First International Workshop on the System of Rice Intensification (SRI)
for Latin America and the Caribbean
EARTH University Campus, Guácimo, Limón, Costa Rica
October 31, 2011 - November 1, 2011
Sponsored by SRI-Rice, Jim Carrey's Better U Foundation and EARTH University
The First International Workshop on the System of Rice Intensification (SRI) in Latin America and the Caribbean was held at EARTH University in Costa Rica on October 31 and November 1, 2011. The objectives of the workshop were to:
- Bring together for the first time SRI practitioners and researchers from Latin American countries and the Caribbean,
- Assess achievements to date, and future opportunities for using the System of Rice Intensification in Latin America and the Caribbean,
- Consider potentials and constraints for improving rice production practices in the region, and,
- Develop a plan for the next steps to advance SRI in Latin America and the Caribbean.
Jointly organized by SRI-Rice (Cornell University), EARTH University (Costa Rica), and the Better U Foundation (Los Angeles), 27 participants from 10 countries (Bolivia, Colombia, Costa Rica, Cuba, the Dominican Republic, Nicaragua, Mexico, Panama, Trinidad and Tobago, and the USA) met to assess achievements of SRI in the region to date. Cuba was the first country in LAC to obtain results from the application of SRI methodology (from 2000/2001), followed by Peru from 2002/2003. In both countries, SRI yields of 9-11 t/ha were obtained compared to 6-6.5 t/ha under conventional practices. Satisfactory results with yields often more than 8 t/ha were also gained in Brazil, Colombia (both from 2007), Costa Rica, Ecuador, and Panama from 2008. The first SRI plots in Haiti and the Dominican Republic will be harvested in 2011.
Participants found that SRI can benefit farmers from across the spectrum: small-scale farmers who cannot afford costly inputs or who work on poor land; medium-scale farmers who seek higher yields and improved seed quality using agro-ecological practices; and large-scale farmers who look for more efficient mechanisms to produce healthy crops. The workshop concluded with a pledge to build a network in Latin America to exchange ideas and best practices, train farmers, undertake further research in the field, develop new projects, and promote innovations.
For more details and outcomes, see the report.