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1825 - Iraq - Initiatives to Spread the SRI in the Middle East and Central Asia

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Author: Khidhir Abbas Hameed
Title: Iraq - Initiatives to Spread the SRI in the Middle East and Central Asia
Presented at: The Workshop to Enhance Cooperation and Sharing among SRI National Networks in Asia
Date: October 18-19, 2018
Venue: Leverage Business Hotel-Skudai, Johor Bahru, Malaysia

Published in: Environment
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1825 - Iraq - Initiatives to Spread the SRI in the Middle East and Central Asia

  1. 1. Initiatives to Spread the System of Rice Intensification (SRI) in the Middle East and Central Asia Khidhir Abbas Hameed Ministry of Agriculture Agricultural Research Office IRAQ SRI Networks Workshop - Malaysia , 18-19 October 2018 SRI-Mas
  2. 2. The average rice-growing area is 125,000 ha¯¹, producing 392,950 tons of paddy with an average yield of 3.16 tons ha¯¹. Rice cultivation and distribution in Iraq
  3. 3. Iraq’s Challenge  Usually, the conventional method of irrigated rice production involves continuous submergence, maintaining a layer of water 10 cm deep during the growing season.  The cropping of rice in alternation with wheat has frequently exhausted the soil.  Generally, seeds are directly sown onto ploughed soil, and this requires using large amounts of seed. A new strategy is needed to achieve high rice production and productivity with less water and other resources, including seeds
  4. 4. SRI practices The System of Rice Intensification (SRI) was developed as a set of insights and practices that raised resource productivity by beneficially changing the management of the plants, soil, water and nutrients used for growing irrigated rice crops. With SRI practices, roots grow larger and deeper and do not degenerate for lack of oxygen in the soil as occurs when rice fields are kept continuously flooded. Also, there is more beneficial life in the soil.
  5. 5. Major water research achievements A study of water use efficiency (WUE) was carried out at Al- Mishkhab Rice Research station. WUE with SRI was 0.291 kg m¯² compared to WUE of 0.108 kg m¯² for non-SRI cultivation -- almost a threefold difference. SRI practices were found to reduce the need for irrigation water by 38.5% . SRI Plot Non SRI Plot
  6. 6. Global information on SRI experience in Iraq Progress with SRI in Iraq is getting known on a broader scale See SRI website (http://sri.cals.cornell.edu) for reports on our SRI activities in Iraq, with pictures and videos. Prof. Norman Uphoff, former director of CIIFAD, has reported on the history of SRI in Iraq and on our SRI activities in his presentation on "Evaluation and Spread of the System of Rice Intensification in Asia" at the 2nd National SRI Symposium held in Agartala, Tripura State, India, in 2007. The SRI newsletter for the 3rd National Symposium on SRI held in Coimbatore, India, December 2008, published an article on our implementation of SRI in Al-Muthanna province (WWF- ICRISAT, 2008).
  7. 7. Year SRI system SRI using MT SRI using clover crop SRI research area at MRRS Average yield increase (%)Hectares Farmers Hectares Farmers Hectares Farmers 2005 0.25 1 - - 0.25 1 - 18 2006 2 8 - - 1.5 8 1 18 2007 11 16 - - 3.25 16 5 21 2008 16 4 - - 12 60 2 51 2009 9.25 12 9 10 16.5 40 - 22 2010 2 4 17 22 15 38 3 18 2011 2 8 6 12 15 43 1 36 2012 22 16 3.5 7 19.5 63 2 14 2013 20 4 1 2 30 78 - 15 2014 3 12 2 4 20 80 - 25 2015 - - 1 2 30 55 1 9 2016 - - 2 8 22 45 1 12 2017 3 12 1 2 7 30 - 20 Total 90.5 97 42.5 69 192 557 16 21 Main achievements with SRI in Iraq Table showing SRI development in Iraq during past 13 years SRI system = using all the principles of SRI SRI using MT = young seedlings transplanted by machine SRI using clover crop = young seedlings transplanted following clover crop as a green manure Total SRI area = 325 ha Total SRI farmers = 725 in three provinces (Najaf , Diwaniya, and Muthanna)
  8. 8. Future plans on SRI system  Studies on nutrient management with special reference to benefits and costs of using organic sources.  Precise quantification of savings in water.  Studies on microbial activity and detailed work on root system.  Identification of locations which are most suitable for SRI with socio-economic analysis of SRI effects.  Application of environment-friendly methods to improve soil health and water quality.  Implementing of SRI system in areas on a large scale with support of FAO, IRRI, and other donors.
  9. 9. Region where SRI is still getting started  No regional networking yet, although there are some contacts  Four countries had gotten started with SRI:  Afghanistan – several attempts to get SRI started before 2007, but first effective initiative was under an Aga Khan Foundation program in Baghlan Province in 2007; in 2012, the FAO/IPM program with support from Norwegian government started promoting SRI and SWI; in 2018, a new and expanded project with SRI/SWI components was started  Egypt – evaluation trials started in 2008 at Rice Research and Training Center at Kafr-el-Shaikh; validated SRI methods; large World Bank project 2013-2016  Iran – trials started in 2004 at Haraz Extension and Technology Development Center at Amol, followed by trials also at Harsht center; 2013 summary of results: 60% higher yield, 40% lower nursery costs, 30% reduction in water requirements  Iraq – SRI trials started in 2005 at Al-Miskhab Rice Research Station.
  10. 10. Region where SRI is still getting started  Discussions started with other centers in Central and West Asia .  Iraq experience has been well-documented and provides learning that should support the spread of SRI within the region (Central and West Asia countries), where agronomic and climatic conditions are much different from most of the countries where SRI has gotten started.

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