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Guyana farms adapting to changing climate with flood-tolerant rice

February 10th, 2012

POMONA ESSEQUIBO, Guyana (Alertnet) – George Griffith is pleased with his harvest. Improved farming techniques and a different variety of rice have helped the 70-year-old farmer reap 103 bags of rice from his two-and-a-half acre (one hectare) field in this coastal village. That is an increase of at least 12 percent from his previous crops.

“The land of itself is fertile, very fertile, (but the harvest) has a lot to do with the preparation of the land,” he said.

Preparation and adaptation are the key words as Guyana’s farmers seek to increase their incomes while adapting to unpredictable weather conditions. The pressures of a changing climate are forcing a rethink of agricultural practices by individual farmers and the government.

Griffith, for instance, has been able to maximise his production using a new variety of rice, and minimise losses from climate-related flooding through adaptive measures in the field.

At his farm, Griffith must deal with flooding caused by heavy spring ocean tides as well as increasingly heavy rainfall. Efforts to improve drainage have helped address the problem, but now Griffith also maintains…Read more here.

Source: alertnet / Johann Earle