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EVALUATION OF
  THE SYSTEM OF RICE
   INTENSIFICATION
    IN BANGLADESH

   Prof. A. M. Muazzam Husain
BRAC University, Dhaka, Bangladesh

   WRRC, Tokyo-Tsukuba, Japan
      November 4-7, 2004
What is SRI?

A system of irrigated rice crop management
 to significantly increase production through
 changes and integration of the management
 of rice plants, soil, water and nutrients.
  • Does not depend upon high-cost modern inputs
  • Reduces farmers’ costs of production
  • Helps make crop production more sustainable
    and is environment friendly
  • Easily accessible to resource-poor farmers
  • Enhancement of food security
Relevance to Bangladesh

   Rice is main staple crop – 75% of cropped area
   High density of population – small farm size,
    majority of farmers resource-poor
   HYV adoption increased production – but yield
    growth has leveled out, with reduced profitability
   Hybrid rice and biotechnology may increase
    productivity but dependent on high- cost inputs
   Biotech is still a debatable technology, with
    possible health and environmental risk
Rice Sector Needs of Bangladesh

   Substantial & sustainable increase in yields –
    to release land for high-value crops
   Reduction in cost of production & increase
    in profitability for farmers
   Reduced requirement for high-cost inputs like
    fertilizer, irrigation water, and insecticides
   Environment- friendly sustainable agriculture
   SRI has shown the potential to meet all of
    these needs of the BD agricultural sector
SRI Trials in Bangladesh
   Started in 1999 after Bellagio Conference
    paper on SRI reached BD
   Dept. of Agric. Extension (DAE) and NGOs
    conducted initial trials in farmers’ fields
   BRRI conducted on-station trials
   Trials in farmers’ fields gave encouraging
    results but BRRI on–station trials did not
   Need for systematic evaluation -- PETRRA
    funded 3 sub-projects carried out over two
    consecutive Boro season trials (2002 – 2004)
Findings from PETRRA evaluations

Sub-Project 36 02
   Implemented by 3 NGOs (BRAC, SAFE, POSD) and
    a private company (Syngenta BD Ltd.)
   Participatory trials conducted in farmers’ fields in
    4 districts, 8 sub–districts (upazila): in 2002-03, N =
    487 farmers; in 2003-04, N = 791 farmers (plus 237)
   Results for both seasons were found encouraging:
     • Number of participating farmers increased by
       62% (111%) during second year
     • Area under SRI increased by 91%
AGRONOMIC FINDINGS

 Tillersper hill were 95% higher during 1st
  season and 60% higher during 2nd
  season than under FP
 Effective tillers were 94% and 122%
  higher during the 2 seasons respectively
 Length of panicle 11% higher in both
  seasons
 Weight of 1000 grains 14% – 18% higher
Fig. 1: SRI yield gains, 2002 - 03
                                 SRI                 Farmers' practice
                10

                9    8.1

                8




                                                        7.03
                                       6.34
                7




                                                                         6.1
                                                               5.9
                           5.9




                                              5.25
                6
 Yield (t/ha)




                                                                               4.7
                5

                4

                3

                2

                1

                0
                      BRAC              POSD              SAFE           Syngenta
Fig. 2: SRI yield gains, 2003 - 04
               10                        SRI            Farmers' practice

                    8.69




                                                 7.52
               8
                           6.71




                                  6.57




                                                        6.12




                                                                    6.3
                                          5.24
               6
Yield (t/ha)




                                                                            5.1
               4



               2



               0
                      BRAC          POSD           SAFE             Syngenta
Table 1. Yield gains of SRI over FP

Partners   SRI yield gains   SRI yield gains
             2002-03           2003-04
                 (%)               (%)
BRAC             37                30
POSD             21                25
SAFE             19                23
Syngenta         30                24
Fig. 3: Comparative net returns, 2002 - 03

                                              SRI   Farmers' practice
                              45262




                                                                        42100
                      50000




                                                     38257




                                                                                31865
                      40000




                                                                                        27765
                                      24863
 Net return (Tk/ha)




                                                             24120
                      30000




                                                                                                16655
                      20000

                      10000

                         0
                                 BRAC                    POSD               SAFE        Syngenta
ECONOMIC EVALUATION

 Because  of reductions in the cost of
 production while yield increased,
 farmers’ net returns were increased –
 more than 50% on average
Fig. 4: Comparative net returns, 2003 - 04

                                              SRI   Farmers' practice




                                                                        51557
                      60000
                              44772




                                                      39801
                      50000




                                                                                38124
 Net return (Tk/ha)




                      40000




                                                                                        28238
                                      25939




                                                              24584




                                                                                                18988
                      30000

                      20000

                      10000

                          0
                                 BRAC                    POSD               SAFE        Syngenta
Table 2: Profitability increase with SRI

                  2002-03          2003-04
    Partner       Profitability    Profitability
 organisations   gain with SRI    gain with SRI
                     (%)              (%)
BRAC                  82               73
POSD                  59               62
SAFE                  32               35
Syngenta              67               59
Perceptions of farmers on SRI
   No. of farmers and area under SRI increased
   Farmers confirmed increased yield from SRI
   Did not face any major pest/insect problems
   Thought that healthier SRI plants were more
    resistant to pests/insects
   Larger no. of farmers used organic manure –
    but needed training on preparing compost
   Faced irrigation management problems –
    these need community approach to solve
More perceptions of farmers on SRI
    Partial SRI adoption was favored by many
     farmers in some areas – accepting easier
     practices such as early transplantation with
     reduced no. of seedlings and wider spacing
    Difficult practices included:
         - applying compost or organic manure
         - alternate drying and wetting of fields
    However, even partial adoption had definite
     positive effect on yield and profitability
Findings from Sub-Project 34 02

Implemented by BD Rice Research
  Institute (BRRI) with local NGO partner
 Trials were conducted in farmers’ fields
  in one district (N = 20 farmers, then 35)
 Results for both seasons were positive
  – no detailed data on 2nd season
 SRI results were found to be better
  than both FP and BRRI practices
Table 3: Agronomic performance


Agronomic       SRI      BRRI          FP
features
Panicles (m2)   296       270          226

Filled grains   78         65          52
per panicle
Grain wt per     No significant difference
1000 grains
Table 4: Comparative yields, returns,
and BCR of SRI, BRRI and FP

    Indicator      SRI     BRRI      FP

Yield (t.ha-1)     6.03     5.79     4.06

Net returns (Tk   51,255   49,215   34,510
ha-1)
Benefit-cost       1.9      1.8      1.3
ratio (BCR)
SOCIO-ECONOMIC PERFORMANCE

   SRI yields and net returns were 49%
    higher than FP and 4% higher than BRRI
   Farmers’ perceptions in the area toward
    SRI were positive; also many farmers
    started their own partial adoption of SRI
   SRI was considered as specially suitable
    for resource-poor farmers
Findings from Sub-Project 35 02

Implemented by BRRI with NGO partner
in three districts
 Trials were conducted both on
research station and in farmers’ fields
(N = 32 farmers, and then 39 farmers)
 SRI yields in one district were 17.5%
higher than under FP during 1st season
In 2nd season, SRI yields were 13% to
20% greater
Further Findings from Sub-Project 35 02


  In the two other districts, 1st season
SRI yields were less than FP, but then
they were higher during the 2nd season
 SRI costs were higher than FP in these
trials:
    - Labour costs 19% higher
    - Irrigation cost 33% higher
Summary of SP 35 02 Findings

   Average net returns from SRI were similar to FP
   Many of the SRI practices were followed incorrectly,
    which affected the results
   Farmers’ perception of SRI was reported to be mixed
   However, farmer opinion was said to be universal in
    favour of ‘improved practices’ (modified SRI)
   DAE and other extension organizations working with
    project are showing interest to disseminate SRI
   Many local farmers have already started partial
    adoption of SRI
   Report recommends further field verification of SRI
SRI NATIONAL WORKSHOP, 2003
   Seven papers presented - 3 by BRRI staff, and
       4 by NGO/ DAE extension specialists
   Two BRRI papers did not have much positive
    to report, but the 3rd was highly encouraging
   NGO/ DAE papers found encouraging results
   Gap between views of scientists and extension
    specialists was apparent
   The farmers present expressed firmly positive
    views on SRI
WORKSHOP RECOMMENDATIONS

 Initiateintegrated and coordinated
  approach to evaluation and extension
  involving farmers, scientists and
  extension workers ( GO/NGO)
 Conduct further trials and experiments
  on SRI to determine its potential in BD
 Seek donor assistance for the above
Some Limitations of SRI and Evaluation

     Trials were conducted for a short period
     Lack of proper understanding of SRI
     In some cases, faulty application was
      made of SRI practices
     Lack of organic manure
     Problems faced in irrigation management
     Proper weeding not done to save costs
     Cost-effectiveness required in weeding
OVERALL FINDINGS ON SRI IN BD
   Overall experience shows encouraging picture
   Agronomic findings are favourable – with more tillers,
    effective tillers, larger panicles, more filled grain, etc.
   Grain quality was also found to be better
   Yield increases were significant in most cases, up to
    49% higher than yields with FP
   Profitability was much higher, up to 82% more
   Farmers’ perception was highly positive; many also
    have adopted partial SRI on their own
   Extension personnel (GO/NGO) have positive attitude
   Some scientists have taken a positive attitude, some
    others are still skeptical – no consensus
CONCLUSION

   SRI has shown its potential for improving
    yield and profits of farmers in Bangladesh
   Gap still persists between results of
    researchers on-station and farmers’ fields
   Further trials and experimentation on various
    aspects of SRI are needed
   Government and donor support for more SRI
    trials can be well justified
   GO/NGO collaboration is also needed
THANK YOU

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0411 Evaluation of SRI in Bangladesh

  • 1. EVALUATION OF THE SYSTEM OF RICE INTENSIFICATION IN BANGLADESH Prof. A. M. Muazzam Husain BRAC University, Dhaka, Bangladesh WRRC, Tokyo-Tsukuba, Japan November 4-7, 2004
  • 2. What is SRI? A system of irrigated rice crop management to significantly increase production through changes and integration of the management of rice plants, soil, water and nutrients. • Does not depend upon high-cost modern inputs • Reduces farmers’ costs of production • Helps make crop production more sustainable and is environment friendly • Easily accessible to resource-poor farmers • Enhancement of food security
  • 3. Relevance to Bangladesh  Rice is main staple crop – 75% of cropped area  High density of population – small farm size, majority of farmers resource-poor  HYV adoption increased production – but yield growth has leveled out, with reduced profitability  Hybrid rice and biotechnology may increase productivity but dependent on high- cost inputs  Biotech is still a debatable technology, with possible health and environmental risk
  • 4. Rice Sector Needs of Bangladesh  Substantial & sustainable increase in yields – to release land for high-value crops  Reduction in cost of production & increase in profitability for farmers  Reduced requirement for high-cost inputs like fertilizer, irrigation water, and insecticides  Environment- friendly sustainable agriculture  SRI has shown the potential to meet all of these needs of the BD agricultural sector
  • 5. SRI Trials in Bangladesh  Started in 1999 after Bellagio Conference paper on SRI reached BD  Dept. of Agric. Extension (DAE) and NGOs conducted initial trials in farmers’ fields  BRRI conducted on-station trials  Trials in farmers’ fields gave encouraging results but BRRI on–station trials did not  Need for systematic evaluation -- PETRRA funded 3 sub-projects carried out over two consecutive Boro season trials (2002 – 2004)
  • 6. Findings from PETRRA evaluations Sub-Project 36 02  Implemented by 3 NGOs (BRAC, SAFE, POSD) and a private company (Syngenta BD Ltd.)  Participatory trials conducted in farmers’ fields in 4 districts, 8 sub–districts (upazila): in 2002-03, N = 487 farmers; in 2003-04, N = 791 farmers (plus 237)  Results for both seasons were found encouraging: • Number of participating farmers increased by 62% (111%) during second year • Area under SRI increased by 91%
  • 7. AGRONOMIC FINDINGS  Tillersper hill were 95% higher during 1st season and 60% higher during 2nd season than under FP  Effective tillers were 94% and 122% higher during the 2 seasons respectively  Length of panicle 11% higher in both seasons  Weight of 1000 grains 14% – 18% higher
  • 8. Fig. 1: SRI yield gains, 2002 - 03 SRI Farmers' practice 10 9 8.1 8 7.03 6.34 7 6.1 5.9 5.9 5.25 6 Yield (t/ha) 4.7 5 4 3 2 1 0 BRAC POSD SAFE Syngenta
  • 9. Fig. 2: SRI yield gains, 2003 - 04 10 SRI Farmers' practice 8.69 7.52 8 6.71 6.57 6.12 6.3 5.24 6 Yield (t/ha) 5.1 4 2 0 BRAC POSD SAFE Syngenta
  • 10. Table 1. Yield gains of SRI over FP Partners SRI yield gains SRI yield gains 2002-03 2003-04 (%) (%) BRAC 37 30 POSD 21 25 SAFE 19 23 Syngenta 30 24
  • 11. Fig. 3: Comparative net returns, 2002 - 03 SRI Farmers' practice 45262 42100 50000 38257 31865 40000 27765 24863 Net return (Tk/ha) 24120 30000 16655 20000 10000 0 BRAC POSD SAFE Syngenta
  • 12. ECONOMIC EVALUATION  Because of reductions in the cost of production while yield increased, farmers’ net returns were increased – more than 50% on average
  • 13. Fig. 4: Comparative net returns, 2003 - 04 SRI Farmers' practice 51557 60000 44772 39801 50000 38124 Net return (Tk/ha) 40000 28238 25939 24584 18988 30000 20000 10000 0 BRAC POSD SAFE Syngenta
  • 14. Table 2: Profitability increase with SRI 2002-03 2003-04 Partner Profitability Profitability organisations gain with SRI gain with SRI (%) (%) BRAC 82 73 POSD 59 62 SAFE 32 35 Syngenta 67 59
  • 15. Perceptions of farmers on SRI  No. of farmers and area under SRI increased  Farmers confirmed increased yield from SRI  Did not face any major pest/insect problems  Thought that healthier SRI plants were more resistant to pests/insects  Larger no. of farmers used organic manure – but needed training on preparing compost  Faced irrigation management problems – these need community approach to solve
  • 16. More perceptions of farmers on SRI  Partial SRI adoption was favored by many farmers in some areas – accepting easier practices such as early transplantation with reduced no. of seedlings and wider spacing  Difficult practices included: - applying compost or organic manure - alternate drying and wetting of fields  However, even partial adoption had definite positive effect on yield and profitability
  • 17. Findings from Sub-Project 34 02 Implemented by BD Rice Research Institute (BRRI) with local NGO partner  Trials were conducted in farmers’ fields in one district (N = 20 farmers, then 35)  Results for both seasons were positive – no detailed data on 2nd season  SRI results were found to be better than both FP and BRRI practices
  • 18. Table 3: Agronomic performance Agronomic SRI BRRI FP features Panicles (m2) 296 270 226 Filled grains 78 65 52 per panicle Grain wt per No significant difference 1000 grains
  • 19. Table 4: Comparative yields, returns, and BCR of SRI, BRRI and FP Indicator SRI BRRI FP Yield (t.ha-1) 6.03 5.79 4.06 Net returns (Tk 51,255 49,215 34,510 ha-1) Benefit-cost 1.9 1.8 1.3 ratio (BCR)
  • 20. SOCIO-ECONOMIC PERFORMANCE  SRI yields and net returns were 49% higher than FP and 4% higher than BRRI  Farmers’ perceptions in the area toward SRI were positive; also many farmers started their own partial adoption of SRI  SRI was considered as specially suitable for resource-poor farmers
  • 21. Findings from Sub-Project 35 02 Implemented by BRRI with NGO partner in three districts  Trials were conducted both on research station and in farmers’ fields (N = 32 farmers, and then 39 farmers)  SRI yields in one district were 17.5% higher than under FP during 1st season In 2nd season, SRI yields were 13% to 20% greater
  • 22. Further Findings from Sub-Project 35 02  In the two other districts, 1st season SRI yields were less than FP, but then they were higher during the 2nd season  SRI costs were higher than FP in these trials: - Labour costs 19% higher - Irrigation cost 33% higher
  • 23. Summary of SP 35 02 Findings  Average net returns from SRI were similar to FP  Many of the SRI practices were followed incorrectly, which affected the results  Farmers’ perception of SRI was reported to be mixed  However, farmer opinion was said to be universal in favour of ‘improved practices’ (modified SRI)  DAE and other extension organizations working with project are showing interest to disseminate SRI  Many local farmers have already started partial adoption of SRI  Report recommends further field verification of SRI
  • 24. SRI NATIONAL WORKSHOP, 2003  Seven papers presented - 3 by BRRI staff, and 4 by NGO/ DAE extension specialists  Two BRRI papers did not have much positive to report, but the 3rd was highly encouraging  NGO/ DAE papers found encouraging results  Gap between views of scientists and extension specialists was apparent  The farmers present expressed firmly positive views on SRI
  • 25. WORKSHOP RECOMMENDATIONS  Initiateintegrated and coordinated approach to evaluation and extension involving farmers, scientists and extension workers ( GO/NGO)  Conduct further trials and experiments on SRI to determine its potential in BD  Seek donor assistance for the above
  • 26. Some Limitations of SRI and Evaluation  Trials were conducted for a short period  Lack of proper understanding of SRI  In some cases, faulty application was made of SRI practices  Lack of organic manure  Problems faced in irrigation management  Proper weeding not done to save costs  Cost-effectiveness required in weeding
  • 27. OVERALL FINDINGS ON SRI IN BD  Overall experience shows encouraging picture  Agronomic findings are favourable – with more tillers, effective tillers, larger panicles, more filled grain, etc.  Grain quality was also found to be better  Yield increases were significant in most cases, up to 49% higher than yields with FP  Profitability was much higher, up to 82% more  Farmers’ perception was highly positive; many also have adopted partial SRI on their own  Extension personnel (GO/NGO) have positive attitude  Some scientists have taken a positive attitude, some others are still skeptical – no consensus
  • 28. CONCLUSION  SRI has shown its potential for improving yield and profits of farmers in Bangladesh  Gap still persists between results of researchers on-station and farmers’ fields  Further trials and experimentation on various aspects of SRI are needed  Government and donor support for more SRI trials can be well justified  GO/NGO collaboration is also needed