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IFAD Upland NewsletterV1N1

IFAD Upland NewsletterV1N1

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Published by: Ely de Leon on Sep 07, 2011
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The IFAD Project
I welcome you to this first issueof “develop, validate and deliver” or
, a newsletter of theupland project
Managing RiceLandscapes in the MarginalUplands for Household FoodSecurity and EnvironmentalSustainability.
With support from IFAD, IRRIis implementing this project in partnership withNARES of India, Lao PDR, Nepal and Vietnamin the agriculturally marginal uplands.
aims to keep all project membersand other stakeholders fully informed of projectactivities and research outputs, in particular.We plan to produce this newsletter on a regularbasis and would like to solicit news and
storiesfrom all associated staff for inclusion infuture issues.
It is with pleasure that Iwelcome the launch of thee-newsletter “
” of the TAG706 Programme
Managing RiceLandscapes in the MarginalUplands for Household FoodSecurity and Environmental Sustainability
.The e-newsletter will be a very useful toolto share and disseminate research results toa wider audience, both nationally andinternationally. The achievements of thisprogramme are very relevant to IFAD’s work,primarily for three reasons.First, the programme’s target domain isthe marginal uplands of South and SoutheastAsia, home to farmers belonging to minorityethnic groups who are economically andsocially marginalized, and often very poor.
From the Coordinators’ Desks….
An official publicationof the IRRI-IFAD Projectd.v.d. newsletter, vol 1, no 1 Jan-apr 2008
Project Partners andTarget Area,
2 & 3
Validated Technologies
India & Nepal,
Lao PDR & Vietnam,
Highlights of ImportantEvents,
6 & 7
TAG 706 and IFADInvestment ProjectLinkages,
Rice Seed Distribution,
 Contact persons,
In this issue…
More than 40 million people depend directly for their food needs on growing rice in theagriculturally marginal uplands of South and SouthEast Asia. Much of the uplands arecharacterized by high incidences of poverty caused by poor physical access to markets,ill-functioning marketing institutions, and subsistence agriculture with low productivity.Rising population pressure and the consequent intensification of marginal areas for foodproduction have contributed to environmental degradation and further reduced agricul-tural productivity.Populations living in the uplands are caught up in a vicious circle that perpetuates poverty, food insecurity, and environ-mental degradation. The IFAD grant project TAG706 titled
Managing Landscapes in Marginal Uplands for Household FoodSecurity and Environmental Sustainability
aims to break this circle by using the concept of 
improved rice landscape man-agement
. The US$1.19 million research grant project is IRRI-led and implemented in collaboration with national researchorganizations of four countries — India, Lao PDR, Nepal, and Vietnam. The project was initiated in 2005. It is now in its finalyear of implementation. The overall goal of the grant project is to improve the livelihoods of upland farmers whileconserving fragile natural resources through identifying, validating, and disseminating appropriate improved rice-system-based agricultural technologies.Rice being the staple food crop, the people’s food security depends directly and heavily on its production. Increasing theproductivity of land and labor in growing rice is thus a critical entry point. Increased rice productivity can: i) promoteincome-generating activities by freeing household labor that is used to meet basic needs, and ii) help protect the fragileupland environment by reducing the pressure to intensify food production in steep sloping fields and forest margins.The project follows four basic tenets:landscape management, farmer participatory research, integration of farmerknowledge, and integrative research and development to implementation of project activities. The project tests andvalidates agricultural technologies in farmers’ fields with farmer participation in selected villages chosen as field researchsites. The project has a network of 12 research sites representing the major agroecological domains found in the uplandsof the participating countries. The project is expected to achieve the following five outputs designed to attain the overallproject goal.1. Inventories of upland farm and community resources, indigenous knowledge regarding the use of suchresources, and potentially viable technology options.2. Rice technologies for paddies that are validated to be more productive and resource conserving.3. Technologies for rice-based systems in sloping uplands that are validated to be more productive and resource-conserving.4. More effective strategies for rapid dissemination of technologies.5. Improved capacity of national agricultural research and extension system (NARES) to plan and implement integrativeresearch and development.
(continued to page 2) (continued to page 2)
Project Partners and Target Area
Page 2
d.v.d. newsletter, vol. 1, no. 1, jan-apr 2008
“The basic mottoof our workis income growthwith household food security 
Sushil Pandey,Rice Today,Oct-Dec 2007 issue
Second, the programme is improving poor farmers’ access to agricultural technologiesthat raise land and labor productivity in paddies and sloping uplands. This contributes toIFAD’s objective of ensuring poor rural women and men’s improved and sustainable accessto natural resources, improved agricultural technologies and effective production services.And, finally, the programme considers rice, the major staple of the region, as the keyentry point for developing and improving livelihood systems based on a firm foundation of food security, which is increasingly under threat because of rising cereal prices.The newsletter is a step towards bringing the research findings of the programme closerto our target groups through enhanced collaboration with IFAD-funded investment projectsand national partners.I wish the e-newsletter a success!
Carla De GregorioGrants CoordinatorAsia and the Pacific DivisionIFAD
The project is implemented in the Indian northeastern states of Assam and Meghalaya.The Indian Council of Agricultural Research Complex for the North East Hill Region (ICAR NEH)of the Indian Council of Agricultural Research (ICAR) and the Regional Agricultural ResearchStation (RARS) Diphu of Assam Agricultural University (AAU) are the partner organizationsimplementing the project research activities in Meghalaya and Assam, respectively.ICAR NEH operates two field research sites, Saiden (533 m) and Kyrdemkulai (808 m)in Meghalaya. RARS Diphu operates three research sites — Ram Teron Basti (152 m),Lama Basti (142 m), and Bim Engti Gaon (150 m) — in Karbi Anglong District, one of thetwo hill districts of Assam. The research sites represent the major agroecological conditionsfound in the larger target area. Meghalaya is hilly, where elevation ranges from 150 mto 1961 m. Karbi Anglong is about 60% hilly where the elevation ranges from about 100mto 1,360 m. Rice is the dominant food grain crop in both target areas. While permanentagriculture is primarily done in narrow valleys in the hills, shifting cultivation, locally knownas
, is practiced on the hill slopes, thereby largely affecting the hills.
The Northern Agriculture and Forestry Research Center (NAFReC) of the NationalAgriculture and Forestry Research Institute (NAFRI), Lao PDR, is the partner organizationimplementing the project research activities. The center operates two field research sites,Fai (326 m) and Silalek (612 m) villages in Luang Prabang Province. The two fieldresearch sites are selected to represent the northern mountainous provinces of Lao PDR,the mandate of the NAFReC, where elevation ranges from around 300 m to 2,817 m.Fai village represents conditions found in the lower hills with better lowland endowmentand access to markets, whereas Silalek village represents poor lowland endowment andpoor access to market areas found in the middle hills/elevations. Rice is the dominantfood crop. The dominance of upland rice increases with an increase in elevation. Uplandagriculture is typically characterized by shifting cultivation with a shortening fallow perioddue to increasing population pressure.In Lao PDR, the project has established a
multi-institutional partnership platform
 for regional collaboration for upland research and technology validation. Besides IRRIand NAFReC/NAFRI, the partnership involves insitutions such as the Yunnan Academyof Agricultural Sciences, University of California Davis, World Agroforestry Center(ICRAF), IFAD loan projects Oudomxai Community Initiative Support Project (OCISP)and Rural Livelihoods Improvement Programme (RLIP), and the IRRI-led Consortiumfor Unfavorable Rice Environments (CURE), among others.
I would like to thank Dr HariGurung, technical editor, Ms GinaZarsadias, graphic designer, andMs. Tess Rola, English editor forbringing out the first issue of thenewsletter.I am hopeful that projectpartners, stakeholders and readerswill find the newsletter informativeand useful.
Dr. Sushil PandeyProject LeaderIRRI
From the Coordinators’ Desk….continuation from page 1
Cont….Project Partners and Target Area
The Institute of Agriculture and Animal Science (IAAS) Sundarbazar and theNational Rice Research Program (NRRP) Hardinath of the Nepal AgriculturalResearch Council (NARC) are the two collaborating organizations implementingthe project research activities in Nepal.IAAS Sundarbazar operates its field research site in Sundarbazar village (615 m)in Lamjung District. The site represents middle hill conditions in the mid-westernregion of Nepal, where elevation can range from a few hundred meters to1,700 m. NRRP Hardinath, located in East Nepal, operates two field research sites,Bhabasi (242 m) and Patu (260 m) in Mahottari District, representing
hills conditions. Patu represents villages with both upland and lowlandconditions and Bhabasi represents villages primarily with upland conditions. Riceis the most important food grain crop in both the target areas. Paddy rice is grownin vallley bottoms and bunded terraces made on hill slopes. Unlike in northeasternIndia and uplands of Laos and Vietnam, shifting or slash-and-burn agricultureis not practiced. Upland rice is grown in unbunded terraces or
(plateauuplands). And, unlike the highland conditions in northeastern India and northernLaos and Vietnam, the population density is high, while the average landholdingis low, with higher cropping intensity.
 The Northern Mountainous Agriculture and Forestry Science Institute(NOMAFSI) of the Vietnam Academy of Agricultural Sciences (VAAS)and Thai Nguyen University of Economics and BusinessAdministration (TUEBA) are the collaborating organizationsin Vietnam. While NOMAFSI—mandated to serve the agriculturalresearch needs of the northern mountainous region of Vietnam—brings in the agricultural expertise, TUEBA brings in thesocioeconomic expertise. The two organizations jointly operate tworesearch sites in Nam Bung (654 m) and Suoi Giang (948 m) communesin Van Chan District of Yen Bai Province. The research sites are selectedto represent the major agroecological domains found in the northernprovinces. Nam Bung represents lower hill conditions and Suoi Giangrepresents middle hill conditions, where the majority of the populationand agriculture are concentrated.Rice is the dominant crop. Paddy rice, grown in valleys and terraces,is dominant at lower elevations, whereas upland rice is dominant athigher elevations. Shifting agriculture is the norm in the uplands. Withthe government policy to stop shifting agriculture and with increasingpopulation pressure, fallow period has declined, leading to increased hillslope degradation and falling productivity.
Page 3
d.v.d. newsletter, vol. 1, no. 1, jan-apr 2008

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