology, 2012

Samanthi K. Wasala and B. M. Prasanna

Maize (Zea mays L.) harbours significant genetic diversity not only in its centre of origin (Mexico) but also in several countries worldwide, including India, in the form of landraces. In this study, DNA fingerprinting of 48 landrace accessions from diverse regions of India was undertaken using 42 fluorescent dye-labeled Simple Sequence Repeat (SSR) markers, followed by allele resolution using DNA sequencer and analysis of molecular diversity within and among these landraces. The study revealed a large number of alleles (550), with high mean number of alleles per locus (13.1), and Polymorphism Information Content (PIC) of 0.60, reflecting the level of diversity in the landrace accessions. Besides identification of 174 unique alleles in 44 accessions, six highly frequent SSR alleles were detected at six loci (phi014, phi090, phi112, umc1367, phi062 and umc1266) with individual frequencies greater than 0.75, indicating that chromosomal regions harboring these SSR alleles are not selectively neutral. F statistics revealed very high genetic differentiation, population subdivision and varying levels of inbreeding in the landraces. Analysis of Molecular Variance showed that 63 % of the total variation in the accessions could be attributed to within-population diversity, and 37 % represented between population diversity. Cluster analysis of SSR data using Nei’s genetic distance and UPGMA revealed considerable genetic diversity in these populations, although no clear separation of accessions was observed based on their geographic origin.


New Book in the Library: Resource Conservation Technologies For Food Security and Rural Livelihood

Posted by on , in New Acquisitions

Resource Conservation Technologies For Food Security and Rural Livelihood

Edited by A.R. Khan, S.S. Singh, R.C. Bharati, T.K. Srivastava and M.A. Khan
528 p,
ISBN : 81-8321-202-6


“Understanding nuances of relevant techniques is a pre-requisite to conservation. The present book Resource Conservation Technologies For Food Security and Rural Livelihood is a sincere attempt to descramble the theoretical and operational complexities of resources conservation technologies being adopted in various agro-ecological conditions. Sustainable human survival is at stake in the wake of serious erosion, pollution and at times destruction of natural resources. On the other hand the most crucial land and water resources are shrinking at an alarming rate and are prone to ever increasing diversion to non-agricultural use. Under such a scenario long term profitable and sustainable production of food, feed and fibre for meeting the human and livestock requirements can be made possible through conservation and judicious use of natural resources.

The book covers main as well as applied aspects of resource conservation techniques (RCTs). Chapters on RCTs for resource saving in cropping systems and farming systems of Indo-Gangetic plains provide in depth information on minor details about applicability of such technologies for diversification of input use and recycling while maintaining the soil health and ecological balance. Lucid information on application of modern techniques like GIS, IT and simulation modelling for crop management based on conservation agriculture principles makes it useful for precision agriculture proponents. Potential of RCTs for mitigation and adaptation to climate change has been well covered. Utility of RCTs for enhancing water productivity and maintenance of soil health for overall improvement in factor productivity of agricultural sector is discussed under various agro-climatic scenarios. Aspects like integration of resource conservation technologies with aquaculture and livestock management for internalizing the externalities and supporting the closed cycles of resource utilization in place of open ended cycles present practical ways to achieve the desired goal of sustainable agricultural growth and ensured food and livelihood security on sustainable basis. Overall the book deciphers on the practical techniques for easy adoption of reduced tillage, residue retention and crop rotation, the basic components of conservation agriculture, for enhancing land and water productivity.

The book is highly informative and useful for the people involved in the adoption, promotion and development of resource conservation technology.”