Sustainable Rice Straw Management training conducted for Thailand rice industry actors

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The IRRI mechanization and postharvest experts held a sustainable rice straw management training last December 13-15, 2022 in Thailand. The training was done under the Thai Rice Nationally Appropriate Mitigation Action (NAMA) Project funded by the NAMA Facility and implemented by the Thai Rice Department and GIZ. The National Agricultural Machinery Center (NAMC), Kasetsart University welcomed all the participants coming from the country’s different rice industry sectors.

The widespread open-field burning of rice straw is a major contributor to dangerously high levels of air pollution in South and Southeast Asia and is associated with health issues. Several alternatives were being offered to farmers and other stakeholders. However, basic information on the sustainable management of rice straw still remains to be disseminated.

The training workshop was attended by the director of Thai Rice NAMA, Mr. Ole Henriksen. According to him, sustainable rice straw management is necessary for achieving the main objective of the project which was to shift to low-emission rice production.

“Finding an alternative to rice straw burning reduces emissions and significantly reduces air pollution which is a high priority for Thailand and this adds income to the farmer by selling the rice straw. I believe this is a great opportunity for all of us to work together and contribute to reducing GHG emissions in Thailand towards carbon neutrality,” he said.

Dr. Bjoern Ole Sander, IRRI’s representative to Thailand, emphasized the challenge of climate change which is a pressing issue in agriculture at the moment with rice being one of the main contributing factors.

“The reduction of GHG can be done in a win-win situation by reducing GHGs, maintaining high production, and increasing income for farmers. The reduction of GHG emissions should be seen not as a burden to farmers but as an opportunity and…

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