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0725 Promotional Policies for the System of Rice Intensification

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0725 Promotional Policies for the System of Rice Intensification

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Presenter: A. Ravindran, WASSAN, Hyderabad

Audience: 2nd National SRI Symposium, Agartala, India

Subject Country: Hyderabad, India

Presenter: A. Ravindran, WASSAN, Hyderabad

Audience: 2nd National SRI Symposium, Agartala, India

Subject Country: Hyderabad, India

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0725 Promotional Policies for the System of Rice Intensification

  1. 1. Promotional Policies for SRI Ravindra, A, WASSAN, Hyderabad www.wassan.org
  2. 2. <ul><li>“ SRI builds on the biological potential of rice plant by harnessing the complementarities of soil biological processes” </li></ul><ul><ul><li>SRI is a systems–approach, and it is also </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Knowledge-based </li></ul></ul>
  3. 3. Unfortunately…. <ul><li>The Green Revolution has only taught us input-centered extension methods </li></ul><ul><li>Component-based research and extension has little capacity to do ‘systems’ research </li></ul><ul><li>Weakening of the agriculture extension machinery systems (except for a few states) </li></ul><ul><li>Weakening of community/administration’s ability to streamline systems of (natural) resource management. </li></ul>
  4. 4. <ul><li>SRI reduces external inputs </li></ul><ul><li>With no new ‘inputs’ to promote or sell, therefore there are no private interests </li></ul><ul><li>Transfer of knowledge/skills can be difficult and take time </li></ul><ul><li>There are no vested interests to benefit </li></ul>WHY IS GOVERNMENT INITIATIVE NEEDED? 2 ways to view the up-scaling of SRI SRI is Nobody's ‘Business’!!
  5. 5. SRI should spread from farmer-to-farmer <ul><li>This gives a slow (?) organic growth, but it might be stable </li></ul><ul><li>May remain in a small niche of ‘alternative’ development, like ‘organic farming’, however, while mainstream agriculture remains in a different paradigm </li></ul><ul><li> Government’s role </li></ul><ul><li>Spend for more training and farmer-to-farmer exchange </li></ul><ul><li>More communication material prepared </li></ul><ul><li>Soft-push strategies like facilitating easy access to credit/custom hiring of equipment, etc. </li></ul><ul><li> Greater role for civil society initiative </li></ul>1
  6. 6. SRI should become a dominant paradigm <ul><li>Positioning it to have wider influence in view of the present: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Stagnation in agriculture production </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Crisis of farming: Debt cycle, pressures </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Make public investments as drivers of change & expanded scale </li></ul>2
  7. 7. Make a Paradigm Shift & Become Mainstream? <ul><ul><li>Reformulate extension towards: </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Spreading knowledge more than things </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Farmer-centered approach, promote farmer innovations </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Put together systems solutions </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Reformulate research towards: </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Systems improvements </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Move from on-station research to on-farm activity with researcher alliances with farmers & civil society </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Reformulate government support: </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Shift from short-term production centered approach to farming systems improvement </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Ease constraints, both material and mental </li></ul></ul></ul>
  8. 8. Constraints <ul><li>SRI requires increased management intensity (due to need for timely operations) </li></ul><ul><li>Perception of increased human labour </li></ul><ul><li>Need system for easy availability of implements </li></ul><ul><li>Water supply (irrigation/drainage) is not in the control of farmers </li></ul><ul><li>Added elements of risk / uncertainty affect farmers’ decision-making </li></ul>
  9. 9. Areas of Action <ul><li>Systems corrections – biomass/ manure, water, pest-management, operations, learning, etc. </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Local, community-centered, </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>External supply of inputs vs. systems improvement (soil fertility, pest management, etc.) </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Easing constraints </li></ul><ul><li>Give incentives for adoption </li></ul><ul><li>Underwrite mechanisms to protect against risks in adoption </li></ul>
  10. 10. Areas of Action <ul><li>Easing constraints: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Management support to farmers, e.g., SRI-knowledge workers / group-based solutions </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Facilitate custom hiring of implements </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Central nurseries, e.g., mat nurseries </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Invest in infrastructure -- drainage, land leveling, establishing biomass, etc. </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Promote SRI labour groups to work on contractual basis with a priori agreements </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Stronger experiential evidence still needs to emerge </li></ul></ul>
  11. 11. Areas of Action.. <ul><li>Incentivise adoption: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Price Incentives – segregation of produce may be an issue </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Labour wage incentives </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Topping-up wages </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Subsidise critical operations (like transplanting / weeding) </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Extend subsidies </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Input subsidies & additional subsidies as in A.P. (traditional) </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Subsidies for promotion vs subsidies for constraints / continuance </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Direct cash subsidy (easy to conceive, but issues in administering) </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Provision of water/ electricity </li></ul></ul>
  12. 12. Situation-Specific Strategies <ul><li>Typologies of rice systems across the country to be worked out </li></ul><ul><li>Mapping of typology-specific constraints and opportunities </li></ul><ul><li>Evolving typology-specific policy options and ‘drivers’ for up-scaling SRI use </li></ul><ul><li>Identifying and supporting typology-specific investment options </li></ul>
  13. 13. The Missing Actor <ul><li>So far, SRI has been mostly in the realm of: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Farmers </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>NGOs, and </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Researchers </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Time for Administrators to join the other actors, </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>to complete the chain of action, e.g., in Tripura </li></ul></ul>
  14. 14. SRI needs a Critical Minimum Scale for concrete solutions to emerge and for take-off State support is needed up till that point at least

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