An overview of improved rice varieties planted throughout Latin America
With the objective to estimate the economic impact of improved rice varieties in Latin America, the International Center for Tropical Agriculture (CIAT), together with local institutions, carried out expert workshops in Nicaragua, Costa Rica, Panama, Venezuela, Peru and Bolivia, between March and August of this year. The issues looked at during the workshops included the identification of all new improved rice varieties in each country, the total area in production under the improved technologies, a definition of changes in yield associated with old and new technologies, gender roles, and producer characterizations.
The workshop participants included producers, extension agents, seed vendors, rice millers, researchers from international & national agriculture research institutions, rice breeders and administrators, amongst others. These experts were able to provide a holistic view of current rice production in each country and give information on different rice technologies and estimates of technology adoption rates.
The Nicaragua workshop was held in Sébaco, a setting chosen for its important role in the country’s rice production and centralized location. There were 21 participants in total, divided into three groups according to the three systems of rice production in the country: Irrigated (accounting for the majority of production), Upland Mechanized and Upland Manual.
The Costa Rica workshop was held in San José, where participants were split according to the system of production, i.e.: Irrigated or Upland Mechanized. In Panama two workshops were held, one in the city of David and the other one in Divisa. David is located in the state of Chiriquí, which is the main Panama rice production region. Divisa was chosen in order to represent the rest of Panama.
In the Andean region, one workshop was hosted in Acarigua, Venezuela (located in the northwestern part of the state of Portuguesa). Nineteen rice experts participated in the workshop. The groups were divided according to their region of expertise. Four rice producing areas were identified: Guarico, Portuguesa, Cojedes and Barinas.
In Peru, two workshops were carried out: one took place in Tarapoto, located in the lowland jungle region, the other one in the coastal city of Chiclayo. Thirty-nine rice experts (23 from the lowland jungle and 16 from the coast) represented all the rice producing sectors of North Peru.
Finally, in Bolivia the workshop was hosted in Caranavi, a city located in the north of the state of La Paz, where 18 experts were organized according to their geographical area of expertise. Five rice producing areas were identified: Alto Beni, Guanay, Teoponte, Caranavi, Santa Cruz and Beni.
The following steps included the analysis and publication of this information. The activities were sponsored by GRISP and developed by the Economic Analysis and Impact Assessment group within the Decision and Policy Analysis Research Area (DAPA).
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