Global SRI Updates
- Following the adoption of a new method for rice production by Liberian farmers known as the System of Rice Intensification (SRI), the Community of Hope Agriculture Project (CHAP), based in Paynesville, outside Monrovia has received support from the government of Liberia and partners to carry out the implementation of the program. The support is meant to ensure that local farmers engaged in rice production commit themselves to the practice of the SRI to increase the yield of rice in Liberia. The program envisages 13 West African countries engaged in rice production to grow rice according to the SRI methodology to increase rice yield in the sub region of Africa.
- Vietnam’s central bank and the World Bank recently signed agreements for three projects worth US$390 million to support infrastructure, agriculture and livelihoods in the country’s poorest areas. These projects respond to different drivers of poverty in Vietnam including limited livelihood opportunities, remoteness and lack of connectivity, low productivity agriculture and fragmented and ineffective social assistance programs. One of these will support farmers in adopting climate-smart farming techniques, including system of rice intensification (SRI) and crop diversification, use of bio-fertilizer, and integrated pest management.
- Rice farmers in Sierra Leone will be able to achieve more than eight times higher yield by using the System of Rice Intensification (SRI) method of rice cultivation, according to the Rice Research Coordinator, West Africa Agricultural Productivity Program (WAAPP). The SRI system, which aims at higher rice production with less usage of chemical fertilizers, was introduced last year in some parts of Sierra Leone on a trial basis. Sierra is an importer of rice and by adopting SRI, the country’s rice production would increase significantly in the coming years.
- A feasibility study on SRI methods with respect to irrigation requirements, non-point source (NPS) pollution discharge, greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions and rice yields was conducted in Korea. The data indicated the high potentiality of adoption of the SRI methods for paddy farming in Korea. The study concludes that application of SRI water management methods could help to improve Korea’s water resources and water quality management, and could thus contribute to mitigation of the negative effects of global warming.
- System of Rice Intensification or SRI, today has enabled millions of farmers to advance agriculture for themselves. By adopting SRI methods, smallholder farmers in many countries are starting to get higher yields and greater productivity from their land, labor, seeds, water and capital, with their crops showing more resilience to the hazards of climate change. The ideas and practices that constitute SRI were developed inductively in Madagascar some 30 years ago for rice. They are now being adapted to improve the productivity of a wide variety of other crops – being referred to generically as the System of Crop Intensification (SCI), encompassing variants for wheat (SWI), maize (SMI), finger millet (SFMI), sugarcane (SSI), mustard (rapeseed/canola)(another SMI), teff (STI), legumes such as pigeon peas, lentils and soya beans, and vegetables such as tomatoes, chillies and eggplant. Producing more output with fewer external inputs may sound improbable, but it derives from a shift in emphasis from improving plant genetic potential via plant breeding, to providing optimal environments for crop growth.
- One of Cambodia’s pioneer hailed for advancing System of Rice Intensification (SRI) in this country – Yang Saing Koma, has been nominated for the Ramon Magsaysay Award for 2012. Instituted in 1957, this is Asia’s highest civilian honour and named after the Third Philippine President. Koma is associated with establishing the Cambodian Center for Study & Development in Agriculture (CEDAC) credited with introducing the sustainable rice production system for small-holder farms. In electing Yang Saing Koma to receive the 2012 Ramon Magsaysay Award – regarded as Asia’s Noble prize equivalent – the board of trustees recognized his creative fusion of practical science and collective will, that has inspired and enabled vast numbers of farmers in Cambodia to become more empowered and productive contributors to their country’s economic growth.
- The System of Rice Intensification (SRI) is gaining ground across Asia as more and more governments come to rely on it for food security. SRI is the counterpart in agricultural development of a viral idea in social media, imposing its way from the ground to the top. SRI methods are being successfully applied to other staple commodities like wheat and sugarcane in various parts of the globe, to mustard, finger-millets and vegetables in India, and teff in northeast Africa. Governments are actively promoting SRI in countries like China, India, Indonesia, Cambodia and Vietnam. It has progressively been on the move in East and South Africa. The spread of SRI in Cambodia has been cited as one of 15 Asian success stories in the MDGs endeavour. SRI is becoming the main rice cultivation system in most of southern China and today, this sustainable methodology is seen as vital to achieving the UN Millennium Development Goals (MDGs).