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Rice activities in the Special Programme
for Food Security

W. Bae

Associate Professional Officer, Crop and Grassland Service, FAO


The Special Programme for Food Security (SPFS) was launched by FAO in 1994. Focusing on low-income, food-deficit countries (LIFDCs), the SPFS was endorsed by Heads of States and Governments during the World Food Summit, held in Rome in November 1996. The aim of the SPFS is to support LIFDCs in their efforts to improve their national food security and people's access to food. The programme has four major components: i) intensification; ii) water control; iii) diversification with livestock, aquaculture or other crops; and iv) identification of socio-economic constraints (FAO, 1997a).

Generally, the SPFS focuses its activities on participatory development of farming systems through rapid increases in productivity and food production on an economically and environmentally sustainable basis. Rice is a major crop in the activities of the programme and a main source of calories in many LIFDCs. The demand for rice is increasing rapidly owing to rapid population growth in urban areas. Another reason for selecting rice for food security purposes is its ease of processing, storage and transport for distribution to food-deficit areas in the countries concerned.

Rice is grown in 110 countries and was the main food consumed by about 3 billion people in 1995 (FAO, 1997b). Most rice is produced and consumed in developing countries, where farms are small and the majority of farmers are poor and have limited access to inputs. The challenge is to increase rice production to keep up with the future demands of an ever-growing population, while conserving natural resources. Rice development is, therefore, an important activity in the intensification component of the SPFS in many LIFDCs.


There are 83 LIFDCs in the world. These are countries in which the net income per person falls below the level used by the World Bank to determine eligibility for International Development Association (IDA) assistance (set at US$1 505 per caput in 1998) and that have been net importers of food over the past three years (FAO, 1998). In March 1999, the SPFS was operational in 39 countries, under formulation in 34 and to be formulated in another ten.

Rice development activities are a component of the SPFS in 20 countries: 12 in Africa, five in Asia, two in Latin America and one in Oceania (FAO, 1999a; 1999b. See also Table 1).


Status of SPFS implementation (number of countries), March 1999


Total number of LIFDCs

SPFS operational

Rice in SPFS

SPFS under formulation

SPFS to be formulated



















Latin America



















Countries with operational SPFS

In Africa, the 12 countries where there are SPFS rice development activities are: Angola, Burkina Faso, Ghana, Guinea, Madagascar, Mali, Mauritania, the Niger, Nigeria, Rwanda, Senegal and the United Republic of Tanzania. In 1996-98, these 12 countries produced an annual 8.4 million tonnes of paddy, which accounts for 50.4 percent of the total rice production of Africa over the same period.

In Asia, the five countries that have rice development activities under the SPFS are: Bangladesh, Cambodia, China, the Democratic People's Republic of Korea and Nepal. In 1996-98, these countries produced an annual 237 million tonnes of paddy, which accounts for 45.1 percent of the total rice production of Asia over the same period.

Bolivia and Haiti in Latin America and Papua New Guinea in Oceania are also implementing rice development activities under the SPFS.

In 1996-98, the average annual rice production of these 20 countries was 246 million tonnes of paddy, accounting for 42.9 percent of the total global rice production (FAO, 1999c; see also Table 2).


Rice production in countries operating the SPFS, 1996-98


SPFS countries with rice activities

SPFS countries without rice activities

Average rice production in 1996-98 (tonnes)


Burkina Faso


25 333
91 344
223 240
686 619
2 501 667
563 544
70 439
68 000
3 219 333
6 489
165 395
760 019
8 381 422


Côte d'Ivoire

1 114 217
5 353 466
56 575



67 773
170 406
79 667
10 599
6 852 703

From other African countries


1386 366

Total rice production in Africa


16 620 491

% of rice prod. in SPFS countries in Africa




Korea, Dem. People's Rep.


28 219 900
3 406 678
199 582 300
2 482 267
3 664 123
237 355 268


Syrian Arab Republic

6 530 270
6 530 370

From other Asian countries


282 015 037

Total rice production in Asia


525 900 675

% of rice prod. in SPFS countries in Asia





Bolivia, Latin America
Haiti, Latin America
Papua New Guinea, Oceania


399 331
95 870
495 818


Ecuador, Latin America
Albania, Europe
Bosnia and Herzegovina, Europe

1 137 581
1 137 981

From other countries


30 426 489


Total rice in SPFS countries


246 232 508


World rice production


574 581 454




% of rice production in all SPFS countries

FAO's Plant Production and Protection Division (AGP) and SPFS rice activities

Basically, the SPFS is a nationally owned programme, formulated and implemented by national experts and coordinated by national coordinators under the direct responsibility of each national government (FAO, 1996; 1997a). FAO provides technical assistance, and financial support comes from a variety of sources, including bilateral and multilateral donors.

AGP has provided technical support to the formulation, backstopping and monitoring of SPFS implementation in many countries. To the rice activities in particular, FAO's Crop and Grassland Service (AGPC) has contributed to: research into technologies and complementary activities for rice production; selection of appropriate technologies; and analysis of technical constraints in demonstration plots, with the full participation of target farmers who are the most crucial players in the technology transfer and adoption process.

AGPC has monitored and advised on high productivity technologies for rice farming, through demonstrations of high-yielding varieties (HYVs), spacing and plant preparation, and integrated crop management (ICM) in countries that include Bolivia, Burkina Faso, Cambodia, China, Guinea, Haiti, Mauritania, Nepal, the Niger, Papua New Guinea, Senegal and Tanzania.

Results from demonstration plots

In SPFS demonstration plots, the rice yield has increased and the cost-benefits have been improved (FAO, 1999a and b).

Bolivia: The SPFS started in October 1995 in four areas: the central valleys of the department of Tarija, the high valleys of the department of Cochabamba, the integrated zone of the department of Santa Cruz and the Vallegrande valleys of the department of Santa Cruz. The package of technologies for demonstration includes improved methods of land preparation, healthy seeds of improved varieties, appropriate plant density, fertilization, weed and disease control, improved irrigation management and post-harvest management. During the 1997/98 crop season, seven demonstration plots were planted with upland rice. In the Yapacani zone in Santa Cruz (rainfed), in the previous season (1996/97), the SPFS's yield had been 1.05 tonnes/ha, while the farmers' yield was 0.35 tonnes/ha; in 1997/98, the SPFS's yield was 2.9 tonnes/ha and the farmers' 2.1 tonnes/ha, an increase of 37 percent. The following main constraints have been identified: availability and access to inputs; inadequate water control mechanisms which are inappropriate to the real needs of the farmers; insufficient knowledge of crop management; and inadequate market and price information systems.

Burkina Faso: The pilot phase became operational in April 1995 in three agricultural regions: Comoe, Hauts Bassins and Mouhoun. The techniques for demonstration include: a P7 (the complete set of techniques needed to reach yields of 7 tonnes/ha) in irrigated rice production; improved varieties, transplanting and fertilizer (split nitrogen) in lowland rice; and HYVs in a cotton-rice-maize cropping system, appropriate fertilizer applications and good land preparation for rainfed upland rice production. From 1995 to 1997, the average yields obtained from demonstration plots showed increases of 22 percent for irrigated rice, 55 percent for swamp rice and 76 percent for upland rice over the yields obtained in control groups. A cost-benefit analysis showed an average profit of US$535 per hectare for irrigated rice, US$240 for swamp rice and US$160 for upland rice, cultivated with the packages of technologies that were demonstrated.

The following constraints have been identified so far: difficulty in supplying and buying agricultural inputs of an appropriate quality; lack of small agricultural equipment suitable for land preparation, planting, transport and post-harvest activities; difficulty in marketing paddy rice; difficulties in mastering appropriate cropping techniques, including water management; and weak farmers' organizations.

Cambodia: The SPFS became operational in October 1997. Activities focus on the introduction of a package of improved cultural practices including integrated plant nutrition management (IPNM), integrated pest management (IPM) and certified HYV seeds (IR66 and Kesar). Seven pilot sites have been selected. The total target area for the SPFS activities is about 600 ha. Yields in demonstration plots were around 3.5 tonnes/ha compared with 3.0 tonnes/ha from the control group (an increase of around 17 percent) (Ram, 1998). Constraints identified include: poor access to markets owing to poor road infrastructure and purchasing power; lack of rural credit; lack of extension on the use of pesticides; limited cropping patterns and fertilizer use; lack of adequate operation and maintenance of irrigation systems; lack of on-farm knowledge of irrigation management; and lack of high-quality seeds, including HYVs.

China: The SPFS has been operational since May 1997. Farmers were selected from two villages in two counties - Baimamiao village in Janyang county, and Minxing village in Renshou county - both in the Sichuan province. The intensification package includes the use of HYVs. In 1996, the average income of the participating farmers increased by 19 percent over 1995. The constraints identified include: a severe shortage of highly fertile arable land; frequent natural disasters; farmers' low level of education; high grain production costs and low comparative benefits; and unbalanced regional agricultural development.

While action was taken to remove some of these constraints, new constraints emerged during implementation of the pilot phase. These were: the maintenance and rebuilding of irrigation facilities and water management; marketing problems, such as depressed prices resulting from increased production and local oversupply; poor roads for input supply and marketing; and lack of labour and increased labour costs owing to higher demands for labour and increased seasonal outmigration. These new constraints are reportedly difficult to overcome at the farm level, and need to be addressed at county or higher levels.

Guinea: The SPFS became operational in May 1995 in the Guinée-Maritime and Haute Guinée regions with rice, both rainfed and irrigated, as the target crop. The area covered under the SPFS is 385 ha, 350 ha of which is under irrigated rice. The area under demonstration, however, is only 172 ha. Some 243 participants are involved in the SPFS. The demonstration package includes improved varieties, optimum planting dates, application of organic manure in nursery plots, seed treatment, mechanical planting and the use of mineral fertilizers. Results showed yield increases of between 71 and 146 percent in 1995/96 (from 1.4 tonnes/ha to 2.4 tonnes/ha in Guinée Maritime, and from 1.25 tonnes/ha to 3.07 tonnes/ha in Haute Guinée) and of 24 to 212 percent in 1996/97 (from 2.3 tonnes/ha to 3.02 tonnes/ha Guinée Maritime, and from 0.6 tonnes/ha to 1.9 tonnes/ha in Haute Guinée). The major constraints are the issues of farmers' access to credit and inputs, lack of transport and marketing and the land tenure status of irrigation schemes.

Haiti: The SPFS pilot phase started in June 1997. Demonstrations took place in two areas: Laverdure and Dubreuil. Intensification consists of seed multiplication, input distribution and prevention of post-harvest losses. In 1998, demonstrations on rice in Laverdure are expected to have low results owing to the presence of a rice disease. Torbeck has been selected as a new area for demonstration. Fourteen farmers will produce seed of an improved variety of rice in 14 plots (of 5 ha). Socio-economic constraints include the continuous changes of government over the last three years, an acute lack of qualified technical staff, the land tenure situation, and increased food aid and commercial imports of cheap food which discourage local food production.

Mauritania: The SPFS pilot phase became operational in June 1995 in Trarza (four sites) and Gorgol (one site). Brakna was added later. A total of 657 people were involved in rice development activities which covered 607 ha. The demonstration package includes improved seeds, fertilization, IPM, seeding density and farm manure. In demonstration plots, rice production increased by 24 to 32 percent in 1995/96 and by over 42 percent in 1996/97. In the delta area, the rice yield reached 7 tonnes/ha, which is cost-effective for farmers. A number of constraints are being analysed, including: lack of maintenance of irrigation systems; lack of access to credit; problems of drainage, weeds, low fertility, pests and cattle destroying crops; lack of transport facilities and dependence on animal traction equipment; and low seed quality.

Nepal: The pilot phase of the Special Programme in Nepal (SPIN) became operational in November 1995 in Syangja and Nawal Parasi districts (Western region) and Jhapa and Ilam districts (Eastern region). The demonstration package includes high-yielding improved crop varieties, optimum and balanced doses of plant nutrients, plant protection measures, timely and efficient irrigation and technical training. The area covered under the SPFS was 99 ha in 1995/96, and 379 ha in 1996/97. The average increase in yield in 1995/96 was more than 45 percent for main-season rice. Constraints to be overcome are: lack of adequate inputs, such as seeds and fertilizers; lack of water management systems; lack of organized markets; a weak government extension system; frequent turnover of, and lack of incentives to, government staff; lack of farmers' groups and motivation.

The Niger: The pilot phase started in July 1995 in the district of Say along the Niger river, which includes 22 villages and 140 farmers of irrigated rice. The technology package includes improved seeds, various improved cultural practices, fertilizers and pest control. In Say, rice yields on irrigated land reached 5.5 tonnes/ha, compared with 2.5 tonnes/ha on control plots. The constraints that have been identified are: poor availability of inputs; drought; and lack of marketing and transport facilities.

Papua New Guinea: The pilot phase started in July 1996 in two areas of the Markham valley - Erap and Mutzing. Demonstrations have been made on improved production technologies and post-harvest processing. Seed production was also included. In 1998, the first rainfed rice produced by farmers averaged 3.8 tonnes/ha. The following constraints have been reported: poor extension services; inadequate quantity and quality of technologies; poor infrastructure; farmers' unfamiliarity with economic thinking; land disputes; access to markets; policy-related issues of low finance and government commitment; and low farm power.

Senegal: The SPFS started in January 1995 in Casamance. In 1996/97, demonstration activities were expanded to Kedougou, Tambacounda, Sedhiou, Matam and Kolda. The package of technologies in the demonstration plots includes land preparation, rice production techniques and rice processing. In 1997, the rice yield under irrigation in Matam was 5 tonnes/ha. Irrigated rice produced 6 tonnes/ha in Sedhiou, 5.2 tonnes/ha in Ziguinchor and 4 tonnes/ha in Kolda and Kedougou, compared with 0.6 to 2.5 tonnes/ha without irrigation. The following constraints have been identified: lack of credit; high tax on agricultural inputs; difficulties with the commercialization of agricultural products; lack of post-harvest activities; absence of water management; and lack of labour and utilities.

United Republic of Tanzania: The pilot phase became operational in July 1995 in the Dodoma and Morogoro regions. Through the use of research recommendations whose success had been proved, farmer training and regular technical advice from village extension workers, group members have been able to adopt most of the demonstrated improved production technologies such as HYVs (Line 88), correct fertilizer doses, soil and water conservation and improved agronomic practices. Methods for improving rice production have been demonstrated at 84 farms in Morogoro and Dodoma on demonstration plots of 0.5 ha each. In 1995/96, a total of 87 rice participatory technology transfer demonstrations were carried out. Data for the season 1995/96 showed that rice yields increased by 51 to 130 percent over the previous season (averaging 121 percent). For the 1996/97 season, rice production in tonnes per hectare increased by about 100 percent (ranging from 50 to155 percent) compared with the previous year. For the 1997/98 season, the yields showed increases ranging from 10 to 33 percent. Yields for 1998/99 were severely affected by El-Niño rains and floods. The most important constraints identified include: lack of production capital and credit; inadequate farm power; lack of or late supply of production inputs; lack of market outlets; and poor storage and post-harvesting handling practices.


The rice activities of the SPFS have played a strong role in generating increased technical knowledge and awareness of the potential for improving farm incomes to alleviate hunger and malnutrition throughout the world. As a result of the SPFS, the food security situation of target households has improved substantially. In general, the advantages received by the farmers from the SPFS projects are: improved technical knowledge in a wide variety of disciplines; an introduction to new production methods; and increased food security for their households.

The rice development activities implemented by the SPFS in many countries have achieved considerable progress and results, including substantial increases in rice yield and profits through the application of packages of improved technologies. This demonstrated success has led more and more farmers to become interested in producing rice, not only for their family's consumption but also for the market.

The experience gained from the implementation of SPFS activities indicates that most farmers are aware of the constraints that prevent them from maximizing food production. Constraint analysis should continue as an integral part of the SPFS process. Major constraints to increased production, which were identified in many demonstration plots, include:

For more effective adoption of the demonstrated packages of improved technologies, it is suggested that improvements should be made to rural infrastructure development, input supply and credit availability, and that the training of farmers in both rice production and organization be strengthened. It is also very important that government policies with regard to agricultural development should be clearly defined and adequate resources be allocated to support the activities identified in the policies.


Activités relatives au riz du Programme spécial pour la sécurité alimentaire

Le Programme spécial pour la sécurité alimentaire (PSSA) a été lancé par la FAO en 1994. Ses activités sont axées sur l'amélioration participative des systèmes agricoles et plus particulièrement sur l'augmentation rapide de la productivité et de la production vivrières sur une base économiquement et écologiquement durable. Le riz est une culture importante dans les activités du Programme et la source principale de calories dans nombre de pays à faible revenu et à déficit vivrier (PFRDV). Le PSSA comprend des activités de mise en valeur de la riziculture dans 20 pays, dont 12 en Afrique, cinq en Asie, deux en Amérique latine et un en Océanie. En Afrique, la quantité totale de riz produite chaque année est de 8,4 millions de tonnes de paddy durant la période 1996-1998, soit 50,4 pour cent de la production totale de l'Afrique pour la même période. En Asie, les cinq pays concernés ont produit 237 millions de tonnes de paddy en 1996-1998, soit 45,1 pour cent de la production asiatique totale pendant la même période. Au total, la production de ces 20 pays a atteint 246 millions de tonnes de paddy (moyenne pour les années 1996-1998), soit 42,9 pour cent de la production mondiale de riz.

La FAO fournit une assistance technique et le soutien financier provient de diverses sources incluant des donateurs bilatéraux et multilatéraux. En ce qui concerne les activités relatives au riz, la FAO a contribué: i) à centrer les activités technologiques et complémentaires pour la production de riz; ii) à sélectionner des technologies appropriées; et iii) à analyser les obstacles techniques sur les parcelles de démonstration avec la participation des agriculteurs ciblés. Le Service des cultures et des herbages (AGPC) de la FAO a suivi et conseillé des technologies propres à assurer une productivité élevée en riziculture, en organisant des démonstrations de variétés à haut rendement, d'espacement et de préparation de plants et de gestion intégrée des cultures dans de nombreux pays (Bolivie, Burkina Faso, Cambodge, Chine, Guinée, Haïti, Mauritanie, Népal, Niger, Papouasie-Nouvelle-Guinée, Sénégal et République-Unie deTanzanie).

Actividades relativas al arroz del Programa especial para la seguridad alimentaria

La FAO emprendió en 1994 el Programa especial para la seguridad alimentaria (PESA). Este programa centra sus actividades en el desarrollo participativo de sistemas de cultivo mediante un aumento rápido de la productividad y de la producción alimentaria con una base económica y ecológicamente sostenible. El arroz constituye un cultivo importante en las actividades del Programa y es la principal fuente de calorías en muchos países de bajos ingresos y con déficit de alimentos (PBIDA). Las iniciativas de desarrollo del arroz constituyen un componente del PESA en 20 países; 12 de África, 5 de Asia, 2 de América Latina y 1 de Oceanía. En África, el volumen anual de arroz producido en esos 12 países fue de 8,4 millones de toneladas de arroz cáscara en 1996-98, lo que representa el 50,4 por ciento de la producción total de África durante ese mismo período. En Asia, la cantidad anual de arroz producido en los cinco países fue de 237 millones de toneladas de arroz cáscara en 1996-98, es decir, el 45,1 por ciento de la producción total de arroz en Asia durante el mismo período. La producción total de arroz en estos 20 países fue de 246 millones de toneladas de arroz cáscara como promedio en 1996-98, ascendiendo al 42,9 por ciento de la producción total mundial de arroz.

La FAO ha proporcionado asistencia técnica y el apoyo financiero procede de diversas fuentes, incluidos donantes bilaterales y multilaterales. Por lo que se refiere especialmente a las actividades arroceras, la FAO ha contribuido a i) centrar la atención en tecnologías y actividades complementarias para la producción de arroz, ii) seleccionar las tecnologías correspondientes, y iii) analizar las limitaciones técnicas en las parcelas de demostración con la plena participación de los cultivadores interesados. El AGPC (Servicio de Cultivos y Pastos de la FAO) ha seguido de cerca las tecnologías de productividad elevada en cultivo arrocero, asesorando al respecto, mediante demostraciones de variedades de alto rendimiento, espaciamiento y preparación de plantas, y el manejo integrado de los cultivos (MIC) en muchos países, en particular Bolivia, Burkina Faso, Camboya, China, Guinea, Haití, Mauritania, Nepal, Níger, Papua Nueva Guinea, Senegal y Tanzanía.

Activities of the IRC Steering Committee


The Steering Committee of the International Rice Commission (IRC) met at FAO, Rome, on 19 March 1999. The agenda was as follows:

Adoption of agenda

Mr Duwayri, the Chairman of the Steering Committee, opened the meeting and welcomed the participants. He expressed his thanks to all members for their active participation in rice development activities at FAO and for the work of IRC. Before the agenda was adopted, the Chairman introduced Mr Maluszynski, representing the joint FAO/International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) Division of Nuclear Techniques in Food and Agriculture (AGE) as a new member of the Steering Committee. He stressed the importance of AGE's participation in IRC as it works closely with FAO member countries on the application of mutation and other biotechnological tools for rice varietal improvement. The proposed agenda for the meeting was adopted by all participants.

Publication of the newsletter

The contents of IRC Newsletter, Volume 48 (1999) were proposed by the IRC Secretariat and approved by participants, who made the following recommendations for their improvement: 

Rice activities and related matters, 1999-2001

The main activities of the Crop and Grassland Service (AGPC) during the 1999 to 2001 period include: 

The Plant Breeding and Genetics Section of AGE and the Plant Breeding Unit of the FAO/IAEA Agriculture and Biotechnology Laboratory have carried out rice improvement through induced mutations and related biotechnologies. The major projects include:

The Seed and Plant Genetic Resources Service (AGPS) will continue to participate in the development and transfer of seed production technology for hybrid rice. The participants recommended the strengthening of activities on the development and transfer of hybrid rice technology. The Extension, Education and Communication Service (SDRE) expressed its willingness to participate in the activities on development and transfer of hybrid rice technologies, which have been carried out by AGPC and AGPS, with its own budget.

The major activities of the Food and Agricultural Industries Service (AGSI) include an electronic conference on post-harvest technologies and problems and the development of a model to study the effect on post-harvest operations of adopting high-yielding varieties (HYVs), including rice. The meeting appreciated the work being done on the effects of HYVs on post-harvest activities, which have not been studied by the International Agricultural Research Centres (IARCs), but recommended that the model for estimating the costs of labour, equipment and resources needed for various activities should be validated at the country level.

AGLN informed the participants about the efficiency of urea tablets in rice production and noted the need for the development of a simple tool for the deep-placement of the tablets in irrigated and lowland rice production. They also recommended close collaboration among the concerned technical units, especially AGLN, AGLS, AGSE and AGPC, on the test and transfer of technologies for efficient nitrogen use under the framework of integrated crop management which is being tested by AGPC in collaboration with selected NARS and IARCs. It was recommended that AGLN lead this activity.

Participants were informed by ESCB that the international rice market was small and easy to change sensitively and that there had been recent improvement in rice production worldwide. However, the meeting observed that there is a continued need to improve the productivity of rice in order to ensure a stable supply at the same time as saving land for the diversification of production systems, thus improving farmers' incomes and contributing to poverty alleviation. In Asia, the annual growth rate of rice production is stagnant, or even declining, while the population increases. This situation has led some Asian countries, especially Indonesia and the Philippines, to import rice, after previously having reached self-sufficiency in rice production.

Rice activities in the SPFS

The role of rice in the SPFS, and AGP's contributions to SPFS were presented by Mr Bae of AGPC. Activities on rice development have been a major component of the SPFS in 20 countries - more than half of the total countries where the SPFS has been operational. In Africa, the 12 countries with rice activities in their SPFS produced about 8 million tonnes of rice in 1997, or 50.4 percent of Africa's total rice production. In the same year, the five Asian countries with rice activities in their SPFS produced 237 million tonnes of rice, or 45 percent of total Asian rice production.

Other matters

The participants were provided with copies of the office memorandum related to varietal registration under the International Commission on Poplar and asked to discuss the possibility of having rice varietal registration under the IRC. Initially, participants noted that several thousand rice varieties have been developed by NARS and IARCs worldwide, compared with only a few hundred poplar varieties. This would make the registration of rice varieties very complicated.

The participants also noted that the legal aspects of the rights of rice breeders have not been settled. However, it was agreed that, if provided by NARS and IARCs, IRC could include the publication of information on recently released rice varieties and their characteristics in IRC newsletters and/or a special publication, in order to promote the exchange and utilization of rice germplasm. Further discussions on this matter are needed.

Activités du Comité directeur de la CIR

Le Comité directeur de la CIR a tenu sa session à Rome le 19 mars 1999. Son ordre du jour incluait l'approbation de la publication du bulletin de la CIR, Volume no 48 (1999), la présentation d'activités en matière de riziculture et de questions connexes en 1999 et 2000-2001 par les membres du Comité et le rôle du riz dans le Programme spécial pour la sécurité alimentaire, ainsi que d'autres questions. La FAO/AIEA (AGE) a été acceptée comme nouveau membre du Comité directeur. La teneur du Bulletin de la CIR no 48 (1999) proposé par le Secrétariat de la Commission a été approuvée par les participants.

Les participants ont recommandé de renforcer les activités concernant la mise au point et le transfert de technologies du riz hybride, la validation au niveau des pays du modèle AGSI pour l'estimation des coûts de la main-d'œuvre, du matériel et des ressources nécessaires à diverses activités et une collaboration étroite entre unités techniques concernées, notamment AGLN, AGLS, AGSE et AGPC, sur les essais et transferts de technologies aux fins d'une utilisation efficace de l'azote dans le cadre de la gestion intégrée des cultures. Les participants ont noté le rôle important du riz dans le Programme spécial pour la sécurité alimentaire et la contribution d'AGP aux activités de mise en valeur du riz menées au titre du PSSA dans 20 pays à faible revenu et à déficit vivrier.

Actividades del Comité Directivo de la CIA

El 19 de marzo de 1999 se celebró en la FAO, Roma, la reunión del Comité Directivo de la CIA, figurando en su programa la aprobación de la publicación del Noticiario de la CIA, volumen nº 48 (1999), la presentación de las actividades sobre el arroz y asuntos conexos en 1999 y en los años 2000-2001 por parte de los miembros del Comité de la CIA y la importancia del arroz en el Programa Especial para la Seguridad Alimentaria, además de otros asuntos. La FAO/OIEA (AGE) fue aceptada como nuevo miembro del Comité Directivo. Los participantes aprobaron el contenido del volumen 48 del Noticiario de la CIA (1999) que propuso la Secretaría de la Comisión.

Los participantes recomendaron la intensificación de las actividades sobre desarrollo y transferencia de tecnología del arroz híbrido, la homologación a nivel nacional del modelo del AGSI para estimar los costos de mano de obra, equipo y recursos de varias actividades, y una estrecha colaboración entre las dependencias técnicas respectivas, especialmente AGLN, AGLS, AGSE y AGPC, sobre un ensayo de transferencia de tecnologías para un aprovechamiento eficaz del nitrógeno dentro del marco del manejo integrado de los cultivos, la importante función del arroz en el Programa Especial para la Seguridad Alimentaria y las aportaciones de la AGP a las actividades de desarrollo del arroz del PESA en 20 países BIDA.

Information and databases on rice and
related issues available at FAO, Rome

FAO technical units have embarked on the preparation of a number of data files and databases on rice as well as factors in its production and related issues.


The Rice Information System (RICEINFO) contains Country Rice Facts (CORIFA) and a number of databases. For each rice-producing country, CORIFA contains: basic statistics on rice, rice production zones and cropping seasons; the main constraints on rice production; the rice varieties planted; selected information on responses to fertilizer application; selected information on the costs of rice production; selected rice research and development institutions; and a list of references from where information was obtained. In order to support the development and improvement of CORIFA, the following databases on rice information were developed and updated:

Owing to the limited time available to staff, only selected information contained in the above-mentioned databases, except where otherwise indicated, will be provided on request. CORIFA is available on the Internet at:


The World Information and Early Warning System on Plant Genetic Resources (WIEWS) provides an information service of facts and figures on plant genetic resources. The ex situ collections (ex situ conservation) module of the system provides summary records of each gene bank's (collection's) holdings. The data include: species name and number of accessories for each species; type of material held (wild, landrace, advanced cultivar, breeder's material, mutants, etc.); geographical distribution of accessions; and place of safety duplication. For each collection, the technical parameters of storage, such as temperature, humidity, moisture content and type of container, are recorded. By September 1996, 371 475 accessions of the genus Oryza had been registered from 114 collections around the world. The retrieval software for WIEWS has been developed by FAO and is available on request, together with the relevant set of databases for "stand alone" installation on PC computers.

The FAO Provisional List of Rice Varieties provides information on rice varieties that have been tested and released worldwide, listed in alphabetical order. For each variety, the list provides the name of the rice variety, where and when it was planted, the relative importance of the variety within a country, the address code and short address, the price and genetic resources collections.


ESCB provides the following information:


AQUASTAT provides basic information on water resources and their use, including renewable water resources (ground- and surface water); wastewater production and treatment; non-conventional water sources; water withdrawal by sector; irrigation potential; irrigated areas; water control and irrigation techniques; origins of irrigation water; types of management for fully or partially controlled irrigation schemes; number of beneficiaries; costs of irrigation and drainage development and operation maintenance; irrigated and rainfed crop yields; drained areas and drainage technologies; areas salinized by irrigation and flood-protected areas; and population affected by waterborne and water-related diseases. Additional information on irrigation development, the institutional environment and trends in water resources management is also presented for each country.

CLIMWAT includes data from a total of 3 262 meteorological stations in 144 countries across five continents. It is contained on five diskettes: diskette 1 is for Asia and the Pacific, 2 is for sub-Saharan Africa, 3 is for the Near East and North Africa, 4 is for Europe, and 5 is for Latin America and the Caribbean. The climatological data included are maximum temperature, mean daily relative humidity, hours of sunshine, wind speed, precipitation, and calculated values for reference evaporation and effective rainfall.

CLIMWAT is used in conjunction with CROPWAT.
The Computer Program for Irrigation Planning and Management (CROPWAT) is a software package for IBM-PCs or compatibles. Its main functions are to: calculate reference evapo-transpiration, crop water and irrigation requirements, and schemes of water supply; develop irrigation schedules under various management conditions; and evaluate rainfed production and the effects of drought. CROPWAT must be used in combination with CLIMWAT as described above.


The Crop Environmental Requirements Database (ECOCROP) is a tool for identifying plant species for given environments and uses. The program was designed using relatively basic crop environmental information. The information given permits the identification of more than 1 700 plant species, including Oryza sativa L. s. indica, O. sativa L. s. japonica, O. sativa L. s. Javanica and O. glaberrina Steud.

ECOCROP 2 is a library of studies on crop responses in relation to various environmental and management factors. It provides information for crop modelling and is of particular use as a tool for researchers and scientists to organize, handle and retrieve their own experimental findings and specific information on plant species that are of interest to them. The crop files follow the DSSAT format. At present, the database holds information on a number of varieties for 20 crops of worldwide importance. Each crop file contains an average of 200 to 220 separate crop environmental response studies or data sets extracted from 40 to 50 sources. The program includes a file on Oryza sativa L.
The Digital Soil Map of the World (DSMW) is based on the FAO/United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) Soil Map of the World, original scale 1:5 million. Its CD-ROM (version 3.5, November 1995) contains two file types: DSMW map sheets, and derived soil properties files with images derived from the Soil Map of the World. The maps are available in three different formats: one vector format (ARC/INFO Export) and two raster formats, called ERDAS and IDRISI (or flat raster) formats. The cell-size of the raster data is 5 x 5 arc-minutes. The files on derived soil properties consist of interpretation programs and related data files. They include programs that interpret the maps in terms of agronomic and environmental parameters such as pH to organic carbon content ratio, clay mineralogy, soil depth, soil and terrain suitability for specific crop production, soil moisture, storage capacity and soil drainage class.

The Agricultural Planning Toolkit contains the original FAO Agro-Ecological Zones software, including climate data analysis, crop suitability, biomass calculation, crop productivity and population-supporting capacity, with interfaces for other software. Climate and soil data are to be supplied by the user. Agro-Ecological Zone country studies software, which includes databases that are compatible with Geographic Information Systems (GIS) databases and multicriteria analysis tools to assist in optimal land use decisions, is provided separately.


The Aquatic Sciences and Fisheries Abstracts Database (ASFA) contains over 340 000 citations, approximately 990 of which are related to rice, including 200 on rice-fish integrated farming, 200 on rice as feed in fish culture, 100 on pollution associated with or affecting rice cultivation, 100 on rice (as an aquatic plant) culture, 100 on aquatic insects and birds in rice fields, 60 on rice botany and 50 on rice soils. The database is published by Cambridge Scientific Abstracts and is available in printed form, on CD-ROM, via on-line vendors and via the Internet.


The International Information System for the Agricultural Sciences and Technology (AGRIS) has accumulated more than 2.5 million bibliographical references since 1975. Literature on the genetics, cultivation, pests and processing of rice products forms an important part of the AGRIS database, which contains more than 45 000 documents indexed on this topic alone. Since 1985, each reference has been indexed using the Multilingual Thesaurus of Agricultural Terminology (AGROVOC), and abstracts for many of the topics are also included. AGRIS is available on CD-ROM at AGRIS national centres and many agricultural libraries. The CD-ROMs are updated quarterly and are produced and distributed by SilverPlatter.

The FAOSTAT Agriculture Statistics Database provides information on rice harvested area, yield and production; population; land and land use; agricultural fertilizer consumption; agricultural machines in rice; and other issues. It has been operational since 1961.


The FAO/IAEA Mutant Varieties Database provides information on officially released mutant varieties of crop and decorative plants. The database includes only those new varieties that were obtained with the use of mutation techniques (physical and chemical mutagens) or varieties with mutants in their pedigree. Of a total of about 1 900 accessions, 333 are on rice.

Information et bases de données sur des questions relatives au riz disponibles
à la FAO à Rome

Un certain nombre de fichiers et bases de données sur le riz et ses facteurs de production et questions connexes sont disponibles dans les unités techniques de la FAO, comme suit:

Système d'information sur le riz du Service des cultures et des herbages (AGPC)

Système mondial d'information et d'alerte rapide sur les ressources phytogénetiques et Liste provisoire des variétés de riz de la FAO du Service des semences et des ressources phytogénétiques (AGPS)

Production de riz, consommation de riz, importations et exportations de riz, stock de riz à la fin de la campagne commerciale, états de l'offre et de l'utilisation de riz, flux commerciaux de riz, prix à l'exportation du riz, indice FAO des prix à l'exportation du riz, aide alimentaire sous forme de riz et importations commerciales de riz, du Service des denrées alimentaires de base (ESCB).

Aquastat, climwat et cropwat du Service des eaux - ressources, mise en valeur et aménagement (AGLW).

Ecocrop 1 et 2, carte numérique des sols du monde, et logiciel de planification agricole du Service des sols - ressources, aménagement et conservation (AGLS).

Résumés des sciences aquatiques et halieutiques du Service des ressources des eaux intérieures et de l'aquaculture

Le Système d'information international pour les sciences et technologie agricoles et la Base de données statistiques sur l'agriculture FAOSTAT du Centre mondial d'information agricole.

Base de données des variétés mutantes de la Section de sélection des plantes et de phytogénétique de la Division mixte FAO/AIEA

Información y bases de datos sobre asuntos relacionados con el arroz existentes
en la FAO, Roma

En las dependencias técnicas de la FAO existen varios registros y bases de datos sobre el arroz, sus factores de producción y cuestiones conexas. Comprenden:

Sistema de información sobre el arroz en el Servicio de Cultivos y Pastos (AGPC).

Sistema de información y alerta mundial sobre los recursos y la Lista provisional de la FAO de variedades de arroz en el Servicio de Semillas y Recursos Fitogenéticos (AGPS).

La producción de arroz, el consumo de arroz, las importaciones y exportaciones de arroz, las existencias de arroz al final de la campaña comercial, las cuentas de suministro y utilización del arroz, las corrientes comerciales arroceras, los precios internacionales de exportación del arroz, el índice FAO de precios de exportación para el arroz, la ayuda alimentaria en arroz y las importaciones comerciales en el Servicio de Productos Alimenticios Básicos (ESCB).

AQUATSTAT, CLIMWAT y CROPWAT en el Servicio de Recursos, Fomento y Aprovechamiento de Aguas (AGLW).

Ecocrop 1 y 2, Mapa digital de los suelos del mundo y el soporte lógico de planificación agrícola del Servicio de Recursos, Manejo y Conservación de Suelos (AGLS).

Ciencias acuáticas y bases de datos de resúmenes de pesca en el Servicio de Recursos Acuáticos Continentales y Acuicultura (FIRI).

Sistema internacional de información para las ciencias y tecnología agrícolas y bases de datos de estadísticas agrícolas FAOSTAT en el Centro de Información Agraria Mundial.

Bases de datos de variedades mutantes en la Sección de Mejoramiento y Genética Vegetal de la División Mixta FAO/OIEA.

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