ICARDA scientists attended the workshops on 'Opportunities for Diversification in Rice-Based Systems,' organized by International Rice Research Institute (IRRI) and ‘Creating Enabling Environments for Nutrition-Sensitive Food and Agriculture to Address Malnutrition’ organized by Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nation (FAO), in Bangkok, Thailand, on 28-29 March 2017.
During the first event, the representatives of research centers including ICARDA, ICRISAT, World Vegetable Center, FAO, and national agricultural research systems (NARS) of South Asia discussed the opportunities of improving the productivity of rice-fallows croplands in the region.
Dr. Yashpal Saharawat, ICARDA Afghanistan Country Manager, and Dr. Ashutosh Sarker, Regional Coordinator, ICARDA South Asia & China Regional Program, presented ICARDA’s research experience on introducing pulses in rice fallows and their varietal suitability in rice fallow systems, yield advantages and the use conservation agriculture technologies, etc.
“June-October – the rice growing season in South Asia – is followed by a fallow during November-February,” said Dr. Ashutosh Sarker. “Although growing rice is not suitable during this period, low water consuming grain legumes such as chickpea and lentils can be introduced as second crops for short season.”
During the second workshop on future smart foods, a project proposal in partnership with ICARDA and ICRISAT under the FAO Regional Initiative on Zero Hunger Challenge and the next steps for implementation were discussed among the NARS of Nepal, Myanmar, Cambodia and Laos.