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Overview of SRI in Bhutan

In 2006, Bhutan became the 28th country to report SRI benefits after Karma Lhendup, then with the Sherubtse College in eastern Bhutan, showed yield increases in a set of replicated trials of SRI methods at three locations in Kanglung district. These early trials did not incorporate organic matter or include soil aeration. More complete trials led by Lhendup together with the College of Natural Resources of the Royal University of Bhutan and by Mahesh Ghimire at the Renewable Natural Resources Research Centre at Bajo continued during 2007 and 2008 (see CNR report and RNRRC report). Results showed a yield improvement with SRI accompanied by lower requirements for seeds and water; reduced crop cycle (by as much as 15 days), and reduced infestation by Potamogeton distinctus, a weed that badly affects rice crops in the region.

CNR and RNRRC 2008 trial results were presented at a 2009 SRI workshop along with results from four districts where SRI methods were tried by Department of Agriculture staff. The MOA and DOA officials present gave full support to 2009 trials and planned a similar review at the end of the year to consider expanded experience and to plan for 2010 expansion. Growing interest in SRI in Bhutan led to an SRI study tour by researchers and district agricultural officers to India and Nepal in October 2009 (see report with recommendations and action plans).

SRI experimental successes, including those at higher altitude, are detailed in 2009 Journal of Renewable Natural Resources - Bhutan articles on performance of four varieties under SRI at Lobesa and IR64 results in Wandgue and Punakha, with IR64 yields averaging 10.1 t/ha. On the farmer's field at Sopsokhe in which IR64 was used with both SRI methods and farmer practice, the SRI yield was 9.6 t/ha (40% higher) compared to 6.6 t/ha with usual methods. During 2009, extension efforts in Deorali Geog have produced encouraging results with farmer yields well above the national average of 3.5 tons/ha.

In a 2013 article about Bhutan's plans to go 100% organic, Pema Gyamtsho, Bhutan's minister of agriculture and forests, says that the government has been experimenting with SRI since it has been shown elsewhere to increase crop yields with no synthetic chemicals. During 2014 the Samdrup Jongkhar Initiative (SJI) initiated SRI projects Phuntshothang, Pemmathang and Langchephu Gewogs. Yield was 28 percent higher in Pemathang. Langchenphu also recorded higher yield. Farmers In 2016, a pilot was added in Rekhay (Dewathang Gewog).

Progress and Activities

2016 Updates
2013 Updates


For 2005-2006 activities, see Bhutan Activity Archives

Reports and Articles

Research and Evaluations

Practical Information


PowerPoint Presentations

(Notes: Click here to see all SRI Bhutan presentations on Transcripts are at the bottom of each presentation. There is a "full screen" button at the lower right corner of the presentation to enlarge the presentation. To use the slideshow feature, make sure you have Flash installed and JavaScript enabled.)

Photo Collection

In the summary section at the top of the page, the Bhutan Photo Collection is running as a slide show. If you do not have Flash installed, click here to see individual photos which are made available on our Picasa site.


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