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Rice fields emit greenhouse gases say agriculturalists

posted Nov 12, 2015, 12:58 AM by Unknown user
Staff Correspondent

While rice production may get affected due to the impacts of climate change, rice farming itself is a contributor to climate change as a substantial source of greenhouse gases (GHGs), agricultural scientists said yesterday.

They recommended that farmers use new irrigation technologies--Alternate Wetting and Drying (AWD) and Fertiliser Deep Placement (FDP) in rice farming to mitigate GHG emissions.

These observations came at a two-day workshop on "GHG emissions from rice fields: Mitigation options from FDP and AWD", organised by International Fertilizer Development Centre (IFDC) at Bangladesh Agricultural Research Council in the capital. Dr Reiner Wassmann, senior scientist at the International Rice Research Institute (IRRI), presented a keynote paper on “Assessing the suitability of mitigation options in rice production derived from bio-physical considerations and stakeholder perceptions”.

He discussed the benefits of the adoption of AWD, a technology for water-saving with the aim to reduce GHG emissions in rice fields. Around 21 percent of the total GHG emissions in Bangladesh occur in rice fields, he said.

“Various altered crop management strategies have been suggested, ranging from the selection of potentiality low-emitting rice cultivars to proper post-harvest management, but AWD is still the most promising option,” he said.

IFDC is researching methods to mitigate GHG emissions that result from lowland rice farming in Bangladesh.

Rice farms account for 85 percent of Bangladesh's agricultural land and emit carbon dioxide, methane and nitrous oxide greenhouse gases. Moreover, inefficient fertiliser use in rice cultivation increases nitrous oxide and nitric oxide emissions.

Yam Kanta Gaihre, deputy chief of the Accelerating Agriculture Productivity Improvement at IFDC, presented a paper on “Assessing the impacts of urea deep placement (UDP) on GHG emissions and mitigation potential under continuous rice cropping system”.

UDP is a rising popular technology that can drastically cut nitrogen losses up to 35 percent and increases rice yield up to 20 percent, he said.

Agriculture Minister Matia Chowdhury inaugurated the workshop as chief guest.

(Repost from The Daily Star, Bangladesh)