India's rice revolution

From Global development | The Guardian Sat Feb 16 2013, 16:00:00

In a village in India's poorest state, Bihar, farmers are growing world record amounts of rice - with no GM, and no herbicide. Is this one solution to world food shortages?

Sumant Kumar was overjoyed when he harvested his rice last year. There had been good rains in his village of Darveshpura in north-east India and he knew he could improve on the four or five tonnes per hectare that he usually managed. But every stalk he cut on his paddy field near the bank of the Sakri river seemed to weigh heavier than usual, every grain of rice was bigger and when his crop was weighed on the old village scales, even Kumar was shocked.

This was not six or even 10 or 20 tonnes. Kumar, a shy young farmer in Nalanda district of India's poorest state Bihar, had - using only farmyard manure and without any herbicides - grown an astonishing 22.4 tonnes of rice on one hectare of land. This was a world record and with rice the staple food of more than half the world's population of seven billion, big news.

It beat not just the 19.4 tonnes achieved by the "father of rice", the Chinese agricultural scientist Yuan Longping, but the World Bank-funded scientists at the International Rice Research Institute in the Philippines, and anything achieved by the biggest European and American seed and GM companies. And it was not just Sumant Kumar. Krishna, Nitish, Sanjay and Bijay, his friends and rivals in Darveshpura, all recorded over 17 tonnes, and many others in the villages around claimed to have more than doubled their usual yields.

[view whole blog post ]
 See More    |     Report Abuse


You might also be interested in the following news stories:

Nigeria:   Ex-Militia Fights Delta Oil Theft (news)
CAJ News Agency
22 April 2014

A former leader of Niger Delta militants, Felix Timilaemi, has launched a voluntary campaign against oil theft in Ekeremor Local Government Area of Bayelsa State. [read more]

Zimbabwe:   U.S Revises Targeted Sanctions (news)
SW Radio Africa
22 April 2014

The US government has revised its targeted sanctions list by adding four new names and removing 11 others. [read more]

South Sudan:   Army Admits Losing County to Rebels (news)
Sudan Tribune
22 April 2014

South Sudan government admitted on Tuesday that its forces had lost control of Unity state's Mayom county to anti-government rebels led by the country's former vice-president, Riek Machar. [read more]



blogAfrica is allAfrica.com's platform to help you keep an ear on the African blogosphere. We draw diverse voices from around the world who post regularly and insightfully about African issues. Bloggers, submit your blog's rss-feed!