Research funded by the International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD) conducted by Virginia Tech in Nepal showed that adoption the of stress-tolerant rice varieties (STRVs) is beneficial for farmers, even in a non-drought year.
STRVs increase average yields by almost 30% compared to landraces with no yield penalty in good years relative to other high-yielding varieties, according to the study.
The adoption of modern varieties and hybrids also reduces the time between planting and harvesting and encourages farmers to adopt production practices such as applying more chemical fertilizer. This can further help farmers increase their incomes and climate resilience.
More on STRVs
Nepal follows the path to climate-change-ready rice farming
In 2015, the International Rice Research Institute (IRRI) started the United States Agency for International Development (USAID)-funded project Accelerating the Adoption of Stress-Tolerant Varieties by Smallholder Farmers in Nepal and Cambodia (ASTV). The ASTV project aims to solve some of the problems plaguing rice productivity, reduce poverty and hunger, and increase the food and income security of resource-poor farm households through high-yielding stress-tolerant rice varieties. Several rice varieties tolerant of flooding and drought have been released in Nepal through the collaboration of scientists from Nepal and IRRI. Despite the various challenges, the project has made significant progress with hundreds of organizations, businesses, and communities moving forward on this path in the 22 districts that make up the zone of influence in Nepal’s Feed the Future (FtF) initiative under USAID.
A woman rice farmer changes her plight and her village with stress-tolerant rice varieties
Manikapur Village shares a good portion of the total agricultural productivity of Nepalgunj, a submetropolitan city in midwestern Nepal. Beside the Nepalgunj Airport, Nirmala Sapkota owns a small house and 3,380 square meters of land. In 2016, seeing the good performance and yield of STRVs, she leased her neighbor’s land to double the size of her rice field to 0.66 hectares. She grew another STRV, the flood-tolerant Ciherang Sub1, on half of the land and harvested 2.2 tons of rice.
Women rice farmers: Agents of change in eastern India
The project Stress-Tolerant Rice for Africa and South Asia (STRASA) has rolled out initiatives to ensure farm productivity and food security and lessen climatic vulnerability in eastern India through women farmers. STRASA has established significant new strategic partnerships and convergence in the region. Its planning and convergence activity include giving women farmers access to stress-tolerant rice varieties (STRVs)—the most important input in the agriculture production chain. These initiatives do not only target women inclusion. They also provide systemic development, capacity building, and livelihood enhancement with the vision of establishing women as recognized farmers, seed growers, disseminators, and agents of change within their own communities and beyond.