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CURE Matters Vol. 3. No. 1

CURE Matters Vol. 3. No. 1

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Newsletter produced by the Consortium for Unfavorable Rice Environments (CURE) with support from the International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD).
Newsletter produced by the Consortium for Unfavorable Rice Environments (CURE) with support from the International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD).

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Published by: Consortium for Unfavorable Rice Environments on May 03, 2013
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05/07/2013

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1
 
V. 3 N. 1 Ap 2013CoNsortium for uNfAVorAble riCe eNViroNmeNts
 
CURE
Matters
 T
he true value o a technology is seen when armers continue to use it in the elds where it isneeded most. And, when there is great interest rom dierent sectors in the sources, processes,models, and key players that help develop, validate, test, urther improve, and eventually disseminatesuch a technology, then there must be something signicant emanating rom the eorts. This is thecase o rice research and development in the unavorable rice environments, where investmentsin resources are slowly but denitely paying o. Many skeptics had given up hope in raising theproductivity in dicult rice environments, but not CURE. Ater all, the name o the consortium itsel spells possible solutions to longstanding concerns in areas most aected by changes in climate, bethey salinity-prone, submergence-prone, drought-prone, or complex, risky, and diverse upland rice-based systems.CURE is not leaving any stone unturned when it comes to bringing science solutions to thesestress-prone rice areas. Why? It is because these are areas where we reach out to millions o resource-poor armers living in deep poverty and where chances o improving their livelihoods are realisticallymuch more complex and dicult. Even small increases in productivity can mean households beingable to eed more mouths, sending their children to school, making small home improvements,having more variety and larger amounts o ood on the table, and general improvements in well-being. On agricultural lands, more areas are now being used that were once let barren and idleduring occurrences o stress in rice elds. More importantly, more people are seeing evidence o benets rom research that once were so elusive.This issue showcases various eorts o CURE members and partners in contributing to ruraltransormations through improved germplasm that can withstand the brunt o climatic uctuations.As new varieties are developed and released through the ormal release system in dierentcountries, scientists are busy developing, testing, and disseminating management options that areappropriate in stress-prone environments. Scientic eorts are guided by eedback rom armersand the results o careul assessment o the realities at the target sites and in the target communities.Approaches are being adapted to ensure that well-targeted varieties and management practicesreach the intended users. As CURE continuously works with armers, its guiding principle o genderconsciousness comes into play. National agricultural research and extension systems (NARES) adaptin their programs the learning, approaches, and models derived rom results o CURE activities as wellas those learned rom other country cases. Extending innovation and technologies through variousout- and up-scaling eorts is now given stronger emphasis. Indeed, cross-country learning andsharing o knowledge are highly evident in CURE activities. Building local capacity and enhancingthe knowledge o partner science workers are always central to the partnerships ostered betweenand among countries. It is no doubt that CURE is on track in identiying eective communication andimpact pathways or science-based solutions to the many challenges in ragile rice environments.
Words rom the feld
Farmers in Indonesia cope with recurringdrought .....................................................................2The “women o substance” in unavorable riceenvironments .........................................................4TDK1-Sub1 helps Lao armers cope withfooding ....................................................................6
TIS Corner: reaching out andlearning-by-doing
‘Tis a match made in the mountains: the CUREand CHARMP2 partnership ...............................7Cordillera armers attend technoclinics ..............8RARS Diphu ocuses on seed production in theHill Zone o Assam in India ................................9CURE hosts IFAD country review at IRRI ...........11Meeting the demand or seeds in Indonesia .12
Technology Generation andValidation
Two years o battling against submergence andsalinity stresses in South Asia ........................14Turning adversity into opportunity ...................16
Building capacity or innovation
A participatory way o documentingactivities ................................................................17Telling their stories through video: the mediumdisseminates the message .............................17Young Thai researchers trained on datamanagement and analysis or socioeconomicstudies ....................................................................18Weed ecology and management training held inCambodia .............................................................19
In the rice communities
IFAD project leaders visit NOMAFSI project sites20The Bhrikuti Seed Producers Group sets anexample in Gorkha ............................................21
TIDBITS
.................................................... 22
Profles: CURE movers
The “seasoned” scientist .........................................23Making her mark in rice research .......................23The scientist wears three hats..............................24Childhood inspiration .............................................24
Project profle
Addressing climate change in the Mekong Deltathrough CLUES ....................................................25CURE gives attention to heirloom rice ..............26
Knowledge-sharing resources
A salty prescription in a poster: 7 steps to higherrice yields ..............................................................27Sowing the seeds o knowledge, a trainingmanual or seed banks .....................................28
Contents
 
IN BRIEF
 
2
W
ords
 
from
 
the
 
field
Farmers in Indonesia cope with recurringdrought
Suhartini,
1
Yudhistira Nugraha,
1
Indrastuti A. Rumanti,
1
Leo Angelo Ocampo
2
1
Indonesian Center or Rice Research, ICRR.
2
International Rice Research Institute, IRRI.
A armer in Jakenan (Central Java) has brought water to the eld rom thehouse well, or
embung
.Waiting or the rain to come in Jakenan, Pati.
I
n Indonesia, rice is not only a staple ood; its cultivation isconsidered a major economic activity as it provides employmentand a source o income or the rural population. Indonesia’s second-largest source o rice is its rained lowlands, which span about 2 millionhectares. Its three major rained sites are Indramayu (West Java), Pati(Central Java), and Lombok Tengah (NTB).The unpredictable changes in the weather, however, have beenadversely aecting rice armers in the country, especially those inrained lowlands. Despite the vulnerability o these areas to drought,armers in these rained areas have managed to cope with adverseweather conditions in various ways.
Coping with drought efects
Among the most common coping mechanisms that armers practiceis the establishment o a well or pond near their rice eld, rom wherewater is pumped with the help o a machine running on gasoline ordiesel. The pond, commonly called an
embung
, is used to collect waterduring the wet season or use in the dry season. Farmers plant othercrops that do not require too much water, such as legumes (soybean,mungbean), tubers (cassava, sweet potato), vegetables, spices, orherbs.Mixing rice varieties is also another adaptation strategy, mainlydriven by changes in climatic conditions, especially during the dryseason. Varieties intolerant o dry conditions are usually plantednear water sources. Farmers also preer short-duration varieties withhigh yield. Short-duration varieties allow exibility in responding toweather uncertainties. For instance, armers can plant other crops aterrice or adjust their cropping calendar. However, armers are reluctantto plant other varieties aside rom Ciherang because it is the mostcommon variety and is preerred by consumers.Another coping strategy is to diversiy income sources duringextreme drought events. Some resort to trading or marketingother o-arm and nonarm products such as processed ood andhandicrats, among others, and engaging in nonarmemployment. In Indramayu (West Java), armers makebricks and sell them in nearby towns, districts, or cities.Some resort to temporary migration o householdmembers to seek work in bigger cities, such as Jakarta,about a 4-hour drive rom Indramayu, or Bandung, thecapital city o West Java, about a 3-hour drive, to work onconstruction projects and in actories.However, in Pati (Central Java), jobs outside theeld or village are dicult to nd. To augment theirhousehold income, some armers rely on livestock raising,such as cattle, goats, and chickens, to make both endsmeet or the amily. Others move near the sea to becomeshermen during the season break. In Lombok Tengah(West Nusa Tenggara), the tourism industry providesan added source o livelihood, such as women weavingtraditional cloth and men selling goods.
A reason or research
 This array o coping mechanisms has helped armersaugment their income and ensure ood or their amily.
 
3
1Goats provide an alternative source o income or armers in Lombok Tengah.Cattle raising is an alternative source o income or armers in Jakenan,Pati.
Most o them manage to eat rice three times a day without sellingtheir property, but with a limited amount and variety o ood. Farmerscannot identiy specic government interventions or plannedadaptation strategies, however, that could help them urther copewith drought spells. They mentioned that cash transer programscould be one such solution; however, this is not specically aimed atalleviating the negative impacts o drought alone but is more targetedtoward alleviating poverty in general.Cognizant o the conditions o rice armers, the CURE researchteam identied integrated activities based on the problem diagnosis,through a baseline survey, to help reduce the impact o drought spellson livelihoods at the target sites. The objectives o the baseline studyincluded the assessment o impacts o drought on rice production,assessment o risk/vulnerability, and determining adaptationstrategies and coping mechanisms o rice arming householdsor better planned adaptation strategies. Some 276 armers wereinterviewed rom three sites mostly aected by drought: Indramayu(West Java), Pati (CentralJava), and Lombok Tengah(West Nusa Tenggara). The results o thestudy showed that thearmers indeed sueredheavy losses in productionand income. There is a98% probability that theinterviewed respondentswill all into expectedpoverty. However, the studyalso revealed that thereis a great likelihood thathouseholds are receptiveand will accept newdrought-tolerant varietiesbecause o their priorpositive experience withnew varieties.In response, theongoing activities to meetthe armers’ technologicalneeds under the program“Improving Livelihoodsand Overcoming Povertyin the Drought-ProneLowlands in SoutheastAsia,” as implementedin Indonesia, include thedevelopment, testing,and validation in armers’elds o drought-tolerantrice varieties. ICRR andIRRI have partnered orthe breeding programon drought-tolerant lines.Demonstration trials or drought-tolerant lines and varieties werealso carried out in armers’ elds. The perormance in trials underrained conditions o the lines IR87705-14-11-B, IR87705-83-12-B, andSMD9-131D-MR-4 showed promising results. These lines are alsowell accepted by armers based on their yield, number o panicles,and grain shape. The lines have also been assessed or perormancein multilocation yield trials across the islands o Indonesia beoretheir release as new drought-tolerant varieties. Also, proper nutrientmanagement is included as an activity to overcome armers’ lack o knowledge o the appropriate dosage and timing o ertilizerapplication. Farmers have poor inormation on site-specic ertilizerapplication recommendations. The nutrient and weed managementtrials aim to show armers the proper application o ertilizer andherbicide. Farmers can now access specic recommendations byeasily dialing a toll-ree number (123) on their mobile phone. Therecommended dosage or their specic land is explained through atext message.
Researchers rom ICRR interview armers in Jakenan, Pati.

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