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Increasing Rice Cultivation on Underutilized Lowland in Southwest Agro-ecological Zone

RESEARCH TEAM:

Project Coordinator: Professor O. A. Akinyemiju

Research Specialist:  Mr. O. O. Alagbo

Department: Crop Production & Protection.

 

DIRECT BENEFICIARIES:

 The direct beneficiaries of this research are farmers, Research Institute and Corporate Organizations.

WHAT IS NEW?:

Rice consumption in Nigeria is on a phenomenal increase leading to astronomical increase in rice importation. This importation is unsustainable due to the negative effect on domestic production and the foreign exchange. Major tracks of lowland ecology suitable for rice production exist in the southwest but only marginally utilized (i.e less than one hectare per farmer) due largely to poor knowledge of paddy rice production, low herbicide usage and poor understanding of lowland rice ecology by southwest farmers.

Between 2013 – 2016a series of field experiments were conducted, first to validate the status of rice and domestic production in southwest agro-ecological zone. The survey identified series of lowland locations suitable for paddy rice production in southwest. One of the identified sites at the OAU campus was experimented upon for the entire value chain of rice production i.e evaluation of appropriate herbicide, herbicidecombination and timing of application; method of planting and management of rice paddy; harvesting, threshing, parboiling, destoning and packaging.

Results obtained showed that transplanting at three weeks after seeding is a superior form of cultivation, application of a formulated mixture of pretilachlor and pyribenzoxim (SOLITO®) herbicide at 320g/l active ingredient or 1.5 – 2 litre per hectare gave adequate weed control after application, three weeks after transplanting and produced optimal paddy rice yield. After series of treatmentsi.e threshing, parboiling, destoning, the milled rice was dressed and packaged in 2kg pack. The adoption of this production package resulted in the production of 4 tons per hectare of rice as against estimated 2 tons per ha production among rural farmers.

 
Packaged Sample products (2kg) of destoned OAU Field rice.