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A Global Perspective of Intensification in relation to food security and climate change adaptation

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Prof. Norman Uphoff …

Prof. Norman Uphoff
Professor of Government and International Agriculture
Cornell University, Ithaca, NY 14853
* Director, Cornell Institute for Public Affairs (CIPA), and
* Senior Advisor, SRI International Network and Resources Center (SRI-Rice), Cornell International Institute for Food, Agriculture and Development (CIIFAD)

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  • 1. A Global Perspective on Intensification in Relation to Achieving Food Security and Climate Change Adaptation Norman Uphoff, Cornell University Inception Workshop, AIT, April 9, 2013 Asian Center of Innovation for Sustainable Agricultural Intensification
  • 2. Need to Change the Concepts and the Practices of ‘Intensification’ So far this strategy has been based on: • Intensification of ENERGY inputs – increased mechanization • Intensification of CHEMICAL inputs -- inorganic fertilizer and agrochemical crop protection • Intensification of WATER inputs – widespread irrigation • Intensification of CAPITAL inputs – ever-increasing investment
  • 3. In the 21st Century, We Face Changing Conditions for Agriculture • Costs of ENERGY inputs are now higher and availability is less certain; also see negative environmental externalities • Costs of fossil-fuel-based CHEMICAL inputs are rising, and we are seeing adverse effects on soil and water quality • The amounts and reliability of WATER for agriculture are becoming more problematic, limiting and costly • Climate change presents many hazards incl. increasing pest & disease problems
  • 4. The World -- and particularly Asia -- Needs ‘a New Intensification’ • Rather than continue with a strategy of achieving MORE OUTPUT form MORE INPUTS • We need to learn how we can produce MORE OUTPUT with REDUCED INPUTS – relying more on nature’s processes than on our own • This is not possible within MECHANICAL frameworks – zero-sum, even negative-sum • It is possible within a BIOLOGICAL matrix ---- positive-sum, capitalizing on sun’s energy • There is need for a major shift in paradigms
  • 5. What has been the greatest paradigm shift for humankind? • Arguably this was the shift from a Ptolemaic (geocentric) understanding of the universe to a Copernican (heliocentric) conception • The ‘new intensification’ will redirect our thinking and actions in agriculture from their current EGOCENTRIC orientation, that regards us humans as the primary actors • To a more HELIOCENTRIC orientation that appreciates the power and productivity of natural systems which give rise to the processes and potentials of biology
  • 6. We humans are part of nature and need to learn to cooperate with it • The supposedly impossible challenge of producing ‘more from less’ has been shown to be possible by our experience with the System of Rice Intensification (SRI) developed in Madagascar and now being used increasingly widely around the world • SRI increases yields and provides other advantages not by increasing external inputs but by changing the management of existing resources: plants, soil, water and nutrients • Little need to elaborate for this audience
  • 7. Before 1999: Madagascar 1999 China, Indonesia 2000-02: Bangladesh, Cambodia, Cuba, Gambia, India, Laos, Myanmar, Nepal, Philippines, Sierra Leone, Sri Lanka, Thailand (15 at Sanya conference, 2002) 2003: Benin, Guinea, Mozambique, Peru 2004-05: Senegal, Pakistan, Vietnam 2006: Burkina Faso, Bhutan, Iran, Iraq, Zambia 2007: Afghanistan, Brazil, Mali 2008: Rwanda, Costa Rica, Egypt, Ecuador, Ghana, Japan 2009: Malaysia, Timor Leste 2010: Kenya, DPRK, Panama, Haiti 2011: Colombia, Korea, Taiwan, Tanzania 2012: Burundi, Dominican Republic, Niger, Nigeria, Togo (total of 51) 2013: >50 countries of Asia, Africa, and Latin America where benefits of SRI management have been seen
  • 8. PANO – Vietnam celebrated over a million small-scale farmers who are embracing a technique that grows more rice with less seeds, fertilizer, water, and pesticides in an event at Thai Nguyen University on October 18th. The technique is called ‘system of rice intensification’ or SRI for short, which is a package of agricultural techniques for hand-planted rice that helps farmers reduce their costs while increasing their production. The Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development reported that by the summer-autumn crop this year, there are 1,070,384 farmers using SRI on 185,065 hectares (457,110 acres) in their rice fields. The number of farmers using SRI practices in Vietnam has tripled since 2009. . . . OVER 1 MILLION VIETNAMESE FARMERS BENEFIT FROM SRI Tuesday, October 18, 2011 20:48 (GMT +7)
  • 9. Year 2004 2005 2006 2007 2008 2009 2010 Total SRI area (ha) 1,133 7,267 57,400 117,267 204,467 252,467 301,067 941,068 SRI yield (kg/ha) 9,105 9,435 8,805 9,075 9,300 9,495 9,555 9,252 Non-SRI yield (kg/ha) 7,740 7,650 7,005 7,395 7,575 7,710 7,740 7,545 SRI increment (t/ha)* 1,365 1,785 1,800# 1,680 1,725 1,785 1,815# 1,708 SRI yield increase (%) * 17.6% 23.3% 25.7% 22.7% 22.8% 23.2% 23.5% 22.7% Grain increase (tons) 1,547 12,971 103,320 197,008 352,705 450,653 546,436 1.66 mill Added net income from SRI use (million RMB)* 1.28 11.64 106.5 205.1 450.8 571.7 704.3 2,051 (>$300 mill) * Comparison is with Sichuan provincial average for paddy yield and SRI returns # Drought years: SRI yields were relatively better than with conventional methods Source: Data are from the Sichuan Provincial Department of Agriculture. CHINA: SRI extension/impact in Sichuan Province, 2004-10
  • 10. INDIA: Results from Bihar state, 2007-2012 SYSTEM OF RICE INTENSIFICATION -- state average yield: 2.3 t/ha 2007 2008 2009 2010 2012 Climatic conditions Normal rainfall 2 times flooding Drought + rain in Sept. Complete drought Good rainfall No. of smallholders 128 5,146 8,367 19,911 NR Area under SRI (ha) 30 544 786 1,412 335,000 SRI yield (t/ha) 10.0 7.75 6.5 3.22* 8.08 Conv. yield (t/ha) 2.7 2.36 2.02 1.66* 2.9 , SYSTEM OF WHEAT INTENSIFICATION -- state average yield: 2.4 t/ha 2007-08 2008-09 2009-10 2011-12 No. of smallholders 415 25,235 48,521 NR Area under SWI (ha) 16 1,200 2,536 183,085 SWI yield (t/ha) 3.6 4.5 NR 5.1 Conv. yield (t/ha) 1.6 1.6 NR 2.7 * Results from measurements of yield on 74 farmers’ SRI and conventional fields
  • 11. SRI benefits are more than an increase in yield: • Water saving • More tolerance of climate stresses • Resistance to pests and disease • Reduced costs of production • Higher farmer income • More environmentally-friendly • Grain quality, shorter crop cycle, etc.
  • 12. Other Benefits from Changes in Practices 1. Water saving – major concern in many places, also now have ‘rainfed’ version with similar results 2. Greater resistance to biotic and abiotic stresses – less damage from pests and diseases, drought, typhoons, flooding, cold spells [discuss tomorrow] 3. Shorter crop cycle – same varieties are harvested by 1-3 weeks sooner, save water, less crop risk 4. High milling output – by about 15%, due to fewer unfilled grains (less chaff) and fewer broken grains 5. Reductions in labor requirements – widely reported incentive for changing practices in India and China; also, mechanization is being introduced many places 6. Reductions in costs of production – greater farmer income and profitability, also health benefits Drought-resistance: Rice fields in Sri Lanka, same variety and same soil 3 weeks after irrigation had stopped because of drought – conventional rice field (left) and SRI (right)
  • 13. Storm resistance: Dông Trù village, Ha Noi province, Vietnam, after fields were hit by a tropical storm Right: conventional field and plant; Left: SRI field and plant Same variety used in both fields: serious lodging seen on right -- no lodging on left
  • 14. Disease and pest resistance: Evaluation by the Vietnam National IPM Program, 2005-06 – averages of data from on-farm trials in 8 provinces 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% * Insects/m2
  • 15. Resistance to both biotic and abiotic stresses: fields in East Java, Indonesia hit by both brown planthopper (BPH) and by storm damage (typhoon): the rice field on the left was managed with standard practices; organic SRI is seen on right Modern improved variety (Ciherang) – no yield Traditional aromatic variety (Sintanur) - 8 t/ha
  • 16. Irrigation method Seedling age Spacing (cm2) Plant lodging (in percent) Partial Complete Total Inter- mittent irrigation (AWDI) 14 30x30 6.67 0 6.67 30x18 40.00 6.67 46.67 21 30x30 26.67 20 46.67 30x18 13.33 13.33 26.67 Ordinary irrigation (continuous flooding) 14 30x30 16.67 33.33 50.00 30x18 26.67 53.33 80.00 21 30x30 20 76.67 96.67 30x18 13.33 80 93.33 % lodging of rice as affected by irrigation practices when combined with different ages of seedlings and different spacings in trials done in Chiba, Japan (Chapagain and Yamaji, Paddy and Water Environment, 2009)
  • 17. Resistance to cold temperatures: Yield and meteorological data from ANGRAU, A.P., India Period Mean max. temp. 0C Mean min. temp. 0C 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 # Sudden drop in minimum temp. for 5 days (16–21 Dec = 9.2-9.9o C ) Season Normal (t/ha) SRI (t/ha) Kharif 2006 0.21* 4.16 Rabi 2005-06 2.25 3.47 * Low yield was due to cold injury to plants (see below)
  • 18. Comparison of methane and nitrous oxide emissions (GHGs) CT SRI kgCH4/ha 0 200 400 600 800 1000 840.1 237.6 72 % Treatment Emission (kg/ha) CO2 ton/ha equivalentCH4 N2O CT 840.1 0 17.6 SRI 237.6 0.074 5.0
  • 19. SRI practices are being used beyond RICE: Farmer-led innovations with civil society help in: • Wheat (SWI) -- India, Nepal, Ethiopia, Mali • Sugarcane (SSI) -- India, Cuba • Finger millet (SFMI) -- India, Ethiopia • Mustard/rapeseed/canola (SMI) -- India • Teff (STI) -- Ethiopia • Sorghum (SSI2) – Ethiopia • Turmeric (STI2) -- India System of Crop Intensification (SCI): maize, black gram, green gram, red gram, tomatoes, chillies, eggplant, sesame, etc. -- India, Ethiopia
  • 20. WHEAT: SWI (left) vs. conventional plants in Bihar, India
  • 21. Phenotypical differences in wheat panicles with SWI practice seen in Nepal
  • 22. TEF: Application of SRI concepts and practices to growing tef (STI) in Ethiopia, most popular grain Left: transplanted tef Right: broadcasted tef Conventional yield usually only 1 t/ha, STI = 3 to 5 t/ha; with micronutrient amendments, yields 6 t/ha and higher
  • 23. Good STI tef crop in Tigray province of Ethiopia
  • 24. ICRISAT-WWF Sugarcane Initiative: • 20-100% more cane yield, with • 30% reduction in water, and • 25% reduction in chemical inputs “The inspiration for putting this package together is from the successful approach of SRI – System of Rice Intensification.”
  • 25. SUGARCANE: SSI cane plants seen in India – SSI is now getting started in Cuba, known as SiCAS
  • 26. What is creating these changes? • Growth and health of ROOT systems • Greater abundance, activity and diversity of beneficial SOIL ORGANISMS SRI practices promote the LIFE IN THE SOIL and this life, in turn, can nurture us and feed us!
  • 27. SRI is ‘not finished’ • It should be seen as still a work in progress • We see learning, modification, and further expansion -- continuous farmer innovation • SRI is NOT A TECHNOLOGY -- it is IDEAS -- SRI is more like a menu than a recipe • SRI mobilizes biological potentials and processes, rather than depend so much on costly chemical inputs or new varieties • Most important, SRI is farmer-friendly and environmentally-friendly – resistant to climate change and even mitigating this