HomeInternational Rice Research Notesvol. 28 no. 2 (2003)

Integrated Natural Resource Management for Rice Production

Suan Pheng Kam

Discipline: Agriculture, Management



Research over the past 30 years by the agricultural research community at large has made significant achievements in boosting productivity and alleviating poverty through increasing farm income. However, these agricultural advances have also had effects that resonate across the landscape, in some cases undermining the integrity of natural resources that people depend on to meet a wide range of needs. In addition, achieving further improvements in agricultural production has become more challenging than ever before. This has to be accomplished using land, water, biological, and other resources that are increasingly limited in supply in the face of increasing population pressure and competing demands from other sectors of economic development. Dr. Ian Johnson, president of the Consultative Group on International Agricultural Research (CGIAR) centers, succinctly summarized the importance of natural resource management (NRM) in his statement that “…mismanagement of natural resources may be the ‘Achilles heel’ of long-term sustainable development.” These recent trends are driving a demand for broadening research and management approaches that are aimed not only at productivity gains but also at ensuring truly sustainable development in the economic, social, and ecological sense. These approaches have generally been described as integrated natural resource management (INRM). However, INRM means different things to different people, mainly because there are many facets of natural resources and there are many ways by which they are used to meet human needs.