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0508 Opportunities for Raising Rice Yields and the Productivity of Land, Labor and Water with the System of Rice Intensification
 

0508 Opportunities for Raising Rice Yields and the Productivity of Land, Labor and Water with the System of Rice Intensification

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Presented by: Norman Uphoff

Presented by: Norman Uphoff

Presented at: DAE/BRF Seminar on SRI Dept. of Agric. Extension, Dhaka

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  • Slides for presentation to national workshop on SRI dissemination, Ministry of Agriculture, Dhaka, Bangladesh, February 22, 2005.
  • This was the message which started presentation on SRI to the 10 th scientific meeting on the theory and practice of high-quality, high-yielding rice in China, held in Haerbin, August, 2004. This is a ‘bottom-line’ message summarizing what has been learned from SRI experience: the rice plant has much more potential for productivity than has been achieved because common practices constrain the expression of this potential.
  • This was the message which started presentation on SRI to the 10 th scientific meeting on the theory and practice of high-quality, high-yielding rice in China, held in Haerbin, August, 2004. This is a ‘bottom-line’ message summarizing what has been learned from SRI experience: the rice plant has much more potential for productivity than has been achieved because common practices constrain the expression of this potential.
  • Picture provided by Dr. Zhu Defeng, China National Rice Research Institute, September 2004.
  • Picture provided by Dr. Koma Yang Saing, director, Cambodian Center for the Study and Development of Agriculture (CEDAC), September 2004.
  • This field was harvested in March 2004 with representatives from the Department of Agriculture present to measure the yield. Picture provided by George Rakotondrabe, Landscape Development Interventions project, which has worked with Association Tefy Saina in spreading the use of SRI to reduce land pressures on the remaining rainforest areas.
  • Picture provided by Dr. Rena Perez of SRI field in 2002 at the cooperative where SRI got its start in Cuba. This field gave yields of about 6 t/ha before. This cooperative has expanded from 2 ha to 20 ha in SRI.
  • Picture provided by Gamini Batuwitage, at the time Sr. Asst. Secretary of Agriculture, Sri Lanka, of SRI field that yielded 13 t/ha in 2000, the first year SRI was used in that country. Such performance got SRI started there..
  • This was the message which started presentation on SRI to the 10 th scientific meeting on the theory and practice of high-quality, high-yielding rice in China, held in Haerbin, August, 2004. This is a ‘bottom-line’ message summarizing what has been learned from SRI experience: the rice plant has much more potential for productivity than has been achieved because common practices constrain the expression of this potential.
  • Summary of main benefits from SRI seen in many countries now. Others are discussed, such as conservation of rice biodiversity, and resistance to abiotic stresses, in extra slides following those chosen for this presentation.
  • Summary of main benefits from SRI seen in many countries now. Others are discussed, such as conservation of rice biodiversity, and resistance to abiotic stresses, in extra slides following those chosen for this presentation.
  • This is a brief historical background. Fr. de Laulanie came to Madagascar from France in 1961 and started working on improvement of rice opportunities for the people there. It was not even tried anywhere outside China until 1999 (Nanjing Agricultural University), but it is now spreading rapidly. Vietnam is the 21 st country where SRI results have been demonstrated and documented. The 19 th and 20 th were Mozambique and Senegal.
  • This picture was provided by Association Tefy Saina, showing Fr. de Laulanie the year before his death in 1995, at age 75.
  • These are the president and secretary of Association Tefy Saina, the NGO set up by Fr. de Laulanie, Sebastien, Justin and some other Malagasies in 1990 to promote SRI and rural development in Madagascar more generally.
  • This is the most succinct statement of what SRI is all about.
  • Picture provided by Dr. P. V. Satyanarayana, the plant breeder who developed this very popular variety, which also responds very well to SRI practices.
  • These two rice plants are ‘twins,’ planted on the same day in the same nursery from the same seed bag. The one on the right was taken out at 9 days and transplanted into an SRI environment. The one on the left was kept in the flooded nursery until its 52 nd day, when it was taken out for transplanting (in Cuba, transplanting of commonly done between 50 and 55 DAP). The difference in root growth and tillering (5 vs. 42) is spectacular. We think this difference is at least in part attributable to the contributions of soil microorganisms producing phytohormones in the rhizosphere that benefit plant growth and performance.
  • These data were reported in Prof. Robert Randriamiharisoa's paper in the Sanya conference proceedings. They give the first direct evidence to support our thinking about the contribution of soil microbes to the super-yields achieved with SRI methods. The bacterium Azospirillum was studied as an "indicator species" presumably reflecting overall levels of microbial populations and activity in and around the plant roots. Somewhat surprisingly, there was no significant difference in Azospirillum populations in the rhizosphere. But there were huge differences in the counts of Azospirillum in the roots themselves according to soil types (clay vs. loam) and cultivation practices (traditional vs. SRI) and nutrient amendments (none vs. NPK vs. compost). NPK amendments with SRI produce very good results, a yield on clay soil five times higher than traditional methods with no amendments. But compost used with SRI gives a six times higher yield. The NPK increases Azospirillum (and other) populations, but most/much of the N that produced a 9 t/ha yield is coming from inorganic sources compared to the higher 10.5 t/ha yield with compost that depends entirely on organic N. On poorer soil, SRI methods do not have much effect, but when enriched with compost, even this poor soil can give a huge increase in production, attributable to the largest of the increases in microbial activity in the roots. At least, this is how we interpret these findings. Similar research should be repeated many times, with different soils, varieties and climates. We consider these findings significant because they mirror results we have seen in other carefully measured SRI results in Madagascar. Tragically, Prof. Randriamiharisoa, who initiated this work, passed away in August, 2004, so we will no longer have his acute intelligence and probing mind to advance these frontiers of knowledge.
  • SRI is often hard to accept because it does not depend on either of the two main strategies of the Green Revolution, not requiring any change in the rice variety used (genotype) or an increase in external inputs. The latter can be reduced.
  • SRI may contribute to a revised strategy for agricultural development in the 21 st century.
  • This figure shows research findings from the China National Rice Research Institute, reported at the Sanya conference in April 2002 and published in the Proceedings. Two different rice varieties were used with SRI and conventional (CK) methods. The second responded more positively to the new methods in terms of leaf area and dry matter as measured at different elevations, but there was a very obvious difference in the phenotypes produced from the first variety's genome by changing cultivation methods from conventional to SRI. Both leaf area and dry matter were significantly increased by using SRI methods.
  • Figure from Sichuan Academy of Agricultural Sciences research on SRI, comparing leaf area of SRI rice with conventional rice, same variety and otherwise same growing conditions.
  • Much more could be said on this, but for the sake of a shorter presentation, this is a very summary slide.
  • Yield is a simple, usually dramatic number to talk about, but it is less important than profitability (at which SRI excels) and factor productivity (SRI is the only innovation to raise the productivity of all four simultaneously, something that most economists would regard as impossible, because they expect always tradeoffs). By utilizing existing biological processes and potentials, SRI can break out of the usual constraint of zero-sum relations and diminishing returns. This makes it hard for many to understand and accept at first, but over the last few years, we have gained a still-incomplete but nevertheless reasonable understanding of SRI processes from experience, from controlled experiments, and from the literature. SRI is not magic. It is fully understandable and explainable within what is already known in the realms of plant physiology and genetics and soil biology and ecology.
  • This was developed in 2003 by Mr. L. Reddy, to replace the use of strings and sticks to mark lines for planting, or the use of a wooden “rake” that could mark lines when pulled across the paddy in two directions. This implement, which can be built for any spacing desired, enables farmers, after it is pulled across the paddy in one direction, to plant SRI seedlings in a 25x250 cm square pattern. It saves as lot of labor time for transplanting because only one pass is needed across the field, and this is wider than a rake could be. Even wider ones have been built. Mr. Reddy is a very innovative and successful SRI farmer, with a superb yield last rabi season, measured and reported by the Department of Extension in Andhra Pradesh.
  • Mr. Gopal Swaminthan, an educated farmer in the Cauvery Delta of Tamil Nadu, India, built this weeder which can cultivate four rows at a time, removing weeds and aerating the soil, cutting labor time for this operation by half or more. He has also devised an innovative system for crop establishment, suited to hot climates, called the Kadiramangalam system, described on our SRI home page (http://ciifad.cornell.edu/sri/)
  • Mr. Ariyaratna has 2 ha and thus found it difficult to manage the weeding of his SRI field himself. So he designed and built this weeder which he says enables him to weed his field in one day’s work. The cost of construction, with a Chinese motor attached, was $800. This could be lowered if the weeder were mass produced.
  • Yield is a simple, usually dramatic number to talk about, but it is less important than profitability (at which SRI excels) and factor productivity (SRI is the only innovation to raise the productivity of all four simultaneously, something that most economists would regard as impossible, because they expect always tradeoffs). By utilizing existing biological processes and potentials, SRI can break out of the usual constraint of zero-sum relations and diminishing returns. This makes it hard for many to understand and accept at first, but over the last few years, we have gained a still-incomplete but nevertheless reasonable understanding of SRI processes from experience, from controlled experiments, and from the literature. SRI is not magic. It is fully understandable and explainable within what is already known in the realms of plant physiology and genetics and soil biology and ecology.
  • Yield is a simple, usually dramatic number to talk about, but it is less important than profitability (at which SRI excels) and factor productivity (SRI is the only innovation to raise the productivity of all four simultaneously, something that most economists would regard as impossible, because they expect always tradeoffs). By utilizing existing biological processes and potentials, SRI can break out of the usual constraint of zero-sum relations and diminishing returns. This makes it hard for many to understand and accept at first, but over the last few years, we have gained a still-incomplete but nevertheless reasonable understanding of SRI processes from experience, from controlled experiments, and from the literature. SRI is not magic. It is fully understandable and explainable within what is already known in the realms of plant physiology and genetics and soil biology and ecology.
  • Seedlings are started in heated greenhouses when there is still snow on the ground.
  • Two fields of rice growth with normal methods and the 3-S system. The phenotypical differences are evident, much as seen with SRI.
  • This picture from Sri Lanka shows two fields having the same soil, climate and irrigation access, during a drought period. On the left, the rice grown with conventional practices, with continuous flooding from the time of transplanting, has a shallower root system that cannot withstand water stress. On the right, SRI rice receiving less water during its growth has deeper rooting, and thus it can continue to thrive during the drought. Farmers in Sri Lanka are coming to accept SRI in part because it reduces their risk of crop failure during drought.
  • Prof. Ma Jun in his paper to the Haerbin conference included data on rice quality that he had collected. They showed SRI rice grains (from three different spacings within the SRI range) to be clearly superior in two major respects to conventionally-grown grains (two spacings). A reduction in chalkiness makes the rice more palatable. An increase in outturn is a ‘bonus’ on top of the higher yields of paddy (unmilled) rice that farmers get with SRI methods. We have seen this kind of improvement in outturn rates in Cuba, India and Sri Lanka, about 15%. More research on other aspects of SRI grain quality should be done, including nutritional content.
  • The Paraboowa Farmers Association has a dozen ‘wild rice’ varieties that it can grow for marketing or for export. The rice is grown ‘organically’ so can get a premium price in overseas markets. 17 tons have been exported to Italy already. The farmers want to preserve these varieties for future generations, and SRI enables them to do this.l
  • SRI defies usual logic – that to get more, you have to invest more. But “less” can produce “more,” for a number of different, but reinforcing reasons, well grounded in the scientific literature. USDA research by Kumar and associates shows how changed growing conditions in the root zone affects the expression of genes in leaf tissue cells, affecting senescence and disease resistance. This research gives clues for explaining how SRI practices produce different phenotypes.
  • This is a SRI rice nursery in Sri Lanka, showing one way (but only one of many ways) to grow young seedlings. The soil in this raised bed was a mixture of one-third soil, one-third compost, and one-third chicken manure. (The flooding around it is because the surrounding field is being readied for transplanting; normally there would not be so much water standing around the nursery.)
  • Here the seedlings are being removed. We would recommend that they be lifted with a trowel, to have minimum disturbance of the roots, but these seedlings are so vigorous that this manual method is successful. This farmer has found that his seedlings, when transplanted with two leaves at time of transplanting, already put out a third leave the next day after transplanting, indicating that there was no transplant 'shock.'
  • Here the field is being 'marked' for transplanting with a simple wooden 'rake.' If the soil is too wet, these lines will not remain long enough for transplanting. There are drains within the field to carry excess water away from the root zone.
  • Here are seedlings being removed from a clump for transplanting. Note that the yellow color comes from the sunlight reflecting off the plant. The plant's color is a rich green, indicating no N deficiency.
  • Here the seedlings are being set into the soil, very shallow (only 1-2 cm deep). The transplanted seedlings are barely visible at the intersections of the lines. This operation proceeds very quickly once the transplanters have gained some skill and confidence in the method. As noted already, these seedling set out with two leaves can already have a third leaf by the next day.
  • The SRI field looks rather sparse and unproductive at first. Up to the 5th or 6th week, SRI fields look rather miserable, and farmers can wonder why they ever tried this method and 'wasted' their precious land with such a crazy scheme. But the SRI plot here will yield twice as much rice as the surrounding ones once the rapid tillering (and root growth) begins between 35 and 45 days.
  • Tefy Saina is more comfortable communicating in French language, though it can handle English. CIIFAD has worldwide contacts on SRI through the internet.

0508 Opportunities for Raising Rice Yields and the Productivity of Land, Labor and Water with the System of Rice Intensification 0508 Opportunities for Raising Rice Yields and the Productivity of Land, Labor and Water with the System of Rice Intensification Presentation Transcript

  • Opportunities for Raising Rice Yields and the Productivity of Land, Labor and Water with the System of Rice Intensification DAE/BRF Seminar on SRI DAE Conference Room, Farmgate, Dhaka February 22, 2005 Norman Uphoff, Cornell International Institute for Food, Agriculture and Development (CIIFAD)
  • SRI Has Been ‘Controversial’ in Some Circles – But No Longer Any Justification for Dismissing It
    • ‘ SRI effect’ now validated in 22 countries: from China to Cuba, Philippines to Peru
    • Scientific evaluations in Bangladesh (SRI consortium/PETRRA), Cambodia (GTZ), Sri Lanka (IWMI), India (ANGRAU, IWMI), China (CAU), etc., have confirmed the many benefits of SRI practices
    • Explanations for SRI effect accumulating – so no longer any mystery
  • The Question is: How Can We Understand and Take Advantage of the New Opportunities?
    • A big problem for understanding SRI has been its variability – different results
    • SRI is a biologically-based innovation – different paradigm from Green Revolution
    • SRI is counter-intuitive – less gives MORE
    • All organisms are phenotypes – result of GxE interactions – SRI changes the ‘E’
    • Produces more productive phenotypes
  • SRI rice field, hybrid variety, Yunnan province, 2004 – 18 t/ha
  • Ms. Im Sarim, Cambodia, with rice plant grown from single seed, using SRI methods and traditional variety -- yield of 6.72 t/ha
  • Tillering with SRI practices in Indonesia, shown by Dr. Musliar Kasim (Andalas Univ., Padang, West Sumatra)
  • Madagascar SRI field (17.2 t/ha) 2003
  • SRI field in Cuba-- 2003 CFA Camilo Cienfuegos 14 t/ha – Los Palacios 9
  • SRI field in Sri Lanka – with many panicles having 400+ grains
  • SRI Message: For Centuries, Even Millennia, We Have Been ABUSING and MISTREATING the Rice Plant
    • We have FLOODED it – drowning its roots
    • We have CROWDED it – inhibiting the growth potential of its canopy and roots
    • Now we apply AGROCHEMICALS that adversely affect the SOIL BIOTA which provide so many services: N fixation, P solubilization, protection against diseases and abiotic stresses, etc.
  • SRI Results are Remarkable -- but They Have Been Replicated Widely
    • Increases in yield – 50-100% or more, with
    • No need to change varieties – all respond
    • No need for mineral fertilizers – they are beneficial, but compost gives better yield
    • Little or no need for chemicals sprays -- plants more resistant to pests/diseases
    • Seed requirement is reduced by 80-90%, and water requirements lower by 25-50%
    • More labor is required initially , but SRI can even become labor-saving over time
  • What Are the Negatives? -- Surprisingly Few
    • Initial labor-intensity – while learning SRI; this is not entirely negative (can create employment in productive manner – with SRI, labor productivity is much higher
    • Often becomes labor-saving (good or bad?)
    • Water control needed for best results -- many ways to achieve this – water-saving good
    • Farmer skill and management capacity – human resource development is a plus
    • Specific problems: nematodes? GAS?
  • The System of Rice Intensification
    • Evolved in Madagascar over 20 years by Fr. Henri de Laulanié, S.J. – working with farmers, observing, doing experiments, also having some luck in 1983-84 season
    • SRI is now spreading around the world -- positive results now seen in 22 countries
    • SRI is a set of principles and insights that when translated into certain practices can change the growing environment of rice to get healthier, more productive plants which are different, better PHENOTYPES
  • Fr. de Laulani é making field visit
  • Sebastien Rafaralahy and Justin Rabenandrasana, Association Tefy Saina
  • SRI is a set of principles and methods to get more productive PHENOTYPES from any GENOTYPE SRI changes the management of plants, soil, water, and nutrients to: (a) induce greater ROOT growth and (b) nurture more abundant and diverse populations of SOIL BIOTA Capitalize on existing rice potentials
  • “ Secret” of SRI Is Root Growth Supported by Soil Biota
    • SRI practices – wide spacing, aerated soil, young seedlings -- give larger ROOT SYSTEMS
    • Practices – esp. with compost -- also promote SOIL BIOTA that in turn support roots and shoot
  • Roots of a single rice plant (MTU 1071) grown at Agricultural Research Station Maruteru, AP, India, kharif 2003
  • Cuba – 52 DAP, Variety VN 2084
  •  
  • Different P aradigms of Production
    • The GREEN REVOLUTION paradigm:
    • (a) Changed the genetic potential of plants, and
    • (b) Increased the use of external inputs -- more water, fertilizer, insecticides, etc.
    • SRI changes certain management practices for plants, soil, water and nutrients, so as to:
    • (A) Promote the growth of root systems , and
    • (B) Increase the abundance and diversity of
    • soil organisms , and also
    • (C) Reduce water use and costs of production
  • SRI Concepts Are Being Applied to Other Crops Now
    • Finger millet (ragi) – large differences in plant phenotype with early transplanting
    • Sugar cane – reducing sets from 4 t/ac to 0.6 t/ac (85% reduction), with careful handling of plants and wide spacing, getting 60-80 t/acre (even 100 t/acre)
    • Winter wheat is now being produced with ‘SWI’ in Poland
  •  
  • Plant Physical Structure and Light Intensity Distribution at Heading Stage (Tao et al., CNRRI, 2002)
  • Figure 1. Change of leaf area index (LAI) during growth cycle (Zheng et al., 2003)
  • Much Remains to be Known about the Mechanisms
    • Multiple hypotheses can be formulated from the existing scientific literature
    • Relatively little soil research to date hasfocused on soil biology (<10%)
    • Relatively little plant research has dealt with plant roots (<5%)
    • One example is the apparent effect of phytohormones produced by aerobic bacteria and fungi (e.g., auxins, cytokinins)
  • Greatest Benefit Is Not YIELD
    • This can vary, often widely; what farmers need is PROFITABILITY > YIELD
    • From society’s perspective, what is most important is factor productivity – rice kg per unit of land, labor, capital, and water
    • Also, SRI can surely be further improved since it was developed inductively
    • Farmers are making many improvements of their own to save labor and add to their profitability
  • Roller-marker devised by Lakshmana Reddy, East Godavari, AP, India, to save time in transplanting operations; his yield in 2003-04 rabi season was 16.2 t/ha paddy (dry weight)
  • 4-row weeder designed by Gopal Swaminathan, Thanjavur, TN, India AERATE SOIL at same time weeds are removed/incorporated
  • Motorized weeder developed by S. Ariyaratna Sri Lanka
  • The Aim of SRI Is Not to DOUBLE PRODUCTION
    • Rather seek to raise factor productivity
    • This should permit REDEPLOYMENT of some of our land, labor, water and capital from the production of staple food to higher value activities – more income and better nutrition
    • SRI should lead to DIVERSIFICATION of agriculture, also to its MODERNIZATION
    • SRI is ‘a work in progress’ – not finished
  • SRI Continues to Evolve and Provide More Benefits
    • ADAPTABILITY to a variety of conditions
    • Resistance to BIOTIC/ABIOTIC STRESS
      • Drought
      • Storm damage
    • Improvements in GRAIN QUALITY
      • Millers paying higher price per bushel (10%)
      • Reduction in chaff and broken grains
      • Improvement in nutritional value??
    • Conservation of RICE BIODIVERSITY?
  • Seedlings are started at the end of winter in plastic greenhouses
  • Normal 3-S
  • Two rice fields in Sri Lanka -- same variety, same irrigation system, and same drought : conventional methods (left), SRI (right)
  • MEASURED DIFFERENCES IN GRAIN QUALITY Characteristic SRI (3 spacings) Conventional Diff. Paper by Prof. Ma Jun, Sichuan Agricultural University, presented at 10th conference on Theory and Practice for High-Quality, High-Yielding Rice in China, Haerbin, 8/2004 + 17.5 38.87 - 39.99 41.81 - 50.84 Head milled rice (%) + 16.1 41.54 - 51.46 53.58 - 54.41 Milled rice outturn (%) - 65.7 6.74 - 7.17 1.02 - 4.04 General chalkiness (%) - 30.7 39.89 - 41.07 23.62 - 32.47 Chalky kernels (%)
  •  
  • LESS CAN PRODUCE MORE
    • by utilizing biological potentials & processes
    • Smaller, younger seedlings become larger, more productive mature plants
    • Fewer plants per hill and per m 2 will give higher yield if used with other SRI practices
    • Half as much water produces more rice because aerobic soil conditions are better
    • Greater output is possible with use of
    • fewer or even no external/chemical inputs
    • NO MYSTERY – SOUND BIOLOGICAL REASONS FOR THIS REVERSED LOGIC
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  • THANK YOU
    • Web page: http://ciifad.cornell.edu/sri/
    • Email: [email_address] or [email_address] or
    • [email_address]