Benefits of Diversity in Rice Farming

Publication - January 26, 2010
Sustainable agriculture that embraces diversity over monoculture, as demonstrated by traditional forms of Chinese rice farming, has multiple benefits including greater yields, pest and weed control, disease resistance, increased nitrogen efficiency and reduced output of greenhouse gases.

Executive summary: China is the world’s largest rice producer in terms of harvest and the second largest in terms of acreage sown; 93 percent of China’s rice is irrigated. In 2008, Chinese farmers harvested 193 million tonnes of rice from over 28 million hectares (IRRI 2009). China’s high proportion of irrigated rice acreage means that many of the country’s rice fields are suitable habitat for domesticated ducks and fish species. Traditionally, farmers have cared for these species together, in systems called ‘rice-duck’ and ‘rice-fish duck’. The studies demonstrate distinct advantages of diverse systems over monocultures and are an example of how traditional knowledge fused with modern science solves problems without genetic engineering.

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Number of pages: 2

See also:

Counting the Costs of Genetic Engineering - the report documents numerous case studies demonstrating the adverse environmental, economic and social impacts of genetic engineering, suggesting sustainable agricultural solutions instead.

Kenya Overcomes Pests and Weeds with Ecological Solutions - a case study of maize farmers in Kenya, east Africa.