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0307 Possible Explanations for Productivity Gains Achieved with the Water-Saving

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Presenter: Norman Uphoff

International Symposium on ‘Transitions in Agriculture for Enhancing Water Productivity' TNAU, Killikulam, India

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0307 Possible Explanations for Productivity Gains Achieved with the Water-Saving

  1. 1. Possible Explanations for Productivity Gains Achieved with the Water-Saving System of Rice Intensification (SRI) Norman Uphoff, Cornell University, International Symposium on ‘Transitions in Agriculture for Enhancing Water Productivity’ TNAU, Killikulam, September 23, 2003
  2. 2. What Is SRI? <ul><li>Methodology for raising productivity in irrigated rice production, developed in Madagascar </li></ul><ul><li>SRI methods increase concurrently the productivity of land, labor, capital and WATER </li></ul><ul><li>By changing conventional practices for managing plants, soil, water and nutrients, SRI methods give more productive phenotypes -- all varieties </li></ul><ul><li>Young transplants (<15 days), planted singly in square pattern, with wider spacing (25x25cm or more), and no continuous flooding during the period of vegetative growth </li></ul>
  3. 3. What Are the Results of SRI? <ul><li>Increased tillering -- 30-50 tillers/plant, or more </li></ul><ul><li>Larger root systems -- 5-6x more resistance to uprooting </li></ul><ul><li>Bigger panicles -- 200-300 grains/panicle </li></ul><ul><li>Positive correlation between number of tillers/plant and number of grains/panicle -- contrary to negative relationship usually reported in the literature (Ying et al. 1998) </li></ul><ul><li>More resistance to pests/diseases and drought </li></ul><ul><li>Lodging very rare; possibility of a ratoon crop </li></ul><ul><li>Higher YIELDS ~ 7 t.ha -1 – even over 15 t.ha -1 </li></ul>
  4. 4. How Are These Results Achieved? <ul><li>With no change of varieties -- HYVs and hybrids give the highest yields with SRI, but local varieties can produce 6-10 t/ha </li></ul><ul><li>With no application of chemical fertilizers -- these raise yield with SRI, but better result with compost </li></ul><ul><li>With no need to apply agrochemicals , and </li></ul><ul><li>With significant water savings -- irrigation water can be reduced ~ 50% -- need good water control </li></ul><ul><li>SRI does require more labor -- at least initially; can become labor-saving over time </li></ul><ul><li>SRI requires more skill and management effort </li></ul>
  5. 5. Too Good to Be True? <ul><li>Comparison Yields vs. SRI Average and Max. t.ha -1 </li></ul><ul><li>Country Comp. Yields Ave. SRI Yields Ave. SRI Max. </li></ul><ul><li>BANGLADESH 4.9 6.3 7.1 </li></ul><ul><li>CAMBODIA 2.1 4.4 8.5 </li></ul><ul><li>CHINA (hybrids) 10.9 12.8 14.8 </li></ul><ul><li>CUBA 6.2 9.8 12.7 </li></ul><ul><li>GAMBIA 2.3 7.1 8.8 </li></ul><ul><li>INDONESIA 4.8 8.2 9.0 </li></ul><ul><li>LAOS 3.3 3.3 7.0 </li></ul><ul><li>MADAGASCAR 2.6 7.2 13.9 </li></ul><ul><li>NEPAL 4.4 8.1 11.1 </li></ul><ul><li>PHILIPPINES 3.0 6.0 7.4 </li></ul><ul><li>SIERRA LEONE 2.6 5.3 7.4 </li></ul><ul><li>SRI LANKA 3.6 7.8 14.3 </li></ul><ul><li>Average 3.9 7.0 10.1 </li></ul>

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