This project tested and promoted wild rice management methods on rice fields in southern Tanzania. Further series of field demonstrations were completed at 18 floodplain sites infested by the perennial wild rice Oryza longistaminata in four villages of Kilombero and Kyela districts of Tanzania. Pre-plant application of the herbicide Round Up (active ingredient glyphosate) and use of a basal fertiliser both significantly increased grain yield of the recently introduced aromatic rice cultivar TXD 306. Herbicide use achieved season long suppression of wild rice. Use of glyphosate was also provided effective control of the annual O. punctata in both transplanted and direct dry-seeded rice. Participatory budgets developed with farmer groups indicated the use of both fertiliser and herbicide to be cost effective. A training manual covering improved rice production practices, including management of wild rice, was produced and distributed to extension managers, extension officers and lead farmers. Training courses for farmers, extension officers and village leaders were held in four locations.
The land tenure system in Kyela was investigated with members of two village communities. Land ownership in the district is skewed and approx. 70% of households gain access to lowland rice fields via short-term tenancies. Rented land tends to be less productive than land kept for cultivation by landowners, being of poorer fertility with greater infestations of wild rice. The perception in the community is that tenants are less likely to invest in improved production practices through fear of loosing use of fields to landlords. It was concluded that landowners are most likely to adopt herbicide for wild rice management initially and the district council needs to consider the needs of the community rather than individuals when planning promotion of production enhancing inputs for floodplain rice.
DFID Crop Protection Programme, Final Technical Report, Project R8477. Ministry of Agriculture and Food Security, Kilombero Agricultural Training and Research Institute (KATRIN), Ifakara, Tanzania. 20 pp. plus Annex.