0714 Some Agro-ecological and Institutional Aspects of the System of Rice Intensification (SRI): The Bangladesh Case

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Presenter: A. M. Muazzam Husain

Audience: 2nd National SRI Symposium, Agartala, India

Subject Country: Bangladesh

Published in: Technology, Business
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0714 Some Agro-ecological and Institutional Aspects of the System of Rice Intensification (SRI): The Bangladesh Case

  1. 1. Some Agro-ecological and Institutional Aspects of the System of Rice Intensification (SRI): The Bangladesh Case Prof. A. M. Muazzam Husain Coordinator SRI National Network Bangladesh
  2. 2. Introduction : <ul><li>The paper discusses some agro-ecological and institutional constraints to effective application of SRI method in Bangladesh </li></ul><ul><li>Results of some SRI trials are also presented to show the impact of SRI in the country </li></ul>
  3. 3. A. Agro-ecological Constraints <ul><li>Unfavourable soil condition: sandy soil affects irrigation mgmt, raises cost (28% of total cost in RBP area), and adversely affects yield </li></ul><ul><li>Climatic factors: rainfall and submergence of rice plots prevent irrigation control during Kharif (wet season) - no drainage is possible; thus SRI has been restricted to Rabi season so far </li></ul><ul><li>Fall in temperature: cold wave and fog during Rabi (winter) season causes cold injury to young plants resulting in stunting and seedling mortality; transplantation is often delayed, affecting yield </li></ul>
  4. 4. B. Cross-cutting factors <ul><li>Soil nutrient depletion due to : </li></ul><ul><li>High cropping intensity (average 178%) </li></ul><ul><li>Increased demand for food results in high cropping intensity </li></ul><ul><li>Imbalanced and exclusive use of chemical fertiliser </li></ul><ul><li>Drastic fall in organic fertilizer due to replacement of animal draft power by power tiller </li></ul><ul><li>Rice mono-cropping in many areas means no crop rotation </li></ul><ul><li>Use of cow dung and crop residues as fuel has led to organic manure and biomass shortage </li></ul>
  5. 5. Cross Cutting Factors …… continued <ul><li>- In 70% of medium-high and high land soil, organic matter has gone below critical level </li></ul><ul><li>Reluctance to Weeding </li></ul><ul><li>- Farmers are habituated to keep plots flooded to reduce need for weeding </li></ul><ul><li>- Weeding is considered to increase labour cost and time </li></ul><ul><li>What to do: </li></ul><ul><li>- As weeding helps in controlling weeds and aeration of the soil facilitates nutrient uptake, rotary weeders may be supplied that reduce time and cost, and they add biomass into the soil. Extension staff may motivate farmers and show them benefits </li></ul>
  6. 6. C. Institutional Constraints <ul><li>Water management problems in isolated SRI plots : </li></ul><ul><li>- Transplantation of SRI seedlings gets delayed for </li></ul><ul><li>non-availability of water </li></ul><ul><li>- Transplanting SRI seedlings with non-SRI older </li></ul><ul><li>seedlings causes late flowering and seed formation </li></ul><ul><li>in SRI plots </li></ul><ul><li> - Lack of water adversely affects grain formation </li></ul><ul><li>of SRI plants </li></ul><ul><li> - Increased pest infestation and yield loss </li></ul>
  7. 7. Institutional Constraints ….. Contd. <ul><li>A way out : </li></ul><ul><li>Community/command area approach is a solution to irrigation problem - benefits documented by ActionAid experience during 2006-07 Boro season include: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Easier management of irrigation, fertiliser application, weeding, and pest control </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Production cost is lower </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Yield and profitability are higher </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Farmers can harvest crop at same time, and </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Demonstration effect is better </li></ul></ul>
  8. 8. Institutional Constraints……. Contd . <ul><li>Lack of government policy support </li></ul><ul><li>General apathy of most rice scientists at BRRI </li></ul><ul><li>Sporadic and individual level interest shown by DAE in the past – technical support now increasing </li></ul><ul><li>Lack of interest from large national NGOs </li></ul><ul><li>Several international NGOs like Oxfam GB and ActionAid are showing interest to improve food security for resource-poor households, but on limited scale and often in unfavourable areas </li></ul>
  9. 9. Results of selected SRI trials: PETRRA SP 36 02 Farmer participation, acreage, yield gain, and economic returns 2002-03 2003-04 No. of SRI farmers 487 791 Acreage 41 79 SRI yield gain (%) 19-37 23-30 Gain in SRI return (%) 32-82 35-73
  10. 10. Comparative yields, returns and BCR of different methods in Satkhira, 2002-03 * Indicator SRI BRRI Farmers’ practice Yield (tons/ha) 6.03 5.79 4.06 Net returns (‘000 Taka/ha) 51.26 49.22 34.51 Benefit-cost ratio 1.9 1.8 1.l3 * PETRRA SP 34 02
  11. 11. Monitored farmers and average yield gains in Oxfam GB and ActionAid studies, 2005-06 and 2006-07 Particulars Oxfam GB ActionAid 2005-06 2006-07 2005-2006 2006-2007 No. of farmers monitored 10 45 85 185 Yield gains (%)* 25 42 36 37 *Yield figure for 2006-2007 are preliminary estimates
  12. 12. Impact of SRI in Bangladesh <ul><li>Agronomic and economic findings of SRI trials have been positive </li></ul><ul><li>Farmers’ perceptions are also positive </li></ul><ul><li>However, trials were conducted on a small scale and on isolated plots – trials were sporadic and short-lived </li></ul><ul><li>Trials were abandoned before farmers could adopt the new method (SRI) with confidence </li></ul><ul><li>Lack of funding source and institutional support for conducting large-scale trials </li></ul><ul><li>As a result, country-wide impact has so far been modest </li></ul>
  13. 13. Concluding remarks <ul><li>Even with an early start (1999-2000), progress and impact of SRI in Bangladesh has been modest due to various factors mentioned </li></ul><ul><li>The SRI NNB recently received some funds for promotional activities, a MOU was signed with DAE for undertaking a national SRI promotion programme, a few international NGOs are extending their support for replication of SRI, and a few other institutions including BAU plan to come forward to work on SRI </li></ul><ul><li>With these recent welcome changes, the SRI NNB hopes to help create a significant impact on adoption rate of SRI in the country in near future </li></ul>
  14. 14. Thank YOU

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