Flagship 3: Climate-Resilient Farming 

With the burgeoning problem of global climate change, it is urgent for farmers to adopt varieties and practices that will lead to their crops’ climate resilience. This includes building rice-crop tolerance and/or resistance to diseases, pests, droughts, floods, heat, salinity, and others. Proper agronomic practices, such as alternate wetting and drying (AWD) will help the new varieties with the novel traits mentioned above to grow well under ever-increasing harsh conditions. 

Residue management in a circular economy

IRRI has developed a rice straw-based circular economy that includes sustainable rice contract farming, rice straw-based bio-fertilizer, bio-plastics, and urban agriculture. These residue-management options are being coupled with the promotion of ICT-based tools for optimizing effective rice-straw utilization. Moreover, these operations are being guided by proven business models and behaviorchange interventions that are targeted to different stakeholder groups. Ultimately, technical and social interventions together will upgrade agrifood value chains, increase rice-based farmers’ income by at least 10%, and decreased the carbon footprint by at least 20%.

Mechanization to support climate-resilient rice

Laser land leveling (LLL) helps to optimize water management and enables farmers to apply AWD to reduce water use and GHG emissions by up to 50%. LLL—integrated with mechanized direct seeding—helps significantly to increase agronomic use efficiency by reducing seed rate, irrigation water application, agronomic inputs such as fertilizer, pest and disease risks, lodging, and postharvest losses. In addition, postharvest management practices, which include solar bubble dryers, flatbed dryers, two-stage drying systems, hermetic storage, bioenergy, and the EasyHarvest App for smart mechanization, all help to reduce postharvest losses as well as the yield-scale carbon footprint.

Climate-smart maps (CS-MAP) 

CS-MAP is a participatory approach that integrates local knowledge and science-based research in developing maps of climate-related risks and adaptation plans for crop production, which is suitable to location-specific conditions. It has been effectively implemented in five ecological regions of Vietnam, including the Mekong River Delta, in order to help farmers mitigate climate-related risks, such as flooding, drought, and salinity intrusion. CS-MAP was developed and implemented by the Department of Crop Production of Vietnam and IRRI, through the CGIAR Research Program on Climate Change, Agriculture and Food Security in Southeast Asia.