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1606 - The System of Rice Intensification (SRI) in Iran

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Presenter: M. H. Emadi
Title: SRI in Iran
Date: June 15, 2016
Venue: Cornell University, Ithaca, NY
Sponsor: SRI-Rice, International Programs, CALS, Cornell University

Published in: Technology
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1606 - The System of Rice Intensification (SRI) in Iran

  1. 1. SRI in IRAN M. H. Emadi Senior Advisor to the Minister of Agriculture Iran
  2. 2. Presentation Prologue History and story of SRI in Iran Experiences, achievements and lessons learned Future challenge
  3. 3. Major Crops and Land Utilization in Iran
  4. 4. Rice Cultivation in Iran • The total area under rice is more than 600 000 ha; rice is grown in 15 provinces. • However, more than 80 percent of rice area is distributed in the two northern provinces of Mazandaran and Gilan, adjoining the Caspian Sea. • It is estimated that 265 000 ha in Mazandaran (including areas in Gorgan) and 230 000 ha in Gilan are under rice cultivation.
  5. 5. Cultivation and Consumption of Rice in Iran • Almost all rice is grown under irrigated conditions. • Yields are 3 to 3.5 tonnes/ha for local and 5 to 7 tonnes/ha for improved varieties. • Normally one crop of rice is taken from April/May to August/September with 100-130-day varieties.
  6. 6. • Rice is the second major food grain, after wheat. • Annual rice consumption is around 2.8 million tons, 34-35 kg per person. • Rice consumption have been increasing during last four decades. • Iran now depends on importing between 400 000 and 500 000 tons of rice for domestic consumption.
  7. 7. Local Varieties Status The primary classification of Iranian rice is based on the physical shape of grains and on market value. They are broadly classified into 3 categories by grain and shape: • i) Sadri: very long slender grains; >7 mm kernel length; superior cooking and eating qualities; aromatic; high grain elongation; susceptibility to blast and stem borer; average yield about 5 tonnes/ha. • ii) Champa: medium grains; smaller kernels and lower market value than the Sadri category, but more resistant to environmental stresses, diseases and insects; higher yielding than the Sadri group. • iii) Gerdeh: short and round grains; much lower market value but more resistant to stresses and higher yielding than the first two categories.
  8. 8. • Since the 1960s, research has been carried out on various aspects of rice agronomic practices. • Major policy objective since 1979 has bee “self sufficiency” in rice through application of a) biological, b) chemical and c) mechanical technologies. • Varietal improvement projects have dominated and have mainly concentrated on improving the local varieties through mass selection and hybridization. • RRII in Harst was established in 1993, with main focus (in collaboration with IRRI) on research related to the development of high-yielding rice varieties that are resistant to diseases and pests; modern techniques for increasing domestic rice production; and the implementation of farm mechanization, tillage systems, and post-harvest technologies. • The disciplines at RRII are: i) plant breeding; ii) pest, disease and weed control; iii) water and soil science; and iv) agricultural machinery and engineering. Research and Development Policy
  9. 9. Research and Development Outcomes • Hybridization breeding programs have aimed at improving the yield of local varieties and at developing high-yielding varieties (HYVs). • At Rasht and Amol in the 1980s, several HYVs were developed with a higher yield potential, ranging from 5 to 7 tonnes/ha and a high degree of resistance to blast. • About 60 000 ha in Mazandaran Province, which has about one-third of the total rice land in Iran, were planted to Amol 2 and Amol 3 (HYVs).
  10. 10. A different view: The main actual issues that rice farmers in Iran are facing include: 1- Majority of farmers are small-scale as average farm size of rice fields is about 0.7 ha (resource-poor farmers predominate). 2- Costs of living and of production, particularly labor costs, are increasing; market fluctuations due to world market and economic sanctions have affected economic situation. 3- Low income from rice cultivation, particularly with low price received for HYVs, is discouraging rice farmers. 4- Low yield of favored local varieties (in high demand) is due to vulnerability to blast disease, lodging, and environmental changes. 5- Water shortages are common, and there are increasing adverse impacts of fertilizer and agrochemicals on water and soil resources.
  11. 11. A different approach to technology development in rice sector is needed: Conventional research and development approach  Large-scale, top-down and centralized  Complex and imported technology (techno-centric)  Expensive and capital-intensive  Increasing production achieved with increased costs too  High environmental impacts and costs  Not sustainable  Long-term and not definite Required approach for farmers  Appropriate and contextual (manageable)  Simple, indigenous and people based (available)  Economical (affordable)  Increase production and reduce the cost and inputs (profitable)  Environmentally-friendly (sustainable)  Tangible and short-term results (accessible)
  12. 12. SRI in Iran • A cultivation method named the System of Rice Intensification (SRI), developed in Madagascar during the early 1980s, has been reported as considerably improving rice yields, along with achieving water savings, cost reduction, and resistance to biotic and abiotic stresses (Uphoff, 1999, 2003; Barah, 2009; Barison and Uphoff, 2011). • During APO meeting in Japan the SRI concept introduced through Professor Uphoff in 2004. • First, the RRII was informed about SRI, and then the Haraz Technology Development and Extension Centre (HTDEC) was encouraged to start evaluation of SRI. • Agronomy Group of HTDEC with encouragement of deputy minister of extension (Ministry of Agriculture) agreed to start triais of SRI in the field on 2004.
  13. 13. SRI Practice in Iran  The first SRI practice was done in 2004 on 2 demonstration fields with 2 ha total paddy area (5000 m2 at HTDEC and 1.5 ha under farmer management) using a local variety.  In first year, just a few principles of SRI were practiced, i.e., young seedlings, one seedling per hill, and intermittent irrigation in the farmer’s field, and one seedling per hill and intermittent irrigation in HTDEC paddy field.  In 2007, after introducing this method to farmers by demonstrations and FFS activities in HTDEC five demonstration fields were assessed under farmers’ management (3.3 ha) and a SRI paddy field of 6000 m2 in HTDEC. Economic analysis of SRI practice at farmer’s field level  In 2013, a number of field experiments were carried out in people’s farms to evaluate, demonstrate and improve paddy field management through extension (Mazandaran province).
  14. 14. SRI Increased production up 60% compared to conventional cultivation systems
  15. 15. At same time, SRI practices reduced nursery costs by 41%
  16. 16. Water consumption in SRI was decreased by up to 30%  SRI production is achieved with about one-third reduction of water consumption.  In Mazandaran Province, with conventional management system, 1 ha of rice needs 12,500 m3 water, while with SRI practice, the requirement is about 8,000 m3, a reduction of 4,500 m3 in irrigation water with the wetting/drying method, with 3,000-4,000 m3 needed for puddling and land preparation.
  17. 17. Summary of major results:  SRI practices could increase rice yield about 60%  Decrease the costs of production up to 40%.  Decrease water consumption up to 30%.
  18. 18. After the first year trials, a training and demonstration program on SRI was established at HTDEC for farmers and extension officers.
  19. 19. SRI advantages are:  Particularly appropriate for small farmers and small farms (manageable)  Simple, indigenous, and people-based technology (available)  Economical, cost-reducing (affordable)  Increased productivity (higher production with lower costs and input requirements (profitable)  Environmentally-friendly (sustainable)  Tangible, short-term results (accessible)
  20. 20. Future challenges - Mutual engagement and Integrity 1. Integration of research and academics with SRI in Iran and rest of the world:  Planning and preparing the first regional symposium on SRI in Asia and Middle Eastern countries in this year.  More publication and communications. 2. Engagement of local people, NGOs and institutions with SRI in Iran and rest of the world through Cornell connections:  Field visits  Networking  Social media 3. Application of SRI also with other products and priorities:  First priority would be dealing with water issue and water saving  First product to be focused on could be wheat, major crop in Iran
  21. 21. Thank You

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