1323 - Mechanization and the System of Rice Intensification (SRI)

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Title: Mechanization and the System of Rice Intensification (SRI)
Presented by: Erika Styger
Presented at: Special Exhibit/Event on Rice Production at Agritechnica
Venue and Date: Hannover, Germany November 15, 2013

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1323 - Mechanization and the System of Rice Intensification (SRI)

  1. 1. Mechanization and the System of Rice Intensification (SRI) Because SRI changes the distance between plants, the number of seeds/seedlings per hole and the age of seedlings, new planting equipment needs to be invented or old equipment adapted. In order to reduce the drudgery of hand-weeding, manual and mechanized weeders have been devised, from one row to multiple row weeders. There is much room to improve upon the existing designs, according to edaphic conditions and gender preferences. To scale up SRI, efficient and solid equipment needs to developed and become available at farmers’ levels in Africa, Asia and Latin America. Hand pushed weeders SRI weeders come in a variety of sizes, shapes and style, reflecting the need for local adaptation to soil and climate conditions and gender preferences: After testing many models, the weeder that was the lightest, easiest to make, most effective, and simplest of all: the nail weeder on right Women prefer light weeders, so do the men A simple dryland weeder model (Source: sririce.org) Motorized weeders As SRI spreads, weeders have increased in complexity and efficacy, allowing farmers to maximize productivity gains from SRI. Mechanical weeders range from simple 1-2 row push machines (above), to simple rotary weeders with a small engine, to more complex and manufactured multi-row weeders attached to lightweight tractors. (Source: right, Ariyaratna Subasinghe; sririce.org) Direct seeders and transplanters Mechanization of SRI plantings requires development of new transplanting or direct seeding implements. Below is some equipment that is in various stages of being adapted to SRI conditions. Drum seeder A conventional rice transplanter in Iraq transplants several seedlings/hole. Adjusting the machine to transplant a single seedling is a challenge. These machines are also delicate and expensive, and thus not appropriate for many smallholder-farming environments in the tropics. We believe that vegetable transplanters might be easier to adapt to the SRI system, and also cheaper and more robust than the current rice transplanters. The example from Pakistan is a good inspiration (photos on the right). (Source: Khidir A. Hammed) In many upland conditions, direct seeding is more appropriate than transplanting. This drum seeder spaces rows evenly, but number of seeds per pocket and distance between plants within the line is not optimally controlled. (Source: sririce.org) The SRI International Network and Resources Center at Cornell University Poster 6.indd 1 Conventional transplanter SRI transplanter Permanent beds after machine transplanting Asif Sharif’s precision mechanized SRI system in Punjab, Pakistan: laser levelling; permanent raised beds; transplanted with precise spacing; machine weeded. (Source: Asif Sharif) Contact: Erika Styger (SRI-Rice, Cornell University), eds8@cornell.edu; Amir Kassam (FAO), amir.kassam@fao.org; Josef Kienzle (FAO), josef.kienzle@fao.org; www.sririce.org - www.fao.org/ag/ca - www.facebook.com/groups/SRI.innovators Rice beds after machine weeding With his new methods Asif has tripled his yields to 12.8 t/ha, and reduced water use and labor by 70%. (Source: Asif Sharif) Permanent raised beds during furrow watering The Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations 10/30/13 11:32 AM

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