Tuesday, September 4, 2018

WeRise-RR exhibits potential to increase rainfed rice production in Indonesia

Bogor, Indonesia, 14 August 2018 – Results of the initial on-farm experiments to validate the predictive accuracy of the WeRise for rice-rice for rainfed rice (WeRise-RR) in selected provinces in Indonesia showed that farmers could potentially increase their yield by following the WeRise advisories.

WeRise is an ICT tool that aims to improve rainfed rice productivity by helping farmers plan their crop production strategically by using seasonal climate forecast and crop growth models to come up with advisories. It was developed by the IRRI-Japan Collaborative Research Project (IJCRP).

At least three months before the cropping season, WeRise can provide advisories on the best time to plant rice, inform farmers about appropriate varieties to use, and recommend a fertilizer application schedule based on the weather characteristics of the upcoming season, including the onset, amount and distribution of rainfall. It could also inform the farmers if a second rice crop is possible. In rainfed rice areas where water is a constraint, farmers normally try to plant more than one rice crop in a year with high risks, especially during the second rice crop. 

Dr. Keiichi Hayashi, Japan International Research Center for Agricultural Sciences (JIRCAS) Collaborating Scientist, presented the proposed technology transfer pathways for WeRise including the key institutions they will work with, and their potential roles when WeRise is handed over to Indonesia. In a discussion led by Dr. Hasil Sembiring, IRRI Representative to Indonesia, the participants brainstormed on the feasibility of the proposed roles of the institutions and identified mechanisms for collective action. Selected stakeholders also held meetings to discuss the details of integrating WeRise into Indonesia’s homegrown cropping calendar, Katam. During the session, stakeholders noted the importance of enabling mechanisms to let them localize the technology after IJCRP exits. 

Dr. Muhammad Prama Yufdy gives a special message

In his message, Dr. Muhammad Prama Yufdy, IAARD Secretariat, noted the importance of rainfed rice for Indonesia to achieve its mission to be the World’s Food Granary by 2045. To achieve this, he emphasized the importance of collaboration between research and extension agencies. 

The validation results were presented to key stakeholders from research, development, and extension (RDE) that were identified for the uptake and dissemination of WeRise. These stakeholders are from the technical agencies of Indonesia’s Ministry of Agriculture including the Agency for Agricultural Research and Development, Human Resources Agency and Directorate General of Crops;  Indonesian Agency for Meteorology, Climatology and Geophysics (BMKG); and Bogor Agricultural University (IPB).

IRRI's Dr. Hasil Sembiring facilitates the discussions held with selected stakeholders

“We have many of the tools to make a difference. But the challenge is how to bring them together. WeRise is one step ahead,” said Dr. David Johnson, IRRI Representative to Southeast Asia. To be more effective, he added, “Partnerships are important because this is not just about agriculture. We are dealing with a national development issue”.

In the upcoming cropping season, additional on-farm validation activities will be conducted, and is expected to last for two to three cropping seasons. 

IJCRP is being implemented with funding support from the Ministry of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries of Japan and the JIRCAS. A total of 26 participants attended the meeting.

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