The Problem

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Soil nitrogen deficiency has been cited as a major constraint to rice production. Nitrogen deficiency is mostly acute in the highly weathered upland areas where an average yield of only one tonne per hectare, which is about 25 percent of yield potential, has been recorded. Also, nitrogen is difficult to retain when applied in lowland areas due to floods and flowing water that characterise such areas. A major concern that constraints rice production in nitrogen deficient soils is the inability of farmers to buy fertilisers to address this constraint, and when they buy, they can hardly afford the required rate for optimal yield. Improving the nitrogen use efficiency (NUE) of rice is one means of overcoming these limitations.

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