Below are the first few paragraphs of a story on the business pages of the Philippine Star (page B-4), Dec. 18, 2011.
Indian farmer sets new world record in rice yield
MANILA, Philippines – Indian officials have confirmed a farmer’s claim of beating the rice yield world record of 19 tons per hectare previously held by hybrid rice developer Yuan Long-ping of China.
Sumant Kumar, a rice farmer from India’s state of Bihar who uses a new rice-growing method called the System of Rice Intensification (SRI), reported a harvest of 22.4 tons (448 cavans) per hectare last November. His claim was confirmed in a verification visit by Bihar State agriculture officials, including the agriculture director, the official in charge of national food security, “a team of agriculture experts”, and the Nalanda district agriculture officer, who said, “the team found the claims true.”
Sumant’s neighbors got slightly lower yields, but still ahead or at par with the previous world record. Rice farmer Krishna Kumar got 22 tons, Nitish Kumar 19.6, Ramanand Singh 19.2 and Sanjay Kumar 19 tons. All used the SRI method. Almost 90 percent of rice farmers in the Nalanda district are already using SRI, district agriculturist Sudama Mahto said.