In the framework of the exchange activities of the “Development and adoption of a low input rice production system through genetic breeding and advanced crop management technologies” project, better known as SATREPS, where the Colombian and Japanese governments are collaborating, Dr. Tadashi Chosa, presented his work on a yield monitoring system used during harvest.
“The main objective of the SATREPS project is to develop technologies to reduce production costs for rice producers in Colombia”, explained Dr. Manabu Ishitani, Scientist of the International Center for Tropical Agriculture (CIAT, by its Spanish acronym) and the project coordinator.
The yield monitoring alternative presented by Dr. Chosa is part of a group of advanced technologies that the SATREPS project offers, aiming to establish an optimized system for rice crop management.
Dr. Chosa mentioned that “the first step that we must take is to identify the production problems we have, and from that point, we can improve, reduce costs and increase yield”. He included within his activities in Colombia visits to three farms located in Saldaña (Tolima), in coordination with Federación Nacional de Arroceros – Fedearroz (National Rice Producers Federation). In Saldaña he observed the agricultural equipment that will be used during yield monitoring in the SATREPS project. “Although in my opinion, water and nitrogen management losses occur I also believe that there are many possibilities to increase yield. In Colombia there is more available land, but in Japan we have the technology, so working together we can increase yield”.
Additionally, Dr. Chosa offered two seminars, one in Ibague and another one in CIAT where he spoke about the use of the yield monitoring system and the results obtained in Japan. “Precision agriculture is not new in research, but it is not easy to be adopted by producers, as they cannot make decisions on their own based on the information generated. The yield monitoring system used during harvest gives useful information for precise fertilization management during the following crop season. Maybe we can work together with farmers, talk with them and decide the practical use of this information”, mentioned Dr. Chosa.
The SATREPS project is financed by the Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA), the Japan Science and Technology Agency (JST) and the Japanese “Science and Technology Research Partnership for Sustainable Development (SATREPS) program”. The participant institutions from Colombia are CIAT, Fedearroz, the Colombian Presidential Agency of International Cooperation (APC), the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development (MADR), Universidad del Valle, and the Latin American Fond for Irrigated Rice (FLAR, by its Spanish acronym). Participant institutions from Japan are Tokyo University, the National Institute of Agrobiological Sciences (NIAS), and Kyushu University.
Complementing the monitoring technologies, the project also seeks to develop rice varieties adapted to drought and nutrient deficiency, especially nitrogen; moreover, it will have a big capacity development component where researchers in Colombia will visit Japan and vice versa. Finally, FLAR will participate actively in the Latin American technology dissemination component through its members.
* Science and Technology Cooperation on Global Issues: Science and Technology Research Partnership for Sustainable Development (SATREPS: Project Type Technical Cooperation)
For further information regarding the SATREPS project: http://www.jica.go.jp/english/our_work/science/satreps.html
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Authors: Alejandra Crespo and Maria Ximena Escobar – Communications FLAR