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Opportunities for
Improving Asian Agriculture
Agroecologically:
Observations from the
System of Rice Intensification
ECHO ...
What is Agroecology?
Most simply: a superdiscipline based on
concepts/ principles/insights/practices
that rely on changes ...
Agroecological principles
understand and manage
crops and animals
not as isolated species --
but as organisms that always
...
‘Ascending Migration of Endophytic Rhizobia,
from Roots and Leaves, inside Rice Plants and
Assessment of Benefits to Rice ...
Agroecological principle #1:
SUPPORT the recycling of
biomass to optimize nutrient
availability in the soil and balance
nu...
Agroecological principle #2:
PROVIDE the most favorable
soil conditions which enhance
soil structure and the
functioning o...
Agroecological principle #3:
MINIMIZE losses of energy
and other growth factors
within plants’ microenvironments
-- both a...
Agroecological principle #4:
DIVERSIFY the species and
the genetic resources within
agroecosystems, both
over time and ove...
Agroecological principle #5:
ENHANCE beneficial biological
interactions and synergies
among all of the components of
agrob...
Agroecology can be summarized in
these recommendations:
1. Enhance the life in the soil
(in soil systems), recognizing the...
CUBA: rice plants of
same variety (VN 2084)
and same age (52 DAP)
What is SRI?
Most simply, SRI is a set of concepts/
principles/insights/practices that
change the management of
plants, so...
CAMBODIA: Farmer in
Takeo Province: yield of
6.72 tons/ha > 2-3 t/ha
NEPAL:
Single rice
plant grown
with SRI
methods,
Morang
district
MALI: Farmer in the
Timbuktu region showing
the difference between
‘normal’ rice and SRI
rice plant
2007: 1st year trials ...
  SRI Control
Farmer
Practice
Yield t/ha* 9.1 5.49 4.86
Standard Error (SE) 0.24 0.27 0.18
SRI compared to
Control (%)
+ 6...
Indonesia:
Rice plants
same variety
and same age
in Lombok
Province
Indonesia: Results of on-farm
comparative evaluations of SRI
by Nippon Koei team, 2002-06
• No. of trials: 12,133 (over 9 ...
AFGHANISTAN: SRI field in Baghlan Province, supported by
Aga Khan Foundation Natural Resource Management program
SRI field in Baghlan Province, Afghanistan at 30 days
SRI rice plant @
72 days after
transplanting –
133 tillers
Yield was
calculated at
11.56 tons/ha
IRAQ: Comparison trials at Al-Mishkhab Rice Research Station, Najaf
SRI originated in Madagascar
Initially called le Systéme
de Riziculture Intensive
(in Latin America, SICA)
by Henri de Lau...
Fr. de Laulanié
making field visit
shortly before his
death in 1995
MADAGASCAR: Rice field grown with SRI methods
Rice sector needs in 21st
century
(IRRI/DG, Intl. Year of Rice, 2004)
• Increased land productivity-- higher yield
• Highe...
SRI practices can meet all these needs:
• Higher yields by 50-100%, or more
• Water reduction of 25-50% (also rainfed)
• L...
Additional benefits of SRI practice:
• Time to maturity reduced by 1-2 weeks
• Milling outturn is higher by about 15%
• Ot...
Requirements/constraints for SRI:
For best results, we need:
•Water control to apply small amounts
reliably (rainfed SRI n...
SRI is Ideas/Insights; not Technology
1. Use young seedlings to preserve growth potential
-- however, direct seeding is be...
Two Paradigms for Agriculture:
• GREEN REVOLUTION strategy was to:
(a) Change the genetic potential of plants, and
(b) Inc...
SRI
0
50
100
150
200
250
300
IH H FH MR WR YRStage
Organdryweight(g/hill)
CK
I H H FH MR WR YR
Yellow
leaf and
sheath
Pani...
China National Rice Research Institute
(CNRRI): factorial trials, 2004 & 2005
using two super-hybrid varieties --
seeking ...
Average super-rice YIELD (kg/ha) with new rice
management (SRI) vs.standard rice management
at different PLANT DENSITIES h...
0
2000
4000
6000
8000
10000
12000
14000
0 100 200
N uptake (kg/ha)
Grainyield(kg/ha)
Grain yield SRI
(kg/ha)
Grainyield Co...
SRI LANKA: Rice paddies,with same soil, same variety,
same irrigation system and same drought, three weeks
after water was...
Journal of Sichuan Agricultural Science and Technology
(2009), Vol. 2, No. 23
“Introduction of Land-Cover Integrated Techn...
VIETNAM: Farmer in Dông Trù village – after typhoon
Reduction in Diseases and Pests
Vietnam National IPM Program evaluation
based on data from 8 provinces, 2005-06
Spring sea...
PeriodPeriod Mean max.Mean max.
temp.temp. 00
CC
Mean min.Mean min.
temp.temp. 00
CC
No. ofNo. of
sunshine hrssunshine hrs...
Measured Differences in Grain Quality
Conv. Methods SRI Methods
Characteristic (3 spacings) (3 spacings) Difference
Chalky...
Status of SRI: As of 1999
Known and practiced only in Madagascar
Spread of SRI demonstrations and use in 10 years
Up to 1999 Madagascar
1999-2000 China, Indonesia
2000-01 Bangladesh, Camb...
THANK YOU
• Web page:
http://ciifad.cornell.edu/sri/
• Email: ciifad@cornell.edu or
ntu1@cornell.edu
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0955 Opportunities for Improving Asian Agriculture Agroecology: Observations from the System of Rice Intensificatiion

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Presented by: Norman Uphoff, CIIFAD, Cornell University, USA

Presented at: ECHO Conference on Asian Agriculture Chiangmai, Thailand

Presented on: September 21, 2009

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0955 Opportunities for Improving Asian Agriculture Agroecology: Observations from the System of Rice Intensificatiion

  1. 1. Opportunities for Improving Asian Agriculture Agroecologically: Observations from the System of Rice Intensification ECHO Conference on Asian Agriculture Chiangmai – September 21, 2009 Norman Uphoff Cornell University
  2. 2. What is Agroecology? Most simply: a superdiscipline based on concepts/ principles/insights/practices that rely on changes in the management of plants, soil, water & nutrients -- to capitalize on existing genetic potentials in crops, animals and soil systems, rather than on (a) changes in genetic potentials, or (b) external inputs -- to get more productive phenotypes thru ecological dynamics/interactions
  3. 3. Agroecological principles understand and manage crops and animals not as isolated species -- but as organisms that always function (having evolved) in an ecological context
  4. 4. ‘Ascending Migration of Endophytic Rhizobia, from Roots and Leaves, inside Rice Plants and Assessment of Benefits to Rice Growth Physiology’ Feng Chi et al.(2005), Applied and Envir. Microbiology 71, 7271-7278 Rhizo- bium test strain Total plant root volume/ pot (cm3 ) Shoot dry weight/ pot (g) Net photo- synthetic rate (μmol-2 s-1 ) Water utilization efficiency Area (cm2 ) of flag leaf Grain yield/ pot (g) Ac-ORS571 210 ± 36A 63 ± 2A 16.42 ± 1.39A 3.62 ± 0.17BC 17.64 ± 4.94ABC 86 ± 5A SM-1021 180 ± 26A 67 ± 5A 14.99 ± 1.64B 4.02 ± 0.19AB 20.03 ± 3.92A 86 ± 4A SM-1002 168 ± 8AB 52 ± 4BC 13.70 ± 0.73B 4.15 ± 0.32A 19.58 ± 4.47AB 61 ± 4B R1-2370 175 ± 23A 61 ± 8AB 13.85 ± 0.38B 3.36 ± 0.41C 18.98 ± 4.49AB 64 ± 9B Mh-93 193 ± 16A 67 ± 4A 13.86 ± 0.76B 3.18 ± 0.25CD 16.79 ± 3.43BC 77 ± 5A Control 130 ± 10B 47 ± 6C 10.23 ± 1.03C 2.77 ± 0.69D 15.24 ± 4.0C 51 ± 4C
  5. 5. Agroecological principle #1: SUPPORT the recycling of biomass to optimize nutrient availability in the soil and balance nutrient flows in the soil and biosphere over time
  6. 6. Agroecological principle #2: PROVIDE the most favorable soil conditions which enhance soil structure and the functioning of soil systems, esp. by managing organic matter and by enhancing soil biotic activity
  7. 7. Agroecological principle #3: MINIMIZE losses of energy and other growth factors within plants’ microenvironments -- both above & below ground -- in ways that can maximize resource-use efficiency
  8. 8. Agroecological principle #4: DIVERSIFY the species and the genetic resources within agroecosystems, both over time and over space
  9. 9. Agroecological principle #5: ENHANCE beneficial biological interactions and synergies among all of the components of agrobiodiversity, thereby promoting key ecological processes and services (Reijntjes et al., 1992; Altieri 2002;)
  10. 10. Agroecology can be summarized in these recommendations: 1. Enhance the life in the soil (in soil systems), recognizing the precedence of soil biology which shapes soil’s chemistry and physics 2.Improve the growing environment (E) of crops in order to induce more productive phenotypes from any given crop genotype (G)
  11. 11. CUBA: rice plants of same variety (VN 2084) and same age (52 DAP)
  12. 12. What is SRI? Most simply, SRI is a set of concepts/ principles/insights/practices that change the management of plants, soil, water & nutrients: (a) to produce larger, more effective, longer-lived ROOT SYSTEMS, and (b) to enrich the LIFE IN THE SOIL to achieve more productive,healthier PHENOTYPES from any GENOTYPE
  13. 13. CAMBODIA: Farmer in Takeo Province: yield of 6.72 tons/ha > 2-3 t/ha
  14. 14. NEPAL: Single rice plant grown with SRI methods, Morang district
  15. 15. MALI: Farmer in the Timbuktu region showing the difference between ‘normal’ rice and SRI rice plant 2007: 1st year trials - SRI yield 8.98 t/ha control yield 6.7 t/ha (best mgmt practices) 2008: trials expanded with 5 farmers in 12 villages doing on-farm comparison trials (N=60)
  16. 16.   SRI Control Farmer Practice Yield t/ha* 9.1 5.49 4.86 Standard Error (SE) 0.24 0.27 0.18 SRI compared to Control (%) + 66 100 -11 SRI compared to Farmer Practice (%) + 87 + 13 100 Number of Farmers 53 53 60 • * adjusted to 14% grain moisture content Rice grain yield for SRI plots, control plots, and farmer-practice plots, Goundam circle, Timbuktu region, 2008
  17. 17. Indonesia: Rice plants same variety and same age in Lombok Province
  18. 18. Indonesia: Results of on-farm comparative evaluations of SRI by Nippon Koei team, 2002-06 • No. of trials: 12,133 (over 9 seasons) • Total area covered: 9,429.1 hectares • Ave. increase in yield: 3.3 t/ha (78%) • Reduction in water requirements: 40% • Reduction in fertilizer use: 50% • Reduction in costs of production: 20% (Sato and Uphoff, CAB Review, 2007)
  19. 19. AFGHANISTAN: SRI field in Baghlan Province, supported by Aga Khan Foundation Natural Resource Management program
  20. 20. SRI field in Baghlan Province, Afghanistan at 30 days
  21. 21. SRI rice plant @ 72 days after transplanting – 133 tillers Yield was calculated at 11.56 tons/ha
  22. 22. IRAQ: Comparison trials at Al-Mishkhab Rice Research Station, Najaf
  23. 23. SRI originated in Madagascar Initially called le Systéme de Riziculture Intensive (in Latin America, SICA) by Henri de Laulanié, SJ, who, by 1984, assembled SRI’s counterintuitive practices after 2 decades of working with small, poor farmers to improve their production and incomes without requiring any dependence on inputs
  24. 24. Fr. de Laulanié making field visit shortly before his death in 1995
  25. 25. MADAGASCAR: Rice field grown with SRI methods
  26. 26. Rice sector needs in 21st century (IRRI/DG, Intl. Year of Rice, 2004) • Increased land productivity-- higher yield • Higher water productivity -- crop per drop • Technology that is accessible for the poor • Technology that is environmentally friendly • Greater resistance to pests and diseases • Tolerance of abiotic stresses (climate change) • Better grain quality for consumers, and • Greater profitability for farmers
  27. 27. SRI practices can meet all these needs: • Higher yields by 50-100%, or more • Water reduction of 25-50% (also rainfed) • Little need for capital expenditure • Little or no need for agrochemical inputs • Pest and disease resistance • Drought tolerance, and little/no lodging • Better grain quality, less chalkiness • Lower costs of production by 10-20% → resulting in higher income for farmers
  28. 28. Additional benefits of SRI practice: • Time to maturity reduced by 1-2 weeks • Milling outturn is higher by about 15% • Other crops’ performance is also being improved by SRI concepts and practices, e.g., wheat, sugar cane, millet, teff, others • Human resource development for farmers through participatory approach • Diversification and modernization of smallholder agriculture; can adapt to larger- scale production through mechanization
  29. 29. Requirements/constraints for SRI: For best results, we need: •Water control to apply small amounts reliably (rainfed SRI now being developed) •More labor at first during learning phase; but SRI can even become labor-saving --also, SRI practices can become mechanized •Skill and motivation of farmers is key! •Crop protection in some situations SRI is a matter of degree more than of kind
  30. 30. SRI is Ideas/Insights; not Technology 1. Use young seedlings to preserve growth potential -- however, direct seeding is becoming an option 2. Avoid trauma to the roots --transplant quickly, carefully, shallow; no inversion of root tips upward 3. Give plants wider spacing – one plant per hill, square pattern for better root/canopy growth 4. Soil is kept moist but unflooded – mostly aerobic, not continuously saturated (hypoxic) 5. Actively aerate the soil as much as possible 6. Enhance soil organic matter as much as possible Practices 1-3 support more PLANT growth; practices 4-6 enhance the growth and health of ROOTS and soil BIOTA
  31. 31. Two Paradigms for Agriculture: • GREEN REVOLUTION strategy was to: (a) Change the genetic potential of plants, and (b) Increase the use of external inputs -- more water, more fertilizer and biocides • SRI (AGROECOLOGY) changes instead the management of plants, soil, water & nutrients: (a) Promote the growth of root systems, and (b) Increase the abundance and diversity of soil organisms to better enlist their benefits The goal is to produce better PHENOTYPES
  32. 32. SRI 0 50 100 150 200 250 300 IH H FH MR WR YRStage Organdryweight(g/hill) CK I H H FH MR WR YR Yellow leaf and sheath Panicle Leaf Sheath Stem 47.9% 34.7% “Non-Flooding Rice Farming Technology in Irrigated Paddy Field” Dr. Tao Longxing, China National Rice Research Institute, 2004
  33. 33. China National Rice Research Institute (CNRRI): factorial trials, 2004 & 2005 using two super-hybrid varieties -- seeking to break ‘plateau’ limiting yields Standard Rice Mgmt • 30-day seedlings • 20x20 cm spacing • Continuous flooding • Fertilization: – 100% chemical New Rice Mgmt (~SRI) • 20-day seedlings • 30x30 cm spacing • Alternate wetting and drying (AWD) • Fertilization: – 50% chemical, – 50% organic
  34. 34. Average super-rice YIELD (kg/ha) with new rice management (SRI) vs.standard rice management at different PLANT DENSITIES ha-1 0 1000 2000 3000 4000 5000 6000 7000 8000 9000 10000 150,000 180,000 210,000 NRM SRM
  35. 35. 0 2000 4000 6000 8000 10000 12000 14000 0 100 200 N uptake (kg/ha) Grainyield(kg/ha) Grain yield SRI (kg/ha) Grainyield Conv (kg/ha) Poly.:Grain yield SRI (kg/ha) Poly.: Grain yield Conv. (kg/ha) Rice grain yield response to N uptake Regression relationship between N uptake and grain yield for SRI and conventional methods using QUEFTS model (Barison, 2002) – same for P and K
  36. 36. SRI LANKA: Rice paddies,with same soil, same variety, same irrigation system and same drought, three weeks after water was stopped: conventional (left), SRI (right)
  37. 37. Journal of Sichuan Agricultural Science and Technology (2009), Vol. 2, No. 23 “Introduction of Land-Cover Integrated Technologies with Water Saving and High Yield” -- Lv S.H., Zeng X.Z., Ren G.H., Zhang F.S. Yield increase in normal year is 150-200 kg/mu (2.25-3.0 t/ha); while in drought year, increase is 200 kg/mu or more (≥3.0 t/ha) • In a normal year, net income with the new methods can be increased from 100 ¥/mu to 600-800 ¥/mu, i.e., from $220/ha to >$1,500/ha, while • In drought year with the new methods, net income can go from a loss of 200-300 ¥/mu to a profit of 300-500 ¥/mu, i.e., from a loss of $550/ha to a profit of $880/ha
  38. 38. VIETNAM: Farmer in Dông Trù village – after typhoon
  39. 39. Reduction in Diseases and Pests Vietnam National IPM Program evaluation based on data from 8 provinces, 2005-06 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
  40. 40. PeriodPeriod Mean max.Mean max. temp.temp. 00 CC Mean min.Mean min. temp.temp. 00 CC No. ofNo. of sunshine hrssunshine hrs 1 – 151 – 15 NovNov 27.727.7 19.219.2 4.94.9 16–3016–30 NovNov 29.629.6 17.917.9 7.57.5 1 – 15 Dec1 – 15 Dec 29.129.1 14.614.6 8.68.6 16–31 Dec16–31 Dec 28.128.1 12.212.2** 8.68.6 Meteorological and yield data from ANGRAU IPM evaluation, Andhra Pradesh, India, 2006 SeasonSeason Normal (t/ha)Normal (t/ha) SRI (t/ha)SRI (t/ha) Rabi 2005-06Rabi 2005-06 2.252.25 3.473.47 Kharif 2006Kharif 2006 0.21*0.21* 4.164.16 * Low yield due to cold injury (see above) *Sudden drop in min. temp. during 16–21 Dec. (9.2-9.8o C for 5 days)
  41. 41. Measured Differences in Grain Quality Conv. Methods SRI Methods Characteristic (3 spacings) (3 spacings) Difference Chalky kernels (%) 39.89 – 41.07 23.62 – 32.47 -30.7% General chalkiness (%) 6.74 – 7.17 1.02 – 4.04 -65.7% Milled rice outturn (%) 41.54 – 51.46 53.58 – 54.41 +16.1% Head milled rice (%) 38.87 – 39.99 41.81 – 50.84 +17.5% Paper by Prof. Ma Jun, Sichuan Agricultural University, presented at 10th conference on “Theory and Practice for High-Quality, High-Yielding Rice in China,” Haerbin, 8/2004
  42. 42. Status of SRI: As of 1999 Known and practiced only in Madagascar
  43. 43. Spread of SRI demonstrations and use in 10 years Up to 1999 Madagascar 1999-2000 China, Indonesia 2000-01 Bangladesh, Cambodia, Cuba, India, Laos, Nepal, Myanmar, Philippines, Gambia, Sierra Leone, Sri Lanka, Thailand 2002-03 Benin, Guinea, Mozambique, Peru 2004-05 Senegal, Mali, Pakistan, Vietnam 2006 Burkina Faso, Bhutan, Iran, Iraq, Zambia 2007 Afghanistan 2008 Brazil, Egypt, Rwanda, Ecuador, Costa Rica, Timor Leste 2009 Ghana . . .
  44. 44. THANK YOU • Web page: http://ciifad.cornell.edu/sri/ • Email: ciifad@cornell.edu or ntu1@cornell.edu

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