System of Rice Intensification: Proposals Invited
Sir Dorabji Tata Trust and the Allied Trusts seek applications from NGOs, research institutions and universities for the promotion of System of Rice Intensification (SRI) in India.
The System of Rice Intensification (SRI) is a system developed in Madagascar in the 1980s and has since 1999 been tried out successfully in 25 countries across the world providing farmers with increased yield and options. SRI is a system of growing rice that involves practices different from the traditional ways of growing rice. It involves single and young seedlings transplantation with care instead of the conventional method of multiple and mature seedlings from the nursery. SRI spaces rice plants more widely and does not depend on continuous flooding of rice fields. It uses lesser seed, chemical inputs and promotes soil biotic activities in and around plant roots, enhanced through liberal applications of compost and weeding with a rotating hoe that aerates the soil.
These changed practices with lower inputs counter-intuitively lead to improved productivity with yields of 7-8 tonnes/hectare (t/ha), about double the present average of 3.8 t/ha.
Typically in the SRI method, the following principles are applied:
Plant young, single seedlings widely spaced, 25 cms. apart rather than more seedlings close together as in the conventional rice growing system Soil should be wet but not inundated by flood irrigation Weed and aerate soil by use of a simple weeding machine.