Rice in the Deep

Rice is an essential crop, supplying a quarter of the caloric intake for the human race. It is more genetically diverse than all other staple foods combined. In the Philippines alone, there are over 15,000 varieties.

With the worlds population multiplying at alarming rate, the demand for rice production is greater than ever. Deepwater rice varieties (rice flooded deeper than 50 cm for one month or longer during the growing season) can ease some of this growing demand. Deepwater varieties allow more land to be put into rice production because they survive where other varieties perish. In heavily populated delta areas which overflow from monsoon rains or seasonal flooding, deepwater rice provides much needed food supplies during the traditional lull in agricultural production for millions in Asia and West Africa. Despite their potential, deepwater rice varieties have been largely overlooked.

This discovery led David Catling to begin his research in the mid 1970's and brought about his latest contribution, Rice in Deep Water. This book provides a lucid account of rural cultivating methods, socio-economic conditions found in these areas and current research efforts to increase productivity of deepwater rice. This informative book addresses the needs and interests of both the student and the experienced scientist. Starting with an introduction to the deepwater rice agroecosystem, the book also describes plant biology and actual field studies, which form the basis of Catling's observations and conclusions.

Catling points out that the yield potential of deepwater rice makes it a promising cultivar for areas where flooding limits seasonal cultivation and population pressure makes agricultural productivity of premier importance. For anyone interested in rice cultivation, food security for rural populations and the adaptability of agricultural practices to the environment, this book offers possible solutions while being a thorough introduction and scientific reference guide to deepwater rice.

Catling, David. 1992. Rice in Deep Water. International Rice Research Institute. The MacMillan Press Ltd, London and Basingstoke. 542 p. ISBN 0-333-54978-3 IRRI ISBN 071-22-0005-1 $122.43


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