Progress and Activities
SRI Research Published in Minufiya Journal of Agricultural Research
During 2013, researchers from Kafrelsheikh University and the Field Crop Research Institute in Egypt had an article published in the Minufiya Journal of Agricultural Research. The article by M. O. Abdelhamed et al entitled "Evaluation of some System of Rice Intensification (SRI) treatments and its effect on rice production" reported on two field experiments performed during the 2009 and 2010 rice season at the experimental farm of the Rice Research And Training Center (RRTC) Sakha, Kafr El-Sheikh, Egypt. The effect of several SRI treatments on a hybrid rice cultivar (H1) were studied: Irrigation type (flooding and just saturated), seedling age (15, 20 and 25 days after sowing) and spacing between hills (20x20, 25x25 and 30x30 cm).
The youngest age of seedlings gave the highest LAI and dry matter in both seasons for all samples, while 20x20 cm spacing surpassed the two wider spacings for both traits. Saturation irrigation gave the highest number of tillers/m2 and number of panicle/m2 in the 2009 season. Young seedling age (15 DAS) and the hill spacing of 20x20 cm recorded the highest values for number of tillers/m2 and number of panicles/m2 and also recorded the highest number of filled grains/panicle in both seasons. The paper concluded that flood irrigation, seedling age of 15 days old and hill spacing of 20x20 cm produced the highest grain and straw yields /ha as well as the highest harvest index in both seasons. (See article abstract for details.) [Note: while this study found the closest spacing (20 x 20cm) to be optimal, the thesis noted below found that the 30 x 30cm spacing together with 15 day old seedlings produced the best results.]
- Mansoura University Thesis Documents Effect of SRI Methods on Productivity
A 2012 Mansoura University master's thesis by Tamer Elhefnawy described the effect of SRI on productivity of rice at the Agricultural Research station at El-Gemmiza, in Egypt's Gharbia Governorate. Two field experiments were carried out during the two successive summer seasons of 2008 and 2009 in order to determine the effect of cultivars, seedling age and spacing between plants on growth, yield components as well as milling recovery. Elhefnawy concluded from his study that Egyptian Hybrid 1 cultivar grown with the youngest seedling age (15 day old) and widest spaces between hills and rows (30 × 30 cm) under SRI methods could be recommended to raise rice productivity under the environmental conditions at the Rice Research Agricultural Research station in El-Gemmiza.
Three Seasons of Trials with SRI Methods Show Benefits on Normal and
Dr. Waled Elkhoby, Rice Research and Training Center, Sakha, Kafr El-Sheikh (Field Crop Research Institute, Agriculture Research Center) has carried out three seasons of experiments using SRI methods under both normal and saline soils during 2008-2009 (see preliminary report). The trials on normal soils were conducted at the Sakha research station and those on saline soils were undertaken at the El-Sirw research station. The goal was to reduce the inputs needed for rice cultivation, such as lower seed rates, water, fertilizers, pesticides, and herbicides.
Field experiments indicated that the amount of irrigation water applied using SRI methods can be reduced to 35% compared with the conventional method of continuous flooding. The rate of seeding can reduced to 50 kg/ha for the inbred rice and 15 kg/ha for the hybrid rice. Grain yield with SRI methods was more than 12 ton/ha for the inbred rice and 15 ton/ha for the hybrid rice. Researchers found that young seedlings less than 15 days old spaced at 20x20 cm between hills were suitable for saline conditions, and that bed planting methods could save more water. Under normal soils, SRI methods also gave very promising results with rice grain yield and water saving.
Additional experiments will have to be conducted in order for the government to decide to disseminate SRI through a national technology transfer program. One of the major constraints to increasing rice production with SRI methods in Egypt is the scarcity of well-trained expertise.
Egypt Becomes Thirty-first Country to Report Positive SRI
Dr. Walid El-Khoby, researcher at the Rice Research and Training Center at Sakha, has reported on trials conducted at his Center which showed SRI yields of 10.7 tons per hectare with inbred improved varieties, and 13.9 tons per hectare with hybrid varieties. Since Egypt's national average yield at 9.5 tons per hectare is the highest in the world, these yield increases are not as great in percentage terms (12.5% and 46%) as in some other countries. However, they were achieved with a 35% reduction in water use and one-third lower costs of production, which makes the results attractive in Egypt.
Mustapha Ceesay Visits SRI Trials at Rice Research and Training
In August 2008, Dr. El-Khoby and colleagues at the Rice Research and Training Center and their SRI trial plots were visited by Dr. Mustapha Ceesay, research director of the Gambia’s National Agricultural Research Institute, who was attending an international rice conference in Cairo. Ceesay, who has been evaluating SRI in the Gambia since 2000 while still a graduate student at Cornell, shared his considerable experience with SRI practices with Egyptian colleagues (see Ceesay's report and photo at right).
- Abdelhamed, M. O, Shimaa A. Badawy, W. M. El Khoby, and K.A. Elfeky. 2013. Evaluation of some System of Rice Intensification (SRI) treatments and its effect on rice production. Minufiya Journal of Agricultural Research 138(6): 519-1534.
- Elhefnawy, Tamer Mostafa Abd El-Fatah Ali. 2012. The effect of System of Rice Intensification (SRI) on productivity of rice. Mansoura University, Egypt. (122p. 1.42MB pdf)