Idea of Agri-rice Green plus Revolution (ArGpR) initiated by Dr. K. A. Shahdi come out as a main result of the strategic plan for sustainable rice production emphasizing organic/ healthy rice derived from the five year program of CWARice. Whilst increasing crop yields about three times by Green Revolution of agriculture started in 1968, applying chemical inputs and genetic manipulation were the negative aspects of matter as well. Regarding negative effects of chemical inputs on environment and human health, to achieve higher yield meeting growth population needs, the best choice is concentrating on soil as a new strategy named: "Green plus Revolution in agriculture-rice".
Moreover, in this initiative going towards a new revolution adding concepts of organic or healthy crops/ rice production with a special attention to the vital role of soil and its rhizosphere, soil will act as an excellent miniature world through plant microbiome achieving higher green plus yield than those are happening negatively now!.
Indeed, to stay on right direction of released idea, it is needed to improve our understanding on how agriculture-rice is changing soils and how does soil really work differently by our management? In the Green plus view in agriculture especially rice production, we should focus on soil properties, plant roots in different rice farming systems, indigenous nutrient availabilities and transformations in soil rhizosphere, soil and plant microbiome activities. These will allow us for a better design of management systems, which in turn will promote greater nutrient availability, microbe activities and prime plants with better defense responses when challenged by pests & diseases towards higher yield without chemical inputs.
Consequently, to reach a sustainable higher yield, soil is the best option. To approach this new strategy of Green plus Revolution against those happened with harmful results for people health and environmental disasters, an alliance of organic agriculture, science and genetic engineering focusing on soil is needed to be started. In addition, to cover new paradigm of G plus Revolution for a better life through food safety and security, the current policy of investments at all national, regional and international levels should to be changed to realizing our dreams towards food safety and friendly environment sustainability.
You can join us at new paradigm of “Agri-rice Green plus Revolution” (ArGpR) via giving us your ideas and comments on the proposal of our pilot mega project as below:
Proposal of Pilot Megaproject
(Sustainable production, food safety and security)
Improving Yield of Organic Rice using Soil Biological Potential & Plant Root System
Proposed and submitted by: Dr. K. A. Shahdi
Coordinator of Central and West Asian Rice Center ( CWARice)
In the recent decades, the big challenge facing the world’s growing population is food crisis, food health & security and environmental degradation. With the beginning of transformation in agriculture called the Green Revolution, the yield of agricultural products per unit area was multiplied, but at the same time the excessive consumption of chemical inputs (chemical fertilizers, pesticides, etc), human society and environment encountered with newer and even unknown crisis.
Crises such as toxicities, environmental degradation and soil erosion, the spread of chronic diseases and cancers, the emergence of plant pests and diseases and new weeds resistant to chemical toxins are among the negative effects of the Green Revolution in agriculture. In other words, agricultural methods based on the Green Revolution due to over-reliance on artificial inputs and injection of auxiliary energy such as fertilizers and chemical pesticides to improve crop yields have caused unstable cropping systems, environmental crises and destructive effects on human health.
Overcoming such negative effects is possible with the help of the huge potential of soil environment and plant root system. It could maintain and improve crop performance as an additive to the Green Revolution (Green +), a healthy and natural alternative to compensate and eliminate the negative problems of the Green Revolution heritage in agriculture. It would also bring a great and valuable achievement of community health, environmental protection and sustainable development of agriculture-rice sector.
Today, the sustainability of agricultural systems is considered as an important issue around the world. A sustainable system using renewable inputs can maximize ecological benefits and reduce environmental damage to the lowest possible level.
Sustainable agriculture refers to the proper management of agricultural resources that is used to meet the changing needs of human beings, while maintaining and even improving natural resources and the quality of the environment.
Organic/ healthy agriculture is also one of the components of sustainable agricultural systems based on the elimination or minimal use of artificial inputs such as chemical fertilizers and pesticides.
In organic/ healthy agriculture, due to treating accordance with the principles of ecosystem conservation, it has no detrimental effect on the environment. In the other words, organic/ healthy agriculture is harmonized with ecology and a guardian of biodiversity, economically beneficial, politically acceptable, managerially applicable, and socially acceptable.
In the transition phase and reforming the current green agricultural revolution towards green plus revolution and production of organic/ healthy products by eliminating chemical inputs in the first years, yield decrease is possible but it would be compensated without chemical inputs and genetic manipulation. Absorption of many nutrients and resistance of plant shoots has a strong correlation with the morphology and special ability of the plant root system. So that rhizosphere is the most important factor in determining nutrient uptake and resistance to pests and diseases and weed control.
In the new approach, a comprehensive multidisciplinary scientific study involving different majors of biology, fertility, chemistry and biotechnology of soil, water and plant, plant protection, breeding, genetics and plant physiology is required to focus on the biological potentials of soil environment and root system. Therefore, while considering the principles of improving crop yield, eliminating the negative effects of chemical inputs and genetic manipulation derived of the common green revolution would be eliminated turning into a plus green transformation and sustainable development.
This megaproject is piloting in line with the continuing efforts to produce organic/ healthy rice, which has been approved by enumerating the needs and priorities of development-oriented goals of sustainable agricultural / rice production in the five-year program of CWARice. The new approach is based on how to improve the yield of organic/ healthy crop without the use of chemical inputs and relying on valuable biological potentials of soil and rice plant root system to achieve sustainable development of agriculture-rice and food security in Central and West Asian country members of CWARice.
Indeed, the mega project would be a comprehensive action of studies and research findings which for the first time in the form of a new intl-regional approach with the initiative of " Agricultural Green plus Revolution" in a two-day scientific webinar entitled "Sustainable production of rice with emphasis on organic rice " on 8-9 Dec.,2020 has been presented and unveiled.
These series of systematic 5-7 year researches with the goals of rice production sustainability are as follows:
A. Select the appropriate microorganism (Phytomicrobiome)
A-1. Bacteria isolated from rice rhizosphere in terms of s everal important growth stimulus indicators such as production of rooting hormones (Auxin ...), production of siderophore, dissolution and absorption of nutrients, production of HCN (Control and resistance to pathogens and pests of rice (phytomicrobiome)) and ACC-deaminase production are screened and a maximum of 3 suitable bacteria are selected and the superior strains are sequenced by 16S rRNA amplification.
A-2. Selection of mycorrhizal fungi: Ando is selected for rice with good colonization potential.
A-3. Selection of organic matter, index rice cultivar, soil phosphate and humic acid
A-4. Application of microorganisms and organic matter treatments and production of healthy / organic seedlings in the nursery
A-5. Apply treatments suitable for seedling production in the field
A-6. Analysis of rice yield results in the field and selection of appropriate treatments
A-7. Preparing appropriate carrier material and producing biofertilizer from microorganisms
A-8. Evaluating biofertilizer in the field with different treatments and index rice varieties
A-9. Introducing biofertilizer to produce a healthy rice crop without the use of chemical inputs
B. Root screening of appropriate rice varieties
B-1. Investigate root characteristics and its diversity in different rice varieties morphologically and physiologically
B-2. Investigate root genetic diversity in different rice varieties through molecular markers
B-3. Identify and evaluate appropriate breeding methods to improve root characteristics in different rice varieties
B-4. Assess root indexes in rice varieties by up to date soft wares such as WinRHIZO and selecting varieties with the efficiency of nutrient absorption and connecting with microorganisms
C. Identifying and introducing index rice varieties resistant to biotic and abiotic stresses
C-1. Screening rice varieties for resistance to biotic and abiotic stresses based on root characteristics
C-2. Identifying and evaluating microorganisms effective in creating resistance to biotic and abiotic stresses
C-3. Field evaluation of integrated application of rice varieties with suitable root characteristics and microorganisms effective in resistance to biological and abiotic stresses
C-4. Developing System of Rice Intensification (SRI)
D. Branding and marketing biofertilizer produced from phytomicrobiome and healthy/ organic rice phosphorus identification kit
D-1. Introducing Phosphorus identification kit in Rice Plant
D-2. Socio-economic study of branding and commercialization of biofertilizer and nutrient identification kit and releasing healthy/ organic