Transforming Rice Production with SRI (System of Rice Intensification) Knowledge and Practice: Reducing Agriculture Foot Print and Ensuring Food Security

Thiyagarajan, T.M. and Gujja, B. (2012) Transforming Rice Production with SRI (System of Rice Intensification) Knowledge and Practice: Reducing Agriculture Foot Print and Ensuring Food Security. Documentation. AGSRI, Hyderabad, Patancheru, India.

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Rice is life to a majority of people in Asia. The cultivation of rice represents both a way of life and a means to livelihood. Enormous progress has been made since World War II in improving the productivity and profitability of Indica rice. Such progress has been due to the development of semi dwarf, non-lodging and photo insensitive strains based on the DEE-GEE-WUN gene from China. Later, hybrid rice became a reality, thanks to the identification of cytoplasmic male sterile genes from Hainan Island in China. Higher yields also require higher inputs, particularly fertilizer and pesticides. Breeding for high yield should therefore be accompanied with methods of feeding the rice plant for high yield. This has to be done in a manner that the contribution of rice to climate change is minimized. Also, environmental problems associated with the excessive use of fertilizer and pesticides will have to be avoided. About 25 years ago, when I was at the International Rice Research Institute, I organized a meeting jointly with the World Health Organisation on methods of avoiding the breeding of malarial mosquito in rice fields. We came to the conclusion that it will be important to introduce alternate drying and wetting in the field, so that the mosquito breeding cycle is disrupted. Flood irrigation will have to be avoided. These approaches led to the development of the Asian Network on Sustainable Rice Farming. Meanwhile, thanks to the tireless efforts of Dr Norman Uphoff of the Cornell University a procedure of rice agronomy knows as “The System of Rice Intensification (SRI)” was developed. The present publication gives information on the work done by Drs Thiyagarajan and Dr Biksham Gujja on the development of the SRI System of rice cultivation. SRI helps to reduce the quantity of irrigation water needed and also involves much lower seed rate. When properly adopted, SRI helps to increase yield and income per drop of water. This method originally developed in Madagascar has now spread in various rice growing countries. It will be particularly suitable for adoption in conjunction with hybrid rice since there will be considerable saving on seed rate. I hope this timely book will be read widely and used for increasing the productivity, profitability and sustainability of rice farming in our country. The techniques described in the Book are particularly relevant in the context of climate change. Therefore, SRI should become an important component of climate resilient agriculture...

Item Type: Monograph (Documentation)
Additional Information: SRI is known in India since 2000. The awareness on SRI to the scientific community had been very lukewarm and limited to a few individuals. When the benefits of SRI were known from field experimentations and evaluations in farmers' fields, SRI extension began slowly from 2003 onwards. Once Civil Society Organizations showed their interest in promoting SRI there has been a tremendous boost to popularize SRI. Unfortunately there has been very little research interest on the innovative principles of SRI that could be applied to other crops also. Today SRI is known in all rice growing areas of the country but the adoption by rice farmers has been limited to some areas where there is sustained extension campaign. Policy support has been extended by some state Governments but a national thrust is still evading. The benefits of SRI is multifold, especially in resource conservation (water, land, energy, seeds and labour), rice production and addressing the challenges of climate change. Thus, SRI requires a serious attention from national policy makers. Being a knowledge intensive approach rather than input intensive modern agriculture, adoption of SRI by farmers requires several knowledge disposal mechanisms and hands on experience in carrying out the SRI practices. Though the effect of SRI principles on the rice soils and rice crop is still to be understood more thoroughly, sufficient scientific explanations are available on the better performance of rice crop under SRI. This book is an attempt to explain the origin, principles and practices of SRI and the developments so far in communicating the importance of SRI to rice farmers, students, scientists and policy makers so that the material could be used for extension, research and policy support. The contents have been assembled from various sources, especially from SRI websites, WWF-ICRISAT project and its partner organizations and Institutes, presentations made in national SRI symposia, publications and reports on SRI, field visits and interaction with farmers....
Subjects: Plant Production
Postharvest Management
Divisions: Other Crops
Depositing User: Mr. SanatKumar Behera
Date Deposited: 11 Sep 2012 04:39
Last Modified: 11 Sep 2012 04:40

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