SIANI members Adam John and Matthew Fielding have recently published a new study in Agriculture and Food Security Journal looking at the ‘yield gap’ i.e. the gap between average farm yield and estimated potential yield of rice in South Asia. “We looked to see if the specific rice production constraints (according to a paper by Waddington) that featured in peer-reviewed publications mapped onto the biggest production constraints in real life. We felt like this would be a way of evaluating the performance of larger funding initiatives who participate in ‘yield gap’ research”.
One of the main findings was that only 7% of the peer-reviewed articles we reviewed focused on socio-economic production constraints yes these accounted for 22% of the ‘yield gap’. Meaning that research in these areas would have a disproportionately beneficial impact compared to research into the abiotic constraints which also contributed 22% of the ‘yield gap’ yet constituted 45% of the articles. So essentially we establish that research into socio-economic production constraints is of excellent value and should be pushed up the research funding agenda. Current research on production constraints of rice in South Asia (and that goes for publication) is disconnected to the real needs for knowledge of farmers
You can read the full article here.