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Journal Articles

2024 ARTICLES 

Assessing the spatial distribution patterns of suitable inland valleys for rice development: A case study of two contrasting regions in Benin

The aim of this study was to model the spatial distribution patterns of lowland areas suitable for rice production. Data were collected in two contrasting regions of Benin, namely the Mono and Couffo departments (Mono-Couffo) and the Haut Ouémé watershed (Haut Ouémé).  The results showed that the GWR model outperformed the OLS model in assessing the spatial distribution of suitability of IVs. The results demonstrated the effectiveness of the GWR model in assessing the distribution of highly suitable IVs.

Read More: https://doi.org/10.1007/s40808-024-02047-7

 

Agronomic and economic evaluation of ratoon rice cropping systems with perennial rice varieties in West Africa

The aim of this study was to evaluate the effects of the cropping system and the perennial rice variety
on grain yield, labour productivity and profitability in irrigated lowlands of West Africa. Experiments were conducted for two years at two sites: Mbe in Côte d′Ivoire and Ndiaye in Senegal, located in the subhumid and Sahelian climatic zones, respectively.
The results showed that the cropping system, the variety and their interaction had significant effects on grain yield, labour productivity and profitability at both sites,

Read More: https://doi.org/10.1016/j.fcr.2024.109294 (Open Access)

Twenty-five rice research priorities for sustainable rice systems by 2050

In this study, the authors conducted a horizon scanning activity to identify and prioritise research gaps for sustainable rice systems by 2050. The horizon scanning involved a global and diverse panel of rice experts (101 from 31 countries). The panel responded to questionnaires on drivers, projections and research needs for rice AgR&D. Research gaps were then assessed in terms of their relevance and novelty for sustainable rice systems.  These gaps highlight the research that needs to be prioritised to achieve sustainable rice systems that build resilience, conserve biodiversity and promote socio-economic well-being.

Read More: https://doi.org/10.1017/sus.2024.17 (Open access)

Adaptation And Selection of Early Maturing And High-Yielding Production of Some Exotic Rice Genotypes Under Egyptian Conditions

In this study, the genotypes grown during several successive seasons in 2020 and 2021 at the experimental farm of Sakha Agricultural Research Station, Sakha, Kafr El-Sheikh, Egypt, in order to identify and select the promising genotype desirable for earliness and high grain yield under Egyptian conditions. Analysis of variance showed large and significant differences between rice genotypes for all the traits studied.

Read More:  10.21608/JENVBS.2024.266051.1240(Open access)

Intensifying rice production to reduce imports and land conversion in Africa.

The authors used a process-based crop simulation modelling approach, combined with local meteorological, soil and management datasets, to assess the potential for increased rice production on existing cropland in Africa, as well as cropland expansion and rice imports by 2050 under different yield intensification scenarios. The conclusion is that Africa can avoid further increases in rice imports, and even reduce them, by combining the expansion of cultivated land in line with historical trends with a reduction by half or more of the current exploitable yield gap. 

Read More: https://doi.org/10.1038/s41467-024-44950-8 (Open access)

Evaluating responses by ChatGPT to farmers’ questions on irrigated lowland rice cultivation in Nigeria

The objective of this study was to evaluate the ability of an AI chatbot assistant (ChatGPT) to provide quality responses to farmers’ questions. 
In conclusion, while the chatbot could offer an alternative source for providing agricultural advisory services to farmers, incorporating site-specific input rate-and-timing agronomic practices into AI assistants is critical for their direct use by farmers.

Read More: https://doi.org/10.1038/s41598-024-53916-1(open access)

A participatory framework for prioritizing climate-smart agriculture innovations in rice-based systems: A case study of Mali

In the paper, authors developed a participatory framework for prioritizing climate smart agriculture innovations in rice-based systems and identify the barriers, incentives and roles of institutions for widespread adoption using Mali as a case study. The framework developed in this study can be used to identify and invest into locally relevant best-bet CSA innovation packages.

Read Morehttps://doi.org/10.1016/j.atech.2023.100392 (open access)

2023 ARTICLES 

Efficacy of metarhizium anisopliae and beauveria bassiana as biological control agents of African Rice Gall Midge (AfRGM), Orseolia oryzivora Harris & Gagné

 The study aimed to determine the effectiveness of Entomopathogenic fungi (EPF), Metarhizium anisopliae and Beauveria bassiana in controlling AfRGM on four popular rice cultivars under screenhouse conditions at AfricaRice/IITA, Ibadan, Nigeria. The experiment was laid out in a 4 x 3 factorial fitted in a completely randomized design (CRD) in three replications. Results showed that although both fungi significantly reduced AfRGM tiller infestation, the degree of reduction varied with the specific fungus and rice variety grown.

Read More: https://doi.org/10.1080/09670874.2023.2274353

Genome-wide association analysis for emergence of deeply sown rice (Oryza sativa) reveals novel aus-specific phytohormone candidate genes for adaptation to dry-direct seeding in the field

Prior studies indicated that these phytohormones play a critical role in mesocotyl length under deep sowing. This study provides new insight into the importance of aus and indica as desirable genetic resources to mine favorable alleles for deep-sowing tolerance in rice. The candidate genes and marker-tagged desirable alleles identified in this study should benefit rice breeding programs directly.

Read More: https://doi.org/10.3389/fpls.2023.1172816(open access)

Status quo and challenges of rice production in sub-Saharan Africa

This paper aims to provide the status quo of (i) current rice production and its challenges, (ii) selected achievements in rice agronomy research mainly by the Africa Rice Center and its partners, and (iii) perspectives for future research on rice agronomy in SSA. The major problems confronting rice production include low yield in rainfed environments, accounting for 70% of the total rice harvested area. For alleviating these constraints, a wide range of technologies have been developed and introduced over the last three decades. further research efforts are needed to develop locally adapted agronomic solutions for sustainable intensification.

Read More​https://doi.org/10.1080/1343943X.2023.2241712 (open access)

Identification of Gendered Trait Preferences among Rice Producers Using the G+ Breeding Tools: Implications for Rice Improvement in Ghana

In this study the authors used an innovative set of selection tools, the G+ tools, to identify the trait preferences of men and women in order to develop a robust product profile using a mixed-methods approach. The assertion that "men focus more on production and marketing-related traits, while women focus on production and cooking qualities" was also confirmed. Descriptive, deductive and content analyses were carried out and the results indicate ecological differences in varietal choices. In conclusion, the results highlight the need for gender-sensitive breeding work that takes into account the different needs and priorities of targeted male and female rice farmers in breeding decisions for a robust rice product profile.

Read More: https://doi.org/10.3390/su15118462 (open access)

Estimating oligopsonistic market power in Uganda’s rice industry

In this study the authors apply the conjectural variation approach to determine whether Ugandan rice traders exercise oligopsony power in the market for domestic rice. Using an econometric system of four equations, the null hypothesis of competitive behaviour is valid at different price elasticities of agricultural supply, ranging from inelastic to elastic supply. This implies that there is no evidence that rice traders apply oligopsony power when purchasing milled rice from farmers.

Read More: https://doi.org/10.1080/03031853.2023.2253795 (open access)

Factors affecting the adoption of climate-smart agriculture technologies in rice farming systems in Mali, West Africa

The aim of this study was to identify CSA practices in rice cropping systems and to determine the factors that determine farmers' adoption. Interviews were conducted with 440 rice farmers, 70% of whom were women, in 16 focus groups, nine of which were exclusively for women, in the Sikasso region of Mali. Data was collected through interviews, surveys and focus group discussions. The results showed that crop diversification, improved rice varieties, crop rotation, tree planting, micro-dosing and rice production, micro-dosing of organic manure and micro-dosing of mineral fertiliser were CSA practices that were widely adopted in the study area.

Read morehttps://doi.org/10.1016/j.atech.2023.100283 (open access)

Spatially differentiated nitrogen supply is key in a global food–fertilizer price crisis.

In this article, the authors inform us that a regional geopolitical conflict and sudden, massive supply disruptions have revealed the vulnerabilities of our global link between fuels, fertilisers and food. With soaring nitrogen (N) fertiliser prices threatening food security, differentiated responses are needed to maintain staple grain yields in over- and under-fertilised farming systems. In this article, they propose some solutions that could help resolve this situation.

Read morehttps://doi.org/10.1038/s41893-023-01166-w (open access)

Inorganic fertilizer use and its association with rice yield gaps in sub-Saharan Africa

This study addresses the issue of inorganic fertilizer use by assessing spatial variation in fertilizer use and its association with rice yield and yield gap in 24 SSA countries through a systematic literature review of peer-reviewed articles, theses and grey literature published between 1995 and 2021. The results showed a large variation in N, P and K fertiliser application rates and rice yield and an opportunity to reduce the yield gap by increasing N and P rates, particularly in irrigated rice systems.

Read morehttps://doi.org/10.1016/j.gfs.2023.100708 (open access)

Deep Learning Enables Instant and Versatile Estimation of Rice Yield Using Ground-Based RGB Images

In this study, the authors present an approach based on deep learning for instantaneous estimation of rice yield using red-green-blue images. A convolutional neural network applied to this data at harvest time predicted a 68% variation in yield with a relative root mean square error of 0.22. The model developed successfully detected genotypic differences and the impact of agronomic interventions on yield in the independent data set.

Read morehttps://doi.org/10.34133/ plantphenomics.0073 (open access)

Analysis of the factors influencing the adoption of digital extension services: evidence from the RiceAdvice application in Nigeria

This study evaluates the new digital extension services approach to long-term adoption of digital extension technologies. Ten business profiles were tested with a sample size of 1440 farmers. Using the RiceAdvice as case study, the researchers used choice experiment and the alternative-specific mixed logit model to determine most preferred business profile and analyze its determinants. The study revealed an indirect approach to the long-term adoption of digital extension technologies as most suitable for small holder farmers ‘adoption.

Read more: https://www.tandfonline.com/doi/full/10.1080/1389224X.2023.2222109 (Open access)

Estimating nutrient concentrations and uptake in rice grain in sub-Saharan Africa using linear mixed-effects regression

This article shows how important it is for sub-Saharan Africa to have an accurate estimate of nutrient concentrations without resorting to laboratory analysis of plants, as farmers generally do not have access to laboratories. They show that quantifying nutrient concentrations in rice grains is essential for assessing nutrient uptake, utilization efficiency and balance for develop fertilizer recommendations. The results suggest that estimates of macronutrient and micronutrient intake in rice grain can be obtained simply by using regionally averaged concentrations of each nutrient for sub-Saharan Africa.

Read more: https://linkinghub.elsevier.com/retrieve/pii/S0378429023001806 (Open access)

Indigenous nutrient supply, weeding and fertilisation strategies influence on‑farm N, P and K use efficiency in lowland rice

This article explains how improving the efficiency of applied fertilizer use increases farmers' return on fertilizer investment by reducing nutrient inputs and improving yields. The results showed that the supply of native nutrients in the absence of fertilization varied considerably from one farmer's field to another within the same irrigation system. Utilization efficiency of applied nutrients decreased with increasing native nutrient supply, indicating that a site-specific fertilizer recommendation is needed based on the levels of native nutrient supply in each farmer's field.

Read morehttps://link.springer.com/10.1007/s10705-023-10275-z (Open access)

Assessing the biophysical factors affecting irrigation performance in rice cultivation using remote sensing derived information

This study shows that identifying the biophysical factors that affect the performance of irrigated crops under semi-arid conditions is essential to the success of profitable and sustainable agriculture under variable climatic conditions.  The results indicate that improving the performance of irrigated rice in the Kou Valley irrigation system would require growing more rice at lower altitudes (e.g. < 300 m above sea level) and closer to the system's water intake, in conjunction with good management of nutrients such as nitrogen and phosphorus through fertilization.

Read morehttps://linkinghub.elsevier.com/retrieve/pii/S0378377422006710 (Open access)

Rice developmental stages modulate rhizosphere bacteria and archaea cooccurrence and sensitivity to long-term inorganic fertilization in a West African Sahelian agro-ecosystem

This study provides new insights into the co-occurrence of rhizosphere bacteria and archaea and the long-term impact of inorganic fertilization on these communities across developmental stages of field-grown rice. The long-term impact of inorganic fertilization on these communities across the developmental stages of field-grown rice could help to develop strategies to successfully manipulate microbial communities to improve rice yields

Read morehttps://doi.org/10.1186/s40793-023-00500-1 (Open access)

The adoption and impacts of improved parboiling technology for rice value chain upgrading on the livelihood of women rice parboilers in Benin.

This study assesses the impact of the improved GEM parboiling system on the livelihoods of women rice parboilers and the factors affecting adoption of the GEM system, and estimates its impact on income, production rates and food security in Benin. In general, the results indicate that supporting and promoting the training of women parboilers in GEM and contact with extension agents is a means of increasing adoption and access to the technology and, consequently, improving their livelihoods.

Read more:https://www.frontiersin.org/articles/10.3389/fsufs.2023.1066418/full (open Access)

Uptake and income distribution effects of targeted farm technologies on rice farmers in forest and Guinea Savannah Zones of Ghana: Does gender matter?

This study examines the role of gender in income distribution among rice farmers in rural Ghana. The study used a two-stage BFG model, using primary data collected from rice farmers. The results show that gender, land ownership and childcare negatively influence women's use of inorganic fertilizer and also show that gender (women), childcare and location (where women have limited access to land) have a significant and inverse influence on inorganic fertilizer use.

Read Morehttps://doi.org/10.1016/j.jafr.2023.100516 (open access)

Consumer preferences for rice in East Africa

This article aims to understand consumer preferences for rice quality attributes in Uganda and Kenya. The method consisted of collecting rice samples from retail markets in different districts/towns in the two countries and analyzing them in a grain quality laboratory to determine the physico-chemical characteristics of rice. The result is that Ugandan consumers are willing to pay a premium for rice with a relatively high proportion of intact grains, but ignore white grains.

Read Morehttps://www.emerald.com/insight/content/doi/10.1108/BFJ-08-2022-0698/full/html (open access)

Exploring Gender Differences in the Role of Trait Preferences among Stakeholders in the Rice Value Chain in Ghana

This paper examines gender-specific rice trait preferences and their role in the adoption of improved rice varieties among male and female rice farmers in Ghana. Four hundred rice-farming households and 261 consumers were surveyed in 20 communities using a simple random sampling technique. The results show differences in preferences for cooking quality traits and postharvest traits among men and women farmers

Read Morehttps://doi.org/10.3390/su15076026 (open access)

Gender and access to complex and gender-biased agricultural technology information and knowledge: Evidence from smart-valleys in West Africa

This paper identifies some ways to effectively transfer complex and gender-biased technology information and knowledge (TIK) to both men and women by analyzing the diffusion of Smart-valleys technology in West-Africa. ANOVA and Fisher’s exact tests were applied to data collected from 1120 lowland rice farmers in West Africa. Results confirm the general gender inequality in TIK communication.

Read Morehttp://journals.sagepub.com/doi/10.1177/00307270221150659

Effects of mid-season drainage on iron toxicity, rice yield, and water productivity in irrigated systems in the derived savannah agroecological zone of West Africa

In this paper, authors evaluated farmers' local strategies for adapting to water scarcity in dry climatic zones of West Africa, as a necessary foundation for co-designing adaptive technologies that are more efficient than farmers' existing strategies.

Read Morehttps://linkinghub.elsevier.com/retrieve/pii/S0378429023000941(Open access)

Farmers’ perception and management of water scarcity in irrigated rice‑based systems in dry climatic zones of West Africa

In this article, authors developed a mid-season drainage technology to reduce iron toxicity and increase rice yield and water productivity and the suitable domains for its application. This is a significant contribution to increasing rice yield in iron-toxicity-affected rice fields in Africa, which cover 897,000 ha.

Read Morehttps://doi.org/10.1007/s13593-023-00878-9 (open access)

The individual empowerment Index (IEI): A new approach for empowerment measures

This paper contributes to the growing literature on empowerment by proposing a new survey-based, multi-domain empowerment measurement tool, the Individual Empowerment Index (IEI). Results from applying the IEI approach to data collected show that Female farmers have less control over their lives and are less empowered than male farmers. The new IEI is a suitable tool and is recommended for quantitative and rigorous impact assessment and monitoring of programs and projects empowerment indicators.

Read Morehttp://journals.sagepub.com/doi/10.1177/00307270231165321

qSUB2: A novel QTL with positive epistasis with SUB1 locus enhances submergence tolerance in rice

In this article, Genetic control of submergence tolerance was studied in an African landrace of moderately submergence tolerant rice 'TOS6454. A total of 57 lines carrying both qSUB2 and qSUB9 alleles were superior to all other lines in submergence tolerance.Pyramiding qSUB2 with the SUB1 gene locus is expected to further improve submergence tolerance in elite rice varieties.

Read Morehttps://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1002/csc2.20941

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