Rice is a very important crop feeding half of the global population. Its gaining high importance due to
high nutritive value, its short growth duration and high incomes per given land area than any other
cereal crop. Despite this, its production is facing challenges such as diseases and pests, degraded
soil, need for high grain quality, population growth, high input costs, climate change and variability
threats and plateauing yields. There is urgent need to come up with robust and innovative ways on
how to sustain and increase rice yield to feed the ever expanding population, and this will largely
involve increased yields per unit area, rather than horizontal expansion of new areas. More
importantly, the reproductive soil resource is under threat and thus this increased productivity must
enhance the conservation of the productive land resource base for sustainability especially in relation
to Nitrogen and Phosphorous nutrient elements. There is also need for deliberate efforts to diversify
products from high yielding varieties with unpreferred paddy into unique value added niche markets to
trigger high productivity. This article devolves on some of the opportunities available to address some
of the production challenges.
Author (s) Details
Dr. J. M. Kimani
Kenya Agricultural and Livestock Research Organization, Industrial Crops Research Mtwapa, Kenya.
Professor P. Tongoona
West African Centre for Crop Improvement, College of Basic and Applied Sciences, University of Ghana, P.M.B. 30, Legon Ghana.
Seed Co. International ltd, An Affiliate of African Centre for Crop Improvement, School of Agricultural Sciences and Agribusiness, Faculty of Science and Agriculture, University of KwaZulu-Natal, Republic of South Africa.
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