0706 The System of Rice Intensification (SRI) Initiative in Zambia, Southern Africa
THE SYSTEM OF RICE INTENSIFICATION (SRI) INITIATIVE IN ZAMBIA, SOUTHERN AFRICA ORAP (ORGANISATION OF RURAL ASSOCIATIONS FOR PROGRESS) WORKSHOP BULAWAYO, ZIMBABWE JUNE 11-12, 2007 Henry Ngimbu ZAMBIA
ACKNOWLEGEMENT <ul><li>GREAT THANKS GOES TO THE PEOPLE OF ZAMBIA FOR ACCEPTING TO ADAPT SRI AND TO PROFESSOR NORMAN UPHOFF, USA FOR HIS TIRELESS EFFORTS IN PROVIDING THE INCOURAGEMENT AND KNOWLEDGE THAT HAS SEEN ZAMBIA BECOMIE ONE OF THE BENEFICIARIES OF SRI. </li></ul>
INTRODUCTION OF SRI IN 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>
THE FOOD SECURITY SITUATION IN ZAMBIA We have seen years of relief food donated by various international bodies in order to rescue local people from hunger. In Zambia, extreme poverty is manifested in widespread food insecurity. The Government Living Conditions Monitoring Survey (LCMS 2004) suggests that 53% of the people cannot meet basic food needs in any year.
A number of factors have contributed to continuous food shortages in Zambia. The list includes poverty resulting from recurrent floods and droughts, lack of infrastructure and deficient investments in agriculture, little or no attention paid to smallholder agriculture, policies that favour urban businesses over farmers, policies that distort and interfere with markets, etc. The chronically food insecure have grown over time as shocks such as floods or drought cause formerly food secure households to sell the assets needed for future productivity. MAIN CAUSES OF FOOD INSECURITY IN ZAMBIA
VISION The concern has been to search for the best methodologies to adopt so that we can offset the miseries resulting from hunger, which is afflicting millions of lives in Zambia. Food aid is good but for how long and is it enough for every household. Can the households have extra for sale in order to meet other family needs?
<ul><li>12 farmers (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>THE WAY FORWARD
WORKSHOP LESSON SHARING: How the Esek Farmers' Cooperative Society in Solwezi, Zambia was mobilized to do a first trial of SRI, without any 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 system (SRI). </li></ul>
STEPS INVOLVED INTRODUCING SRI TO FARMERS IN ZAMBIA Knowledge is like a Garden: if it is not cultivated, it cannot be harvested Guinean proverb <ul><li>This involved the following; </li></ul><ul><li>Preparatory work in form of baseline survey of prospective Group members </li></ul><ul><li>and organising of teaching materials(pictures, handouts, and rice seeds, hoe, rake, axe, rope) </li></ul><ul><li>Conducted one-day preliminary meeting with selected Group, where SRI was introduced and explained more about its advantages and challenges; also decided the way forward in the wake of poor farming methods and food insecurity that is advancing hunger in the area </li></ul><ul><li>Consequently, the Group was taken into a real learning experience by engaging them into own-tailored training environment and language. This involved three-hour weekly training sessions spread over 4 weeks </li></ul>
CONVINCING POINTS IN ADOPTING SRI: <ul><li>NO CHANGE of varieties -- HYVs and hybrids 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 chemical fertilizers -- while these raise yield with SRI, the best results are with compost </li></ul><ul><li>NO NEED to apply agrochemicals -- pesticides, fungicides, etc. -- farmers say not economical </li></ul><ul><li>SIGNIFICANT WATER SAVINGS -- irrigation water can be reduced by 50% -- need good water control </li></ul><ul><li>MORE LABOR -- at first, but as SRI methods are mastered, SRI can become labor-saving over time </li></ul><ul><li>MORE SKILL and management effort -- SRI is intended to improve farmers’ capabilities </li></ul>
4 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, 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 </li></ul><ul><li>GRAIN QUALITY : fewer unfilled and broken grains </li></ul><ul><li>RESISTANCE to pests, diseases, storms and drought </li></ul><ul><li>HIGHER YIELDS : ave. 8 t/ha, even up to 15-20 t/ha </li></ul><ul><li>PRODUCTIVITY gains -- more important than yield </li></ul>
Harvest and Results The first SRI demonstration plot, planted in December 2005, was harvested in June 2006, and it produced equivalent of 6.144 t/ha yield of dried paddy. This was achieved in a region where local rice yields are usually around only 1 t/ha. This result was very encouraging for the local farmers.
How the first SRI trial has strengthened farmers' position <ul><li>The SRI demonstration plot, 12.5 x 12.5 meters, yielded 96 kg of dried paddy. This represented a yield 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 from the decades of traditional uncontrollable rain fed flood rice farming to no continuous flooding during the period of vegetative growth -- with (a) minimum applications, or (b) alternate wetting/drying -- is a breakthrough </li></ul><ul><li>It is a boost to Zambian farming circles to learn a new technique that does not depend on changing varieties , or on need for chemical fertilizers , or on need to apply 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 Esek Farmers’ Co-operative Society hosted a National SRI Launch on June 30, 2006, in Solwezi 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 shows a good response and commitment to the SRI innovation. </li></ul><ul><li>The Zambian Government’s evident support was demonstrated for this innovation 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; and funds sent by David Galloway, Vancouver, Canada (Canadian $15,000) to support further SRI extension; and application forms sent from the American Embassy in Lusaka for getting grant funds to accelerate the spread of SRI in Zambia. </li></ul><ul><li>Currently, over 50 farmers in a variety of communities in the Northwest Province and beyond have enrolled themselves to work with SRI in the 2006/2007 growing season, and a lot more want to join to engage in SRI, having seen or heard about the results. </li></ul><ul><li>The American Embassy has sponsored Henry to train other farmers’ group of different district on SRI techniques </li></ul>
CHALLENGES FACED IN TRODUCING NEW INNOVATION(SRI) IN ZAMBIAN <ul><li>In the first instance, it was so difficult to convince Zambian farmers to adapt SRI. This was due to high skepticism following several decades of failed traditional and modern technological attempts on various crops, including rice, by the resource poor farmers (dependence on flooded grounds syndrome, costly chemical fertilizers and pesticides, use of unaffordable GMO techniques) </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>