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Summary of SRI in Madagascar

SRI work began in Madagascar (and the world), with the efforts of Association Tefy Saina (ATS) to disseminate and further develop the methods that Fr. Henri de Laulanié originally assembled in the 1980's. In 1994, CIIFAD began working with ATS in introducing SRI in the peripheral zone around Ranomafana National Park under a USAID-funded conservation and development project there. By 1997, after the farmers guided by ATS field staff on SRI use had averaged 8 t/ha yields where before they had averaged 2 t/ha, CIIFAD and ATS began working more earnestly to advance the knowledge and practice of SRI, first in Madagascar and then in other countries.

Prof. Robert Randriamiharisoa, while director of research for the Faculty of Agriculture (ESSA) at the University of Antananarivo, joined with CIIFAD and ATS in 1997 to begin validating and explaining SRI through student thesis research assisted by Tefy Saina and CIIFAD (see more on his group's research). In 1998, Bruno Andrianaivo, senior rice specialist with FOFIFA, the government's agency for agricultural and rural development, began working with ATS, the University of Antananarivo and CIIFAD on SRI evaluation, including an adaptation of SRI concepts and practices to upland rice production. He subsequently did PhD thesis research on SRI and became a supporter within the Madagascar government, which had been otherwise disinterested in SRI. In November 1999, the Rockefeller Foundation made a small grant to a consortium of Tefy Saina, the University, FOFIFA and CIIFAD to do research on SRI and its dissemination. This collaborative research continued until 2003. (see FOFIFA final report and Consortium final report).

In 2000, Catholic Relief Services began to disseminate SRI in 8 dioceses of Madagascar and found yield increased according the number of SRI practices used. ADRA and other NGOs also began to disseminate SRI in the early part of the decade. CIIFAD continued to investigate and promote SRI in the Landscape Development Interventions (LDI) project funded by USAID and implemented by the consulting firm Chemonics. Master’s and PhD research on SRI by Cornell and Malagasy students was supported under this project, while SRI was extended in the central-eastern part of Madagascar through a network of farmer associations known as "Kolo Harena" assisted by the project. In 2003, Dr. Willem Stoop of WARDA visited Madagascar to review SRI progress.

Master's theses and associated articles completed by Cornell University students include 1) an evaluation of SRI adoption and disadoption done by Christine Moser that found SRI dissemination and maintenance depended heavily on extension support, and 2) joint 2000-2001 theses and 2003 articles by Joeli Barison and Oloro McHugh, who concluded that SRI is an 'unambiguously superior technology.' (Barison and McHugh estimated that half of the 88% increase in yield with SRI practices for these 107 farmers was attributable to the adoption of SRI techniques on a ceteris paribus basis. The other half was attributable to differences in 'farmer quality,' which could also be interpreted as meaning 'best use' of SRI practices).

During 2006, the U.S. Embassy in Madagascar cooperated with Association Tefy Saina in setting up and maintaining a 0.36 ha SRI demonstration plot at the Presidential Palace at Ioavolaha. The U.S. Ambassador and the Madagascar President, Marc Ravalomanana, both participated in the planting of young seedlings, and in the harvest ceremony. During 2008, then President of Madagascar, Marc Ravalomanana, in his address to the U.N. General Assembly as part of its debate on the global food crisis, said: “We are promoting the widespread use of the System of Rice Intensification (SRI), an eco-friendly and pro-people method developed in Madagascar in the 1980s. SRI promotion is an important part of Madagascar’s recently launched ‘natural revolution’." During a subsequent Madagascar Action Plan national workshop in 2008, two days were devoted to getting SRI knowledge and practice disseminated to all 22 regions through government and NGO partnerships.

Organizations in the GSRIWith support from the Better U Foundation of Los Angeles, California, the SRI Group of Madagascar (GSRI) was established in November/December 2008, providing technical and logistical support for an SRI Secretariat based in Antananarivo. This has created a hub for SRI activities in Madagascar, also making small grants to NGOs and local government bodies to experiment with and evaluate innovative ways to improve and apply SRI and to get it more widely adopted. In 2009, a SRI Blog and website were set up by the Secretariat of the SRI Platform in collaboration with the Ministry of Agriculture and various SRI entities in Madagascar and the Better U Foundation provided technical advisors as well as financial assistance for this venture. Membership of the SRI Group of Madagascar, which began with ten organizations collaborating in the BUF initiative in 2008, and has grown to 267 members and partners distributed in 22 regions of Madagascar and organizations in 2012 (see map at right).

After several years of involvement from several projects (Business and Market Expansion, Landscape Development Initiative, and BVLac Alaotra) and from volunteer groups (US Peace Corps and Agronomes et Vétérinaires Sans Frontières), Lotus Foods imported to the US the first container (about 18 tons) of milled pink rice or “Varini Dista” grown with SRI methods in the Lac Alaotra region. With BUF funding, the farmers in the Koloharena (KH) village association that grew the rice acquired weeders, other simple implements, and organic inputs, resulting in a 50% increase in production.  Lotus Foods imported a second container in early 2010 and is working with the KH and Ecocert on organic and fair trade certifications.

Progress and Activities (chronological order)

2018 Updates
2015 Updates
2012 Updates

Reports and General Articles

Research / Evaluations
[in order accessed]

Practical Information

SRI Websites and Blogs in Madagascar

  • Groupement SRI Madagascar
(no longer active)
French & Malagasy

Video and Audio


Photo Collection

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