0610 Thoughts on the History, Principals and Practices of the System of Rice Intensification and its Importance for the Present Scenario
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0610 Thoughts on the History, Principals and Practices of the System of Rice Intensification and its Importance for the Present Scenario

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Presenter: Norman Uphoff

Presenter: Norman Uphoff

Audience: 1st National SRI Symposium Hyderabad

Subject Country: Tripura, India

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  • Presentation prepared for meeting with the Poverty Alleviation Foundation, Kathmandu, Nepal – November 9, 2006
  • SRI was developed in Madagascar about 20 years ago as discussed in the next slide. This is a summary of the effects of changing the management of plants, soil, water and nutrients according to the insights brought together in SRI. The figures are based on over a dozen evaluations, including ones by IWMI, GTZ, Tamil Nadu Agricultural University, China Agricultural University, Nippon Koei and other institutions.
  • SRI was developed in Madagascar about 20 years ago as discussed in the next slide. This is a summary of the effects of changing the management of plants, soil, water and nutrients according to the insights brought together in SRI. The figures are based on over a dozen evaluations, include -- buing ones by IWMI, GTZ, Tamil Nadu Agricultural University, China Agricultural University, Nippon Koei and other institutions.
  • SRI was developed in Madagascar about 20 years ago as discussed in the next slide. This is a summary of the effects of changing the management of plants, soil, water and nutrients according to the insights brought together in SRI. The figures are based on over a dozen evaluations, including ones by IWMI, GTZ, Tamil Nadu Agricultural University, China Agricultural University, Nippon Koei and other institutions.
  • This is the most simple description of what SRI entails. Transplanting is not necessary since direct seeding, with the other SRI practices, also produces similarly good results. The principle of SRI is that if transplanting is done , very young seedling should be used, and there should be little or no trauma to the young plant roots. These are often ‘abused’ in transplanting process, being allowed to dry out (desiccate), or are knocked to remove soil, etc.
  • This is the most simple description of what SRI entails. Transplanting is not necessary since direct seeding, with the other SRI practices, also produces similarly good results. The principle of SRI is that if transplanting is done , very young seedling should be used, and there should be little or no trauma to the young plant roots. These are often ‘abused’ in transplanting process, being allowed to dry out (desiccate), or are knocked to remove soil, etc.
  • Picture provided by Mr. Shichi Sato, project leader for DISIMP project in Eastern Indonesia (S. Sulawasi and W. Nusa Tenggara), where > 1800 farmers using SRI on >1300 ha have had 7.6 t/ha average SRI yield (dried, unhusked paddy, 14% moisture content), 84% more than the control plots, with 40% reduction in water use, and 25% reduction in the costs of production.
  • SRI is often hard to accept because it does not depend on either of the two main strategies that made the Green Revolution possible. It does not require any change in the rice variety used (genotype) or an increase in external inputs. Indeed, the latter can be reduced. SRI methods improve the yields of all rice varieties evaluated so far – modern and traditional, improved and local. The highest yields have been attained with HYVs and hybrid varieties (all SRI yields >15 t/ha), but ‘unimproved’ varieties can give yields in the 6-12 t/ha range when soil has been improved through SRI methods, so give the higher market price for these latter varieties, growing them can be more profitable for farmers.
  • Picture provided by Dr. Koma Yang Saing, director, Cambodian Center for the Study and Development of Agriculture (CEDAC), September 2004. Dr. Koma himself tried SRI methods in 1999, and once satisfied that they worked, got 28 farmers in 2000 to try them. From there the numbers have increased each year, to 400, then 2100, then 9100, then almost 17,000. Over 50,000 farmers are expecting to be using SRI in 2005. Ms. Sarim previously produced 2-3 t/ha on her field. In 2004, some parts of this field reached a yield of 11 t/ha, where the soil was most ‘biologized’ from SRI practices.
  • Picture provided by Rajendra Uprety, District Agricultural Development Office, Morang District, Nepal. Again, this is a single SRI plant grown from a single seed.
  • Picture sent by Prativa Sundaray, staff member with the NGO PRADAN which is introducing SRI in poor communities, especially tribal ones in Orissa, Jhakhand and West Bengal, even where there is no irrigation, adapting SRI concepts to rainfed conditions.
  • Figures from a paper presented by Dr. Tao to international rice conference organized by the China National Rice Research Institute for the International Year of Rice and World Food Day, held in Hangzhou, October 15-17, 2004. Dr. Tao has been doing research on SRI since 2001 to evaluate its effects in physiological terms.
  • SRI departs from the usual concepts and practices, where one must use more and better inputs to get even more outputs. With SRI, one reduces inputs but capitalizes upon synergies and symbioses inherent within agroecological systems, particularly on the symbiosis between plants and beneficial soil organisms.
  • SRI departs from the usual concepts and practices, where one must use more and better inputs to get even more outputs. With SRI, one reduces inputs but capitalizes upon synergies and symbioses inherent within agroecological systems, particularly on the symbiosis between plants and beneficial soil organisms.
  • 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. The Ministry of Agriculture technician who measured the yield reported this as 17 t/ha.
  • 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.
  • Picture provided by Dr. T. M. Thiyagarajan, dean of TNAU college of agriculture at Killikulam, who has been evaluating SRI since 2000 and has been promoting it since 2002. In 2006, the Tamil Nadu government is aiming to have at least 10% of its riceland under SRI methods.
  • From report by Rajendra Uprety, District Agricultural Development Office, Biratnagar, Nepal – for Morang District. Available from SRI home page on the web.
  • From report by Rajendra Uprety, District Agricultural Development Office, Biratnagar, Nepal – for Morang District. Available from SRI home page on the web. Agronomists should be very interested in how more than doubled yield can be achieved in three weeks less time than ‘normally’ expected for this variety. The World Wide Fund for Nature (WWF) evaluation of SRI in Andhra Pradesh state of India, conducted by ANGRAU, the state agricultural university, reported 7-10 day shorter maturation of SRI crops. In Cambodia, this has also been seen.
  • Ditto
  • Here the SRI field is being 'marked' for transplanting with a simple wooden 'rake.' This was the first technical innovation in SRI transplanting, to improve upon guiding square-grid transplanting with strings stretched across the paddy field. We find that if the soil is too wet, the lines made by the rake will not remain long enough for transplanting. There are drains within the field to carry excess water away from the root zone.
  • 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.
  • 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. This yield was the average for a 9-acre rice farm. In one plot, the yield measured by the Dept. staff was 20 t/ha; Reddy was disappointed that they would not report this separately. Instead, they just averaged this for the whole-farm statistic.
  • This design by H. M. Premaratna is very popular with many farmers, as it speeds up their weeding operations, saving much time as there are no spokes to get clogged with weeds. Picture of Premaratne is shown below as someone who has also given leadership in the farmer-to-farmer dissemination of SRI.
  • Gopal Swaminathan was one of the first SRI farmers in the Cauvery delta. His Kadiramangalam system was devised for delta areas where sun and wind desiccate tiny seedlings; so he transplants 15-day seedlings in clumps of 5 plants, at 30x30 cm spacing, and then re-transplants them at 30 days, as single plants per hill at that spacing. The extra labor means that there is almost zero mortality, and yields of 7.5 t/ha are assuredly attained.
  • This was built with a wooden axle, into which bent large nails were driven, with the axle mounted on a simple iron-rod frame. The ‘rake’ at the back was added to increase the soil aeration. Nong estimated that he got $20 more worth of rice yield from his small plot with this soil-aerating weeder, for the cost of $3 in materials and about 75 cents worth of labor.
  • This is Subasinghe Ariyaratna’s own design. He is a small rice farmer (2 ha) in Mahaweli System ‘H’ of Sri Lanka. He has also devised a method of crop establishment that is labor saving. Instead of transplanting young seedlings 10 days old, at a seed rate of 5 kg/ha, he germinates seed and broadcasts it on prepared muddy soil at a rate of 25 kg/ha. Then at 10 days, when the seedlings are established, he ‘weeds’ the field as recommended for SRI, with rows 25x25 cm, in both directions, removing (churning under) about 80% of the seedlings, leaving just 1 or maybe 2 or 3 plants at the intersections of his passes. This saves the labor of making and managing a nursery and of transplanting, at a cost of 20 kg of seed/ha. He says this can assure a yield of 7.5 t/ha. As his household labor supply is limited (he has two young children and his wife teaches), he needs to economize on labor.
  • Built by Luis Romero, one of the most successful SRI farmers in Cuba, to plant germinated seeds at 40x40 cm spacing. The seeds are put in the respective bins and dropped at the bins rotate. For his field, Luis found that 40x40 cm was too wide, because of weed problems. He has built one for 30x30 cm now. His neighbor built a seeder with 12 bins, four times as wide, that can be pulled by oxen to further save labor. The important thing to know is that farmers are working on their own ways to reduce SRI labor requirements because they see the benefits of wide spacing, aerated soil, etc.
  • This plot of Liu Zhibin’s was harvested just before my visit, with an official certificate for a yield of 13.4 t/ha. In 2001, when Liu first used SRI methods, on soil that has been kept well supplied with organic matter, he got a yield of 16 t/ha which helped to persuade Prof. Yuan Long-ping, ‘the father of hybrid rice’ in China, to become more interested in SRI. Liu is manager for the seed farm that produces hybrid seed for Prof. Yuan’s operations.
  • These are serious challenges, and ones that are becoming more serious year by year. There is need to re-think the way that agricultural is practiced in light of changing conditions.
  • Tefy Saina is more comfortable communicating in French language,but it can communicate in English and reads English very well. CIIFAD maintains worldwide contacts on SRI through the internet. Queries are invited, directed to CIIFAD generally or to Norman Uphoff specifically. The SRI web page maintained by CIIFAD in cooperation with Tefy Saina has recent information on SRI experience in countries around the world.

0610 Thoughts on the History, Principals and Practices of the System of Rice Intensification and its Importance for the Present Scenario 0610 Thoughts on the History, Principals and Practices of the System of Rice Intensification and its Importance for the Present Scenario Presentation Transcript

  • Thoughts on the History, Principles and Practices of SRI -- and Its Importance for the Present Scenario National SRI Symposium, Hyderabad, November 17, 2006 Norman Uphoff, CIIFAD Cornell University, USA
  • The System of Rice Intensification (SRI) is a ‘work in progress’ – not yet finished
    • SRI methods usually enable rice farmers to:
    • Raise their production by 50% or more
    • While reducing their requirements for:
      • Seed -- by 80 to 90%
      • Irrigation water -- by 25 to 50%
      • Dependence on agrochemicals , and
      • Costs of production -- by 10 to 25%
    • This contributes to higher net income/ha , with favorable environmental impacts
    • Results depend on skill and SOIL BIOLOGY!
  • What Intensification is involved?
    • Usual meaning is to intensify EXTERNAL INPUTS – but these are reduced with SRI
    • SRI involves the intensification of MANAGEMENT, SKILL, KNOWLEDGE
    • Initially, SRI requires some intensification of LABOR – but within a season or two, SRI even becomes labor-saving – along with saving of water, seed and capital
  • The System of Rice Intensification is more about PRODUCTIVITY than YIELD
    • It raises simultaneously the productivity of:
    • Land – more output per unit of land
    • Labor – more output per day of work
    • Water – ‘more crop per drop’ -- and
    • Capital – higher returns from investment
    • This is quite unprecedented
    • While YIELD is important, not most relevant concern for farmers or for society
    • PRODUCTIVITY is key to reducing poverty and to achieving rural development
  • SRI = Just Five Fundamental Ideas
    • If you transplant, use young seedlings -- but direct seeding is now being developed as alternative
    • Use wider spacing – single seeding per hill
    • Keep paddy soil moist but unflooded
    • Add organic matter to soil as much as possible
    • Actively aerate the soil -- as much as possible
    • These ideas transform our current rice practices
    • Recommend also other beneficial practices, e.g.
      • Seedbed solarization – for healthier seedlings
      • Seed selection/priming -- better germination
      • Determine best variety for local conditions
  • Review of SRI Results, 2003-05:
    • Bangladesh – IRRI-funded evaluation (N=1,073)
    • Cambodia – GTZ evaluation (N=500); CEDAC evaluation of long-term SRI users (N=120)
    • China – China Agricultural University (N=82)
    • India – ANGRAU (N=1,525), TNAU (N=100), IWMI-India (N=110)
    • Indonesia – Nippon Koei evaluation (N=1,849)
    • Nepal – DADO Morang record-keeping (N=412)
    • Sri Lanka – IWMI evaluation (N=120)
    • Vietnam – farmer field school reporting (N=60)
  • 128% 25% 44% 52% 11 studies, 8 countries 412% 24% 40% 84% INDO-NESIA Total Area = 1,363 ha N = 1,849 The largest study was in Increase in Net Income Cost Reduction Water-Saving Yield Increase AVER-AGE
  • Eastern Indonesia --- Nippon Koei Irrigation Project 2004
  • Two Different Paradigms of Production
    • GREEN REVOLUTION strategy:
    • (a) Change the genetic potential of plants, and
    • (b) Increase the use of external inputs -- more water, fertilizer, insecticides, etc.
    • SRI (AGROECOLOGY) changes the way that plants, soil, water and nutrients are managed to
      • (a) Promote the growth of root systems and
      • (b) Increase the abundance and diversity of soil organisms to better enlist their benefits
    • These produce bigger/better PHENOTYPES
  • Ms. Im Sarim, Cambodia, with rice plant grown from a single seed, using SRI methods and traditional variety -- yield of 6.72 t/ha
  • Morang District, Nepal - 2005
  • Mahto Oraon, Malai village, Gumla district, Jharkhand state, India -- Khandagiri (110-day variety) with 65 tillers, grown as ‘rainfed’ SRI rice
  • FFS farmer in D ông Trù village, Hanoi Province, Vietnam, 2005
  • 47.9% 34.7% “ Non-Flooding Rice Farming Technology in Irrigated Paddy Field” Dr. Tao Longxing, China National Rice Research Institute, 2004
  • Linear regression relationship between N uptake and grain yield for SRI and conventional methods using QUESTS model (Barison, 2002)
  • COST OF CULTIVATION PER HA. (TNAU STUDY, N=100) COST SAVING in SRI system vs. conventional system = Rs. 2,369 ( 11 % ) 19,060 21,429 167.5 222.5 85.5 52 2 2 8.5 9.5 Total 3,500 3,500 75 75 12.5 12.5 - - 1 1 Harvesting 660 660 2 2 2 2 - - - - Plant Protection 240 300 - - 6 7.5 - - - - Irrigation 1,520 3,200 - 80 38 - - - - - Weeding 3,200 2,400 75 55 5 5 - - - - Transplanting 7,254 7,254 10 10 7 7 - - - - Manures & Fertilizers 2,005 2,005 - - 12 12 2 2 7.5 7.5 Main Field Preparation 681 2,110 5.5 0.5 3 6 - - - 1 Nursery Preparation SRI Conv. SRI Conv. SRI Conv SRI Con SRI Conv. Cost (Rs.) Women’s Labour @ Rs. 40 / man-day Men’s Labour @ Rs. 40 / man-day Bullock pair @ Rs. 200 / hr Tractor hours @ Rs. 150 / hr Practices
  • Economic Evaluation (US$/ha) [Tamil Nadu Agric. Univ. study, N=100] $ 519 $ 242 Net return $ 414 $ 466 - Cost of cultivation $ 933 $ 708 Gross return $ 63 $ 49 Income from straw (Rs. 0.25 / kg) $ 870 $ 659 Income from grain (Rs. 5.00 / kg) SRI practices Conventional practices
  • SRI gets MORE from LESS by mobilizing biological processes
    • SRI requirements include:
    • More labor while learning the method, but SRI can become labor-saving
    • Water control needed for best results
    • Access to biomass for compost to get best results -- can use fertilizer
    • Skill and motivation from farmers!
    • Crop protection in some cases
  • Additional Benefits of SRI
    • Resistance to biotic/abiotic stresses
      • Drought tolerance, resistance to lodging
      • Resistance to pests and diseases
    • Higher milling outturn from SRI paddy
      • Less unfilled grains, less shattering
      • About 15% more milled rice per bushel
    • HYVs and hybrids give highest yield, but local varieties respond very well
      • With yields in Sri Lanka of 6-12 t/ha
  • Madagascar SRI field, traditional variety, 2003 – no lodging
  • Rice fields in Sri Lanka: same variety, same irrigation system, and same drought : conventional methods (left), SRI (right)
  • Rice plots in Tamil Nadu, India: normal rice in foreground; SRI plot in center, no lodging
  • Effect of Weeding = Soil Aeration
    • 412 farmers in Morang district, Nepal, using SRI in monsoon season, 2005
    • Ave. SRI yield = 6.3 t/ha, vs. control = 3.1 t/ha
    • Data showed how WEEDINGS can raise yield
    • No. of No. of Average Range
    • weedings farmers yield of yields
    • 1 32 5.16 (3.6-7.6)
    • 2 366 5.87 (3.5-11.0)
    • 3 14 7.87 (5.85-10.4)
  • Effect of Young Seedling
    • 51 SRI farmers in Morang district, Nepal, who planted popular Bansdhan variety (usual maturity @ 145 days), monsoon season, 2005 – with doubled yield
    • Age of N of Days to Reduction
    • seedling farmers harvest (in days)
    • > 14 d 9 138.5 6.5
    • 10 - 14 d 37 130.6 14.4
    • 8 - 9 d 5 123.6 21.4
  • Farmer Innovation Is Important
    • New and better implements – are reducing SRI labor requirements
    • New and better methods of crop establishment -- also saving labor
    • Extension of SRI concepts and practices to other crops
    • Farmer-to-farmer dissemination – significant for the spread of SRI
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  • Roller-marker devised by Lakshmana Reddy, East Godavari, AP, India, to save time in transplanting operations
  • Cono-weeder re-designed by H. M. Premaratna, Sri Lanka, locally manufactured for < $10
  • Four-row weeder developed by Gopal Swaminathan, Cauvery Delta, Tamil Nadu, India; Gopal also devised the Kadiramangalam version for high-temperature conditions
  • Weeder designed by Nong Sovann, Kampong Spreu province, Cambodia; built for $3, getting a $20 increase in value of rice
  • S. Ariyaratna also developed a system for sowing germinated seed and then thinning with weeder to save transplanting time
  • Super-simple weeder made by Govinda Dhakal , Indrapura-6, in Morang District, Nepal this cost him 10 Rs. to make, and 4 person can weed 1 acre. vs. 10-12 persons weeding the field by hand = 60% reduction
  • SRI direct-seeder designed and built by Luis Romero in Cuba; his transplanted rice gave him 14 t/ha; 40x40 cm spacing was too wide; his neighbor built 12-row seeder to be ox-drawn
  • Liu Zhibin, Meishan, Sichuan province, China, standing in his raised-bed, zero-till SRI field; measured yield was 13.4 t/ha; in 2001, his SRI yield of 16 t/ha set yield record for Sichuan
  • SRI RAGI (FINGER MILLET), Rabi 2004-05 60 days after sowing – Varieties 762 and 708 VR 762 VR 708 10 15 21* *Age at which seedlings were transplanted from nursery Results of trials being being done by ANGRAU
  • System of Finger Millet Intensification on left; regular management of improved variety and of traditional variety on right, picture courtesy of PRADAN, Jharkand
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  • SRI ISSUES
    • LABOR REQUIREMENTS – how to save labor?
    • WATER REQUIREMENTS – reduce still more?
    • WEED CONTROL – can be made more manageable
    • MOST APPROPRIATE VARIETIES -- evaluate
    • SOIL FERTILITY ENHANCEMENT – this is key
    • INTENSIFICATION -> DIVERSIFICATION??
    • BIOLOGICALLY-BASED APPROACHES -> POST-MODERN AGRICULTURE?
    • SRI IS NOT FINISHED -- STILL DEVELOPING
  • THANK YOU
    • Web page: http://ciifad.cornell.edu/sri/
    • Email: [email_address] or [email_address] or
    • [email_address]