Transcript of "0613 The System of Rice Intensification (SRI) Initiative in Zambia, Southern Africa"
THE SYSTEM OF RICE INTENSIFICATION (SRI) INITIATIVE IN ZAMBIA, SOUTHERN AFRICA Innovation Africa Symposium (IAS) November 20-23, 2006 Henry Ngimbu Esek Farmers’ Cooperative Society and The River Between Trust North-western Province, ZAMBIA
Theme: How the Esek Farmers' Cooperative Society in Solwezi/Zambia was mobilized to do a first trial of SRI, without external funding <ul><li>Focusing on: </li></ul><ul><li>How this is evidence of local initiative of farmers and development agent; </li></ul><ul><li>How this has strengthened farmers' position; and </li></ul><ul><li>How this has also strengthened recognition in the country of a new agricultural innovation (SRI). </li></ul>
INTRODUCTION OF SRI INTO ZAMBIA SRI ACTIVITIES Solwezi District, North-western Province ZAMBIA DR CONCO
MOTIVATING FACTORS FOR PROMOTING SRI IN ZAMBIA <ul><li>Hunger Crisis in Zambia </li></ul>
PRESENTLY, FOOD INSECURITY IS COMMON IN ZAMBIA. THE WORLD FOOD PROGRAMME AND OTHER AGENCIES FROM TIME TO TIME ARE IMPORTING RICE AND OTHER CEREAL GRAINS FROM VARIOUS COUNTRIES TO HELP FEED THE HUNGRY POPULATION. WHILE FOOD AID IS BENEFICIAL, FOR HOW LONG IS IT GOING TO BE DISTRIBUTED? WE NEED MORE LASTING SOLUTIONS LIKE SRI WHICH CAN ENABLE COMMUNITIES TO LEARN HOW TO PRODUCE FOOD FOR THEMSELVES
What was Involved in Pre-planning, Implementing and Administering SRI? <ul><li>Preparatory work in the form of baseline survey of prospective Group members and organising teaching materials (pictures and handouts, plus rice seeds, hoe, rake, axe, rope, etc.). </li></ul><ul><li>One-day preliminary meeting with selected Group members, where SRI was introduced and explained more about its advantages and challenges; also decisions on the way forward to surmount poor farming methods and food insecurity that are maintaining hunger in the area. </li></ul><ul><li>Subsequently, Group members were taken into an intense learning experience by engaging them in their own-tailored training environment which involved weekly three-hour training sessions spread over 4 weeks. </li></ul>
CONVINCING POINTS FOR ADOPTING SRI <ul><li>NO NEED to change varieties -- HYVs and hybrids can give the highest yields with SRI methods, but local varieties can produce 6-12 t/ha with SRI methods </li></ul><ul><li>NO NEED for use of chemical fertilizers -- while these can raise rice yield with SRI, the best results are achieved with compost </li></ul><ul><li>NO NEED to apply agrochemicals -- pesticides, fungicides, etc. are not necessary -- farmers find these are not economical </li></ul><ul><li>SIGNIFICANT WATER SAVINGS – usual irrigation water can be reduced by 50% -- but need good water control </li></ul><ul><li>MORE LABOR – needed at first, but as the SRI methods are mastered, SRI can even become labor-saving over time </li></ul><ul><li>MORE SKILL AND MANAGEMENT EFFORT are needed -- SRI is intended to improve farmers’ capabilities </li></ul>
Simple Straight-forward Growing Instructions <ul><li>Transplant young seedlings (<15 days) -- though direct seeding is an alternative </li></ul><ul><li>Set out plants singly with wider spacing </li></ul><ul><ul><li>In a square pattern (25x25cm or more) and </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Planted shallow, gently, and quickly </li></ul></ul><ul><li>No continuous flooding during the period of vegetative growth, with (a) minimum applications, or (b) alternate wetting/drying </li></ul><ul><li>After panicle initiation, maintain a thin layer of water (1-2 cm) on field until 10 days before harvest </li></ul>
ENCOURAGING FARMING RESULTS <ul><li>Increased TILLERING : 30-50 tillers/plant, or more </li></ul><ul><li>Larger ROOT SYSTEMS : 5-6x more resistance to uprooting (28 kg for 3 plants vs. 53 kg for 1 SRI plant) </li></ul><ul><li>Bigger PANICLES : 200-300 grains/panicle, or more </li></ul><ul><li>Positive correlation between the panicle number and panicle size -- contrary to the negative relationship which is commonly reported in the literature (Ying et al., 1998) </li></ul><ul><li>GRAIN QUALITY : fewer unfilled and broken grains, so higher milled outturn from paddy (unhusked) production </li></ul><ul><li>RESISTANCE to pests, diseases, storms and drought </li></ul><ul><li>NO LODGING : also ratoon crop possible </li></ul><ul><li>HIGHER YIELDS : ave. 6-8 t/ha, even up to 15-20 t/ha </li></ul><ul><li>PRODUCTIVITY gains -- more important than yield </li></ul>
<ul><li>12 farmer-members (6 women, 6 men) from the Esek Farmers’ Co-operative Society, registered in 2002 with the Ministry of Agriculture and Cooperatives in Zambia, participated in doing a first SRI trial, without any external funding </li></ul>AFTER THE LEARNING SESSION WHAT CAME NEXT?
ACTIVITIES INVOLVED <ul><li>Land selection </li></ul><ul><li>Land preparation </li></ul><ul><li>Choice of variety to be planted </li></ul><ul><li>Seed preparation before nursery establishment </li></ul><ul><li>Nursery establishment and management </li></ul><ul><li>Transplantation </li></ul><ul><li>Field fertilization </li></ul><ul><li>Weed control and aeration of soil </li></ul><ul><li>Harvest </li></ul>
<ul><li>Results </li></ul><ul><li>Period: from date of planting to harvesting – 6 months </li></ul><ul><li>Average number of productive tillers/hill -- 48 </li></ul><ul><li>Average length of panicles -- 30 cm </li></ul><ul><li>Highest number of grains/ panicle – 415 </li></ul><ul><li>Highest number of grains/ hill – 19,920 </li></ul><ul><li>Average roots per hill – 814 </li></ul><ul><li>Yield harvested -- 96 kg (6.144t/ha) </li></ul>
How the first SRI trial has strengthened farmers' position <ul><li>It was quite interesting and encouraging for local rice farmers to observe in an SRI demonstration plot, a yield of 96 kg -- equivalent of 6.144 t/ha -- in a region where local rice yields are usually around 1 t/ha </li></ul><ul><li>The paradigm shift for rice-growing from the decades-old tradition of uncontrollable rainfed rice farming to a regime of controlled but minimum water application during the period of vegetative growth is a breakthrough </li></ul><ul><li>It is a revelation in Zambian farming circles to learn of a new production methodology technique that does not (a) depend on introducing new varieties, or (b) on the need for applying chemical fertilizers , or (c) on the need to use agrochemicals – instead utilizing biological potentials inherent in the plants and in the soil </li></ul>
How the first SRI trial has strengthened recognition in the agricultural innovation system in the country <ul><li>The farmers’ society hosted on June 30 a National SRI Launch that coincided with the first SRI harvest. This attracted over 300 persons -- farmers, officials, agriculturalists, NGO workers, and others -- many traveling hundreds of kilometers. This showed a good response and commitment to the SRI innovation. </li></ul><ul><li>The Zambian Government’s evident support was demonstrated through the presence of the Permanent Secretary in the Office of the President, who attended and presided at the National Launch with an encouraging speech. </li></ul><ul><li>Several gifts were presented during the launch ceremony: a rotary hoe weeder shipped from Madagascar by Glenn Lines, Country Director for the Millennium Challenge Corporation; funds were sent by David Galloway, Vancouver, Canada (Can$ 5,000); application forms sent from the American Embassy in Lusaka for a getting grant funds to accelerate the spread of SRI in Zambia. This supports a serious commitment for the promotion of SRI in Zambia </li></ul><ul><li>Currently over 50 farmers have already enrolled themselves to work with SRI in the 2006/2007 growing season, and a lot more want to join and engage with SRI, having seen or heard about the results. </li></ul>
CHALLENGES FACED IN INTRODUCING A NEW INNOVATION IN ZAMBIAN <ul><li>First, great thanks goes to ECHO Newsletter (Ft. Myers, Florida) to which I subscribe, from which I learned about SRI, and to Professor Norman Uphoff of Cornell University, who during 3 years, 2003-2006, providing the needed resources (literature, pictures, CDs, inspiring e-mails) to capacity-build my knowledge in taking up the challenge of promoting SRI in Zambia. </li></ul><ul><li>It was initially difficult to convince Zambian rice farmers about adapting SRI due to high skepticism regarding new innovations following several decades of failed traditional and modern-technological attempts to improve methods for growing rice among rural resource-poor farmers (dependence on flooded grounds syndrome, costly chemical fertilizers and pesticides, promotion of unaffordable GMO techniques) </li></ul><ul><li>Good will from a part of the Government also played a fundamental role in gaining acceptance and momentum. </li></ul>
THANK <ul><li>YOU </li></ul><ul><li>For SRI information, check out SRI home page: </li></ul><ul><li>http://ciifad.cornell.edu/sri/ </li></ul><ul><li>Including now a Zambia SRI page! </li></ul>
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