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What Does System of Rice Intensification (SRI) Bring?What Does System of Rice Intensification (SRI) Bring?
Improved Yields or Increased Agronomic-Bandwidth?Improved Yields or Increased Agronomic-Bandwidth?
Debashish Sen, Ravindra Adusumilli, SabarmateeDebashish Sen, Ravindra Adusumilli, Sabarmatee
Research Background & Research ObjectiveResearch Background & Research Objective
What do farmers do whenWhat do farmers do when
sustainable intensificationsustainable intensification
methods like SRI open upmethods like SRI open up
several newer options inseveral newer options in
rice cultivation practices?rice cultivation practices?
• Green Revolution and its Pros n Cons
• Evolution of SRI as a knowledge and skill intensive innovation
• Contested by mainstream agriculture science establishments
• Spread in more than 50 countries and practised by as many as 5 million
farmers
• Numerous studies on its adoption, dis-adoption and non-adoption
Transplanting of
young seedlings
Transplanting
at wider spacing
Alternate wetting
and drying (AWD)
Enhancing soil
organic matter
Inter-cultivation
with weeder
SRISRI
PracticesPractices Single seedling
per hill
Methodology: Location and ToolsMethodology: Location and Tools
40 villages in three contrasting
rice farming systems of India
(1)Mountain systems in the North
Western Himalayas in Uttarakhand
(2)Rainfed systems in the Eastern Coastal
Plains and Hills in Odisha
(3)Groundwater-based systems in the
Deccan Plateau region in Telangana
Rice Seasons : 2011 to 2013
•Rapid Rural Appraisal Exercises
•Participant Observations
•Field Measurements
•Focus Group Discussions
•Semi-Structured InterviewsConcept: Rice Farming as a Socio-
Technical System
Rice- Farming
System
Characteristics
Mountain
Systems in NW
Himalayas
(in Uttarakhand)
Rainfed systems in
Eastern Coastal Plains
and Hills (in Odisha)
Groundwater based
systems in Deccan
Plateau
(in Telangana)
Farming System Mixed crop
farming + livestock
rearing & forestry
Rainfed farming system
+ forestry
Rice based farming
system supported by
ground water irrigation
Rice Growing
Season
Kharif
(May to October)
Kharif
(June to December)
Kharif and Rabi
(Groundwater irrigated )
Average
Landholding Size
About one acre
per household
Less than one hectare
per household
About two hectare per
household
Major form of
Ag. Llabour
Mostly family and
exchange labour
Family, exchange and
hired labour
Mostly hired labour
Major source of
irrigation
Irrig. canals fed by
mountain springs
and streams
Mainly rainfed + tanks
& bore wells for suppl.
irrig. in coastal plain
Bore wells
Other crops
grown during rice
season
Millets and pulses Millets, pulses, oilseeds
in uplands & only rice
in coastal plains
Millets, cotton, pulses
and oilseed
Characteristics of Studied Farming SystemsCharacteristics of Studied Farming Systems
SRI Demands New Performative SkillsSRI Demands New Performative Skills
Raised Bed Nurseries (RBNs) Properly Marked Fields
Precise Transplanting of SeedlingsWater : Not Too Much nor Too Little
Nursery ManagementNursery Management
In Uttarakhand
Under limited water availability and at higher
elevations - older seedlings from conventional
nurseries preferred
In Odisha
Besides RBNs, also small nurseries in corners of
wet puddled rice plots
RBNs established when conventional nurseries
delayed or damaged due to incessant rains or
flooding
In Telengana
Mostly RBNs due to assured water supply
RBNs alongside conventional seedling sources, helped farmers to :
(1) use and exchange inputs and seedlings between different rice systems (2) manage
risks such as delayed nursery establishment, vagaries of weather (delayed rain or
flooding) or unforeseen seedling mortality due to insect infestation
Crop EstablishmentCrop Establishment
In Uttarakhand
Two different ways of transplanting evolved: line
transplanting in rows only (where water
availability was assured after marking) and line
transplanting by eye estimation without the use of
markers (where water supply was uncertain)
In Odisha
Roller marker replaced by rope marker
Rectangular and square patterns of planting were
observed
In Telengana
Irrigation, synchronisation of labour operations,
and field conditions influenced marking
No. of seedlings/hill varied depending upon seedling age, variety (indigenous/
hybrid/HYV), seedling source (RBN/conventional), plot location (near/away from
habitat) and even part of plot (border/middle) being transplanted
Reduction of planting density in the customary practices along with SRI plots
Water ManagementWater Management
In Uttarakhand
Shift from traditional liberal flooding to shallow
flooding, increasing water depth from
transplanting to maturity stage in SRI plots
In Odisha
SRI plot selection depended upon possibility of
better drainage and availability of water at
frequent intervals
Reduced practice of retaining water in
conventionally grown rice plots
In Telengana
Limited hours of electricity limits AWD –
encouraged maintaining thin film of water
Layout of canals, reliability of water supply, location of farms relative to habitats, and
plot characteristics (size, shape, soil–moisture conditions, and biota) influenced
application of SRI to particular plots
Weed ManagementWeed Management
In Uttarakhand
One way use of Mandva weeder along with
supplementary hand weeding predominant in SRI
plots
In Odisha
Cono weeders replaced by Mandva weeder
Women expressed reduced work load and better
health conditions while using Mandva weeders
In Telengana
No incentive for mechanical weeding for hired
labour
Mechanical weeding mostly limited to family
labour
Farmers shifted to line transplanting discarding grid plantation as the latter required
weeding on both sides. Also resulted in switching over to transplantation by using
marked ropes as against mechanical markers.
Labour ManagementLabour Management
In Uttarakhand
Farmers preferred establishing and collectively
raising multiple nurseries on a common plot
Transplanting groups were transformed with
young girls joining line and grid transplanting
In Odisha
Transplanting group size reduced and managed
mostly by family members and exchange labour
relatively young
In Telengana
Farmers having family labour do marking ahead
of the transplanting labor group, while those
externally dependent on labor for marking opted
for transplanting with ropes operated by the
transplanting labor
Transformation in gender division of labour was observed, more visible in weeding
Conclusions and ImplicationsConclusions and Implications
• New technologies are often assumed to fit
automatically into any farming system
overlooking local complexities, uncertainties
and constraints
• Agricultural interventions involve complex
socio-technical adaptation processes
• Farmers try to integrate practices according
to local context, leading to extension and
diversification of the repertoire of methods
• Issues pertaining to labour use, water
management, livelihoods and ecological
services have to be integrated instead of
focusing on farm productivity and individual
households
Need to build upon farmers’ adaptive capacities to maximize exploitation of
agro-ecological niches, minimize uncertainty in farm production and
rationalize employment of available work force
THANKTHANK
YOUYOU !!

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1604 - What Does SRI Bring? Improved Yields or Increased Agronomic Bandwidth?

  • 1. What Does System of Rice Intensification (SRI) Bring?What Does System of Rice Intensification (SRI) Bring? Improved Yields or Increased Agronomic-Bandwidth?Improved Yields or Increased Agronomic-Bandwidth? Debashish Sen, Ravindra Adusumilli, SabarmateeDebashish Sen, Ravindra Adusumilli, Sabarmatee
  • 2. Research Background & Research ObjectiveResearch Background & Research Objective What do farmers do whenWhat do farmers do when sustainable intensificationsustainable intensification methods like SRI open upmethods like SRI open up several newer options inseveral newer options in rice cultivation practices?rice cultivation practices? • Green Revolution and its Pros n Cons • Evolution of SRI as a knowledge and skill intensive innovation • Contested by mainstream agriculture science establishments • Spread in more than 50 countries and practised by as many as 5 million farmers • Numerous studies on its adoption, dis-adoption and non-adoption Transplanting of young seedlings Transplanting at wider spacing Alternate wetting and drying (AWD) Enhancing soil organic matter Inter-cultivation with weeder SRISRI PracticesPractices Single seedling per hill
  • 3. Methodology: Location and ToolsMethodology: Location and Tools 40 villages in three contrasting rice farming systems of India (1)Mountain systems in the North Western Himalayas in Uttarakhand (2)Rainfed systems in the Eastern Coastal Plains and Hills in Odisha (3)Groundwater-based systems in the Deccan Plateau region in Telangana Rice Seasons : 2011 to 2013 •Rapid Rural Appraisal Exercises •Participant Observations •Field Measurements •Focus Group Discussions •Semi-Structured InterviewsConcept: Rice Farming as a Socio- Technical System
  • 4. Rice- Farming System Characteristics Mountain Systems in NW Himalayas (in Uttarakhand) Rainfed systems in Eastern Coastal Plains and Hills (in Odisha) Groundwater based systems in Deccan Plateau (in Telangana) Farming System Mixed crop farming + livestock rearing & forestry Rainfed farming system + forestry Rice based farming system supported by ground water irrigation Rice Growing Season Kharif (May to October) Kharif (June to December) Kharif and Rabi (Groundwater irrigated ) Average Landholding Size About one acre per household Less than one hectare per household About two hectare per household Major form of Ag. Llabour Mostly family and exchange labour Family, exchange and hired labour Mostly hired labour Major source of irrigation Irrig. canals fed by mountain springs and streams Mainly rainfed + tanks & bore wells for suppl. irrig. in coastal plain Bore wells Other crops grown during rice season Millets and pulses Millets, pulses, oilseeds in uplands & only rice in coastal plains Millets, cotton, pulses and oilseed Characteristics of Studied Farming SystemsCharacteristics of Studied Farming Systems
  • 5. SRI Demands New Performative SkillsSRI Demands New Performative Skills Raised Bed Nurseries (RBNs) Properly Marked Fields Precise Transplanting of SeedlingsWater : Not Too Much nor Too Little
  • 6. Nursery ManagementNursery Management In Uttarakhand Under limited water availability and at higher elevations - older seedlings from conventional nurseries preferred In Odisha Besides RBNs, also small nurseries in corners of wet puddled rice plots RBNs established when conventional nurseries delayed or damaged due to incessant rains or flooding In Telengana Mostly RBNs due to assured water supply RBNs alongside conventional seedling sources, helped farmers to : (1) use and exchange inputs and seedlings between different rice systems (2) manage risks such as delayed nursery establishment, vagaries of weather (delayed rain or flooding) or unforeseen seedling mortality due to insect infestation
  • 7. Crop EstablishmentCrop Establishment In Uttarakhand Two different ways of transplanting evolved: line transplanting in rows only (where water availability was assured after marking) and line transplanting by eye estimation without the use of markers (where water supply was uncertain) In Odisha Roller marker replaced by rope marker Rectangular and square patterns of planting were observed In Telengana Irrigation, synchronisation of labour operations, and field conditions influenced marking No. of seedlings/hill varied depending upon seedling age, variety (indigenous/ hybrid/HYV), seedling source (RBN/conventional), plot location (near/away from habitat) and even part of plot (border/middle) being transplanted Reduction of planting density in the customary practices along with SRI plots
  • 8. Water ManagementWater Management In Uttarakhand Shift from traditional liberal flooding to shallow flooding, increasing water depth from transplanting to maturity stage in SRI plots In Odisha SRI plot selection depended upon possibility of better drainage and availability of water at frequent intervals Reduced practice of retaining water in conventionally grown rice plots In Telengana Limited hours of electricity limits AWD – encouraged maintaining thin film of water Layout of canals, reliability of water supply, location of farms relative to habitats, and plot characteristics (size, shape, soil–moisture conditions, and biota) influenced application of SRI to particular plots
  • 9. Weed ManagementWeed Management In Uttarakhand One way use of Mandva weeder along with supplementary hand weeding predominant in SRI plots In Odisha Cono weeders replaced by Mandva weeder Women expressed reduced work load and better health conditions while using Mandva weeders In Telengana No incentive for mechanical weeding for hired labour Mechanical weeding mostly limited to family labour Farmers shifted to line transplanting discarding grid plantation as the latter required weeding on both sides. Also resulted in switching over to transplantation by using marked ropes as against mechanical markers.
  • 10. Labour ManagementLabour Management In Uttarakhand Farmers preferred establishing and collectively raising multiple nurseries on a common plot Transplanting groups were transformed with young girls joining line and grid transplanting In Odisha Transplanting group size reduced and managed mostly by family members and exchange labour relatively young In Telengana Farmers having family labour do marking ahead of the transplanting labor group, while those externally dependent on labor for marking opted for transplanting with ropes operated by the transplanting labor Transformation in gender division of labour was observed, more visible in weeding
  • 11. Conclusions and ImplicationsConclusions and Implications • New technologies are often assumed to fit automatically into any farming system overlooking local complexities, uncertainties and constraints • Agricultural interventions involve complex socio-technical adaptation processes • Farmers try to integrate practices according to local context, leading to extension and diversification of the repertoire of methods • Issues pertaining to labour use, water management, livelihoods and ecological services have to be integrated instead of focusing on farm productivity and individual households Need to build upon farmers’ adaptive capacities to maximize exploitation of agro-ecological niches, minimize uncertainty in farm production and rationalize employment of available work force

Editor's Notes

  1. An inter-disciplinary approach which accommodates both natural and social aspects of ‘making’