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Overview of SRI in Colombia

Jorge Orlando Acosta Buitrago began SRI research in 2009 for the ingenieria agronómico degree at the Facultad de Ciencias Agropecuariasat of the University of Cundinamarca in Fusagasugá. His experiments, the first SRI research carried out in Colombia, were done in the municipality of Purification, Tolima, between July 2010 and August 2011. He evaluated the variety F733 under three types of management (organic SRI, and chemical SRI and mixed chemical/organic SRI) and compared them with the conventional direct seeding rice system. Although returns for SRI treatments were negative with conventional rice pricing despite 600% seed savings, returns were positive in the organic market. A 2013 article, El SICA orgánico en Colombia, published in the magazine LEISA revista de agroecología, discusses these findings. After completing his thesis, Acosta presented his findings at the First Workshop on the System of Rice Intensification (SRI) in Latin America held October 30 - November 1, 2011, at the EARTH University campus in Costa Rica. (See PowerPoint presentation). Beginning inflate 2015, a consortium of national partners together with the Inter-American Institute for Cooperation on Agriculture (IICA) are executing a project (see Spanish language document) to validate SRI in the Dominican Republic and Colombia. This two year project, which is being undertaken with financial support from the Regional Fund for Agricultural Technology (FONTAGRO) and the Global Environment Facility, will investigate SRI methods in the Dominican Republic and Colombia in order to help reduce the vulnerability of small rice farmers to climate change [...more]. During the first year, 150 producers were trained, and savings in water, inputs (especially seed) and production costs were demonstrated. However high labor costs have directed the project to work toward mechanization in the second year. On October 10-12, 2017, representatives from more than 10 countries in Latin America gathered at FEDEARROZ in Ibagué, Colombia, to discuss how the System of Rice Intensification (SRI) can contribute to the competitiveness and sustainability of rice production in the region in the face of climate change.

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