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THE EVOLUTION OF the SYSTEM OF RICE 
INTENSIFICATION: WHAT HAVE WE LEARNT? 
IRC14-1350 
Dang Bao Nguyet, Le Nguyet Minh 
System of Rice Intensification (SRI) focuses on 
better husbandry of hand-planted rice crops. 
Growers do the following: 
• Carefully transplant single seedlings at the two-leaf stage 
(8-12 days old). 
• Plant seedlings at a distance of 25 cm or greater in a square pattern. 
• Keep soil moist and aerated. 
• Fertilize with compost, and add chemical fertilizer only if needed. 
The resulting larger, healthier root systems give higher yields with less 
water, fewer inputs such as seeds, and fewer methane gas emissions 
from paddies. 
Originating in Madagascar in the 1980s, SRI is now applied by nearly 8 
million farmers in more than 50 countries, contributing substantially to 
food security and environmental sustainability. 
Purpose and Research Method: 
Understanding how SRI could spread and its multi-fold impact on 
people and the planet are important areas of inquiry. 
We employed a meta-evaluation for 431 peer-reviewed and 
scientific journal articles published between 1990 and to April 
2014 with regard to SRI up-take and efficiency.1 The articles were 
classified according to publication year and countries where the 
experiments were conducted, and further categorized by 28 themes 
drawn from the main research topics and respective findings. 
Limitation is acknowledged in the research method that it does not 
provide an in-depth analysis at the country level; for instance, what 
specific aspects of SRI adoption were studied? The evaluation does 
not discuss specific findings or reliability and validity of all articles. 
Key results: 
• The most studied topics are productivity, rice growth dynamics, water management, and soil enrichment. 
• The least studied topics are the relationship between SRI and gender, SRI and return to labour, rice quality, profitability, and SRI as means of innovation. 
• Over 90 percent of the reviewed articles conclude that SRI leads to higher yields and less water use. 
• From the early 1990s to the mid 2000s, main focuses included productivity, adoption rate, and natural institutional conditions conducive to SRI adoption. 
• From middle 2000s onwards, a diverse set of issues was studied, including water use efficiency, SRI versus mechanization, SRI and pest control, 
environmental effects and sustainable agricultural production, SRI versus gender and return to labour, and SRI versus best management practices. 
• Studies were mostly concentrated in Asia, and to a much lesser extent in Africa, the Caribbean, and the Middle East. In Africa, Madagascar was most 
often studied. 
Recommendations: 
• Greater action and investment is needed to better understand the relationship between SRI and gender, rice quality, profitability, and SRI as means of 
innovation, noting that the same husbandry principles of SRI are applied to other crops and crop rotations. 
• Systematic collaboration between practitioners and the scientific community are needed to improve policy-making and ensure successful scaling up of 
SRI and these innovations. 
• It is of paramount importance to create a platform for more robust evaluation and research practice in the field of sustainable crop intensification in the future. 
SRI Journal Articles By Year Countries where experiments were conducted 
1. http://sri.ciifad.cornell.edu/ 
2. the articles are listed in the website of the CIIFAD (http://sri.ciifad.cornell.edu/) 
frequency of research theme by key words 
1990-2014
THE EVOLUTION OF the SYSTEM OF RICE 
INTENSIFICATION: WHAT HAVE WE LEARNT? 
Dang Bao Nguyet, Le Nguyet Minh 
System of Rice Intensification (SRI) focuses on 
better husbandry of hand-planted rice crops. 
Growers do the following: 
• Carefully transplant single seedlings at the two-leaf stage 
(8-12 days old). 
• Plant seedlings at a distance of 25 cm or greater in a square pattern. 
• Keep soil moist and aerated. 
• Fertilize with compost, and add chemical fertilizer only if needed. 
The resulting larger, healthier root systems give higher yields with less 
water, fewer inputs such as seeds, and fewer methane gas emissions 
from paddies. 
Originating in Madagascar in the 1980s, SRI is now applied by nearly 8 
million farmers in more than 50 countries, contributing substantially to 
food security and environmental sustainability. 
Purpose and Research Method: 
Understanding how SRI could spread and its multi-fold impact on 
people and the planet are important areas of inquiry. 
We employed a meta-evaluation for 431 peer-reviewed and 
scientific journal articles published between 1990 and to April 
2014 with regard to SRI up-take and efficiency.1 The articles were 
classified according to publication year and countries where the 
experiments were conducted, and further categorized by 28 themes 
drawn from the main research topics and respective findings. 
Limitation is acknowledged in the research method that it does not 
provide an in-depth analysis at the country level; for instance, what 
specific aspects of SRI adoption were studied? The evaluation does 
not discuss specific findings or reliability and validity of all articles. 
Key results: 
• The most studied topics are productivity, rice growth dynamics, water management, and soil enrichment. 
• The least studied topics are the relationship between SRI and gender, SRI and return to labour, rice quality, profitability, and SRI as means of innovation. 
• Over 90 percent of the reviewed articles conclude that SRI leads to higher yields and less water use. 
• From the early 1990s to the mid 2000s, main focuses included productivity, adoption rate, and natural institutional conditions conducive to SRI adoption. 
• From middle 2000s onwards, a diverse set of issues was studied, including water use efficiency, SRI versus mechanization, SRI and pest control, 
environmental effects and sustainable agricultural production, SRI versus gender and return to labour, and SRI versus best management practices. 
• Studies were mostly concentrated in Asia, and to a much lesser extent in Africa, the Caribbean, and the Middle East. In Africa, Madagascar was most 
often studied. 
Recommendations: 
• Greater action and investment is needed to better understand the relationship between SRI and gender, rice quality, profitability, and SRI as means of 
innovation, noting that the same husbandry principles of SRI are applied to other crops and crop rotations. 
• Systematic collaboration between practitioners and the scientific community are needed to improve policy-making and ensure successful scaling up of 
SRI and these innovations. 
• It is of paramount importance to create a platform for more robust evaluation and research practice in the field of sustainable crop intensification in the future. 
SRI Journal Articles By Year Countries where experiments were conducted 
1. http://sri.ciifad.cornell.edu/ 
2. the articles are listed in the website of the CIIFAD (http://sri.ciifad.cornell.edu/) 
frequency of research theme by key words 
1990-2014

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1141 - Evolution of the System of Rice Intensification - What Have We Learnt?

  • 1. THE EVOLUTION OF the SYSTEM OF RICE INTENSIFICATION: WHAT HAVE WE LEARNT? IRC14-1350 Dang Bao Nguyet, Le Nguyet Minh System of Rice Intensification (SRI) focuses on better husbandry of hand-planted rice crops. Growers do the following: • Carefully transplant single seedlings at the two-leaf stage (8-12 days old). • Plant seedlings at a distance of 25 cm or greater in a square pattern. • Keep soil moist and aerated. • Fertilize with compost, and add chemical fertilizer only if needed. The resulting larger, healthier root systems give higher yields with less water, fewer inputs such as seeds, and fewer methane gas emissions from paddies. Originating in Madagascar in the 1980s, SRI is now applied by nearly 8 million farmers in more than 50 countries, contributing substantially to food security and environmental sustainability. Purpose and Research Method: Understanding how SRI could spread and its multi-fold impact on people and the planet are important areas of inquiry. We employed a meta-evaluation for 431 peer-reviewed and scientific journal articles published between 1990 and to April 2014 with regard to SRI up-take and efficiency.1 The articles were classified according to publication year and countries where the experiments were conducted, and further categorized by 28 themes drawn from the main research topics and respective findings. Limitation is acknowledged in the research method that it does not provide an in-depth analysis at the country level; for instance, what specific aspects of SRI adoption were studied? The evaluation does not discuss specific findings or reliability and validity of all articles. Key results: • The most studied topics are productivity, rice growth dynamics, water management, and soil enrichment. • The least studied topics are the relationship between SRI and gender, SRI and return to labour, rice quality, profitability, and SRI as means of innovation. • Over 90 percent of the reviewed articles conclude that SRI leads to higher yields and less water use. • From the early 1990s to the mid 2000s, main focuses included productivity, adoption rate, and natural institutional conditions conducive to SRI adoption. • From middle 2000s onwards, a diverse set of issues was studied, including water use efficiency, SRI versus mechanization, SRI and pest control, environmental effects and sustainable agricultural production, SRI versus gender and return to labour, and SRI versus best management practices. • Studies were mostly concentrated in Asia, and to a much lesser extent in Africa, the Caribbean, and the Middle East. In Africa, Madagascar was most often studied. Recommendations: • Greater action and investment is needed to better understand the relationship between SRI and gender, rice quality, profitability, and SRI as means of innovation, noting that the same husbandry principles of SRI are applied to other crops and crop rotations. • Systematic collaboration between practitioners and the scientific community are needed to improve policy-making and ensure successful scaling up of SRI and these innovations. • It is of paramount importance to create a platform for more robust evaluation and research practice in the field of sustainable crop intensification in the future. SRI Journal Articles By Year Countries where experiments were conducted 1. http://sri.ciifad.cornell.edu/ 2. the articles are listed in the website of the CIIFAD (http://sri.ciifad.cornell.edu/) frequency of research theme by key words 1990-2014
  • 2. THE EVOLUTION OF the SYSTEM OF RICE INTENSIFICATION: WHAT HAVE WE LEARNT? Dang Bao Nguyet, Le Nguyet Minh System of Rice Intensification (SRI) focuses on better husbandry of hand-planted rice crops. Growers do the following: • Carefully transplant single seedlings at the two-leaf stage (8-12 days old). • Plant seedlings at a distance of 25 cm or greater in a square pattern. • Keep soil moist and aerated. • Fertilize with compost, and add chemical fertilizer only if needed. The resulting larger, healthier root systems give higher yields with less water, fewer inputs such as seeds, and fewer methane gas emissions from paddies. Originating in Madagascar in the 1980s, SRI is now applied by nearly 8 million farmers in more than 50 countries, contributing substantially to food security and environmental sustainability. Purpose and Research Method: Understanding how SRI could spread and its multi-fold impact on people and the planet are important areas of inquiry. We employed a meta-evaluation for 431 peer-reviewed and scientific journal articles published between 1990 and to April 2014 with regard to SRI up-take and efficiency.1 The articles were classified according to publication year and countries where the experiments were conducted, and further categorized by 28 themes drawn from the main research topics and respective findings. Limitation is acknowledged in the research method that it does not provide an in-depth analysis at the country level; for instance, what specific aspects of SRI adoption were studied? The evaluation does not discuss specific findings or reliability and validity of all articles. Key results: • The most studied topics are productivity, rice growth dynamics, water management, and soil enrichment. • The least studied topics are the relationship between SRI and gender, SRI and return to labour, rice quality, profitability, and SRI as means of innovation. • Over 90 percent of the reviewed articles conclude that SRI leads to higher yields and less water use. • From the early 1990s to the mid 2000s, main focuses included productivity, adoption rate, and natural institutional conditions conducive to SRI adoption. • From middle 2000s onwards, a diverse set of issues was studied, including water use efficiency, SRI versus mechanization, SRI and pest control, environmental effects and sustainable agricultural production, SRI versus gender and return to labour, and SRI versus best management practices. • Studies were mostly concentrated in Asia, and to a much lesser extent in Africa, the Caribbean, and the Middle East. In Africa, Madagascar was most often studied. Recommendations: • Greater action and investment is needed to better understand the relationship between SRI and gender, rice quality, profitability, and SRI as means of innovation, noting that the same husbandry principles of SRI are applied to other crops and crop rotations. • Systematic collaboration between practitioners and the scientific community are needed to improve policy-making and ensure successful scaling up of SRI and these innovations. • It is of paramount importance to create a platform for more robust evaluation and research practice in the field of sustainable crop intensification in the future. SRI Journal Articles By Year Countries where experiments were conducted 1. http://sri.ciifad.cornell.edu/ 2. the articles are listed in the website of the CIIFAD (http://sri.ciifad.cornell.edu/) frequency of research theme by key words 1990-2014