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Duration: 2012 – 2015

The East India Plateau is characterized by endemic poverty, food insecurity, comparatively low agricultural productivity, lack of irrigation infrastructure, and civil unrest. Rice is the staple food crop, and traditional cropping systems are characterized by monocrop rice production. This method has high climate-related risk, and is particularly vulnerable to subtle changes in rainfall distribution associated with climate variability/change.

The proposed new cropping system will retain rice as the staple food crop, but in the ‘medium uplands’ it will be shorter-duration, direct seeded rice (DSR) using upland varieties. Preliminary on-farm research has demonstrated that not only is DSR better adapted to the medium uplands, the shorter duration of DSR creates an opportunity for growing a range of late kharif and early rabi crops, previously not considered, or grown only rarely. Alternative crops to rice, including a range of vegetables, will be developed to generate cash incomes and improved diet and health outcomes for these communities. Soil management and remediation will be an imperative to implementing new cropping systems.

AVRDC – The World Vegetable Center
University of Western Sydney
Professional Assistance for Development Action (PRADAN)
Indian Council for Agricultural Research (in particular the Central Rainfed Upland Rice Research Station and the Regional Complex Eastern Region)
Advanced Centre for Water Resources Development and Management