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Entry points for eco-efficient aerobic rice production system in Punjab, Pakistan

conference contribution
posted on 2023-05-23, 10:59 authored by Awan, MI, Holger MeinkeHolger Meinke, van Oort, P, Bastiaans, L
Major issues challenging the sustainability of conventional flooded rice systems in Pakistan are: low input conversion efficiencies, productivity stagnation, rising costs of production, and shortage of water, labour, and energy. An emerging opportunity is an alternative, eco-efficient production system called ‘aerobic rice’, which entails the growing of direct-seeded crops in non-puddled fields under non-flooded conditions. Ecoefficiency is about achieving more agricultural output per unit of input, through substitution of production factors including knowledge. We evaluated the aerobic rice system in Punjab, Pakistan from biophysical and socio-technological perspectives employing a combined approach of experimentation (i.e. field trials on resource-use efficiencies and growth chamber studies on phenology) and farmer surveys. Our findings suggest that the aerobic rice system is a rational approach for improving the eco-efficiencies of water, labour, and energy. However, for subtropical conditions, the knowledge-intensive system is still very much in the development phase, thus requiring a thorough understanding of the entry points (i.e. opportunities and threats). Based on our findings, the entry points for aerobic rice systems are: availability of fine grain basmati varieties; savings on water, labour, and energy; net profitability; extension outreach programmes to raise awareness among farmers; good quality biocides; prospective areas for crop diversification; optimisation of agronomic practices such as seed rate, water, and fertiliser inputs; land levelling; and mechanical interventions for appropriate seeding and weeding. In order to balance production and sustainability, risks of crop failure can be reduced by optimisation of scarce resources and provision of suitable genotypes.


Publication title

Proceedings of the 17th Australian Society of Agronomy Conference


T Acuna, M Harrison, C Moeller, D Parsons




Tasmanian Institute of Agriculture (TIA)


Australian Society of Agronomy

Place of publication


Event title

17th Australian Society of Agronomy Conference

Event Venue

Hobart, Australia

Date of Event (Start Date)


Date of Event (End Date)


Rights statement

Copyright 2015 Australian Society of Agronomy Inc.

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  • Restricted

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