Background

Rice is a primary source of food for energy consumed by almost half of the world population. It has been produced in tropical and sub-tropical countries and become the staple food for many generations and many centuries. Rice production is not only a matter of food production but in most Asian countries also demonstrates environmental, social and even spiritual values, or rural values. Innovation or introduction of new methods to develop paddy fields without bearing in mind these values might come to endless failures. It has been recognized that the conventional method, which is based on high yield varieties and intensive uses of artificial inputs, is no longer acceptable since in many ways it has resulted in the degradation of natural resources and undermined rural values. Now, it is imperative to search for alternative or new methods of rice production which is capable of restoring the natural resources and rural values while maintaining high productivities.

This conference will draw together knowledge and experience of the scientists and practitioners from all over the world who are apprehensive to find alternative or new methods of paddy field cultivation for a sustainable rice production. Special attentions will be given on how to enhance land, water and labor productivities. Organic rice farming and rediscovering of local varieties are other topics that appealing in order to restore the soils as pools of nutrients and microbiological activities. Rural values and amenities are inevitably important aspects not to disregard when introducing the new methods of paddy field cultivation.

This conference is an annual event of the International Society of Paddy and Water Environment Engineering (PAWEES) and co-organized by the Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering of Bogor Agricultural University, the Indonesian Network of the System of Rice Intensification and the Japanese Society of Irrigation, Drainage and Reclamation Engineering (JSIDRE).

As it is customary, this conference PAWEES will also distribute awards, based on assessment by a team of panelists, as appreciations to those authors whose articles were published in the Journal of PAWEES in 2008, and to scientists who have shown significant contributions to the development sustainable paddy fields, and/or agricultural engineering as a whole.

This conference will allocate time to deliberate accreditation progresses on engineering education programs. Topics would include the formation of national board, setting criteria and procedures that will be useful for those who are involved in forming their engineering education programs to a global level.