System of Rice Intensification (SRI) : A pro-poor option for household food security and resource conservation B. C. Barah firstname.lastname@example.org 3 rd National Seminar on System of Rice Intensification 1-3 December 2008 at Tamilnadu Agricultural University, Coimbatore
Decline in per capita availability of rice will have serious implications for food and nutrition security
Water is the most limiting factor for rice, and this resource is under severe stress.
Irrigation infrastructure has not increased proportionately in recent years.
The System of Rice Intensification (SRI) is one such innovative practice. Rice is important component in national food basket The rice sector in India is characterized by decelerating productivity growth and stagnant production Alternative cultivation practices are required to enhance rice productivity and to ensure sustainable production.
Developed in Madagascar over two decades ago at the initiative of Fr. Henry de Laulanié who originated this innovation by putting together a basic combination of several practices at his young farmers’ school.
Just since 2000, SRI has spread to many countries.
Tamilnadu and Andhra Pradesh are the two pioneer states in India for SRI, joined now by Tripura and a growing list of other states.
Starting with a single country in the late 1990s, mounting evidence coming from more than 30 countries shows the validity of SRI methods, which farmers are adopting with growing interest.
Initial skepticism hindered acceptance of SRI as a possible option for breaking yield barrier in India. However, there is a welcome change in mind set. ICAR has reported a 48% yield gain due to SRI, and 3 state governments in peninsular India have already begun implementing programmes to promote SRI among farmers.
NFSM has launched a nation-wide campaign in 2008 to promote SRI in districts with concentrations of poverty.
SRI is a pro-poor rice improvement practice, which is environmentally benign
More accessible to the poor because les s need for external inputs; works with any variety (modern or local).
Reduced demand for water: A bout half as much water is required in alternate drying and wetting system compared to c ontinuously flooded fields.
Potentially can reduce negative environmental externalities (reduce greenhouse gas emissions, enhance soil health, conserve water and lands)
Activities for save inputs and use neglected resources (on-farm orientation)
Empower rural communities
Augment farm income
Food & nutritional security
Ownership (land & assets)
Small farmer-orientated technology
RESULTS Pro-poor and small farmer orientation of Indian agriculture Farmer category % of total % rice farmers Small, Marginal, Very Marginal Farmers (No.) > 82% >84% Small, Marginal, Very Marginal Farmers (Area) < 39% 54% Medium Farmers (No.) 17% 15.6% Medium Farmer (Area) 48% 40% Large Farmers (No.) 1% 0.7% Large Farmers (Area) 13% 6%
Comparison across 4 Districts Conventional SRI Difference Average yield (t/ha) 5.12 5.65 +10% Net income (Rs./ha) 12,466 16,363 +31% Water (no. irrigations) 33.3 23.7 -29% Labor inputs (hrs/ha) 235 199 -15% Costs (Rs./ha) 18,400 15,400 -17% Costs (Rs./quintal) 428 303 -29% Net returns (Rs./ha) 9,263 12,984 +41%
SRI adoption relative to yield difference and cost reduction with SRI in Tamilnadu District % SRI area to total rice area Yield (t/ha) % Cost saving SRI Normal % per acre per quintal Coimbatore 48.8 6.52 6.15 6.1 22.3 29.9 R amnath-pu ram 29.2 5.51 4.71 17.0 19.7 41.4 Kanchi-puram 20.5 6.50 5.45 19.3 23.7 47.5 Tanjore 59.4 5.06 4.75 6.7 81.9 94.2
Adoption and cost reduction by farm size under SRI in Tamilnadu District Farm size % SRI area to total rice area Yield (t/ha) % cost saving per SRI Normal % acre quintal Coimbatore Marginal Small Medium Large 54.2 50.3 51.9 38.8 6.20 6.48 6.42 7.00 5.85 6.09 6.01 6.65 6.0 6.3 6.8 5.3 25.9 24.6 27.3 11.6 33.5 32.5 36.0 17.4 Ranathapuram Marginal Small Medium 33.3 22.8 11.8 5.25 5.09 5.16 4.20 4.20 4.29 25.0 21.3 20.4 14.8 24.4 17.4 43.5 51.0 41.4 Kanchipuram Marginal Small Medium Large 33.3 22.6 14.9 11.1 6.83 6.48 6.42 6.30 5.78 5.43 5.37 5.25 18.2 19.4 19.6 20.0 18.0 21.4 25.0 30.3 39.4 44.9 49.5 56.3 Tanjore Marginal Small Medium Large 50.0 65.6 63.7 58.3 5.10 5.18 4.95 5.03 4.65 4.85 4.68 4.80 9.7 6.7 5.8 4.7 79.8 77.5 102.5 68.0 97.5 89.5 114.1 75.6
Factors of production and cost in SRI at different location s, by farm size category
Net return and cost of production District Net return/ha Cost of production/qtl SRI Non-SRI % SRI Non-SRI % Coimbatore 12,413 10,748 15 314 397 -21 Kanchipuram 15,313 10,431 47 266 404 -34 Ramanathapuram 13,112 6,170 113 256 449 -43 Tanjore 11,098 9,703 14 376 461 -19
Net return and cost of production of rice under SRI in Tamilnadu District Farm size SRI Non-SRI % Change Coimbatore Marginal 11,327 9,942 14 Small 10,824 11,140 -3 Medium 9,980 10,567 -6 Large 17,524 n.a. n.a. Kanchipuram Marginal 18,168 n.a. n.a. Small 16,514 10,388 59 Medium 16,557 11,108 49 Large 10,013 8,150 23 Ramanathapuram Marginal 12,914 4,238 205 Small 14,149 6,256 126 Medium 12,273 6,988 76 Tanjore Marginal 11,689 10,342 13 Small 10,730 12,613 -15 Medium 10,929 8,820 24 Large 11,046 7,475 48
Comparison across Farmer Size *No data were reported from Kanchipuram; also the low average yield (4,238) reported from Ramananthapuram suggests some failures of marginal farmers’ conventional crops. Size of farming operation SRI (Rs.) Conventional (Rs.) SRI Advantage Marginal farmers (< 1ha) 14,466 8,174* 77%* Small farmers (1-2 ha) 13,053 10,100 29% Medium farmers (2-4 ha) 12,345 9,371 32% Large farmers (>4 ha) 11,030 7,813 41%
Benefit – cost ratio in Tamilnadu SRI farmers Non-SRI farmers Total cost (Rs./ha) 21,637 25,778 Total income (Rs./ha) 30,371 27,603 BCR 1.43 1.07 Gains due to SRI in Tamilnadu 1. Land 2. Labour 3. Water 4. Seed 5. Income 6. Cost of production 7. Perception 1. More rice produced from less land 2. Provides more employment (prominently family labour) 3. Alternate drying and wetting system saves substantial water 4. Phenomenal saving in seed (important for hybrid seed) 5. Increase in crop income and yields (income & food security) 6. Reduction in cost, due to saving on inputs 7. In the changing circumstances and eroding resource base, there is overwhelming response from farmers
The field-level survey reveals and revalidates the following encouraging features for SRI in India.
Average yield of rice under SRI is clearly higher than conventional practice.
SRI helps conserve resources, both material inputs as well as natural resources.
SRI is a pro-poor cultivation practice with the pro-small farmer orientation being a key feature of SRI.
SRI ensures household food security as the increased production can meet the food needs of small-farm family members from their own farm resources.
Since SRI is most suitable in the post-monsoon rabi season, it generates opportunities for off-season employment and contributes to gender equity.
SRI potentially maximizes the utilization of biological potential of the plant (soil microbiology, soil micronutrients, and aeration apart from solar energy), resulting in healthy plants that give better grain yield.
Most important, the water saving in rice cultivation with SRI is substantial.
Advantages of SRI quantified (i) Less seed in SRI (5 to 8 kg/ha as compared to 40 to 50 kg under conventional practices) reduces cost substantially. (ii) Uniformly high yield across the farm-size categories. Yields vary from about 5 to 7.5 ton/ha, as compared to 1.88 to 3.85 tons/ha under conventional practice across the four Tamilnadu districts (iii) Substantial water-saving due to alternate wetting and drying system, means that even with no improvement in yield, SRI is socially beneficial in areas where water is at a premium. Average water-saving varies from 16 to 49% in Andhra Pradesh, and 22 to 38% in Tamilnadu. The figure is identical across farm size, representing equity in water use. These savings can lead to substantial water economy at the state level, which is of societal relevance. (iv) Use of organic manure, green manure and biological fertilizers and less need to use fertilizer and other agro-chemicals enables SRI to be produced as an organic product . (v) Incidence of pest and diseases is less with SRI management due to sturdy and hardier stems and leave which resist specific insects.
On account of its pro-farmer orientation, resource-conserving properties, and yield-enhancing capabilities,
Government of India has accepted SRI as a useful practice in rabi paddy: NFSM envisaged a target of 5 million hectares of rice land under SRI during the XIth Five-Year Plan. Field demonstrations will be funded @ Rs.3000 per demonstration, with 50,000 demonstrations of 0.4 ha per 100 ha planned in 110 selected backward districts.
Governments of Andhra Pradesh and Tamilnadu are implementing programmes of SRI promotion aggressively in all districts and blocks (allocation in each state of Rs. 4 crores during 2008-09). Government of Karnataka has allocated Rs. 3.75 crores for this purpose and will use NGO media to popularize SRI in dryland areas.
Many State Agricultural Universities (SAUs) and coordinated schemes and projects have been conducting SRI experiments in various ecosystems.
ICAR has reported a 48% yield advantage of SRI over normal rice methods.