0603 Reducing Water for Improving the Livelihoods & Ecosystems: Experiences from Mid-Godavari Basin


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Presenter: Biksham Gujja

Audience: International Workshop on Rice and Water: Exploring Options for Food Security and Sustainable Environments IRRI, Las Banos

Subject Country: India

Published in: Technology, Business
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0603 Reducing Water for Improving the Livelihoods & Ecosystems: Experiences from Mid-Godavari Basin

  1. 1. Reducing water for improving the livelihoods & ecosystems: Experiences from Mid-Godavari basin [annotated presentation, focusing on SRI] International Workshop on Rice and Water: Exploring Options for Food Security and Sustainable Environments 6-8 March 2006, IRRI, Las Banos, Philippines Dr. Biksham Gujja Policy Advisor, Global Freshwater Programme, WWF-International [email_address] [email_address]
  2. 2. WWF's MISSION IS TO STOP THE DEGRADATION OF THE PLANET'S NATURAL ENVIRONMENT AND TO BUILD A FUTURE IN WHICH HUMANS LIVE IN HARMONY WITH NATURE , BY: <ul><li>Conserving the world's biological diversity </li></ul><ul><li>Ensuring that the use of renewable natural resources is sustainable </li></ul><ul><li>Promoting the reduction of pollution and wasteful consumption </li></ul>
  3. 3. Water is Becoming a Global Issue <ul><li>‘ Too much, too little or too dirty’ </li></ul><ul><li>1.3 billion without safe water supply </li></ul><ul><li>2 billion without sanitation </li></ul><ul><li>800 million malnourished </li></ul><ul><li>Thousands killed by floods </li></ul>
  4. 4. DIALOGUE ON WATER, FOOD AND ENVIRONMENT http://www.iwmi.cgiar.org/dialogue/godavari/
  5. 5. Why this Dialogue? <ul><li>To provide elements of answers to the question: How can the poor get enough food without further damaging the environment? </li></ul><ul><li>To bridge the gap between the agricultural and the environmental communities to make common cause for Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) and for natural ecosystems. </li></ul>
  6. 6. Food security and Water crisis: Options <ul><li>There are better , cheaper and faster way to help farmers to grow more rice while reducing the water use. </li></ul><ul><li>The System of Rice intensification (SRI) is proving itself to be one of the ways to achieve this. </li></ul>
  7. 7. Exploring options <ul><li>Restoring traditional water systems </li></ul><ul><li>Reducing water demand of thirsty crops: sugarcane, cotton and rice </li></ul><ul><li>Reducing conflicts by establishing dialogues </li></ul><ul><li>To avoid major water infrastructure investments </li></ul>
  8. 8. SRI: An option to reduce water demand! <ul><li>Rice consumes more than 85% of the water allocated for irrigation in Asia. </li></ul><ul><li>How can we reduce this?? It could have a large impact on environmental conservation. </li></ul>
  9. 9. The WWF-ANGRAU Collaboration – Focus Districts for Evaluation of SRI
  10. 10. Farmers’ Evaluation – Some Details <ul><ul><li>Evaluation done in farmers’ fields </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>11 districts across agroecosystem types </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>212 farmers participating </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>> 0.4 hectares plots for comparison </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Methods set for comparison trials: </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Conventional and SRI </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Same variety (farmers’ choice) </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Same nutrient inputs (farmers’ choice) </li></ul></ul></ul>
  11. 11. Claims of benefits from SRI: Experience from WWF’s evaluation 1. Less water requirement – about 25% less 2. Less seed – 80-90% less 3. Lesser chemical inputs 4. Soil health improvement through biological activity 5. Reduced duration (by 10 days) 6. Higher yields – of both grain and straw 7. Less chaffy grain % 7. Higher head rice recovery 8. Withstand cyclonic gales 9. Cold tolerance 10. Drought tolerance
  12. 12. Four main components <ul><li>Soil fertility management: FYM application </li></ul><ul><li>Planting methods changed: </li></ul><ul><li>- Transplanting young seedlings (8 to 12 days old) along with seed and soil clump </li></ul><ul><li>- Transplanting at wider spacing (25 X 25 cm) </li></ul><ul><li>Weed control: regular weeding, preferably with mechanical weeder that aerates the soil </li></ul><ul><li>Water (irrigation) management: keep soil wet without flooding </li></ul>
  13. 13. Land preparation
  14. 14. Marking for wide and regular spacing
  15. 15. Scooping out 10-day-old seedlings
  16. 16. Carrying seedlings in a tray
  17. 17. Single seedling removed with seed and soil clump for transplanting
  18. 18. Transplanting single seedlings
  19. 19. Protective irrigation and weeder
  20. 20. Weeding in interspaces
  21. 21. Non-SRI & SRI plant roots
  22. 22. Intermittent wetting and drying
  23. 23. Tillering and panicle setting
  24. 24. SRI plant ready for harvest
  25. 25. Swarna under SRI <ul><li>SRI Technology uses </li></ul><ul><li>Less external inputs </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Less seed (2 kg/ac) </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Fewer plants per unit area (25 x 25 cm) </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Less chemical fertilizer </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>More organic manures </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Less pesticides </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Less water </li></ul></ul>
  26. 26. WWF-ANGRAU: Issues studied <ul><li>Quantification of water reduction </li></ul><ul><li>Productivity enhancement </li></ul><ul><li>Root growth, rhizosphere changes, soil ecology, and soil fertility (in cooperation with ICRISAT) </li></ul>
  27. 27. Soil types of farmers’ fields
  28. 28. Adoption of young seedlings Districts Percentage
  29. 29. Adoption of appropriate weeding practices Districts Percentage
  30. 30. Adoption of organic matter application Districts Percentage
  31. 31. SRI - Water savings Note: Initial water used in land prep, etc. is not considered
  32. 32. SRI vs. Conventional Rice Yields in Andhra Pradesh (Rabi 2004) Yield (Kg/Ha) Yield (Kg/Ha)
  33. 33. Mean Yields for SRI and Conventional Rice Compared by District
  34. 34. Results (highlights) <ul><li>Overall </li></ul><ul><li>Of the 26 soil variables or determinants (13 parameters x 2 observations), the data value for fifteen were higher for SRI than non-SRI plots (and significantly higher for 8 parameters by 7 to 25%). For the other 11 variables, data were similar for both treatments. All 18 fields, except one, for which data were available, had higher yield in the SRI plots (by 12 to 55%), but the differences were not significant statistically given sample size. </li></ul><ul><li>Caution for interpreting results </li></ul><ul><li>Inputs (particularly compost and fertilizers) varied across treatments in a field and across fields (or farmers), this would have affected the data. </li></ul><ul><li>Increase in OC% in SRI plots was unexpected and may be due to substantially more roots with SRI; some may have got into the analysis and thus be a methodology artifact. </li></ul>
  35. 35. Constraints <ul><li>Psychology and attitude of farmers and professionals </li></ul><ul><li>Social acceptance not yet widespread </li></ul><ul><li>Lack of support systems   </li></ul><ul><li>Water management can be difficult: </li></ul><ul><li> - Maintenance of thin film of water only </li></ul><ul><li> - Accuracy in land leveling not high yet </li></ul><ul><li> - Uncertainty of power supply </li></ul><ul><li> - Canal irrigation in some cases makes individual </li></ul><ul><li>water regimes difficult </li></ul>
  36. 36. Constraints (cont’d.) <ul><li>Weed management </li></ul><ul><li> - Laborious </li></ul><ul><li> - Mechanical seeders difficult to operate </li></ul><ul><li> (need better design) </li></ul><ul><li> - Supplementary manual weeding is required </li></ul><ul><li>Compost (organic manure) </li></ul><ul><li>  - Often ready sources are not available. </li></ul><ul><li> - Modern methods like inorganic fertilizers have changed the scenario </li></ul><ul><li>Transplanting </li></ul><ul><li>  - Large area more difficult </li></ul><ul><li>- Regular training for women labourers needed </li></ul>
  37. 37. Project outputs of WWF-ANGRAU collaboration <ul><li>Scientific reports – district-wise and consolidated report </li></ul><ul><li>Compendium of SRI farmers – able to serve as resource persons for other farmers </li></ul><ul><li>Training manual </li></ul><ul><li>Film </li></ul>
  38. 38. Publications
  39. 39. Media Events
  40. 40. Lessons <ul><li>SRI type of methods have great potential to reduce water demand and increase yields </li></ul><ul><li>If appropriate support systems are created, farmers can adopt it well </li></ul><ul><li>Further research is required to standardise methods and fill the gaps </li></ul><ul><li>High expectations created with SRI are one of the reasons some farmers are not continuing with it </li></ul><ul><li>Quantification of water reduction has to be done much more systematic and in large fields </li></ul>
  41. 41. Conclusions.. <ul><li>SRI type of farm-based methods have great potential, but there are constraints and certain obstacles. </li></ul><ul><li>Farmers and politicians are ready for this change </li></ul><ul><li>Scientific community has still to conduct systematic research </li></ul><ul><li>International communities committed to MDGs need to invest a lot in these methods </li></ul><ul><li>Farmers need training, assistance, and designing or redesigning of the tools and fields for best result </li></ul><ul><li>This opens great opportunities to work together </li></ul>
  42. 42. Three challenges.. <ul><li>Establish a global target of reducing water demand for rice cultivation by 20%, while increasing the production for farmers and consumers. </li></ul><ul><li>Develop a combination of agronomic, infrastructural, economic and institutional measures to ensure the large-scale adoption of these methods. </li></ul><ul><li>Initiate an international process that integrates different institutional agendas to the common goal of growing more rice with less water. </li></ul>
  43. 43. Date 03-03-06
  44. 46. Thank You <ul><li>www.panda.org/freshwater </li></ul>