Rising fertilizer prices and misperceptions about environmental degradation in intensive agriculture have stimulated claims that so-called “low-input” technologies relying on organic nutrient sources may provide a more sustainable means of producing food crops and increasing farmers’ income. However, the sole use of organic technologies would likely perpetuate food...

Parboiled rice is loaded at a riverside dock in Bangkok. It will be hauled down the Chao Phraya River to the Gulf of Thailand, to be loaded aboard cargo...

Ask someone to think of a rice field and odds are they’ll imagine a flooded paddy. Growing rice in puddled fields works well as long as there’s enough water to do it. But, increasingly, that’s not always the case. As populations increase and the industrial and urban sectors compete with agriculture for water, “aerobic rice” offers a water-saving alternative to...

A PLASTIC DRUM SEEDER holds six or eight perforated cylindrical drums housing pregerminated seeds that are dropped in rows as the seeder is easily pushed...

Involving farmers and farming communities in decisions about new agricultural technologies or management practices and allowing them to try a technology form the crux of the participatory approach to research. Not only does this give farming communities a sense of ownership, it also ensures that the technologies are sustainable under the farmers’ own management But is...

Rice is, arguably, the world’s most important food crop. In spite of this prominence, the private sector for many years concentrated only on developing rice crop protection products such as herbicides and insecticides. There was little investment in improving rice varieties, and low participation in the crop seed  business. In the mid-1990s, however, several agricultural...