Soon, Philippines farmers to get rice-growing advice via text messages

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Washington, July 10 (ANI): Farmers in the Philippines will soon have nutrient management advice tailored specifically to their rice crops delivered to their mobile phones.

Dr. Roland Buresh, part of the International Rice Research (IRRI) team, said that after responding to a series of simple questions about their rice paddy, farmers would receive an automated text reply recommending what amounts, sources, and timings of fertilizer are needed for profitable rice production in their paddy.

To help understand changes in rice production, IRRI's mapping team has published a map of rice-growing regions in South Asia for this season. They will compare maps from different years to identify new rice production areas and areas where rice is replaced by other land uses.

Just keeping up production in the MERCOSUR (Southern Common Market) region of South America responsible for 85% of the continent's rice production is a challenge this season, with adverse weather conditions causing production to drop an average of 8% since last season.

The weather is also upsetting North American rice production, where rains in California are predicted to reduce the crop there.

Despite changes in rice production, "In the last few months, global rice prices have fallen by more than 25%," said Dr. Sam Mohanty. In his Rice Mohanty also emphasized the need to boost rice yields by 1.2-1.5% every year to ensure food security in Asia.

This was published in the July-September 2010 edition of Rice Today. (ANI)

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