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Rice in the Shadow of Skyscrapers. Policy Choices in a Dynamic East and Southeast Asian Setting

World Bank Working Paper









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    This publication represents an output of work conducted on trees outside forests (TOF) as part of Regional Rice Initiative (RRI) Phase 2. It provides practical information on the status, benefits and techniques related the use of TOF in rice production landscapes in Southeast Asia. The manual describes the main rice-based farming systems in Southeast Asia, discusses the potential of agroforestry in enhancing the livelihood of smallholder farmers in rice growing areas in Southeast Asia, and gives an overview of traditional and innovative practices integrating trees in rice-based farms and landscapes. The manual also provides practical information to guide the planning, design and management of agroforestry in rice production systems in Southeast Asia, including case studies from several countries in the region.
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    Agriculture is the main livelihood activity in Southeast Asia, accounting for a large share of the gross domestic product of each country in the region. Rice is an important staple and cash crop and, in 2010, 88 percent (137 million ha) of the land used globally for rice production was in Southeast Asia. Projected impacts of climate change indicate that rice yield is likely to suffer considerably and adaptation options are vital. However, rice fields are also among the major emitters of greenhouse gases (GHGs), highlighting the importance of implementing mitigation measures in this sector. Almost 70 percent of technical mitigation potential in the agricultural sector lies in tropical developing countries, such as those of Southeast Asia. Feasibility studies and other estimates also show that the agriculture, forestry and other land use sectors, including the rice sub-sector, hold the potential for cost-effective mitigation strategies. However, gaps in capacities, scientific knowledge and data have limited the development and integration of such strategies into national climate change policies in the region. The aim of the project was to strengthen the capacity of countries in Southeast Asia to enhance the assessment of soil management strategies as a way of addressing climate change, while delivering additional benefits in terms of improved resilience, agricultural productivity and farmers’ income.
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    Book (stand-alone)
    Culture of Fish in Rice Fields 2004
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    Rice is presently grown in 113 countries. Rice farming also offers a suitable environment for the culture of fish and other aquatic organisms. This publication synthesizes the available information on the role that aquaculture can play in rice-based farming systems towards food security and poverty alleviation. The review describes the history behind integrating aquaculture with different rice ecosystems, the various production systems in operation such as concurrent, rotational and alternate, t he modifications needed to the fields in order to integrate fish with rice farming, and the agronomic and aquaculture management that is necessary. The benefits of integration to communities - economic and environmental - are also described with reviews of the experiences from various countries. The real impacts of rice-fish farming and its future potential in terms of improved income and nutrition are significant but generally underestimated and undervalued. Notable changes have taken place in pest management in rice farming, and in fish seed production and availability making this a particularly relevant moment for emphasizing the importance of rice-fish farming. There is considerable potential for rice-fish farming to expand further in many countries and to contribute substantially towards global food and nutritional security.

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