Good Agricultural Practices
Good Agricultural Practices (GAP)
Good Agricultural Practices (GAP) is an integrated set of recommended crop management practices. The GAP basket for increasing rice yield includes land-preparation options (bunding and field-levelling), variety choice, crop establishment, weed management, fertilizer management (especially via RiceAdvice), among others.
Studies by AfricaRice and its partners show that the integration of different GAP component technologies adapted to local conditions can boost rice yields in a wide range of conditions in Sub-Saharan Africa (SSA).
These technologies were piloted in many African countries.
Integration of GAP component technologies should consider local rice-growing environment and socio-economic conditions. Training of farmers in GAP is essential for successful adoption. Training materials such as ‘GAP charts’ developed by AfricaRice and its partners for specific rice-growing conditions can be used to train farmers in large numbers.
Benefits and impact on livelihoods at the pilot sites
Integration of GAP component technologies can increase rice yield by two to three-folds across SSA. The rice component of the SARD-SC project carried out in 21 countries found that the adoption of GAPs increased the yield by 0.7 t/ha in irrigated lowlands, 1.2 t/ha in rainfed lowlands and 1.0 t/ha in rainfed upland conditions with only 3 or 4 GAP component technologies.
A specific study in Tanzania showed that GAP technologies doubled yields under rainfed lowland conditions (1.8 –4.8 t/ha compared to 0.8 –2.4 t/ha using farmers’ practices) and increased yields under upland rice conditions (1.9 –5.1 t/ha compared to 1.5 –2.7 t/ha with farmers’ practices).
More than 50,000 farmers in 21 AfricaRice member countries directly benefitted from these production increases. Most GAP component technologies are designed to improve water use and soil fertility, reduce pest and disease pressure and reduce the labor requirement. For example, the mechanical and motorized weeders are set to reduce the labor time for weeding, which will benefit women the most.
Integrated GAP component technologies can be designed to meet the requirement of each rice-growing condition and local conditions. Hence, this technology can be expanded to all rice growing conditions in SSA.