Wednesday, May 08, 2019

8th May,2019 Daily Global Regional Local Rice E-Newsletter

Extreme climate can halve crop yields: Study

Global research quantifies impact of climate extremes on staple crops maize, spring wheat, rice and soybeans

By Kiran Pandey
Last Updated: Tuesday 07 May 2019
The frequency and severity of climate extremes is projected to further increase in most regions worldwide, which is likely to affect the agricultural productivity.
But, even as the global agricultural activity needs to be advanced by 1.75 per cent every year to meet the demands of nearly 10 billion people by 2050, the global food system is at risk, warns a new study.
Climate extremes like — droughts or heat waves significantly impact the yield of major staple crops around the world like — wheat, rice and maize and soybean, says the study — led by researchers from Australia, Germany, Switzerland and the United States.
The study underlines the importance of mitigating impacts of climate extremes on the global food system and adapting agriculture to changes during extreme events — to the extent it is possible — to meet future food demands.
Overall, year-to-year changes in climate factors during the growing season of maize, rice, soybean and spring wheat accounted for 20-49 per cent yield fluctuations, according to the study.
This shows that the extreme climate conditions especially the temperature has a significant impact on agricultural yield and needs to be understood for predicting yield variations in maize, soybeans and rice.
This global research studied the effects of climate conditions on yield during the growing season, using climate and climate extreme datasets with near-global coverage and a high-resolution agricultural database.
Irrigation can mitigate the stress
Extreme temperature had a stronger association with the yield than extreme precipitation, but the negative yield effects of high temperatures are intertwined with water stress and can be mitigated by irrigation.
The study recommends future research for further investigation on the use of agricultural drought indicators that capture both precipitation and temperature effects.
“Interestingly, we found that the most important climate factors for yield anomalies were related to temperature, not precipitation, as one could expect, with the average growing season temperature and temperature extremes playing a dominant role in predicting crop yields,” said Elisabeth Vogel from the Centre of Excellence for Climate Extremes and Climate & Energy College at the University of Melbourne, who led this study.
Hotspots critical for global production and adaptation planning
Focusing on the importance of considering climate extremes for agricultural predictions and adaptation planning, the study also provided an overview of critical regions that are most susceptible to variations in growing season climate and climate extremes. 
These regions include North America for maize, spring wheat and soybean production, Asia in the case of maize and rice production as well as Europe for spring wheat production.
The hotspots are mostly in industrialised, high-input crop producing areas, but the climate extremes are also critical in other regions, where the contribution to global production might be small, but the reliance of communities on subsistence farming is high.  
For example, maize yields in Africa showed one of the strongest relationships with growing season climate variability. It has been found to be highly dependent on climate conditions.
While Africa's share of global maize production may be small, the largest part of that production goes towards human consumption — compared to just 3 per cent in North America — making it critical for food security in the region.
With climate change predicted to change the variability of weather and increasing the likelihood and severity of climate extremes in most regions, this research highlights the importance of adapting food production to these changes.
Increasing resilience to climate extremes and adaptation to long-term climate change requires concerted efforts at local, regional and international level to ensure future food security, states the study.
In the Indian context
These findings do resonate with the Economic Survey of India which warned that climate change could reduce annual agricultural incomes in the range of 15-18 per cent on average, and up to 20-25 per cent for unirrigated areas.
In fact the proportion of dry days (rainfall less than 0.1 mm per day) have increased steadily over the last one decade, and extreme rainfall shocks resulted in a 12.8 per cent decline in kharif yields. A recent study published also showed the impact of climate change on wheat in India. 
By 2050, India is likely to experience a temperature rise of 1-4 degrees Celsius and this is projected to have a detrimental effect on farmers in more than half of the country. Thus, this global research has regional relevance for India too.

Hyderabad’s Pista House to use black rice in haleem: What grain is this and is it better?

In collaboration with the NorthEast Foundation, Pista House has decided to add Chakhao, a variety of black rice sourced from Manipur, to their haleem.
·       Priyanka Richi

·       Tuesday, May 07, 2019 - 14:50
It’s Ramadan season. Every evening, the streets in Hyderabad are overcrowded with people queuing up in front of haleem shops for a plate of the gooey mutton delicacy, eaten mostly to break the day-long fast during Ramadan. Haleem is usually a mix of wheat and lentils with mutton cooked slowly until the meat becomes tender. It is then served with a dash of lime, crispy fried onions and dry fruits, garnished with coriander leaves. And one restaurant that is famous for its authentic haleem is Pista House, also popular for its Hyderabadi biryani.
This year, giving a twist to the scrumptious dish, Pista House has decided to add Chakhao, a variety of black rice sourced from Manipur. A collaborative effort between Pista House and the NorthEast Foundation, black rice is said to be high in nutritional value and was commonly consumed by Chinese royalty owing to its health benefits.
In India, though rice is a staple food, the production and consumption of black rice is restricted to the North-East. It is extensively grown in Odisha, Jharkand and West Bengal, and costs around Rs 300 per kg in local markets.
Haleem is served after the first sighting of the crescent moon during Ramadan and is known for its richness in taste. It is seldom considered to be a health supplement but with the addition of black rice, this time haleem is going to be a prefect starter for religious believers who piously follow the day-long rigorous fast.
What is black rice?
Tracing the history of black rice, this exotic variety of rice was once known as the ‘forbidden rice’. The secret behind the name dates back to when Chinese royalty withheld every grain of the rice from public consumption. The reason cited by many for this was the exceptional health benefits that the rice provided – from being a natural detoxifier to reducing the chances of obesity.
In ancient China, the rice was grown by royalty in small amounts and under strict supervision. But now in India, though it is still grown in patches across the country, the rice is largely consumed as a dietary supplement. Known as Chakhao in Manipuri, it’s also grown in parts of Tamil Nadu and is called Kavuni.
On the commercial aspect, researchers have time and again advised state governments to switch to black rice cultivation, as it is grown organically and consumes less water compared to hybrid rice varieties. Agricultural scientists say that by providing infrastructure, market support and financial incentives, black rice can be beneficial for Indian rice producers.
Black rice in haleem
Speaking to TNM, Deepa Agarwal, a Hyderabad-based nutritionist, says that rice has always been a hot topic of discussion among dieticians. While some say that shunning rice altogether is an option, alternatives like brown rice, red rice, quinoa and black rice are definitely healthier options.
“Black rice is traditionally known to keep diabetes at bay. It’s rich in fibre and helps in bowel movement, and to stop diarrhoea and constipation. Considering the hectic lifestyle that we lead today, black rice acts as a natural detoxifier and often helps in reducing the risks of obesity,” Deepa adds.
Black rice in haleem, according to Deepa, is a healthier alternative in comparison to wheat that is usually the main ingredient in the dish.
“Haleem is a dish rich in proteins considering the huge quantities of mutton that goes into its making. Black rice will make it a perfectly balanced dish, as it is rich in fibre and will not lead to problems of bloating or acidity. Also, as Ramadan is falling during peak summer, black rice cools down the stomach and negates the heat that meat produces in one’s body. Also, with the addition of black rice, vegetarian haleem can slowly become more popular,” Deepa says.
“But remember, black rice isn’t a miracle cure,” Deepa warns. “Switching to a healthy alternative is not easy and it takes a lot of time to adjust to the taste, texture and colour of the rice. So it is always advisable to introduce black rice in smaller portions and I think adding it to a delicious dish like haleem will definitely have a lot of takers who want to opt for this healthier alternative.”

How an Ancient Indian Art Utilizes Mathematics, Mythology, and Rice

Computer scientists have studied these “pictorial prayers.”

MAY 07, 2019