Journey of SDTT in SRIThe involvement of Sir Dorabji Tata Trust (SDTT) in SRI promotion dates back to2006, when the methodology was piloted with a couple of partners under itsexisting livelihoods programme. The number of partners increased to five during2007 with a coverage of 11,000 farmers. The appreciable success of the initialyears and the encouraging studies of the report presented by eminent ricescientist Dr V. P. Singh prompted the Trust to start a full-fledged program onSystem of Rice Intensification (SRI) in 2008. This program was launched as partof the Trust’s strategy to address the issue of food security at household level inrainfed areas for small and marginal farmers. A budget of INR 10.94 crores wasallocated for this dedicated programme on SRI. This started with coverage ofeight States during 2008 which by the end of 2010 has reached to eleven states.Keeping in view the extent of expansion, during 2009, a SRI Secretariat wasestablished by SDTT at Bhubaneswar for coordinating the SRI Programmeactivities with NGO partners, management of information system and taking upresearch activities. The program now covers a total of 65,000 farmers through 163partner organizations. Against an average area of coverage of 0.23 acres during2008, the average area increased to 0.33 acres during Kharif as of now, despitewater stress situations.During 2010-11, the programme could reach to 90,436 farmers tilling 10873.5hectares of land. This has been achieved in eleven states spanning 109 districts. Inabout half of the districts, SRI has been introduced for the first time. Apart fromextension activities, SDTT has concentrated upon on-farm research directlythrough the partner organizations and collaborative research along with the StateAgricultural Universities. The SDTT SRI Programmealso aims to demonstrate atthe State level so as to establish SRI as a means to attain household level foodsecurity, mainstreaming SRI through effective policy advocacy, facilitatinginteraction amongst different players, promoting and encouraging innovations inthe SRI methodology for wider replication.Other salient achievements of the initiative are: About 80 percent of the farmers covered under this program are small and marginal farmers and they come from rainfed areas without proper irrigation infrastructures. A sample survey of more than 4,000 farmers in the states of Uttarakhand, Orissa, Jharkhand and Assam has suggested that there has been 76 percent incremental yield in rice production under this program over conventional method of rice cultivation. The Trust could reach out to a total of 143 agencies for extension of SRI in the field.
SRI has been adopted in various agro-climatic zones ranging from sea-level fields (at Sunderbans) to 2,200 meters above mean sea- level (at TehriGarhwal). The Trusts also supported in organizing the Second and Third National Symposium on SRI in India. Additionally, the first ever state-level SRI symposiums were organized in Assam, Bihar, Orissa and Jharkhand with active support from the Trusts. The Trusts run an e-group on SRI (known as SRI India) that has 465 plus members. It is meant for exchanging ideas.One of the major objectives of the Trust is oriented towards mainstreaming SRIin Government Programmes. There has been diverse response from differentState Governments on the efforts of SDTT on SRI - some of which have beenextremely encouraging.For example in Bihar, SRI is promoted by BRLPS, ICAR,NFSM, KBK and ATMA. Through JEEVIKA program(BRLPS) -19,111 farmersadopt SRI and 48,251 farmers adopt SWI during 2010. The State Govt has a planto cover 3.5 lakh hect during 2011 (SRI Year).In Orissa, the state Government ispromoting SRI through the scheme RKVY, NFSM, ATMA and State plan. DuringKharif 2010 the total area coverage was 80,000 acres. The Government ofJharkhand has announced to cover 10% of the total paddy area under SRI during2011’ Kharif.There have also been appreciable levels of collaboration achievedwith the State Governments in Manipur, Maharashtra and Chattisgarh.NABARD has started replicating SDTT SRI Model through NGO partners fromKharif’2010 with a budgeted allocation of Rs 16 crore across 3 years. (39 districts63 units 34360 farmers)The Trust has taken up an Evaluation Study of the SRI Programme during theyear 2009-10,results of which have been upbeat. After positive feedback of thereview conducted by three prominent scientists the Trust has now extended theSRI Programme to the Second Phase of implementation for 2010-13.