Encouraged by Dr. M. H. Emadi, Deputy Minister for Extension in the Ministry of Agriculture, the Agronomy Group of Haraz Extension and Technology Development Center started SRI trials in 2004 with guidance from CIIFAD's SRI website. During 2005-2008, various experiments with traditional, improved and hybrid varieties were undertaken at the experiment station and in farmers' fields with positive results (see 2006, 2007 and 2008 reports). After the first year, a training program on SRI was established for farmers and governmental rice staff. The 2008 report notes that, in addition to reducing water use by 2/3, SRI practices "increase rice yield about 60% due to higher tiller number and panicle number, increasing numbers of grains per panicle, percentage of ripened grains, root and plant health, resistance to lodging, and tolerance to pest damage." H. Aghagolzadeh also designed the first rotary weeders in Iran for use with SRI in 2008. A 2012 research article by Amiri Larijani and Hoseini indicated that, while combined chemical and organic fertilizers gave the best growth and yields under SRI management, organic inputs can replace chemical fertilizer for local varieties without reducing yield. A 2013 report on SRI trials in a World Bank-funded Participatory Technology Development (PTD) project in Mazandaran province confirmed best results were achieved with fewer seedlings, shallow planting and intermittent irrigation. In a presentation at Cornell University during June 2016, Dr. M. H. Emadi summarized some of the major results of SRI research in Iran as: yield increases of about 60%; decrease in cost of production up to 40%; and decrease in water consumption up to 30%.
Former Vice-Minister of Agriculture from Iran Gives SRI Presentation at Cornell University
[June 15, 2016] M. H. Emadi, who is responsible for initiating SRI trials in Iran in 2004, visited SRI-Rice in Ithaca, NY, during mid-June for discussions on the progress of SRI in Iran during the past twelve years. While at Cornell, he gave a presentation on June 15, 2016, about Iran's experiences with SRI. Emadi, who is a former Vice-Minister of Agriculture in Iran, noted that while the rice research efforts in Iran are currently aimed at plant breeding and fine-tuning the use of agrochemical inputs, small farmers, who could benefit greatly from SRI methods, have been largely left out of the agricultural research agenda. SRI is becoming more attractive to researchers and farmers alike as agricultural water availability decreases.
The photo at right includes (from left to right), Emadi, Robert Bimba, who was visiting from Liberia, and Marguerite and Norman Uphoff.
SRI Demonstrations on Farmer's Fields under PTD Project Successful
[September 27, 2013] Bahman Amiri Larijani, Head of Crop Production Technology Group at Haraz Extension and Technology Development Center in Amol, provided a report on the SRI component of a project carried out from May to September 2013 in Gol Mahaleh village, Joybar City, Mazandaran province (see location at left). The project, which was intended to to evaluate, demonstrate and improve paddy field management through extension and application of the SRI method of rice production, included a number of field experiments carried out under the World Bank-funded Participatory Technology Development (PTD) project.
The participants and trainees were key PDT farmers and extension staff in Joybar city, who cultivated a local rice variety (Tarom) by transplanting methods under three different trials with farmers' participation. Trials were as follows: #1) effect of number of seedlings per hill at transplanting time on the rice growth and yield, by planting 1, 3, 5, 7 and 11 seedlings per hill; #2) effect of transplanting depth on rice growth and yield, comparing shallow and deep treatments; and #3) effect of irrigation management and intermittent irrigation on rice root system and yield. The photo at right shows Amiri Larijani demonstrating the effects of irrigation on root growth. In the photo at right, women are sampling the harvest for yield component analysis. The results showed that best results were achieved with fewer seedlings, shallow planting and intermittent irrigation. (For details, see report.)
2012 Journal Article Reports on Effects of Integrated Fertilizer Use with SRI in Iran
[December 2012] B. Amiri Larijani and S.J. Hoseini presented results of trials on the effects of integrating chemical and organic fertilizer management on rice growth and yield under SRI management in a 2012 article published in the International Journal of Agronomy and Plant Production. Field experiments were conducted during the 2011 growing season at a Caspian sea coastal area using local high quality variety (Tarom) with 9 treatments consisting of different combinations of organic fertilizer and azola-compost with urea fertilizer using SRI. The results indicated more tillers (28%), higher chlorophyll content at panicle initiation stage (28%) and flowering time (13.5%), more panicles/m2 (60%), a higher number of filled grains/m2 (20.6%), more spikelets per panicle (19.6%) and increased grain yield (30.6%) with combined use of organic and chemical fertilizer compared with chemical fertilizer alone. Interestingly, grain yield of azola compost alone was slightly higher than with chemical fertilizer alone and there was no significant difference between chemical fertilizer and organic fertilizer alone. However, highest yield (4772.4 kg ha) resulted from a combination of organic fertilizer BIOL555 (1 ton/ha) + urea application 50 kg/ha (25% as basal and 25% at PI).
The authors also concluded that rice nutrition under SRI management is especially important under poor soil fertility conditions and that organic inputs can replace chemical fertilizer for local varieties without reducing yield, and, in some cases yields may even improve with SRI methods. However, the kind of compost or organic material and rate of application is very important for increasing soil productivity. (See article for more details.)
2008 SRI Report for Iran
Bahman Amiri Larijani, head of the agronomy department at the Haraz Extension and Technology Development Center in Amol, near the Caspian Sea, has sent in a report (with photos) from the 2008 trials both on-station and in farmers' fields. Average SRI yield advantage has been 60% thus far. The three years of on-farm trials have shown a 64% advantage for SRI methods, 6 tons/ha vs. 3.65 tons, using less than 2/3 as much water as usual. Of the various on-station SRI experiments with organic and chemical fertilizers, trials using chicken manure plus NPK fertilizer gave an average yield of 7 tons/ha. Larijani's colleague, Mr. H. Aghagolzadeh, has designed the first rotary weeders in Iran that can be used with SRI (see photos at left and right; click on the photos to enlarge).
2007 Trials Confirm Yield Benefits of SRI
B. Amiri Larijani sent in a report (436kb) on the trials conducted during 2007 on-station and on nearby farmers' fields, evaluating the impact of SRI practices on a favored local variety (Tarom), an improved variety, and a hybrid. The comparisons with conventional methods are reported as follows: Local variety yield was increased from 3.6 to 5.8 t/ha; the improved variety yield was increased from 6.1 to 9.8 t/ha; and the hybrid rice yield was increased from 7.2 to 10.8 t/ha. The average increase was 56.2%, with reduction in inputs of water and chemical fertilizer.
2005-2006 SRI Trials in the Province of Mazandaran
Bahman Amiri Larijani, head of the agronomy group at the Haraz Extension and Technology Development Center in Amol, evaluated SRI trials in the rice-growing province of Mazandaran near the Caspian Sea (see report, 430 KB PDF). The main reasons for interest in SRI practice in Iran are:
- The prevalence of small-scale farms with average rice field ownership about 0.7 ha.
- High costs of production and resulting low income from rice cultivation based on the labor of family members.
- Frequent water shortages during the rice cropping season.
- Local varieties with high consumer demand give low yield with present practices and are susceptible to blast disease and lodging.
- Heavy application of agrochemical inputs that contributes to contamination of water and soil resources.
SRI research which started in 2005 on a 2 ha paddy field near the Caspian Sea continued this year with field experimental plots and demonstration fields (click on photo of the experiments at right to enlarge). Evaluation was done with a traditional variety (Tarom) that has high-quality grain and a good market price but which is generally low-yielding. The yield on farmers' fields with conventional methods was 3.65 t/ha vs. 6.0.
At the Amol research station, 12 different treatments were evaluated with different combinations of plant spacing and fertilizer treatment, together with other SRI methods. Highest yield, 7.03 t/ha, was with spacing of 25x25 cm and a combination of chemical fertilizer and chicken manure. The average yield for three spacings (25x25, 30x30 and 40x40 cm) was 5.18 t/ha with chemical fertilizer, 6.12 t/ha with chicken manure, and 6.07 t/ha with a combination of both.
- Amiri Larijani, Bahman. 2013. Report of SRI method demonstration at farmer’s field under PTD project in Iran (2013) . System of Rice Intensification website. (6p., 222KB pdf)
- Dastan, S., Gh. Noormohamadi, H. Madani, H. R. Mobasser, and M. S. Daliri. 2013. Evaluation of related to lodging characteristics and grain yield in Iranian rice genotypes under modified agronomical systems. Annals of Biological Research 4(2): 267-275.
- Dastan, S., Gh. Noormohamadi, H. Madani, H. R. Mobasser, and M. Sam Daliri. 2013. Agroecological parameters of Iranian rice genotypes in modified systems. Life Science Journal 10(1s): 219-224.
- Amiri Larijani, B., and Sayed Jalal Hoseini. 2012. Comparison of integrated chemical and organic fertilizer management on rice growth and yield under system of rice intensification (SRI). International Journal of Agronomy and Plant Production 3(S): 726-731.
- Alizadeh, M. R. 2011. Field performance evaluation of mechanical weeders in the paddy field. Scientific Research and Essays 6(25): 5427-5434.
- Amiri Larijani, B. 2009. The System of Rice Intensification (SRI) in Islamic Republic of Iran in 2008. Ministry of Jihad-e-Agriculture, Haraz Extension and Technology Development Center, Amol, Mazandaran, Iran. System of Rice Intensification website. (7p., 308KB pdf)
- Amiri Larijani, B. 2008. Report on System of Rice Intensification in Iran, 2007. Ministry of Jihad-e-Agriculture, Haraz Extension and Technology Development Center, Amol, Mazandaran, Iran. System of Rice Intensification website. (4p., 435KB pdf)
- Amiri Larijani, B. 2006. System of Rice Intensification (SRI) in Islamic Republic of Iran. Ministry of Jihad-e-Agriculture, Haraz Extension and Technology Development Center, Amol, Mazandaran, Iran. System of Rice Intensification website. (6p.,430KB pdf)
- Emadi, M. H. 2016. The System of Rice Intensification (SRI) in Iran. 23 slides. Presentation at the SRI-Rice seminar series. Cornell University, Ithaca, NY, June 15. SRI-Rice channel, Slideshare.net.
- Amiri Larijani. 2012. Rice planting under dry bed transplanting. Presentation by B. Amiri Larijani about non-irrigated rice experiments (dry bed transplanting) undertaken at the Haraz Extension and Technology Development Center (HETDC) at Amol City, Mazandaran province, Iran. 6 slides.