Starting 2021, farm irrigation on the Jianan Plain in southern Taiwan will be suspended due to a pronounced dry season this year.
A total of 19,000 hectares of rice areas in the region will be affected by the irrigation restriction and will have no rice harvest in the first half of the season.
Taiwan’s weather bureau has forecasted little rain from February to April next year and more areas may be placed under irrigation restrictions as the water situation is not expected to improve anytime soon.
Read the full story at Focus Taiwan
More on making rice production more drought-tolerant:
Managing sheath blight and drought in rice using Trichoderma
The Trichoderma strains were taken for checking drought tolerance in rice crops. When applied as seed+root dip treatment, the strains not only reduced disease incidence but also acted as a plant growth promoter and increased the number of tillers/hill, plant height, and yield of the crop. The root colonization by Trichoderma increased the growth of roots and plant productivity. Biochemical studies showed the ability of Trichoderma BHU-11, T-4. and BHU-8 to produce a high level of phenol and proline contents in Trichoderma-treated plants under drought stress as well as higher accumulation of chlorophyll.
New irrigation technique can ease drought effect on rice
AWD can save up to 500 liters of water per kilogram of rice. Departing from the conventional way of growing rice that uses continuous flooding, AWD makes use of the cycle of draining and reflooding of rice paddies, keeping an optimum water level at any particular time. The AWD technology is applicable to larger irrigation schemes but it is also just as useful for rice farmers who rely on pump irrigation. AWD use means greater farming incentives as lower water consumption translates right away into savings on fuel cost and higher net income for farmers.
Drought-proof rice for African farmers
Drought is particularly devastating to Africa’s rice production since almost 80% of the region’s rice area is rainfed. Many Africans still remember the terrible droughts of 1972-74 and 1981-84, which ravaged the Sahel and the Horn of Africa and caused immense suffering and severely affected farming—the principal source of livelihood for millions of poor people. Over the last four decades, Africa has suffered from seven major episodes of drought. Fortunately, rice has a significant genetic variation in traits related to drought tolerance, such as earliness, root architecture, and water-use efficiency. Scientists desperately look for these traits in varieties to be used in breeding programs and to develop improved high-yielding drought-tolerant varieties.