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Agroecological Crop Management
  for Increased Productivity --
 Experience with Rice and Other Crops

         Norman Uphoff, SRI-Rice
          Cornell University, USA


 6th International Seminar on Agricultural Policies,
          Santo Domingo, 24 January 2013
    Instituto Interamericano de Cooperation
            para la Agricultura (IICA)
What is called ‘modern agriculture’ has been
     very successful over past 50 years
  The question arises, however: under the
 present and foreseeable conditions of the
   21st century, should we continue doing
    more of the same in the agricultural
     sector? Even if we can do it better ?

Should be we considering other strategies?
Shouldn’t we be developing ‘post-modern
 agriculture’ to the extent that new ideas
 and methods are empirically validated?
Changing conditions in the 21st century will
make doing more of the same less tenable
• Arable land area per capita is reducing as
  • Populations continue to grow
  • Land area is being lost to urban spread
  • Land degradation is increasing year by year, so
  • Land-extensive agriculture makes less sense
• Water supply for agriculture is declining:
  • Competing demands for domestic use and industry
  • Climate change is reducing amount and reliability
• Pests and diseases are likely to increase
   In US, crop losses to insects increased from 7% to 13% at
   the same time that farmers’ insecticide use increased by
• Future energy prices will surely be higher
than they were in the past century, raising:
  • Production costs: fuel, fertilizer, agrochemicals
  • Transport costs: long-distance trade more costly
• Climate change will become more adverse
  • Its impact will be greatest in many LDCs
• Accessibility of technology remains big issue
  • The Green Revolution by-passed most of the
  world’s poor & hungry; we must meet their needs
• Agricultural productivity gains have slowed
  • Our technology is giving diminishing returns
Is there any alternative?
  Fortunately, there are other strategies that
   deserve to be considered and evaluated

The current strategy achieved its epitome in the
 Green Revolution, successful in much of Asia
     and in various parts of Latin America
Core elements of the Green Revolution were:
• Developing ‘improved’ varieties (genotypes)
 •Applying more agrochemical (synthetic) inputs
 to increase soil fertility and give crop protection
  (‘improved’ variety = more responsive to inputs)
•Applying and consuming more irrigation WATER
 •Energy-intensive & capital-intensive production
Agroecological alternative
  Rather than focus on changed/increased genetic
 potentials, one seeks more/better EXPRESSION of
  genetic potentials by altering crop management
 [We don’t eat GENOTYPES -- we eat PHENOTYPES]

The impact that plants’ growing environments have
on their productivity has long been recognized and
 is expressed in the equation: P = (∫)x G + E + [G x E]

      •‘Modern agriculture’ has focused on G
     •Agroecological methods focus more on E

 Can we achieve enough by modifying E > G ?
We need to use our land/soil and water
resources more productively and sustainably

 Can we achieve more productive PHENOTYPES
  from any genotype by altering crops’ growing
  environments, both above and below ground

  We should consider experience with the System
    of Rice Intensification (SRI) developed in
   Madagascar, now known in Latin America as la
   Sistema Intensivo de Cultivo Arrocero (SICA)
 Its ideas and practices are enabling farmers in >50
countries to get more productive rice plants from
 existing varieties -- whether local, HYV or hybrids
SRI/SICA management offers advantages to farmers:
 Reductions in:
•SEED requirements (plant populations greatly reduced)
•IRRIGATION WATER (no more flooding of fields)
•Need for AGROCHEMICAL INPUTS (fertilizer, sprays)
•COSTS OF PRODUCTION (even possibly of LABOR)
Increases in:
•CROP YIELD (potentially very great increases)
•NET FARMER INCOME (more output with less cost)
•Resistance to many effects of CLIMATE CHANGE:
 •   Increased DROUGHT resistance
 •   Resistance to STORM damage (less crop lodging)
 •   More resistance to PESTS AND DISEASES
 •   Even some tolerance of extreme temperatures
•Need for BIOMASS, and possibly for more LABOR
These methods can be adapted to many OTHER
CROPS
Basic Concepts for SRI/SICA -- also for SCI:
 • Establish healthy plants early (young) and carefully,
   making efforts to promote their root growth potential.
 • Reduce plant density, giving each plant more room to grow,
   both above-ground and below-ground, to intercept more
   sunlight and to obtain more soil nutrients.
 • Keep the soil well-aerated and enriched with organic matter,
   as much as possible, so that the soil can support better growth
   of roots and more abundant, diverse aerobic soil organisms.
    – Apply water sparingly in ways that can support the growth
       of plant roots and of beneficial soil microbes, avoiding
       continuous inundation and anaerobic soil conditions.
    – Control weeds in ways that actively aerate the soil.

 These practices when used together enable farmers to:
 • Increase the size & functioning of ROOT SYSTEMS, and
 • Enhance and diversify the populations of SOIL BIOTA.
NEPAL:
 Farmer with
 a rice plant
 grown from
   a single
 seed using
SRI methods
  in Morang
    district
CUBA: Farmer with two plants
of same variety (VN 2084) and
      same age (52 DAS)
IRAQ: Comparison trials at Al-Mishkhab Rice Research Station, Najaf
300
                                          SRI                 CK          Yellow leaf
                                                                          and sheath
                            250
 Organ dry weight(g/hill)


                                  47.9%                     34.7%
                                                                          Panicle
                            200


                            150                                           Leaf

                            100
                                                                          Sheath
                            50

                                                                          Stem
                             0
Stage IH                          H   FH MR W R YRI H   H     FH M W Y
                                                                  R R R
CHINA: Non-Flooding Rice Farming Technology in Irrigated Paddy Field,
   Dr. Tao Longxing, China National Rice Research Institute, 2004
These effects are seen in a wide
  variety of agroecosystems:
        • Tropical environments
        • Mountainous regions
        • Arid/semi-arid regions

  The scale of production ranges from:
    • Smallholder farming systems, to
     • Large, mechanized operations
INDONESIA
                                     Caritas introduced
                                    SRI methods in Aceh
                                    in 2005 after tsunami
                                     devastation – local
                                       yields went from
                                      2 t/ha to 8.5 t/ha


   “Using less rice seed, less water and organic compost,
 farmers in Aceh have quadrupled their crop production.”
          ‘Rice Aplenty in Aceh,’ Caritas News (2009)
 Similar quadrupling of rice yields by poor, food-insecure
households have been documented similarly in Madagascar,
           Cambodia, India (Madhya Pradesh)
AFGHANISTAN: Transplanting SRI field in Baghlan Province
@ 1600 m.a.s.l. in mountainous region with short growing season,
      supported by program of the Aga Khan Foundation
AKF technician making a field visit in Baghlan province
SRI       SRI     Conv.
Year     Users     Yield    Yield

2008       6        10.1      5.4

2009       42        9.3      5.6

2nd yr     [7]     [13.3]    [5.6]

1st yr    [35]      [8.7]    [5.5]

2010      104       8.8       5.6

2011      114*      10.01     5.04
* Some areas could not continue or
be measured because of Taliban

SRI yields were achieved
with reductions in water
MALI -- SRI nursery in Timbuktu region on edge of
Sahara Desert with 8-day seedlings for transplanting
SRI transplanting in
  Timbuktu, Mali
Malian farmer in the
  Timbuktu region
showing the difference
 between regular and
    SRI rice plants
           SRI     SRI    Conv.
 Year     Users   Yield   Yield

2007-08     1     8.98     --
2008-09    60     9.01    5.49
2009-10   130     7.71    4.48
    with 32% less water

  Gao region: 7.84 t/ha
 Mopti region: 7.85 t/ha
CHINA:            SRI extension/impact in Sichuan Province, 2004-10

         Year                  2004 2005 2006            2007     2008     2009      2010      Total

SRI area (ha)                   1,133   7,267   57,400   117,267 204,467   252,467 301,067    941,068

SRI yield (kg/ha)              9,105    9,435    8,805    9,075   9,300     9,495     9,555       9,252

Non-SRI yield (kg/ha)          7,740    7,650    7,005    7,395    7,575     7,710    7,740       7,545

SRI increment (t/ha)   *       1,365 1,785 1,800# 1,680           1,725     1,785 1,815#          1,708

SRI % yield increase   *       17.6%    23.3%   25.7%    22.7%    22.8%     23.2%    23.5%       22.7%

Grain increase (tons)           1,547   12,971 103,320 197,008 352,705     450,653 546,436 1.66 mill

Addl. net income from
                                1.28 11.64      106.5    205.1 450.8        571.7    704.3       2,051
SRI use (million RMB)      *                                                                  (>$300 mill)


 * Comparison with Sichuan provincial average for paddy yield and SRI returns
 # Drought years: SRI yields were relatively better than with conventional methods
 Source: Data are from the Sichuan Provincial Department of Agriculture.
,     INDIA: Results from Bihar State, 2007-2012
       SYSTEM OF RICE INTENSIFICATION -- state average yield: 2.3 t/ha
                        2007    2008      2009       2010       2012
                            Normal        2x     Drought + Complete       Good
      Climatic conditions
                            rainfall   flooding rain in Sept. drought    rainfall
      No. of smallholders     128       5,146      8,367      19,911      NR
      Area under SRI (ha)      30         544        786       1,412    335,000
      SRI yield (t/ha)        10.0       7.75        6.5       3.22*      8.08
      Conv. yield (t/ha)       2.7       2.36        2.02      1.66*       NR


     SYSTEM OF WHEAT INTENSIFICATION -- state average yield: 2.4 t/ha
                          2007-08 2008-09      2009-10     2011-12
      No. of smallholders   415    25,235       48,521       NR
      Area under SWI (ha)    16     1,200       2,536      183,085
      SWI yield (t/ha)      3.6      4.5         NA           5.1
      Conv. yield (t/ha)    1.6      1.6         NA          NR
    * Results from measurements of yield on 74 farmers’ SRI and conventional fields
SRI methods in Bihar set a new world record

Paddy production: Bihar
panchayat breaks China’s record
New Delhi, Mar 20:
A gram panchayat in Nalanda district of Bihar has
surpassed the Chinese record of paddy production,
the Union Agriculture Minister Mr Sharad Pawar
informed Parliament today. “As per the reports
received from the state government, the yield of wet
paddy has been recorded at 22.4 tonnes per hectare
and that of dry paddy at 20.16 tonnes a hectare ...,”
Mr Pawar said in a written reply to Lok Sabha.
The record yield was achieved under demonstration
on System of Rice Intensification (SRI) which was
organised at farmer’s field during kharif 2011, he
added. “It has surpassed the yield of 19 tonnes per
hectare which was recorded earlier in China.”
OVER 1 MILLION VIETNAMESE FARMERS BENEFIT FROM SRI
                        Tuesday, October 18, 2011 20:48 (GMT +7)
                                        PANO – Vietnam celebrated over a
                                        million small-scale farmers who are
                                        embracing a technique that grows more
                                        rice with less seeds, fertilizer, water, and
                                        pesticides in an event at Thai Nguyen
                                        University on October 18th.
The technique is called ‘system of rice intensification’ or SRI for short, which
is a package of agricultural techniques for hand-planted rice that helps
farmers reduce their costs while increasing their production. The Ministry of
Agriculture and Rural Development reported that by the summer-autumn
crop this year, there are 1,070,384 farmers using SRI on 185,065 hectares
(457,110 acres) in their rice fields. The number of farmers using SRI practices
in Vietnam has tripled since 2009. . . .
COSTA RICA: mechanized SRI crop
in Guanacaste province with yield of
8 t/ha -- not using chemical fertilizer
Yield of 8 t/ha vs. 4.2 t/ha before




Mechanized system developed by Oscar Montero,
   El Pedregal Farm, in Guanacaste province
PAKISTAN: Raised beds for
SRI formed on laser-leveled
 fields in Punjab Province
Nursery mats
 made from
soil, compost
and rice hulls
Transplanting machine – makes
   holes at 9 inch spacing (22.5
cm), with precision-application of
 small amounts of compost and
             fertilizer
Laborers dropping 10-day seedlings into holes
 which are then filled with water -- the whole
 field is flooded just once after transplanting
Weeder/soil aerator
 removing weeds and
 breaking up soil crust
around plants at 9-inch
   (22.5cm) intervals
Mechanically-transplanted and -weeded rice crop,
    irrigated in furrows with siphon supply
Growing crop: @ 72 days
plants have up to 90 tillers
Results of crop-cut sample measurements for MSRI trial,
     Asif Sharif farm, Dhariwal province, Punjab province, Pakistan, 2009
                         Rice variety: Omega (hybrid)

                                                      Crop-cut Samples
                       #1      #2      #3      #4       #5      #6      #7      #8      #9     #10     Ave.
Plant number m-2       19      18      21      22       15      18      19      20      21      22     19.5


Plant tillers m-2     397     410     450     370       270    315     312     353     389     279     364

Plant height (cm)     102      98      97     105       100    102     100     102     100     102     110.9

 Panicle length        26      25      26      26       25      24      26      26      26      25     25.5
(cm)
Straw wt (g m-2)      3,200   3,300   2,150   2,500    2,100   2,800   2,400   3,300   2,000   3,300   2,705

1000 grain wt (g)      30      29      30      30       30      31      30      30      30      30      30

Grain yield m-2 (g)   1,159   1,523   1,243   1,210    2,192   1,530   743     1,274   1,067   901     1,284
COLOMBIA: Mechanical weeder
developed for mid-size SRI operations
Agroecological management
    is seen to give crops some
buffering against effects of climate
              change:
         • Drought and water stress
         • Storm damage – wind/rain
             (resistance to lodging)
     • Resistance to pests and diseases
        • Also extreme temperatures

   Also net reductions in GHG emissions?
    • Large reductions in methane (CH4)
• Not offset by increase in nitrous oxide (N2O)
Other Benefits from Changes in Practices
 1. Water saving – major concern in many places, also
     now have ‘rainfed’ version with similar results
 2. Greater resistance to biotic and abiotic stresses –
     less damage from pests and diseases, drought,
     typhoons, flooding, cold spells [discuss tomorrow]
 3. Shorter crop cycle – same varieties are harvested
     by 1-3 weeks sooner, save water, less crop risk
 4. High milling output – by about 15%, due to fewer
     unfilled grains (less chaff) and fewer broken grains
 5. Reductions in labor requirements – widely reported
     incentive for changing practices in India and China;
 Drought-resistance: Rice fields in Sri Lanka,many places
     also, mechanization is being introduced same variety
 6. Reductions in costs of production – greater farmer
and same soil 3 weeks after irrigation had stopped because
 of drought and profitability, also health benefits (right)
     income – conventional rice field (left) and SRI
Storm resistance:
Dông Trù village,
Ha Noi province,
 Vietnam, after
fields were hit by
a tropical storm

Right: conventional
  field and plant;
  Left: SRI field
     and plant

 Same variety used
   in both fields:
 serious lodging
  seen on right --
no lodging on left
Disease and pest resistance: Evaluation by
     Vietnam National IPM Program, 2005-06 –
 averages of data from on-farm trials in 8 provinces
                      Spring season           Summer season
                 SRI     Farmer   Differ-    SRI    Farmer   Differ-
                plots     plots    ence     plots    plots    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      63.4     107.7    41.1%     61.8    122.3    49.5%
folder *
Brown plant     542      1,440    62.4%     545     3,214    83.0%
hopper *

AVERAGE                           55.5%                      70.7%
      * Insects/m2
Modern                                           Traditional
 improved                                           aromatic
  variety                                            variety
(Ciherang)                                         (Sintanur)
 – no yield                                          - 8 t/ha

 Resistance to both biotic and abiotic stresses: fields in
 East Java, Indonesia hit by both brown planthopper (BPH)
   and by storm damage (typhoon): rice field on left was
managed with standard practices; organic SRI is seen on right
Resistance to cold temperature: Yield and
   meteorological data from ANGRAU, A.P., India
     Season              Normal (t/ha)             SRI (t/ha)

Kharif 2006                    0.21*                  4.16

Rabi 2005-06                   2.25                   3.47
        * Low yield was due to cold injury (see below)
    Period          Mean max.          Mean min.   No. of sunshine
                     temp. 0C           temp. 0C          hrs
   1 – 15 Nov           27.7             19.2            4.9
  16–30 Nov             29.6             17.9            7.5
   1 – 15 Dec           29.1             14.6            8.6
   16–31 Dec            28.1             12.2#           8.6
# Sudden drop in minimum temp. for 5 days (16–21 Dec = 9.2-9.9o C )
Comparison of methane gas emission


                                                   1000

                                                                  840.1

                                                    800




                                   kg C H 4 / ha
                                                    600                    72 %




                                                    400
                                                                                  237.6

                                                    200


                                                      0
                                                                   CT             SRI




                            Emission (kg/ha)                              CO2 ton/ha
               Treatment
                           CH4                            N2 O            equivalent

                  CT       840.1                           0                  17.6

                  SRI      237.6                          0.074                     5.0
Agroecological management
is seen to apply to other crops
           • Finger millet
              • Wheat
            • Sugar cane
         • Mustard/canola
                 • Tef
             • Legumes
            • Vegetables
               • Other
Wheat: SWI (left) vs. conventional plants in Bihar, India
SWI results in Mali, 2009 – 1st year
                      •   Seed reduction: 94% (10 vs 170 kg/ha)
                      •   Yield increase: 10% (2.2 vs 2.0 t/ha)
                      •   Labor reduction: 40%
                      •   Irrigation water reduction: 30%
                      •   Problems: mortality, spacing was too
                          great (25cm x 25cm  20 x 20 cm)




Numbers of tillers
                     Panicle length: SWI: 10.2 cm Traditional: 4.2 cm
     18.4   3.7
Phenotypical
 differences in
 wheat panicles
with SWI practice
  seen in Nepal
Tef: Application of SRI
 concepts & practices
 to production of tef
   (STI) in Ethiopia

Left: transplanted tef
Right: broadcasted tef

3-5 t/ha vs. 1 t/ha
STI tef crop in Tigray province of Ethiopia
Sugarcane: SSI cane
plants seen in India –
  SSI is now getting
   started in Cuba,
   known as SiCAS
Cuba: 1st SiCAS trial 2012    2 months




4 months                     8.5 months
SicAS sugarcane
 @ 10.5 months
 Eventual yield
  estimated @
     150 t/ha
Summary of results reported from farmers' fields for
      System of Crop Intensification (SCI)
which applies SRI concepts and methods to other crops
        Crops                  Yield increases
 Finger millet                      3 to 4x
 Legumes                           50-200%
 Maize                               75%
 Mustard                            3 to 4x
 Sugarcane                         20-100%
 Tef                                3 to 5x
 Turmeric                            25%
 Vegetables                       100-270%
 Wheat                             10-140%
 SCI crops are mostly rainfed -- but 30% water saving
 with wheat and sugarcane, and 66% with turmeric
All this experience indicates that we have
many opportunities for raising agricultural
productivity in ways that are cost-effective,
  environmentally-friendly, and robust
‘Post-modern agriculture’ is not backward
   -- it is the most modern agriculture
It is guided by advances in microbiology, soil
 ecology, epigenetics, and systems thinking
Much remains to be studied and evaluated,
but our challenge is to understand and explain
 what already exists -- rather than discover or
         invent something that is new
For more information on SRI/SCI:

    SRI International Network and
     Resources Center (SRI-Rice)
  Website: http://sri.ciifad.cornell.edu

based at Cornell International Institute
 for Food, Agriculture and Develoment
(CIIFAD), Cornell University, or contact

  Norman Uphoff: ntu1@cornell.edu

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1305 - Agroecological Crop Management for Increased Productivity

  • 1. Agroecological Crop Management for Increased Productivity -- Experience with Rice and Other Crops Norman Uphoff, SRI-Rice Cornell University, USA 6th International Seminar on Agricultural Policies, Santo Domingo, 24 January 2013 Instituto Interamericano de Cooperation para la Agricultura (IICA)
  • 2. What is called ‘modern agriculture’ has been very successful over past 50 years The question arises, however: under the present and foreseeable conditions of the 21st century, should we continue doing more of the same in the agricultural sector? Even if we can do it better ? Should be we considering other strategies? Shouldn’t we be developing ‘post-modern agriculture’ to the extent that new ideas and methods are empirically validated?
  • 3. Changing conditions in the 21st century will make doing more of the same less tenable • Arable land area per capita is reducing as • Populations continue to grow • Land area is being lost to urban spread • Land degradation is increasing year by year, so • Land-extensive agriculture makes less sense • Water supply for agriculture is declining: • Competing demands for domestic use and industry • Climate change is reducing amount and reliability • Pests and diseases are likely to increase In US, crop losses to insects increased from 7% to 13% at the same time that farmers’ insecticide use increased by
  • 4. • Future energy prices will surely be higher than they were in the past century, raising: • Production costs: fuel, fertilizer, agrochemicals • Transport costs: long-distance trade more costly • Climate change will become more adverse • Its impact will be greatest in many LDCs • Accessibility of technology remains big issue • The Green Revolution by-passed most of the world’s poor & hungry; we must meet their needs • Agricultural productivity gains have slowed • Our technology is giving diminishing returns
  • 5.
  • 6. Is there any alternative? Fortunately, there are other strategies that deserve to be considered and evaluated The current strategy achieved its epitome in the Green Revolution, successful in much of Asia and in various parts of Latin America Core elements of the Green Revolution were: • Developing ‘improved’ varieties (genotypes) •Applying more agrochemical (synthetic) inputs to increase soil fertility and give crop protection (‘improved’ variety = more responsive to inputs) •Applying and consuming more irrigation WATER •Energy-intensive & capital-intensive production
  • 7. Agroecological alternative Rather than focus on changed/increased genetic potentials, one seeks more/better EXPRESSION of genetic potentials by altering crop management [We don’t eat GENOTYPES -- we eat PHENOTYPES] The impact that plants’ growing environments have on their productivity has long been recognized and is expressed in the equation: P = (∫)x G + E + [G x E] •‘Modern agriculture’ has focused on G •Agroecological methods focus more on E Can we achieve enough by modifying E > G ?
  • 8. We need to use our land/soil and water resources more productively and sustainably Can we achieve more productive PHENOTYPES from any genotype by altering crops’ growing environments, both above and below ground We should consider experience with the System of Rice Intensification (SRI) developed in Madagascar, now known in Latin America as la Sistema Intensivo de Cultivo Arrocero (SICA) Its ideas and practices are enabling farmers in >50 countries to get more productive rice plants from existing varieties -- whether local, HYV or hybrids
  • 9. SRI/SICA management offers advantages to farmers: Reductions in: •SEED requirements (plant populations greatly reduced) •IRRIGATION WATER (no more flooding of fields) •Need for AGROCHEMICAL INPUTS (fertilizer, sprays) •COSTS OF PRODUCTION (even possibly of LABOR) Increases in: •CROP YIELD (potentially very great increases) •NET FARMER INCOME (more output with less cost) •Resistance to many effects of CLIMATE CHANGE: • Increased DROUGHT resistance • Resistance to STORM damage (less crop lodging) • More resistance to PESTS AND DISEASES • Even some tolerance of extreme temperatures •Need for BIOMASS, and possibly for more LABOR These methods can be adapted to many OTHER CROPS
  • 10. Basic Concepts for SRI/SICA -- also for SCI: • Establish healthy plants early (young) and carefully, making efforts to promote their root growth potential. • Reduce plant density, giving each plant more room to grow, both above-ground and below-ground, to intercept more sunlight and to obtain more soil nutrients. • Keep the soil well-aerated and enriched with organic matter, as much as possible, so that the soil can support better growth of roots and more abundant, diverse aerobic soil organisms. – Apply water sparingly in ways that can support the growth of plant roots and of beneficial soil microbes, avoiding continuous inundation and anaerobic soil conditions. – Control weeds in ways that actively aerate the soil. These practices when used together enable farmers to: • Increase the size & functioning of ROOT SYSTEMS, and • Enhance and diversify the populations of SOIL BIOTA.
  • 11. NEPAL: Farmer with a rice plant grown from a single seed using SRI methods in Morang district
  • 12. CUBA: Farmer with two plants of same variety (VN 2084) and same age (52 DAS)
  • 13. IRAQ: Comparison trials at Al-Mishkhab Rice Research Station, Najaf
  • 14. 300 SRI CK Yellow leaf and sheath 250 Organ dry weight(g/hill) 47.9% 34.7% Panicle 200 150 Leaf 100 Sheath 50 Stem 0 Stage IH H FH MR W R YRI H H FH M W Y R R R CHINA: Non-Flooding Rice Farming Technology in Irrigated Paddy Field, Dr. Tao Longxing, China National Rice Research Institute, 2004
  • 15. These effects are seen in a wide variety of agroecosystems: • Tropical environments • Mountainous regions • Arid/semi-arid regions The scale of production ranges from: • Smallholder farming systems, to • Large, mechanized operations
  • 16. INDONESIA Caritas introduced SRI methods in Aceh in 2005 after tsunami devastation – local yields went from 2 t/ha to 8.5 t/ha “Using less rice seed, less water and organic compost, farmers in Aceh have quadrupled their crop production.” ‘Rice Aplenty in Aceh,’ Caritas News (2009) Similar quadrupling of rice yields by poor, food-insecure households have been documented similarly in Madagascar, Cambodia, India (Madhya Pradesh)
  • 17. AFGHANISTAN: Transplanting SRI field in Baghlan Province @ 1600 m.a.s.l. in mountainous region with short growing season, supported by program of the Aga Khan Foundation
  • 18. AKF technician making a field visit in Baghlan province
  • 19. SRI SRI Conv. Year Users Yield Yield 2008 6 10.1 5.4 2009 42 9.3 5.6 2nd yr [7] [13.3] [5.6] 1st yr [35] [8.7] [5.5] 2010 104 8.8 5.6 2011 114* 10.01 5.04 * Some areas could not continue or be measured because of Taliban SRI yields were achieved with reductions in water
  • 20. MALI -- SRI nursery in Timbuktu region on edge of Sahara Desert with 8-day seedlings for transplanting
  • 21. SRI transplanting in Timbuktu, Mali
  • 22. Malian farmer in the Timbuktu region showing the difference between regular and SRI rice plants SRI SRI Conv. Year Users Yield Yield 2007-08 1 8.98 -- 2008-09 60 9.01 5.49 2009-10 130 7.71 4.48 with 32% less water Gao region: 7.84 t/ha Mopti region: 7.85 t/ha
  • 23. CHINA: SRI extension/impact in Sichuan Province, 2004-10 Year 2004 2005 2006 2007 2008 2009 2010 Total SRI area (ha) 1,133 7,267 57,400 117,267 204,467 252,467 301,067 941,068 SRI yield (kg/ha) 9,105 9,435 8,805 9,075 9,300 9,495 9,555 9,252 Non-SRI yield (kg/ha) 7,740 7,650 7,005 7,395 7,575 7,710 7,740 7,545 SRI increment (t/ha) * 1,365 1,785 1,800# 1,680 1,725 1,785 1,815# 1,708 SRI % yield increase * 17.6% 23.3% 25.7% 22.7% 22.8% 23.2% 23.5% 22.7% Grain increase (tons) 1,547 12,971 103,320 197,008 352,705 450,653 546,436 1.66 mill Addl. net income from 1.28 11.64 106.5 205.1 450.8 571.7 704.3 2,051 SRI use (million RMB) * (>$300 mill) * Comparison with Sichuan provincial average for paddy yield and SRI returns # Drought years: SRI yields were relatively better than with conventional methods Source: Data are from the Sichuan Provincial Department of Agriculture.
  • 24. , INDIA: Results from Bihar State, 2007-2012 SYSTEM OF RICE INTENSIFICATION -- state average yield: 2.3 t/ha 2007 2008 2009 2010 2012 Normal 2x Drought + Complete Good Climatic conditions rainfall flooding rain in Sept. drought rainfall No. of smallholders 128 5,146 8,367 19,911 NR Area under SRI (ha) 30 544 786 1,412 335,000 SRI yield (t/ha) 10.0 7.75 6.5 3.22* 8.08 Conv. yield (t/ha) 2.7 2.36 2.02 1.66* NR SYSTEM OF WHEAT INTENSIFICATION -- state average yield: 2.4 t/ha 2007-08 2008-09 2009-10 2011-12 No. of smallholders 415 25,235 48,521 NR Area under SWI (ha) 16 1,200 2,536 183,085 SWI yield (t/ha) 3.6 4.5 NA 5.1 Conv. yield (t/ha) 1.6 1.6 NA NR * Results from measurements of yield on 74 farmers’ SRI and conventional fields
  • 25. SRI methods in Bihar set a new world record Paddy production: Bihar panchayat breaks China’s record New Delhi, Mar 20: A gram panchayat in Nalanda district of Bihar has surpassed the Chinese record of paddy production, the Union Agriculture Minister Mr Sharad Pawar informed Parliament today. “As per the reports received from the state government, the yield of wet paddy has been recorded at 22.4 tonnes per hectare and that of dry paddy at 20.16 tonnes a hectare ...,” Mr Pawar said in a written reply to Lok Sabha. The record yield was achieved under demonstration on System of Rice Intensification (SRI) which was organised at farmer’s field during kharif 2011, he added. “It has surpassed the yield of 19 tonnes per hectare which was recorded earlier in China.”
  • 26. OVER 1 MILLION VIETNAMESE FARMERS BENEFIT FROM SRI Tuesday, October 18, 2011 20:48 (GMT +7) PANO – Vietnam celebrated over a million small-scale farmers who are embracing a technique that grows more rice with less seeds, fertilizer, water, and pesticides in an event at Thai Nguyen University on October 18th. The technique is called ‘system of rice intensification’ or SRI for short, which is a package of agricultural techniques for hand-planted rice that helps farmers reduce their costs while increasing their production. The Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development reported that by the summer-autumn crop this year, there are 1,070,384 farmers using SRI on 185,065 hectares (457,110 acres) in their rice fields. The number of farmers using SRI practices in Vietnam has tripled since 2009. . . .
  • 27. COSTA RICA: mechanized SRI crop in Guanacaste province with yield of 8 t/ha -- not using chemical fertilizer
  • 28. Yield of 8 t/ha vs. 4.2 t/ha before Mechanized system developed by Oscar Montero, El Pedregal Farm, in Guanacaste province
  • 29. PAKISTAN: Raised beds for SRI formed on laser-leveled fields in Punjab Province
  • 30. Nursery mats made from soil, compost and rice hulls
  • 31.
  • 32. Transplanting machine – makes holes at 9 inch spacing (22.5 cm), with precision-application of small amounts of compost and fertilizer
  • 33. Laborers dropping 10-day seedlings into holes which are then filled with water -- the whole field is flooded just once after transplanting
  • 34. Weeder/soil aerator removing weeds and breaking up soil crust around plants at 9-inch (22.5cm) intervals
  • 35. Mechanically-transplanted and -weeded rice crop, irrigated in furrows with siphon supply
  • 36. Growing crop: @ 72 days plants have up to 90 tillers
  • 37. Results of crop-cut sample measurements for MSRI trial, Asif Sharif farm, Dhariwal province, Punjab province, Pakistan, 2009 Rice variety: Omega (hybrid) Crop-cut Samples #1 #2 #3 #4 #5 #6 #7 #8 #9 #10 Ave. Plant number m-2 19 18 21 22 15 18 19 20 21 22 19.5 Plant tillers m-2 397 410 450 370 270 315 312 353 389 279 364 Plant height (cm) 102 98 97 105 100 102 100 102 100 102 110.9 Panicle length 26 25 26 26 25 24 26 26 26 25 25.5 (cm) Straw wt (g m-2) 3,200 3,300 2,150 2,500 2,100 2,800 2,400 3,300 2,000 3,300 2,705 1000 grain wt (g) 30 29 30 30 30 31 30 30 30 30 30 Grain yield m-2 (g) 1,159 1,523 1,243 1,210 2,192 1,530 743 1,274 1,067 901 1,284
  • 38. COLOMBIA: Mechanical weeder developed for mid-size SRI operations
  • 39. Agroecological management is seen to give crops some buffering against effects of climate change: • Drought and water stress • Storm damage – wind/rain (resistance to lodging) • Resistance to pests and diseases • Also extreme temperatures Also net reductions in GHG emissions? • Large reductions in methane (CH4) • Not offset by increase in nitrous oxide (N2O)
  • 40. Other Benefits from Changes in Practices 1. Water saving – major concern in many places, also now have ‘rainfed’ version with similar results 2. Greater resistance to biotic and abiotic stresses – less damage from pests and diseases, drought, typhoons, flooding, cold spells [discuss tomorrow] 3. Shorter crop cycle – same varieties are harvested by 1-3 weeks sooner, save water, less crop risk 4. High milling output – by about 15%, due to fewer unfilled grains (less chaff) and fewer broken grains 5. Reductions in labor requirements – widely reported incentive for changing practices in India and China; Drought-resistance: Rice fields in Sri Lanka,many places also, mechanization is being introduced same variety 6. Reductions in costs of production – greater farmer and same soil 3 weeks after irrigation had stopped because of drought and profitability, also health benefits (right) income – conventional rice field (left) and SRI
  • 41. Storm resistance: Dông Trù village, Ha Noi province, Vietnam, after fields were hit by a tropical storm Right: conventional field and plant; Left: SRI field and plant Same variety used in both fields: serious lodging seen on right -- no lodging on left
  • 42. Disease and pest resistance: Evaluation by Vietnam National IPM Program, 2005-06 – averages of data from on-farm trials in 8 provinces Spring season Summer season SRI Farmer Differ- SRI Farmer Differ- plots plots ence plots plots 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 63.4 107.7 41.1% 61.8 122.3 49.5% folder * Brown plant 542 1,440 62.4% 545 3,214 83.0% hopper * AVERAGE 55.5% 70.7% * Insects/m2
  • 43. Modern Traditional improved aromatic variety variety (Ciherang) (Sintanur) – no yield - 8 t/ha Resistance to both biotic and abiotic stresses: fields in East Java, Indonesia hit by both brown planthopper (BPH) and by storm damage (typhoon): rice field on left was managed with standard practices; organic SRI is seen on right
  • 44. Resistance to cold temperature: Yield and meteorological data from ANGRAU, A.P., India Season Normal (t/ha) SRI (t/ha) Kharif 2006 0.21* 4.16 Rabi 2005-06 2.25 3.47 * Low yield was due to cold injury (see below) Period Mean max. Mean min. No. of sunshine temp. 0C temp. 0C hrs 1 – 15 Nov 27.7 19.2 4.9 16–30 Nov 29.6 17.9 7.5 1 – 15 Dec 29.1 14.6 8.6 16–31 Dec 28.1 12.2# 8.6 # Sudden drop in minimum temp. for 5 days (16–21 Dec = 9.2-9.9o C )
  • 45. Comparison of methane gas emission 1000 840.1 800 kg C H 4 / ha 600 72 % 400 237.6 200 0 CT SRI Emission (kg/ha) CO2 ton/ha Treatment CH4 N2 O equivalent CT 840.1 0 17.6 SRI 237.6 0.074 5.0
  • 46. Agroecological management is seen to apply to other crops • Finger millet • Wheat • Sugar cane • Mustard/canola • Tef • Legumes • Vegetables • Other
  • 47.
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  • 49.
  • 50. Wheat: SWI (left) vs. conventional plants in Bihar, India
  • 51. SWI results in Mali, 2009 – 1st year • Seed reduction: 94% (10 vs 170 kg/ha) • Yield increase: 10% (2.2 vs 2.0 t/ha) • Labor reduction: 40% • Irrigation water reduction: 30% • Problems: mortality, spacing was too great (25cm x 25cm  20 x 20 cm) Numbers of tillers Panicle length: SWI: 10.2 cm Traditional: 4.2 cm 18.4 3.7
  • 52. Phenotypical differences in wheat panicles with SWI practice seen in Nepal
  • 53. Tef: Application of SRI concepts & practices to production of tef (STI) in Ethiopia Left: transplanted tef Right: broadcasted tef 3-5 t/ha vs. 1 t/ha
  • 54. STI tef crop in Tigray province of Ethiopia
  • 55. Sugarcane: SSI cane plants seen in India – SSI is now getting started in Cuba, known as SiCAS
  • 56. Cuba: 1st SiCAS trial 2012 2 months 4 months 8.5 months
  • 57. SicAS sugarcane @ 10.5 months Eventual yield estimated @ 150 t/ha
  • 58. Summary of results reported from farmers' fields for System of Crop Intensification (SCI) which applies SRI concepts and methods to other crops Crops Yield increases Finger millet 3 to 4x Legumes 50-200% Maize 75% Mustard 3 to 4x Sugarcane 20-100% Tef 3 to 5x Turmeric 25% Vegetables 100-270% Wheat 10-140% SCI crops are mostly rainfed -- but 30% water saving with wheat and sugarcane, and 66% with turmeric
  • 59. All this experience indicates that we have many opportunities for raising agricultural productivity in ways that are cost-effective, environmentally-friendly, and robust ‘Post-modern agriculture’ is not backward -- it is the most modern agriculture It is guided by advances in microbiology, soil ecology, epigenetics, and systems thinking Much remains to be studied and evaluated, but our challenge is to understand and explain what already exists -- rather than discover or invent something that is new
  • 60. For more information on SRI/SCI: SRI International Network and Resources Center (SRI-Rice) Website: http://sri.ciifad.cornell.edu based at Cornell International Institute for Food, Agriculture and Develoment (CIIFAD), Cornell University, or contact Norman Uphoff: ntu1@cornell.edu