Tag Archives: rice

Congee: A Poem by Dr.Syed Md. Zainul Abedin

Congee

Traditional therapeutic

Soup like food

Cooked rice with water

Porridge

The beneficial effects of climate change on rice in Madagascar(Taken from website of CIRAD)

In the highlands of Madagascar, upland rice growing has developed in recent years thanks to the availability of varieties suited to the prevailing low temperatures in this mountainous region. However, what repercussions is climate change likely to have on this crop, on which a large proportion of the island’s inhabitants depend? By simulating rice production over a century, depending on the extent of climate change and the cropping practices adopted, a team from CIRAD and FOFIFA came up with a surprising result: it was the most pessimistic climate scenario that enabled the best yields.

Global warming could have serious consequences for rice production, and as a result for food security. Precise data on the effects of global warming are few and far between, and primarily concern irrigated rice. Upland rice, on the other hand, has never been studied before.

A team of researchers from CIRAD and the Malagasy National Institute of Agricultural Research (FOFIFA) looked into the impact of global warming on upland rice productivity in the highlands of Madagascar, where the crop has developed recently. Their study covered a ninety-year period, from 2010 to 2099, depending on the cropping system adopted.

Two climate change scenarios

Rice yields were simulated using the CERES-Rice model, which was calibrated and then validated using the FOFIFA 161 rice cultivar, for which a set of experimental data was compiled over a six-year period. The cropping systems comprised two soil tillage systems – hand ploughing and no-tillage – and two nitrogen fertilizer rates – high and low.

In relation to the control, without climate change, two scenarios were tested. In the first, carbon dioxide emissions increased gradually up to 750 ppm and the temperature rose by 0.15 °C per decade. This was the optimistic scenario, in which the increase in carbon dioxide levels and the relatively moderate increase in temperature were supposed to foster rice growth.

In the second scenario, carbon dioxide emissions also rose gradually, but the temperature rose by 0.5 °C per decade and rainfall fell by 0.2 mm a day between December and February. This was the pessimistic scenario, in which the combination of a marked rise in temperature and a reduction in rainfall could have led to severe water stress in rice.

Surprising results

The analysis did not reveal any differences in yields between the soil tillage systems, irrespective of the degree of climate change and fertilizer rate. No-tillage did not improve yields compared to tillage, or the efficacy of water use or nitrogen uptake by the plant. It is likely that in order to significantly improve soil properties, no-tillage requires substantial dry matter production, which is impossible to achieve at the prevailing low temperatures in the region.

However, fertilization did have a significant effect on yields, with a gain of 1500 kg/ha of grain for nitrogen applications of 45 kg/ha. Nitrogen is a major constraint in this type of soil, in which its availability is reduced due to the soil’s poor anion exchange capacity and to leaching.

Rice yields, which were 5478 kg/ha on average, were markedly higher in the pessimistic scenario, with a gain of 576 kg/ha compared to the control. In that scenario, the increase in temperature speeded up flowering and grain maturity, in such a way that the demand for water and nutrients from the plant tallied better with their availability in the soil. Yield variability was lower, and the gap between this scenario and the others continued to grow over the years.

A positive effect on rice productivity

Although the initial hypotheses – crops without biotic constraints or marked weather events – limit the import of the results, global warming could have a positive effect on rice productivity in this cold region, where rice is grown at the lower limit of its temperature tolerance.

Unlike what it likely to happen in southern Asia, where rice is grown at the upper limit of its temperature tolerance and yields are likely to fall overall, the most “pessimistic” forecasts in terms of temperature could lead to a marked increase in yields in the highlands of Madagascar.

I acknowledge that the source of the important article ,’The beneficial effects of climate change on rice in Madagascar’ is the website of CIRAD which may be accessed at the following link:

http://www.cirad.fr/en/research-operations/research-results/2012/the-beneficial-effects-of-climate-change-on-rice-in-madagascar

The article has been published in this website to share and disseminate the research findings.All readers are invited to read and share their feelings about this article.

Cold Wave Hits Bangladesh:Is it An Indication of Climate Change?

The winter in Bangladesh was generally considered as pleasant.Usually lifestyle change in this season and many activities like,visiting countryside with family and friends, picnic,travels,sightseeing,festivals,fairs,ceremonies take place in this season.Many exotic and indigenous vegetables and fruits give the markets a colorful look and consumers make delicious  food items.One special activity in the winter of Bangladesh is making of various types of country cakes(locally called pitha) with rice,coconut,molasses made from the sap of  date palm,spices and many other ingredients.People generally relish these traditional food items when the invasion of imported foreign and locally machine made  packaged food items flood the market.

Foreign tourists also enjoy the pleasant winter weather of Bangladesh as it is almost similar to the summer of the west.This is why many foreigners from  the whole world and the migrant Bangladeshi people visit Bangladesh during winter.Cool temperature without any trouble of mud making rain give  delightful experience.

But,this winter that has started in December,2012 and rolled to January,2013 is different.Several cold waves have crippled the life of common people.They are struggling frantically to protect themselves from the bite of the shivering cold.Most people lack  sufficient warm clothing and this they are helpless in the foggy and wintry weather.Many children and old people have fallen victims of biting cold weather.News media reported 22 cases of death of humans up to 10 January.2013 .

The temperature in this winter has been recorded as the lowest in 58 years.Though the variation of temperature in different areas of the country may present a wrong picture about the severity of cold wave in particular places.The lowest temperature recorded in Dinajpur on 9 January,2013 was 3.2 degree Celsius while the highest was recorded in Cox’s Bazaar which was 11.8 degree Celsius.

Historically,the lowest temperature was recorded in Bangladesh in Srimangal, Moulvibazaar.The temperature was 2.8 degree Celsius and the day was 4 February,1968.The cold  temperature is mostly influenced by  various phenomena of weather.It has been observed that the adverse effects are many.Many kinds of diseases affect people in cold weather,domestic animals suffer badly in such weather.Crops like paddy  and potato production are badly affected by cold weather.The seedlings of winter paddy,called Boro rice get stunted by severe cold while potato may be damaged by fungal diseases like early and late blight.Mustard is another major crop of Bangladesh of winter which adds beauty to the nature by  its vast expanses of yellow flowers.This crop may be devastated by the attack of an insect pest called Aphid in the foggy weather.

The winter is one of six   vital  seasons of  Bangladesh.It would be a blessing unless the the people is devastated by cold waves.

This year the cold waves are biting hard causing great sufferings to peoples.Should we view the current winter as any indication

of climate change?I welcome the opinion of  experts in this discipline.

I will continue to update this article on the basis of real situation and opinion of experts.

 

 

One Morning of The Spring in My University Campus – Dr. Syed Zainul Abedin

Life in university is always a memorable event.It is not unlikely that an alumnus feel nostalgic when some thought on the university life comes across his or her memory.I encountered a passionate experience this morning when I went for a visit to the campus for some business.This campus is very special for my life and career.I got admitted in 1972 and left the campus in 1977 after graduation. Though the name of educational establishment was Bangladesh Agricultural Institute when I got admitted,this was transformed into a university later as the Sher-e-Bangla Agricultural University.

The campus was decorated by the flowers of mango trees.The lovely inflorescences of mango covered most of the canopies of the mango orchard and plants scattered across the campus.The advent of spring is declared by the emergence of mango flowers.The Nobel Laureate poet,Rabindranath Tagore composed the famous poem,’Amar Shonar Bangla….(My golden Bengal)’ indicating that mango flowers bloom in the spring. The other plants that flower to welcome the spring are bauhinia,coral,shimul,polash,krishnochura and shaddock.All these plants were in the campus with their wonderful blooms.The fragrance emitted by these flowers had made the campus a paradise on the earth.Bees and butterflies were flying on the flowers to collect nectar assisting in pollination.There were birds to collect food from the flowers and other sources.

I walked to the horticultural garden.The protected area accomodated many flowers and vegetables.A large

rose garden was there with many varieties.The roses were pink,red,yellow,white,green and mixed.Some of them were very large while some were miniature types.Some had fragrance while others were without any smell.

The vegetables were tomato,cabbage,spinach,onion and many others.Most of the horticultral crops were grown for experiments to understand the production,profit and promotional potential.I met some teachers and researchers in the garden.

I talked with a teacher-researcher who developed some short duration mustard varieties to fit beteween two rice crops which is staple food of our people.He was a successful innovator and continues his work on mustard genetics and breeding program.I visited his experimental fields which reached the harvesting stage.There were some fields of pulses around the fabulous tower erected for holding permanent agricultural fairs.

There were some experiments on rice and wheat too.Various equipments were being used in the experimental fields by trained personnel.All looked very busy to make use of the cool morning weather.

Then,I went to the large cannon ball trees to see their amazing flowers.All the trees carried flowers on their trunks.The cannon ball tree is said to be a rare plant.It carries wonderful flowers that look like the hood of cobra.It is also said that the fruit which resembles cannon ball are poisonous.However poisonous the fruit or flower of this plant may be,I always felt a crazy attraction for this plant,particularly,its amazing flowers.

After the visit of the campus resources,I met a number of persons to accomplish my business.I was welcomed by them.Shared about my passion with them.It was a wonderful morning of spring in my beloved educational centre.

When coming back I looked to the avenue trees of mast tree and road side jackfruit trees.The jackfruit tree were bearing flowers on the trunks and main branches.The beauty of the campus was enhanced by the trees in the campus.

FUTURE AGRICULTURAL SCIENTIST

I went to the countryside of Dhamrai,an Upazila under Dhaka district of Bangladesh to see the conditions of crops in the field.The day of the visit was in April,2010.The weather was sunny with clear sky and the temperature was around 34 degree.The major crops at this time were paddy,maize,cucurbits,brinjal and other vegetables.The fruit trees at the early bearing stage were mango and jack fruit.Moringa, a tree with choice vegetable was also in fruiting stage in some households.This area is also famous for a special variety of lemon which is grown by many farmers in compact blocks.

I was accompanied by two colleagues from the Department of Agricultural Extension(DAE) who served in this Upazila.
We were moving on motorbikes.The paddy fields were showing brilliance and fresh look.At some points we stopped to take a closer view.We were particularly interested about Brown Plant Hopper(BPH) and Sheath Blight of rice.They are real panic for rice crop. BPH is considered as a great threat at this moment for it can damage 100 percent of rice crop.At a point of our journey we stopped at a roadside spot noticing a small patch of rice field with suspicious
appearance.We examined the base of the rice plants to see BPH .We could not find BPH from the surveyed plant bases but we found Sheath Blight affected plants.We compared the specimen with the photo and description of the book published by Bangladesh Rice Research Institute(BRRI).Sheath Blight was confirmed in BRRIDHAN-29 variety.When we were doing the exercise ,a little student going back home from school on a bicycle stopped there.He was trying to listen to what we had been discussing.I felt very good and awaited curiously what the boy would do next.But he was very meek and did not come closer. I invited him to come closer and allowed him to see the specimen and then inspired him to read the note on Sheath Blight contained in BRRI publication.He was very happy for being able to participate.He was a special boy,more intelligent and curious than his classmates who were going back home then along the same road.He took an important practical lesson which might be utilized immediately in husbanding their own crop or answering the examination question on biology.He is a student of local high school and is studying in class seven.He aspired to be an agricultural scientist when he will grow up.The world will need more talented agricultural scientists in the future when there will be more mouths to feed and more challenges to face with fewer land and resources.
The name of the little boy is Abdul Khaleque.I became impressed by his curiosity for learning and for his aspiration to be an agricultural scientist.
I dedicate this Future Agricultural Scientist to the world and invite all concerned to support their education with conducing environment to enable them to face the future challenges across the world.