Graph prepared by Uphoff for monograph by Louise Buck, David Lee, Thomas Gavin and himself on EcoAgriculture (CIIFAD, 2004; for SANREM CRSP). Sources are from Worldwatch Institute’s data archives.
This picture was provided by Association Tefy Saina, showing Fr. de Laulanie the year before his death in 1995, at age 75.
Picture provided by George Rakotondrabe, Landscape Development Interventions project.
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. Rena Perez. These two rice plants are ‘twins’ in that they were planted on the same day in the same nursery from the same seed bag. The one on the right was taken out at 9 days and transplanted into an SRI environment. The one on the left was kept in the flooded nursery until its 52 nd day, when it was taken out for transplanting (in Cuba, transplanting of commonly done between 50 and 55 DAP). The difference in root growth and tillering (5 vs. 42) is spectacular. We think this difference is at least in part attributable to the contributions of soil microorganisms producing phytohormones in the rhizosphere that benefit plant growth and performance.
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.
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.
Here we look just at the effect of young seedlings, on better and poorer soil, at Anjomakely. The synergistic effect of compost with aerated soil is seen in the bottom three lines. Compost with saturated soil does less well (7.7 t/ha) than NPK with aerated soil (8.77 t/ha), but compost with aerated soil does by far the best (10.35 t/ha) on better soil. The same relationship is seen on poorer soil (right-hand column).
From report by Rajendra Uprety, District Agricultural Development Office, Biratnagar, Nepal – for Morang District. Available from SRI home page on the web.
These data were reported in Prof. Robert Randriamiharisoa's paper in the Sanya conference proceedings. They give the first direct evidence to support our thinking about the contribution of soil microbes to the super-yields achieved with SRI methods. The bacterium Azospirillum was studied as an &quot;indicator species&quot; presumably reflecting overall levels of microbial populations and activity in and around the plant roots. Somewhat surprisingly, there was no significant difference in Azospirillum populations in the rhizosphere. But there were huge differences in the counts of Azospirillum in the roots themselves according to soil types (clay vs. loam) and cultivation practices (traditional vs. SRI) and nutrient amendments (none vs. NPK vs. compost). NPK amendments with SRI produce very good results, a yield on clay soil five times higher than traditional methods with no amendments. But compost used with SRI gives a six times higher yield. The NPK increases Azospirillum (and other) populations, but most/much of the N that produced a 9 t/ha yield is coming from inorganic sources compared to the higher 10.5 t/ha yield with compost that depends entirely on organic N. On poorer soil, SRI methods do not have much effect, but when enriched with compost, even this poor soil can give a huge increase in production, attributable to the largest of the increases in microbial activity in the roots. At least, this is how we interpret these findings. Similar research should be repeated many times, with different soils, varieties and climates. We consider these findings significant because they mirror results we have seen in other carefully measured SRI results in Madagascar. Tragically, Prof. Randriamiharisoa, who initiated this work, passed away in August, 2004, so we will no longer have his acute intelligence and probing mind to advance these frontiers of knowledge.
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.
The Emerging Shape of a Post-Modern Agriculture: Indications from the System of Rice Intensification (SRI) Prof. Norman Uphoff CIIFAD/CIPA, Cornell University February 12, 2010
Challenge for 21 st Century: H ow to Produce MORE with LESS ?
This may sound impossible, but it will be needed to achieve sustainable development
It will also be important for promoting equitable development
We want to reduce poverty while we protect environmental integrity at the same time
Can this be accomplished? Isn’t this like the mythical perpetual motion machine ? No
Can be achieved within realm of BIOLOGY
21 st Century Agriculture Cannot Just Do ‘ More of the Same ’
Arable land area per capita is reducing
Population continues to grow, while
Land area is being lost to urban spread and
Land degradation increases year by year
Water supply for agriculture is declining
Competing demands for domestic use and industry
Climate change is reducing amount and reliability
Pests and diseases are likely to increase
21 st Century Agriculture Cannot Just Do ‘ More of the Same ’
Energy prices will surely be higher in the 21 st than in 20 th century, affecting:
Production costs : fuel, fertilizer, agrochemicals
SRI is not a technology ; rather it is insights & ideas, concepts & methods
SRI derives from the work of Fr. Henri de Laulanié, SJ, who spent 34 yrs working with farmers in Madagascar
SRI methods were synthesized in 1984-85, but they continue to evolve
Developed for small, poor farmers, but are being adapted more widely
Status of SRI: As of 1999 Known and practiced only in Madagascar
Before 1999: Madagascar 1999-2000: China, Indonesia 2000-01: Bangladesh, Cuba, Laos, Cambodia, Gambia, India, Nepal, Myanmar, Philippines, Sierra Leone, Sri Lanka, Thailand 2002-03: Benin, Guinea, Peru, Moz 2004-05: Senegal, Mali, Vietnam, Pakistan 2006: Burkina Faso, Bhutan, Iran, Iraq, Zambia 2007: Afghanistan, Brazil 2008: Rwanda, Costa Rica, Ecuador, Egypt, Ghana 2009: Timor Leste, Malaysia 2010: Kenya, Sabah? DPRK? Solomon Islands? Panama? 2010: SRI benefits have now been validated in 38 countries of Asia, Africa, and Latin America
(b) Increase the use of external inputs -- more water, more fertilizer and insecticides
SRI ( AGROECOLOGY) instead changes the management of plants, soil, water & nutrients:
(a) Promotes the growth of root systems , and
(b) Increases the abundance and diversity of soil organisms to better enlist their benefits
SRI produces better PHENOTYPES naturally
CUBA: farmer with two plants of same variety (VN 2084) and same age (52 DAP)
IRAN: SRI roots and normal (flooded) roots: note difference in color as well as size
VIETNAM: D ông Trù village, Hanoi province, after typhoon
INDIA: Meteorological and yield data from ANGRAU IPM evaluation, Andhra Pradesh, 2006 * Low yield was due to cold injury for plants (see above) *Sudden drop in min. temp. during 16–21 Dec. (9.2-9.8 o C for 5 days) Period Mean max. temp. 0 C Mean min. temp. 0 C No. of sunshine hrs 1 – 15 Nov 27.7 19.2 4.9 16–30 Nov 29.6 17.9 7.5 1 – 15 Dec 29.1 14.6 8.6 16–31 Dec 28.1 12.2 * 8.6 Season Normal (t/ha) SRI (t/ha) Rabi 2005-06 2.25 3.47 Kharif 2006 0.21* 4.16
NEPAL: Crop duration (from seed to seed) of different rice varieties with SRI (6.3 t/ha) vs. conventional methods (3.1 t/ha) - 125 vs. 141 days Varieties Conventional duration SRI duration Difference Bansdhan/Kanchhi 145 127 (117-144) 18 (28-11) Mansuli 155 136 (126-146) 19 (29- 9) Swarna 155 139 (126-150) 16 (29- 5) Sugandha 120 106 (98-112) 14 (22- 8) Radha 12 155 138 (125-144) 17 (30-11) Barse 3017 135 118 17 Hardinath 1 120 107 (98-112) 13 (22- 8) Barse 2014 135 127 (116-125) 8 (19-10)
VIETNAM: Reduction in Diseases & Pests National IPM Program conducted evaluation based on data from 8 provinces, 2005-06 * Insects/m 2 Spring season Summer season SRI Plots Farmer Plots Differ-ence SRI Plots Farmer Plots Differ-ence Sheath blight 6.7% 18.1% 63.0% 5.2% 19.8% 73.7% Leaf blight -- -- -- 8.6% 36.3% 76.5% Small leaf folder * 63.4 107.7 41.1% 61.8 122.3 49.5% Brown plant hopper * 542 1,440 62.4% 545 3,214 83.0% AVERAGE 55.5% 70.7%
47.9% 34.7% Non-Flooding Rice Farming Technology in Irrigated Paddy Field Dr. Tao Longxing, China National Rice Research Institute, 2004
China National Rice Research Institute: Factorial trials over two years, 2004/2005 using two super-hybrid varieties with the aim of breaking the ‘plateau’ limiting yields
Standard Rice Mgmt
20x20 cm spacing
New Rice Mgmt (~SRI)
30x30 cm spacing
Alternate wetting and drying (AWD)
Average super-rice yields with standard rice management (SRM) vs. new rice management (NRM~SRI) at different plant densities ha -1 Plant density (plants per hectare) Yield (kg per hectare)
AN ASSESSMENT OF PHYSIOLOGICAL EFFECTS OF THE SYSTEM OF RICE INTENSIFICATION (SRI) COMPARED WITH RECOMMENDED RICE CULTIVATION PRACTICES IN INDIA A.K. Thakur, N. Uphoff, E. Antony Experimental Agriculture , 46(1), 77-98 (2010) Water-use efficiency is reflected in the ratio of photosynthesis to transpiration For the loss of 1 millimol of water by transpiration, In SRI plants, 3.6 millimols of CO 2 are fixed In RMP plants, 1.6 millimols of CO 2 are fixed
‘ Rice Aplenty in Aceh (Indonesia)’ CARITAS NEWS Spring 2009 SRI methods were introduced in Aceh in 2005 by CARITAS Australia after tsunami had devastated the area – new methods raised local rice yields from 2 t/ha to 8.5 t/ha: “Using less rice seed, less water and organic compost, farmers in Aceh have quadrupled their crop production.”
2009 Report from Aga Khan Foundation : Baghlan Province, Afghanistan 2008: 6 farmers got SRI yields of 10.1 t/ha vs. 5.4 t/ha regular 2009: 42 farmers got SRI yields of 9.3 t/ha vs. 5.6 t/ha regular 2 nd year SRI farmers got 13.3 t/ha vs. 5.6 t/ha 1 st year SRI farmers got 8.7 t/ha vs. 5.5 t/ha
AFGHANISTAN : SRI field in Baghlan Province, supported by Aga Khan Foundation Natural Resource Management program
AKF technician making field visit in Baghlan Province
SRI plant with 133 tillers @ 72 days after transplanting 11.56 t/ha
BHUTAN: Report on SRI in Deorali Geog , 2009 Sangay Dorji, Jr. Extension Agent, Deorali Georg, Dagana SRI @ 25x25cm 9.5 t/ha SRI random spacing 6.0 t/ha SRI @ 30x30cm 10.0 t/ha Standard practice 3.6 t/ha
MALI: SRI nursery in Timbuktu region – 8-day seedlings ready for transplanting
Rice grain yield for SRI plots, control plots and farmer-practice plots, Goundam circle, Timbuktu region, Mali, 2008 SRI Control Farmer Practice Yield t/ha* 9.1 5.49 4.86 Standard Error (SE) 0.24 0.27 0.18 % Change compared to Control + 66 100 - 11 % Change compared to Farmer Practice + 87 + 13 100 Number of Farmers 53 53 60
Not just to control weeds ; also benefit from green-manure effect of weeds
Promotion of beneficial soil organisms , both bacteria and fungi (mycorrhizae)
These organisms are functioning not only in the soil -- but also in the plant
As symbiotic endophytes in ROOTS
Also as endophytes in the LEAVES
Even as endophytes in the seed coat !
Microbial populations in rice rhizosphere Tamil Nadu Agricultural University research T. M. Thiyagarajan, WRRC presentation, Tsukuba, Japan, 2004 Microorganisms Conventional SRI Total bacteria 88 x 10 6 105 x 10 6 Azospirillum 8 x 10 5 31 x 10 5 Azotobacter 39 x 10 3 66 x 10 3 Phosphobacteria 33 x 10 3 59 x 10 3
Total bacteria Total diazotrophs Microbial populations in rhizosphere soil in rice crop under different management at active tillering, panicle initiation and flowering (SRI = yellow; conventional = red) [units are √ transformed values of population/gram of dry soil] Phosphobacteria Azotobacter
Total microbes and numbers of beneficial microbes (CFU g -1 ) under conventional and SRI cultivation methods, Tanjung Sari, Bogor, Indonesia, Feb-Aug 2009 (Iswandi et al., 2009) Cultivation method and fertilization Total microbes (x10 5 ) Azoto-bacter (x10 3 ) Azospi- rillum (x10 3 ) P-solubilizing bacteria (x10 4 ) Conventional crop mgmt with NPK 2.3a 1.9a 0.9a 3.3a Inorganic SRI (NPK fertilizer) 2.7a 2.2a 1.7ab 4.0a Organic SRI (compost) 3.8b 3.7b 2.8bc 5.9b Inorganic SRI + biofertilizer 4.8c 4.4b 3.3c 6.4b
Ascending Migration of Endophytic Rhizobia, from Roots and Leaves, inside Rice Plants and Assessment of Benefits to Rice Growth Physiology Feng Chi et al., Applied and Envir. Microbiology 71 (2005), 7271-7278 Rhizo-bium test strain Total plant root volume/ pot (cm 3 ) Shoot dry weight/ pot (g) Net photo-synthetic rate (μmol -2 s -1 ) Water utilization efficiency Area (cm 2 ) of flag leaf Grain yield/ pot (g) Ac-ORS571 210 ± 36 A 63 ± 2 A 16.42 ± 1.39 A 3.62 ± 0.17 BC 17.64 ± 4.94 ABC 86 ± 5 A SM-1021 180 ± 26 A 67 ± 5 A 14.99 ± 1.64 B 4.02 ± 0.19 AB 20.03 ± 3.92 A 86 ± 4 A SM-1002 168 ± 8 AB 52 ± 4 BC 13.70 ± 0.73 B 4.15 ± 0.32 A 19.58 ± 4.47 AB 61 ± 4 B R1-2370 175 ± 23 A 61 ± 8 AB 13.85 ± 0.38 B 3.36 ± 0.41 C 18.98 ± 4.49 AB 64 ± 9 B Mh-93 193 ± 16 A 67 ± 4 A 13.86 ± 0.76 B 3.18 ± 0.25 CD 16.79 ± 3.43 BC 77 ± 5 A Control 130 ± 10 B 47 ± 6 C 10.23 ± 1.03 C 2.77 ± 0.69 D 15.24 ± 4.0 C 51 ± 4 C
Data are based on the average linear root and shoot growth of three symbiotic (dashed line) and three nonsymbiotic (solid line) plants. Arrows indicate the times when root hair development started. Ratio of root and shoot growth in symbiotic and nonsymbiotic rice plants -- symbiotic plant seeds were inoculated with Fusarium culmorum Russell J. Rodriguez et al., ‘Symbiotic regulation of plant growth, development and reproduction,’ Communicative and Integrative Biology , 2:3 (2009).
Growth of nonsymbiotic (on left) and symbiotic (on right) rice seedlings. On growth of endophyte (F. culmorum) and plant inoculation procedures, see Rodriguez et al., Communicative and Integrative Biology , 2:3 (2009).
PERFORMANCE OF SCI CROPS DURING DROUGHT SEASON 2009 Experiences from Himachal Pradesh & Uttarakhand PEOPLE’S SCIENCE INSTITUTE, DEHRADUN
Up-scaling of SRI in Himachal Pradesh & Uttarakhand, 2006-08 Average SRI increase in grain yield has been about 70 per cent -- SRI concepts and methods now being applied to OTHER CROPS Particulars 2006 2007 2008 Conv. SRI Conv. SRI Conv. SRI No. of farmers (villages) 40 (25) 591 (133) 12,214 (496) Area (ha) - 0.95 - 15.00 252.98 Average grain yield (Q/ha) 31.5 52.5 28.5 54.0 39.5 60.5 % increase in grain yield - 67 - 89 - 53 Average straw yield (Q/ha) 58 72.5 55 73.5 110.5 145 % increase in straw yield - 25 - 34 - 31
SRI Comparative Crop-Cut Results, 2009 ** In this drought year, grain yields of conventional crop decreased by 31% , as compared to a reduction of only 13% in the SRI crop ** Conventional yields stood close to 2.5 tons per ha while SRI yields were 4.8 tons per ha -- 92% higher Normal (2006-2008) Drought (2009) Conv. SRI Conv. SRI No. of effective tillers/ plant 7 21 5 18 Average plant height (cm) 99 122 88 102 Average panicle length (cm) 18 24 19 25 Average no. of grains/panicle 93 177 90 174 Grain yield (t/ha) 3.6 5.5 2.5 4.8 Straw yield (t/ha) 11.1 14.5 5.1 8.5
Experiments on System of Crop Intensification (SCI), 2009 Crops Total Farmers Area (in Ha) Maize 183 10.34 Kidney bean ( Rajma ) 679 14.01 Sesame ( Til ) 22 0.41 Finger millet ( Mandwa ) 340 8.04 Black gram ( Urad ) 314 2.00 Soyabean 77 2.47 Tomato 45 4.36 French bean 44 0.35 1,704 41.98