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Improving and Scaling up the System of 
Rice Intensification (SRI) in West Africa P675 
Jenkins, D1; Traoré, G2; Styger, E1; Bagayoko, M2. 
West Africa is the rice basket of Sub-Saharan Africa, yet stagnating yields and a 
rapidly rising population threaten the region’s economic stability and food security. 
Conventional efforts to reverse this haven’t led to widespread productivity gains, 
meaning that a new approach may be needed. An innovative 13-country project using 
the System of Rice Intensification aims to change this. 
About 
SRI About the 
N i g e r 
M a l i 
B u r k i n a 
F a s o 
N i g e r i a 
2014 
SRI 
Zones 
G u i n e a 
Liberia 
S e n e g a l 
C ô t e 
d’Ivoire 
S i e r r a 
L e o n e 
B e n i n 
T o g o 
T h e G a m b i a 
G h a n a 
Minimize competition 
between plants 
Innovative 
Project Design 
Creating New 
Platforms 
Advancing 
Agriculture 
This project is both improving rice 
production in the region, and adapting and 
improving SRI to respond to the diverse 
rice growing conditions found in West Africa: 
in Liberia farmers are pioneering dry season 
lowland rice farming using SRI; farmers 
across the region are adapting SRI to rainfed 
upland conditions; and mechanized tools 
are being adapted to make labor intensive 
tasks like seeding and weeding faster and 
easier for farmers. 
1SRI International Network and Resources Center (SRI-Rice), 624 Bradfield Hall, Cornell University, Ithaca, NY 14853 USA 
2Centre National de Spécialisation sur le Riz (CNS-RIZ), Institut d’Economie Rurale, BP 258, Bamako, Mali 
Contacts: Dr. Gaoussou Traoré – gtraore9@yahoo.fr / Dr. Erika Styger – eds8@cornell.edu ©2014 SRI-Rice and CNS-Riz 
Design: Devon Jenkins and Erika Styger 
SRI is an agroecological, knowledge-based 
rice growing methodology that helps farmer 
produce more rice using fewer resources: 
• 80-95% less seed 
• 30-50% less water (for irrigated rice) 
• Reduction in agrochemical use 
• 30% or higher increase in yield 
Following four simple principles, 
farmers can adapt SRI to their local 
conditions – including irrigated, 
rainfed lowland, and rainfed upland 
production. 
Enhance soil organic 
matter and soil biota 
Photo: Erika Styger, SRI-Rice 
3 
Manage water to avoid 
flooding, drought stress 
Photo: Erika Styger, SRI-Rice 
4 
Photo: Erika Styger, SRI-Rice 
2 
Favor early and healthy 
plant establishment 
Photo: Erika Styger, SRI-Rice 
1 
Project SRI Sites 
Other Notable SRI Sites 
Based off these four principles, some common 
practices include: 
• Transplanting at the two-leaf stage 
• Planting in a grid pattern, with 1 plant/hill (1-2 if 
direct seeded), and 25 cm spacing between plants 
in each direction 
• Aerobic soil management during the vegetative 
growth stage 
• Reduced tillage where possible 
• Mechanical weeding or mulching to control weeds 
Project 
The three-year first phase of ‘Improving 
and Scaling Up the System of Rice 
Intensification’ started in January 2014, 
as part of the World Bank-financed West 
Africa Agricultural Productivity Program 
(WAAPP). 
In each of the 13 project countries, 
WAAPP staff work in collaboration with 
local partners, including NGOs, research 
institutes, extension services, and 
farmers’ organizations. 
The regional coordination – led by Mali’s 
CNS-Riz with technical support from 
Cornell University’s SRI-Rice Center 
– supports and oversees international 
cooperation and exchange, facilitating 
an adaptation and scaling-up process 
that takes advantage of the regional 
nature of this project. 
The innovative nature of SRI is reflected in the 
project’s design. 
SRI has historically been a farmer-led 
innovation process. Building on this, the 
project uses an innovative structure to give 
farmers, field technicians and trainers the 
opportunity to play a prominent role as ‘SRI 
Champions.’ 
These SRI Champions help shape project 
activities and budgets, and form a vital 
link in a two-way decision making and 
implementation process. Acting alongside the 
SRI Champions and the WAAPP structures 
in each country, National Facilitators steer 
the process locally, engaging partner 
organizations to maximize collaboration and 
synergies. 
Find Out 
More... 
There’s space for you in this project – 
get involved! 
Project Website 
The project website has the 
latest information about project 
activities in each country, and 
dozens of resources for adapting 
SRI to local conditions: 
www.sriwestafrica.org 
Project Newsletter 
Look for quarterly news-letters 
for updates on the 
latest stories from the field: 
www.sriwestafrica.org/documents 
Agroecozones in West Africa cut narrow 
bands across multiple countries, creating 
both challenges and opportunities. For 
SRI to be successfully adapted to the 
diverse conditions found in the region, 
knowledge, ideas and innovations will 
need to be shared freely and quickly 
between countries. 
To make this a reality, we are reimagining 
research and extension roles, and 
creating new data collection and 
communications tools that can connect 
farmers in real time – turning them into full 
partners in the process of research and 
discovery. 
New mobile data collection and online 
mapping platforms are in development 
that could help transform agricultural 
research and extension in the region. 
Photo: Lorraine Perricone-Dazzo Photo: Lorraine Perricone-Dazzo 
Photo: Jean Apedoh

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1434 - Improving and Scaling Up the System of Rice Intensification in West Africa

  • 1. Improving and Scaling up the System of Rice Intensification (SRI) in West Africa P675 Jenkins, D1; Traoré, G2; Styger, E1; Bagayoko, M2. West Africa is the rice basket of Sub-Saharan Africa, yet stagnating yields and a rapidly rising population threaten the region’s economic stability and food security. Conventional efforts to reverse this haven’t led to widespread productivity gains, meaning that a new approach may be needed. An innovative 13-country project using the System of Rice Intensification aims to change this. About SRI About the N i g e r M a l i B u r k i n a F a s o N i g e r i a 2014 SRI Zones G u i n e a Liberia S e n e g a l C ô t e d’Ivoire S i e r r a L e o n e B e n i n T o g o T h e G a m b i a G h a n a Minimize competition between plants Innovative Project Design Creating New Platforms Advancing Agriculture This project is both improving rice production in the region, and adapting and improving SRI to respond to the diverse rice growing conditions found in West Africa: in Liberia farmers are pioneering dry season lowland rice farming using SRI; farmers across the region are adapting SRI to rainfed upland conditions; and mechanized tools are being adapted to make labor intensive tasks like seeding and weeding faster and easier for farmers. 1SRI International Network and Resources Center (SRI-Rice), 624 Bradfield Hall, Cornell University, Ithaca, NY 14853 USA 2Centre National de Spécialisation sur le Riz (CNS-RIZ), Institut d’Economie Rurale, BP 258, Bamako, Mali Contacts: Dr. Gaoussou Traoré – gtraore9@yahoo.fr / Dr. Erika Styger – eds8@cornell.edu ©2014 SRI-Rice and CNS-Riz Design: Devon Jenkins and Erika Styger SRI is an agroecological, knowledge-based rice growing methodology that helps farmer produce more rice using fewer resources: • 80-95% less seed • 30-50% less water (for irrigated rice) • Reduction in agrochemical use • 30% or higher increase in yield Following four simple principles, farmers can adapt SRI to their local conditions – including irrigated, rainfed lowland, and rainfed upland production. Enhance soil organic matter and soil biota Photo: Erika Styger, SRI-Rice 3 Manage water to avoid flooding, drought stress Photo: Erika Styger, SRI-Rice 4 Photo: Erika Styger, SRI-Rice 2 Favor early and healthy plant establishment Photo: Erika Styger, SRI-Rice 1 Project SRI Sites Other Notable SRI Sites Based off these four principles, some common practices include: • Transplanting at the two-leaf stage • Planting in a grid pattern, with 1 plant/hill (1-2 if direct seeded), and 25 cm spacing between plants in each direction • Aerobic soil management during the vegetative growth stage • Reduced tillage where possible • Mechanical weeding or mulching to control weeds Project The three-year first phase of ‘Improving and Scaling Up the System of Rice Intensification’ started in January 2014, as part of the World Bank-financed West Africa Agricultural Productivity Program (WAAPP). In each of the 13 project countries, WAAPP staff work in collaboration with local partners, including NGOs, research institutes, extension services, and farmers’ organizations. The regional coordination – led by Mali’s CNS-Riz with technical support from Cornell University’s SRI-Rice Center – supports and oversees international cooperation and exchange, facilitating an adaptation and scaling-up process that takes advantage of the regional nature of this project. The innovative nature of SRI is reflected in the project’s design. SRI has historically been a farmer-led innovation process. Building on this, the project uses an innovative structure to give farmers, field technicians and trainers the opportunity to play a prominent role as ‘SRI Champions.’ These SRI Champions help shape project activities and budgets, and form a vital link in a two-way decision making and implementation process. Acting alongside the SRI Champions and the WAAPP structures in each country, National Facilitators steer the process locally, engaging partner organizations to maximize collaboration and synergies. Find Out More... There’s space for you in this project – get involved! Project Website The project website has the latest information about project activities in each country, and dozens of resources for adapting SRI to local conditions: www.sriwestafrica.org Project Newsletter Look for quarterly news-letters for updates on the latest stories from the field: www.sriwestafrica.org/documents Agroecozones in West Africa cut narrow bands across multiple countries, creating both challenges and opportunities. For SRI to be successfully adapted to the diverse conditions found in the region, knowledge, ideas and innovations will need to be shared freely and quickly between countries. To make this a reality, we are reimagining research and extension roles, and creating new data collection and communications tools that can connect farmers in real time – turning them into full partners in the process of research and discovery. New mobile data collection and online mapping platforms are in development that could help transform agricultural research and extension in the region. Photo: Lorraine Perricone-Dazzo Photo: Lorraine Perricone-Dazzo Photo: Jean Apedoh