Nitrogen fixation in rice systems: state of knowledge and future prospects uri icon

abstract

  • Rice is the most important cereal crop. In the next three decades, the world will need to produce about 60% more rice than today's global production to feed the extra billion people. Nitrogen is the major nutrient limiting rice production. Development of fertilizer-responsive varieties in the Green Revolution, coupled with the realization by farmers of the importance of nitrogen, has led to high rates of N fertilizer use on rice. Increased future demand for rice will entail increased application of fertilizer N. Awareness is growing, however, that such an increase in agricultural production needs to be achieved without endangering the environment. To achieve food security through sustainable agriculture, the requirement for fixed nitrogen must increasingly met by biological nitrogen fixation (BNF) rather than by using nitrogen fixed industrially. It is thus imperative to improve existing BNF systems and develop N-2-fixing non-leguminous crops such as rice. Here we review the potentials and constraints of conventional BNF systems in rice agriculture, as well as the prospects of achieving in planta nitrogen fixation in rice.

publication date

  • 2003
  • 2003