Flagship 1: Direct-seeded rice (DSR)
IRRI has established a transdisciplinary network— the Direct-Seeded Rice Consortium, which is a public–private multi-stakeholder research-fordevelopment platform. It is designed to address complex research issues of DSR and to catalyze scaling through public-private partnerships to create impact at scale. Through this consortium, IRRI has established a robust DSR results for development network especially in India, Cambodia, Philippines, and Vietnam.
Over the last 3 years, specific breeding of varieties suitable for DSR was undertaken. Simultaneously, great progress has been made in the following areas:
synthesizing the current status of DSR adoption globally and regionally; developing methodologies for identifying suitable areas for precision targeting and differentiating DSR from transplanting for M&E using GIS and remote-sensing approaches; developing methodologies for identifying suitable areas for precision targeting and differentiating
DSR from transplanting for M&E using GIS and remote-sensing approaches;
quantifying the benefits of DSR in terms of yield, net income, resource saving, and reduction in GHG emissions across wide geographic areas;
developing risk-reducing practices (e.g., soil mulch DSR, anaerobic germination-tolerant varieties, precision seeding with precision seeders, seed priming, iron-coating of seeds, etc.) to ensure good crop establishment;
developing robust integrated weed management options including herbicide programs for herbicide-tolerant rice technology;
identifying robust mechanization options for dry and wet DSR and a strengthened service provision model to enhance access of capitalintensive technologies to smallholders;
developing precision nutrient management to address the trade-off of nitrous oxide emissions in DSR;
optimizing and quantifying the benefit of drip irrigation in DSR-based systems (rice-rice, rice-wheat, and rice-maize);
optimizing the seeding rate for dry and wet DSR;
understanding adoption constraints at farmers’ and service providers’ levels through an ex-post survey of them;
developing digital solutions to drive service provision brokering through a market dashboard;
facilitating market development for new products in areas where DSR has good scope for expansion through public-private partnerships; and
building capacity of stakeholders across the value chain.
Direct seeding is a crop-establishment system wherein rice seeds are sown directly into the field as opposed to the traditional method of growing seedlings in a nursery and then transplanting them into flooded fields. In the next 25 years, rice production needs to increase by 25% to meet global demand. Meeting this challenge requires producing more rice efficiently with less labor, water, energy, and agro-chemicals in a sustainable way. DSR offers both adaptation (to water shortages and weak and variable monsoons) and mitigation (reducing GHG emissions) options to climate change. There is also substantial evidence that specific management practices under DSR can improve crop productivity and quality.