System of Rice Intensification (SRI)
Improving Rice Productivity and Achieving Water Savings
SRI is part of the answer to the global food shortage. The techniques require no new technology or any heavy investment in machinery. These techniques are all about discarding traditional ways that rice crops have been grown and using new methods which optimise plant strength. These videos are a must see for small crop farmers who can incorporate these techniques into their growing conditions.
The System of Rice Intensification or SRI is a simple package of good husbandry for hand planted rice crops. SRI is particularly valuable to farmers with small holdings because it does not compel them to buy more inputs and even partial adoption of the package brings results.
One example – Cambodia 2010: just 100,000 farmers (many of them women and many very poor) adopted SRI. Their average yields rose from 2.6 t/ha to 3.5 t/ha.
We want to introduce the benefits and limitations of SRI application. Compared to the commonly known flooded rice production, successful applications of SRI have shown that farmers can raise their paddy yields by 50 to 100% or more, while using fewer farm inputs, especially water.
After a brief review of the six key elements of SRI, the benefits of SRI are discussed – increase in paddy yields, better rice quality, reduction in irrigation water use, and reduction in production cost.
With climate change, increasing variability of rainfall, and the growing competition for water and land, SRI offers a new opportunity for increasing the production value per drop of water and for reducing agricultural water demand. Across the globe, water is fast becoming a precious commodity as more and more people use it for the household, industry, and agriculture.
Since almost half of the worlds population depends on rice as its staple food, rice uses the highest amount of water in agriculture. By 2025, 15 to 20 million hectares of irrigated rice fields may suffer from water scarcity.
To face this challenge, scientists have developed techniques like SRI and alternate wetting and drying (AWD), which uses less water to grow rice. The videos provide a glimpse on how to apply AWD and SRI in irrigated rice fields.
Alternate wetting and drying (AWD)–using less water to grow rice
A guide based on SSIA, an SRI application from the Philippines
E-learning course on SRI: