With the Project:
World's first “strong rice” development project using renewable energy
A joint research between the Murakoshi laboratory team of the University of Industrial Technology and the Certified Aoba City Community Development Council in Japan has led to the production of so-called strong rice. It is grown in air-filled paddies, making the rice more resistant to typhoons since the roots grow stronger. Water is pumped to the rice fields using renewable energy. It is then transported to a small pump in a bid to add air into the soil in order to produce stronger strands of rice.
Climate change has resulted in an increasing impact of typhoons, especially in countries such as the Philippines and Japan. The typhoons have had an adverse impact on the rice cultivation in Japan as the destructive weather phenomenon destroys the rice crop before it is harvested. Autumn typhoons in particular overlap with the rice harvest season, resulting in the decline of the agricultural product's value. In most cases, the rice crop is broken by the heavy winds or it is forced to drown, leaving the farmers with a small yield.
Simultaneously to the planting of the rice crop, the rice paddies are filled with air. This helps to strengthen the roots of the plants, improving their resistance to recurring typhoons. By supplying the rice fields with a mix of air and water, both the soil quality and growth of the crops are improved. The results have proven that the rice strands indeed have improved in strength and can withstand the impact of typhoons unlike rice strands planted in conventional paddies.
Tests have shown that rice grown in air-filled paddies has a 10% better root growth and the plant itself is much stronger compared to other rice strands. This was proven during the typhoon number 15 that occurred in 2019, when the heavy winds and rainfall didn't cause the rice plants to fall. In addition, the stronger rice strands increased their weight by 8% and improved in growth while the yield was also higher. Furthermore, the use of renewable energy for the pumping reduced the production cost.
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