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Title: West African Rice Green Revolution by Sawah Eco-technology and the Creation of African SATOYAMA Systems
Authors: Wakatsuki, Toshiyuki
Moro M. Buri
Oladimeji I. Oladele
Author's alias: 若月, 俊之
Issue Date: Mar-2009
Publisher: Center for Southeast Asian Studies, Kyoto University
Journal title: Kyoto Working Papers on Area Studies: G-COE Series
Volume: 61
Start page: 1
End page: 30
Abstract: Even 40 years after the success in tropical Asia and Latin America, the green revolution is yet to be realized in Sub Sahara Africa (SSA). The materialization of rice green revolution is the major target of the millennium development goals of the United Nations. Although the breeding of high yielding varieties (HYV) by biotechnology was the core technology in Asian and Latin American green revolution and which the African Rice Center, WARDA, has innovated in NERICA technologies, the successful path to the green revolution in SSA is still unclear. The paper discussed the Sawah hypothesis (I) and (II). The first Sawah hypothesis (I) explains that the central to the realization of the rice green revolution in SSA is eco-technologies, which can improve farmers rice growing environment, such as lowland sawah eco-technologies. The second Sawah hypothesis (II) explains that sustainable rice productivity of lowland sawah is more than 10times than that of upland rice fields, if appropriate lowlands are selected, developed and managed. Contrary to Asian farmers' fields, the majority of farmers' rice fields in SSA are not ready to accept the three basic components of the green revolution technologies, i.e., (1) irrigation for water supply, (2) fertilizer for soil nutrient supply, and (3) high yielding varieties (HYV). Although researchers have worked seriously on the effect of irrigation, fertilizers and HYV for the last forty years, the researchers have not touched on whether the prerequisite conditions which can accommodate the three basic components of the green revolution are exist or not in SSA. The concept and technologies of Sawah is such an example. The term sawah refers to leveled, bunded, and puddled rice field with water inlet and outlet to control water and manage soil fertility, which may be connecting irrigation and drainage facilities including sawah to sawah irrigation and drainage. The term originates from Malayo-Indonesian. The English and French terms, Paddy or Paddi, also originated from the Malyo- Indonesian term, Padi, which means rice plant. In order to avoid confusion between upland paddy fields and man-made leveled, bunded and puddled rice fields, i.e., typically irrigated rice ecology, which is un-appropriately used as lowland paddy fields, the authors propose to use the term "Sawah" in SSA. Simply speaking the basic infrastructures for the green revolution are lacking in the farmers' fields of SSA. Irrigation without farmers' sawah farming technologies has proved inefficient or even damaging because of accelerated erosion and waste of water resources in SSA. In the absence of water control, fertilizers cannot be used efficiently. Consequently, the high yielding varieties perform poorly and soil fertility cannot be sustained, hence the green revolution can not be achieved. The potential of Sawah based rice farming is enormous in SSA, especially in West Africa. Ten to twenty million ha of sawah can produce additional food for more than 300 million people in future. The sawah based rice farming can overcome both low soil fertility and scarce water resources through the enhancement of multi-functionality of sawah type wetlands as well as geological fertilization processes in watersheds. The sawah systems can even enhance the restoration of degraded watershed through the sustainable expansion of afforestation to form a watershed agro-forestry, i.e. the creation of African SATOYAMA systems, which will combat global warming in future. SATO means villagersU habitat and YAMA means multipurpose forest managed by villagers. Both terms are from Japanese. Because of intensive sustainability of lowland sawah systems, the degraded upland fields can be converted to multipurpose forests, which will eventually contribute the global warming.
Rights: © 2009 Center for Southeast Asian Studies, Kyoto University
Appears in Collections:GCOEワーキングペーパー

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