Potential of the System of Rice Intensification for systemic improvement in rice production and water use -
The case of Andhra Pradesh

This paper discusses the advantages of system of rice intensification over normal paddy cultivation. The researcher compare the performance of System of Rice Intensification (SRI) and normal rice fields in two mandals (subdistricts) of Mahabubnagar district of Andhra Pradesh. The yields from these two systems and agronomics are compared.

The need to find less water intensive methods of agriculture become important as there is a reduction in the scope of enhancing irrigation base for increase in food production. It is in this context that this research has been carried out.
The study was carried out in the rice growing areas of Andhra Pradesh where the main sources of irrigation are canal systems, tanks and tubewells. The researchers quote findings which state that the canal irrigation systems are operating at very low efficiencies and that almost 11% of the canal irrigated area has turned saline. Further the groundwater resources in almost 43% of the states local administrative blocks have been classified as over-exploited, critical, or near-critical with respect to extraction levels and proportional recharge. The researchers also list out other issues in the irrigation sector.

Food Sovereignty: SRI sets the platform in irrigated rice systems of Tamil Nadu

By V.K.Ravichandran, K.R.Jahanmohan and B.J. Pandian

Tamil Nadu Agricultural University, a pioneer public sector research institute has piloted the innovative method of rice cultivation called SRI. It has spread SRI over a large area in the irrigated rice systems of Tamil Nadu through well designed strategies for upscaling.
System of Rice Intensification (SRI) is a novel method of rice cultivation based on a set of simple synergistic practices.They aim to change the management of rice plants and soil,water and nutrients that supports them in simple but specific ways.Success of SRI depends on strict adherence of its five critical steps viz., young seedlings, single seedling, square planting, water management and mechanical weeder usage. Among the five critical steps, raising young seedling, planting single seedling and square planting paves the way for food sovereignty in irrigated rice systems of Tamil Nadu. Since SRI method of rice cultivation is an innovative concept in the production environment, it is being given support by various institutional agencies. Tamil Nadu Agricultural University, a pioneer public sector research institute has piloted this method of rice cultivation and designed strategies for upscaling SRI in the irrigated rice systems of Tamil Nadu through TN-IAMWARM (Tamil Nadu Irrigated Agriculture Modernization and Water bodies Restoration and Management Project) – a world bank assisted project.

System of Rice Intensification (SRI) in Maharashtra

System of Rice Intensification (SRI)

  • SRI paddy cultivation requires less water & less expenditure and gives more yields. Beneficial for small and marginal farmers for food security
  • Father de Laulanie, who first promoted SRI, intended that it should enhance the human conditions, not just meet people’s material needs, thus human resource development
  • SRI provides immediate benefits: There is no transition period, even first season yield are usually higher than before and improve increase yield over time.
  • Accessibility for the poor: The lower capital costs of using SRI means that its economic and other benefits are not limited by access to capital, nor does it require loans and indebtedness. Thus contribute rapidly to greater food security for the poor.

Upscaling an innovative practice in rainfed paddy cultivation

By Sangeetha Pati, LEISA India, Dec 2009

Farm practices, even with inherent merits, are often difficult to spread over a large area. It is much more challenging for a practice like SRI to be tried and scaled up under rainfed conditions. In such situations, a well planned strategy is required.
Paddy is one of the important food crops grown in Veerapur,Kallapur, Ramapur and Nagalavi villages in Dharwad district in Karnataka. The farmers in these villages have been following time-tested methods of growing crops to accomplish the challenging task of feeding themselves. Paddy is the major crop occupying 95% of the total cultivable area in the villages.The region receives moderate to heavy rainfall, with an average annual rainfall of 772mm. Paddy is therefore cultivated under rainfed conditions. Majority go in for direct sowing using seed drill.Less than 2 per cent farmers undertake transplanting.