ABOUT THE SRI INTERNATIONAL NETWORK AND RESOURCES CENTER (SRI-RICE)
The SRI International Network and Resources Center (SRI-Rice) was established at Cornell University in 2010 in response to the increasing importance of the System of Rice Intensification (SRI), a climate-smart, yield-increasing methodology that is being utilized by more than 10 million smallholder farmers in over 55 countries (see map). SRI-Rice is housed at International Programs of Cornell's College of Agriculture and Life Sciences.
The use of the SRI methodology and its local adaptation to various rice systems, as well as other crops (Systerm of Crop Intensification, or SCI), is quickly spreading among resource-limited farmers in Asia, Africa and Latin America, improving yields, food security, farm-level income, while protecting the environment. For more insights on SRI, see the recent practice brief, SRI: Revisiting Agronomy for a Changing Climate, which was published by the Global Alliance for climate-Smart Agriculture.
The widespread success at the farmers' level presents a great opportunity - and also challenge - to collect the knowledge and to make it available to other farmers, program developers, researchers and policy makers. SRI-Rice has set out on this path, striving to reach as many smallholder farmers as possible, enhancing the networking, promoting collaborative synergies and accelerating learning.
To reduce hunger and extreme poverty by improving productivity of rice and other crops based on environment-friendly agricultural practices that preserve and improve the natural resource base and help to better withstand changing climate conditions.
To advance and share knowledge about the System of Rice Intensification, to improve the technical implementation of the SRI methodology, and to support networking among interested organizations agencies, and individuals around the globe.
- Make knowledge easily accessible to any interested farmer in Asia, Africa, and Latin America and beyond
- Advance the application of ecological agriculture by further developing SRI and integrating it with other agro-ecological approaches
- Improve the science-based understanding of how and why crops planted with SRI principles achieve improved performance and productivity
- Make knowledge about SRI widely available
- Generate and advance knowledge and scientific understanding on SRI methodology
- Improve the technical SRI implementation in farmers' fields and experimental plots
- Strengthen the International SRI Community and its various networks
SRI-Rice's core activities:
Knowledge Management and Sharing
SRI-Rice collects, organizes, stores and shares SRI knowledge resources received from partners around the world and from daily Internet searches. We share SRI knowledge via SRI-Rice Online, which is comprised of the SRI-Rice website, various social media, our newsletter, and research databases, as well as associated video, photo and presentation channels and web services. Our website contains the most up-to-date, comprehensive collection of SRI information worldwide. Additionally, we interact on a daily basis with partners and new acquaintances through personal outreach and respond to individual and specific requests. Personal outreach is also done through presentations at conferences and workshops; regional, national and local trainings; teaching; and provision of location-specific technical advice and backstopping.
Knowledge Generation and Research
We advance knowledge through our own analysis and research, and we advise partners either on their research activities or technical implementation with farmer-based field programs. We participate in scientific projects, such as a multi-country arsenic research study currently underway. We are also in the midst of developing a new "citizen-science-based" methodology of capturing data and information from SRI farmers while encouraging their active participation in technical innovation. This methodology is developed for the West African SRI scaling up project, with the goal to soon make it available to others around the world.
With many years of direct experience working with farmers on technical innovations, the SRI-Rice team is active in providing technical advice and backstopping to field programs in several countries. The advice ranges from farmer-centered implementation approaches to agronomic techniques and practices. In the large 13-country three-year World Bank-funded scaling up project for West Africa, SRI-Rice provides technical leadership, including monitoring and evaluation, mapping, adaptation of production practices, and development of training materials.
Network Support and Development
An informal international SRI network has been developing since 2000. Since then, SRI has been recognized, supported and utilized by a growing number of NGOs, universities, farmer groups, government and research institutions, the private sector, and donor agencies. Several national SRI networks have sprung up - for instance in Bangladesh, Cambodia, India, Indonesia, Japan, Philippines, Nepal, Madagascar, Sri Lanka, Thailand, Vietnam - where members share information and develop strategies to coordinate SRI efforts. SRI-Rice follows these networks closely and provides input and support where appropriate. At the global level, SRI-Rice is facilitating the development of an international SRI research network, an SRI equipment innovators exchange network, and regional SRI networks in Latin America and West Africa.
The Center has benefited from gifts and grants from Jim Carrey’s Better U Foundation, the Ohrstrom Foundation, the West and Central African Council for Agricultural Research and Development (WECARD/CORAF), the Bridging Peace Fund, Marguerite and Norman Uphoff, the Atkinson Center for a Sustainable Future, the Mario Einaudi Center for International Studies, and various individual donors.
At SRI-Rice, we raise our own funds to support our projects, staff, and outreach activities. We welcome any contribution and participation to improve rice production for millions of smallholder rice farmers around the world through the SRI-Rice Gift Fund.