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1817 - SRI-Pilipinas: Asia SRI Network Ideas


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Author: Roberto Verzola
Title: SRI-Pilipinas: Asia SRI Network Ideas
Workshop to Enhance Cooperation and Sharing among SRI National Networks and Stakeholders in Asia
Date: October 18-19, 2018
Venue: Leverage Business Hotel - Skudai, Johor Bahru, Malaysia

Published in: Environment
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1817 - SRI-Pilipinas: Asia SRI Network Ideas

  1. 1. SRI Pilipinas: Asia SRI Network ideas in 7 slides By Roberto Verzola Former Coordinator, SRI Pilipinas 0917-811-7747
  2. 2. Outline of Presentation 1. 7 Slides 2. Other slides, just in case… 1. Good news 2. Convincing farmers: our best arguments 3. State of SRI adoption in the Philippines 4. Things to do
  3. 3. 1. Network basic info 1. Network name: SRI Pilipinas 2. Membership (informal): SRI trainers and practicing SRI organizations 3. Brief history: 1. Started after N.Uphoff visited PH in 2001 2. No funding for 5 years; slow growth 3. Got funding from the Dept of Agric 2008 (grew into a natl network; training in 49 provinces) 4. Got funding from Oxfam 2011-2013 (expansion phase) 5. No funding 2014 to present (focused on local govts)
  4. 4. 2. How the network operates 1. We operate via cellphones, email 2. No funding for 4 years now 3. National meetings, if we have funds 4. 1 national coordinator, 13 regional coordinators (out of 16 regions) 5. We provide trainings, technical advice to local govts 6. We have local-language materials, available on request or from the Internet. 7. Others find us through the Internet; by word-of-mouth
  5. 5. 3. What has worked • Free primer in the local language • More detailed primers/book on the Internet • Face-to-face trainings (1/2 – 2 days) • Working with interested local governments • Season-long trainings • Radio program (Saturdays, 4-6am) • Dogged persistence
  6. 6. 4. What has not worked • Relying on the Dept of Agriculture • Relying on rice experts (Philrice, IRRI) • National contest (needs long-term funding)
  7. 7. 5. Benefits from Asia-wide network • Shared learnings • Inspiration from successes by others • Technology sharing • Foreign experience often “more credible” • Joint projects may be easier to fund
  8. 8. 6. Contributions to an Asia network • We can share our hard-earned lessons • We welcome exchange visits • We can do our part in a regional project
  9. 9. 7. Our own plans  Partner with the Dept of Agric for 2019 SRI trainings  Initiate a nation-wide SRI school-on-the-air program  Hold a national meeting of SRI trainers to collect and sum up recent learnings  Get more local governments to officially adopt SRI  Find more regular funding for SRI Pilipinas!
  10. 10. Thank you! Maraming salamat!
  11. 11. The good news The Philippine Department of Agriculture intends to conduct SRI training including 2 pax each from its 16 Regional Field Units.
  12. 12. • In 2017, the Dept of Agric held a national competition of hybrid rice varieties in Samar • SRI Pilipinas was allowed to join the competition as the 19th entry, using SRI and an inbred variety; • SRI placed 9th in yield (top yield: 8.5 tons/ha; SRI yield: 6.76 tons/ha); but the DA released no cost data • The Philrice entry placed 17th (5.95 tons/ha) • Some DA insiders tell us that SRI actually won the competition in terms of lowest cost per kg of yield. Did SRI win the 2017 Dept of Agriculture rice derby?
  13. 13. • Another rice derby was held in Western Mindanao (Region 9) in the first planting season of 2018. • This time, SRI Pilipinas was not invited to join, but one of the derby participants used SRI. • The SRI entry placed 4th out of 9 entries. • Again, no cost data is available. • We also believe that SRI actually won the competition in terms of lowest cost per kg of yield. … and the Western Mindanao 2018 Dept of Agric rice derby too?
  14. 14. • From the Assistant Sec for Agribusiness and Field Operations, dated Oct 3, 2018 • “In order to execute the instruction of the Sec, we request the Agric Training Institute to facilitate the training this Oct 2018 of 2 pax per Regional Field Ofc (one from Rice Program and one from Research).” Total pax: 32. • SRI Pilipinas will be the resource person. Breakthrough: a Dept of Agric internal memorandum on SRI
  15. 15. Convincing farmers: our best arguments SRI Pilipinas has found the following most effective in convincing farmers to try SRI
  16. 16. A rice plant with 100+ tillers
  17. 17. SRI advocate gets 2012 RM award  SRI advocate in Cambodia, Dr. Yang Saing Koma. Convinced the govt to support SRI. In a few years, they were able to raise Cambodia's rice production from 3.8 M tons (2002) to 7.8 M tons (2010). Dr. Koma is one of the 2012 Ramon Magsaysay awardees.
  18. 18. SRI first timer in Laur, NE gets 338 cavans/hectare  Dr. Joey Tolentino is a “weekend farmer” with 6 hectares of rice land in Laur, Nueva Ecija  In Jan 2013, he tried organic SRI for the first time in 1,035 sqm, using an Indonesian inbred  In the rest of his farm, he used a hybrid variety and the recommended chemical methods.  He got 35 cavans from the 1,035 sqm SRI plot (338 cavans/ha), 80 cavans/ha from the rest.
  19. 19. When does tillering start?  Tillering starts on the 4-leaf stage (16-20 DAS)  If transplanting is done when tillering is about to start, or has already started, tillering is delayed or aborted.  If delayed: there's little time left for tillering  If aborted: whatever number of tillers the transplanted seedlings had, that's it!  The SRI way: transplant two-leaf seedlings
  20. 20. Maltreatment of seedlings  Seedlings are like babies, but they are often treated very badly during transplanting  Rough treatment of seedlings that are about to tiller will delay or abort tillering  The SRI way: transplant seedlings as if you are moving a baby from the crib to the bed, without waking it up, hurting it, or causing any injury
  21. 21. Transplanting: like moving a baby from the crib to the bed
  22. 22. Maltreated seedlings: Amputated leaves, roots
  23. 23. 1 seedling per hill (not 2, not 3)  When they are planted very closely, seedings do not get enough sunlight and nutrients  There is not enough space for tillering  The plants use up their energy in competing with neighbors instead of growing grain  The SRI way: 1 seedling per hill, 25 x 25 cm between hills
  24. 24. At least one will be weak and sickly
  25. 25. Multiple seedlings per hill = one or more weak, sickly plant per hill  When babies have to fight for basic necessities like food, one or two will be unable to compete and will grow up weak and sickly  A weak and sickly plant attracts pests and disease  If you plant 3 or more seedlings per hill, every hill will have a weak and sickly plant
  26. 26. Must have occasional dry periods  Occasional dry periods are necessary  As the soil dries up…  Rice plant sends out more roots  Roots go after the moisture, so they grow deeper  Without lots of deep roots…  Many tillers cannot be supported  Plants lodge easily during high winds, floods  Grains will not get filled
  27. 27. White roots are healthy, dark roots are dying
  28. 28. Using chemicals that poison soil organisms  Agro-chemicals (commercial fertilizers, pesticides, herbicides, fungicides, molluscides, etc.) harm soil organisms.  These organisms are the true source of plant nutrients. Reduce their population and you are forced to rely more on synthetic fertilizers  The SRI way: use lots and lots of compost; put as much compost as your target yield
  29. 29. On a farmer’s first SRI trial  Convince some friends, neighbors to try too  Start with a small plot: 100-500 sqm  Land prep: as much compost as you can afford  Several varieties on separate sub-plots  Sow sparsely: 1 inch (2-3 cm) between seeds  Goal: success on first try (SOFT)
  30. 30. State of SRI adoption in the Philippines Very slow (one farmer at a time) but steady growth
  31. 31. NGOs promoting SRI  SRI in the Philippines is promoted mostly by NGOs  SRI Pilipinas is just one of those NGOs  Other groups (farmers federations; climate change advocates; organic advocates) also promote it  Some local governments also promote it today  Multiple networks, so numbers are hard to determine  A few thousand farmers and a few hundred hectares  Many of the SRI farmers remain in the trial stage
  32. 32. SRI promotion in government  Local govts with active climate change programs  A few dozen towns (out of 1,600)  One province (out of 80)  Biggest problem: central government  Anti-SRI elements within the Dept of Agriculture  No strong champion within the Dept  Philrice, IRRI, remain unconvinced  This may change in 2019
  33. 33. Things to do SRI Pilipinas goals for the next three years
  34. 34. Things to do for the next 3 years  Partner with the Dept of Agric for 2019 SRI trainings  Initiate a nation-wide SRI school-on-the-air program  Hold a national meeting of SRI trainers to collect and sum up recent learnings  Get more local governments to officially adopt SRI  Find more regular funding for SRI Pilipinas!