Department of Agriculture, Nepal
Rajendra Uprety is a PhD candidate at Wageningen University, The Netherlands and study rice intensification process and livelihood dynamics of rice farmers in Nepal for his PhD study. He is the senior agriculture officer of Department of Agriculture, Nepal where he has been working since 1991. He has published more than 15 field based research papers in different national and international journals, proceedings of international conferences, magazines. At present he is working as Irrigation Specialist (International UN Volunteer) in Zambia with UNDP and his main responsibility is to promote innovative Asian agriculture technology is Africa.
Introduction of high yielding new rice varieties since 1966 is one of the main strategies of the Nepal government (agriculture research and extension) to increase rice production. But coverage of recommended varieties and rice yield is still low in Nepal. To explore the reality of rice varieties used situation and its effect in Nepalese rice farming system, this study was conducted among 60 randomly selected farmers in two village development committees of Morang district of eastern Nepal. This study was conducted from June 2008-December 2009. Study found that modern recommended varieties performed better in better irrigated area with better management practices. But those varieties were very vulnerable or low productive in low management and stress conditions. High productive farmers preferred medium to short duration varieties to adjust their intensive cropping calendar but preference of low productive farmers went to medium to long duration varieties. Basmati varieties were popular among the farmers worked under stressed/vulnerable conditions but not among intensive and productive farmers. In most of the time, variation of farmers need and farming situations play important role for variety decision and this study found that Nepalese researchers and extension systems are less successful to capture and address the needs of rice farmers in Nepal.