During 2008, Norman Uphoff was invited by a group of professionals to visit Malaysia to discuss SRI with the Minister of Agriculture and others interested in giving more momentum to the rice sector. He met with rice scientists at Malaysian Agricultural and Rural Development Institute (MARDI), civil society representatives, and the faculty of the National University of Malaysia (UKM) faculty. Following this visit, Dr. Anizan Isahak at UKM took the initiative to form an SRI research group at UKM called "SRI-PADI."
After representing UKM at the 2008 SRI National Symposium for India, held in Coimbatore, Tamil Nadu, Isahak attended an organic SRI training session at the National Organic SRI Center (NOSC) in Nagrak, Indonesia. An NOSC-facilitated workshop in Malaysia followed in January 2009. She shared results of her subsequent work at the launching of Year of Rice Action (YORA) Campaign for West Malaysia on July 20, 2009, in Gunong Semanggol Perak. SRI-PADI research was presented at the International Conference on Promising Practices for the Development of Sustainable Paddy Fields in Bogor, Indonesia (October, 2009), and is summarized on the group's SRI-PADI blog. Despite several constraints, yields for the variety Beranang were highly encouraging giving about 7 and 5 tons per ha for MR219 and UKMR2, respectively, while the yield for Tanjong Karang was about 4 tons per ha for both varieties.
The Honourable Tan Sri Dato` Seri Abd Khalid bin Ibrahim, Chief Minister of Selangor, began promoting SRI in August 2010 with funding from the Menteri Besar Incorporated (MBI), the parent company of all the Selangor state subsidiaries. Trials, which are detailed in Noorazimah Taharim's blog, have continued in 2012, including substantial progress on mechanization of field operations, especially weeding. (See videos of mechanization as well as video of 2010 season.)
Victor Lee and colleagues have arranged several training sessions at Pak Alik's SRI training center in Ciamis, West Java, Indonesia, and at Tampios, Sabahat, Malaysia, for Sabah farmers during 2009 as well as a SRI seminar in Kota Marudu during March 2010. The first SRI yield was reported at 9 t/ha.
On January 25, 2011, an MOU was signed between the Indonesian NGO Nusantara Organic SRI Center (NOSC) and FELCRA Training and Consultancy Sdn Bhd (FTC, a subsidiary of FELCRA Berhad, a Malaysian Government Link Company) to work together further on developing SRI in Malaysia. This expanded on earlier 2010 plans by FELCRA Training Center (FTC) in Perak, Malaysia and NOSC to train farmers in the Bio-Valley Program (Seberang Perak, Perak, Malaysia) in organic SRI production practices and other organic farming methods. In an effort to work towards the goal of organic SRI, trials will begin with mixing organic and inorganic fertilizer and gradually reduce the amount of chemical fertilizers and synthetic pesticides.
The above-mentioned groups and others joined together to plan the 1st National Conference on System of Rice Intensification (Persidangan Kebangsaan Pertama System of Rice Intensification untuk Kelestarian Jaminan Bekalan Beras dan Warisan). Following the conference (July 5-6, 2011), which was attended by nearly 200 people, the SRI-Mas Network was formed (see network logo at right and video of network launch).
During 2011, Noorazimah Taharim (Mak Tam) and Salehuddin Yahya have facilitated numerous SRI trainings and presentations in Malaysia in the states of Selangor, Kedah, Perak and Penang. Successful trials with over 8 tons are also continuing in Kelantan. In early 2012, the Menteri Besar announced that the Pahang state government will introduce eight new initiatives, one of which is to introduce the System of Rice Intensification for rice cultivation (see article). Updates on SRI progress in Malaysia can be followed weekly at the following sites: Weblog Padi Selangor, Padi SRI Selangor and HijauSawah.
The Second National SRI Conference was held at Lumut, Perak, on June 11-13, 2013. During mid-2013 the SRI-Mas Network was formally registered with the Malaysian Government as a non-governmental organization.
- Row Seeder for SRI Tested in Tanjong Karang
[July 16, 2013] the Hijau Sawah blog posted a set of photos showing trials of an SRI-inpired row seeder. The trials, which were in Tanjong Karang near Kuala Lumpur, used 60 kg of seed for a 1.2 ha area in Othman Mogek's fields. (See photos and article. Contact the blog for furhter details on the outcome).
- Second National Conference on SRI Held at Lumut, Perak
[June 15, 2013] The Second National Conference on System of Rice Intensification (2nd SRI 2013), which was held June 11-13, 2013 in Lumut, Perak, Malaysia, was co-organized by the Universiti Putra Jaya (UPM), Universiti Kebangsaan Malaysia (UKM), Southeast Asian Council for Food Security and Fair Trade (SEACON), Padiberas Nasional Berhad (BERNAS), and FELCRA. The event, which was entitled "SRI: An Untapped Potential for Food Security" included sharing of SRI knowledge and experiences, particularly from the SRI researchers and practitioners in Malaysia, and discussion of issues involved in positioning of SRI as an option to enhance rice security and food safety in the country. During the conference, the SRI-Mas Network announced that it now is formally registered with the Malaysian Government as a non-governmental organization. (For more Information see the conference brochure, the SRI Mas website or contact the conference secretariat.)
Co-organizes Rice IPM Event at Universiti Kebangsaan Malaysia
The Malaysian Network on System of Rice Intensification (SRI-Mas) co-organized the International Workshop on Sustainable Rice Production: Re-visiting IPM, which was held September 12-13, 2012, at the Universiti Kebangsaan Malaysia (UKM), Bangi, Selangor. The event, which was attended by over 200 participants, explored means of optimizing the cost of rice production towards sustainable food security while re-emphasizing the critical role of IPM in sustainable rice production. Presentations with SRI content were made by Iswandi Anas, Anizan Isahak, Abha Misha, and Noorazimah Taharim. (See SRI-Mas website for workshop details and a complete list of sponsors.)
- SRI to be Included in Pahang State's Plan to Become a National Food
According to a March 2 article in the New Straits Times, Menteri Besar Datuk Seri Adnan Yaakob (chief executive of the Pahang state government) said that "Pahang would be turned into a national food security hub which would be equipped with a rice cultivation technique -- System of Rice Intensification or SRI." His remarks came at the Pahang Economic Convention 2012, which ended March 2, 2012. A subsequent article noted that the Pahang state government will introduce eight new initiatives, one of which is to introduce the System of Rice Intensification for rice cultivation.
Selangor Moves Forward with Organic SRI Innovation and
Having carried out SRI observation plots with the farmers and being in the third season, Noorazimah Taharim (Mak Tam) and Salehuddin Yahya (Pak Tam), who provide leadership for SRI evaluation and innovation in the state of Selangor, have found success in reducing farmers' use of chemical fertilizers through organic means. Changing from agrochemicals to biofertilizers and biopesticides has reduced farmers' production costs more than 50%, and, in some fields, the fish population has returned. One farmer group is now producing the biofertilizers and biopesticides (and selling them with an SRI brand) and 200 farmers are reportedly using them. Plans are in the works for seven more groups covering 19,000 hectares to get involved. (See 2011 report for details and the Weblog Padi Selangor for regular updates.)
During 2011, Taharim and Yahya have also facilitated numerous SRI trainings and presentations in Malaysia in the states of Selangor, Kedah, Perak and Penang (See excellent photos!) In Selangor, more than ten SRI presentations and trainings were given to over 1,200 farmers, village heads and government officials. In Perak State, 50 Ministry of Agriculture officials were introduced to SRI on Sept. 9 at the FELCRA Training Center. (See report for training details.) In the state of Kedah, two talks were given to 150 farmers, and in Penang State, 16 advanced farmers (all achieving 7 ton/ha crops) were very enthusiastic after attending an SRI presentation there.
1) Weeders: Due to high interest in mechanizing SRI operations, the Selangor State Department of Agriculture is organizing a SRI mechanization seminar together with a machinery exhibition for Dec. 22, 2011. Meanwhile, Pak and Mak Tam have been working with several innovative farmers in Selangor on motorized rotary weeders, using their rotary cultivator and the small transplanting tractor. One farmer (at right) uses a 5-hp mini tractor to get a 5-row weeding machine (see video). Another farmer (at left) has devised a 6-row rotary weeding implement that is pulled behind a transplanter tractor (see videos: part 1 and part 2). It is hoped that entrepreneurs will begin fabricating them and and perhaps offer weeding services to farmers.
At present, farmers with transplanted crops are already asking for their fields to be weeded/aerated after telling them of the possibility of increasing their yields through weeding/aerating their fields (which stimulates an increase in tillering). (See mechanization report). The growing demand for the weeding/aerating service will hopefully encourage some mechanically-skilled individuals in the villages to improvise.
Other videos of other mechanized weeders that Pak Tam and Mak Tam are working with are as follows:
•Mesin Melandak Dari Jepun Untuk Padi SRI Berumur Lebih 30 Hari
(Japanese Weeder -- for 30+ Day-old Rice)
• Pembangunan Mesin Melandak
(Mechanized Weeding Implements)
• Mesin Melandak Jepun untuk Padi Berumur Kurang 20 Hari
(Japanese Weeder -- for <20 Day old rice)
• Mesin Melandak Rahman Mark I
(5 and 7 row weeders)
• Percubaan Prototaip Mesin Melandak Di Sawah
(Prototype Trials with Weeders in Paddy Fields)
• Mesin Melandak Osman Mark I (#1)
• Merealisasikan Mesin Melandak
(Developing a Weeding Machine)
• Mesin Melandak Osman Mark I (#2)
2)Transplanters: In addition to weeders, most farmers are looking forward to single-planting transplanters as it is impossible to get local people in Malaysia transplant seedlings and the foreign workers charge too much for their services (particularly single-plant transplanting by hand). A transplanting machine that can plant single-seedlings with suitable spacing for SRI still needs to be perfected before SRI is likely to be widely practiced in Selangor State.
3) Mechanizing Straw Incorporation: Good progress is being made in getting farmers to be interested to incorporate fresh straw into their soil immediately after harvesting. A 12 hectare demonstration area has a boom-sprayer to spray a solution containing the microbes, and then the straw is rotovated into the soil with a tractor. Interestingly, about 200 neighboring plots have also begun incorporating their straw back into the soil. Some farmers use microbes, while some did not. Suddenly, the demand for the decomposing microbes rose, and Mak Tam and Pak Tam are training as many farmers as possible to prepare their microbes with natural farming principles (using boiled rice placed under mature bamboo clumps). Apparently, demand was initiated by a tractor service provider who saw the potential of providing another value-added service to his clients and is providing the impetus needed to drive more farmers to incorporate straw into the soil rather than just burn the straw as was usually done.
1st National Conference on System of Rice Intensification
The 1st National Conference on System of Rice Intensification for Sustainable Rice Security and Heritage (Persidangan Kebangsaan Pertama System of Rice Intensification untuk Kelestarian Jaminan Bekalan Beras dan Warisan) took place July 5-6, 2011, in Putrajaya, Malaysia. Highlights of the event are posted on the Padi SRI Selangor blog (see July 6, July 7(1), July 7(2), and July 8). The conference as well as associated field trips to Kedah, Selangor and Kelantan are detailed in the trip report of Norman Uphoff, who delivered the keynote address.
At the end of the conference, which was attended by nearly 200 people, the SRI-Mas Network was formed (see logo at left). The Network plans to have several thematic workshops over the coming year, followed by a 2nd National Conference on the System of Rice Intensification in September 2012. (See video preceding the network formation and embedded slideshow of the conference on the Padi SRI Selangor blog). The conference as well as associated field trips to Kedah, Selangor and Kelantan are detailed in the trip report of Norman Uphoff, who delivered the keynote address.
Four Seasons of SRI Trials in Tunjong, Kelantan
The Weblog Padi Selangor recently posted a photo (at right) of a rice plant with over 100 tillers that was grown that was grown from a single plant using SRI methods in Tunjong, Kelantan. Ten-day-old seedlings were transplanted in a square pattern with a spacing of 25 cm x 25 cm. Four weedings were done. The field, in its fourth season, yielded over seven tons (-see story).
SRI Trials Begin in Selangor
The Honourable Tan Sri Dato` Seri Abd Khalid bin Ibrahim, Chief Minister of Selangor, initiated fact-finding and exploratory work on SRI in August 2010 in conjunction with his interest in finding alternative methods to increase rice yields in the state. The SRI trials in Selangor are funded by the Menteri Besar Incorporated (MBI) which is the parent company of all the Selangor state subsidiaries. Noorazimah Taharim, who works as an agricultural advisor at MBI, is overseeing the SRI trials in Selangor. Noorazimah is also chronicling SRI trials in Selangor and several other areas in Malaysia through her Weblog Padi Selangor - Pertanian Selangor site. Over fifty videos take viewers through the 2010 season (see short summary video on 2010 Sg Leman in Selangor) and into preparations for the 2011 season (see most recent blog posts and accompanying videos).
Nusantara Organic SRI Center
(NOSC) and FELCRA Work Together on Organic SRI Training in Perak,
On January 25, 2011, an MOU was signed in Kuala Lumpur between Nusantara Organic SRI Center (NOSC, an Indonesian SRI training center formerly known as the Nagrak Organic SRI Center) and the Program of Federal Land Consolidation and Rehabilitation Authority of Malaysia (FELCRA) to work together further on developing SRI in Malaysia. (See Taharim video of trip to the field). During March 2010, officials from NOSC and FELCRA Training Center (FTC) in Perak, Malaysia, met to discuss training farmers in the FELCRA's Bio-Valley Program in Seberang Perak in organic SRI production practices and other organic farming methods. Several FELCRA staff had already been trained in SRI practices by NOSC staff during 2009. SRI methods are currently being demonstrated on portions of FELCRA's 5,000 hectares of rice fields, which are currently cultivated with full mechanization. In an effort to work towards the goal of organic SRI, initial trials with mixing organic and inorganic fertilizer were planned to gradually reduce the amount of chemical fertilizers and synthetic pesticides. NOSC staff previously helped to set up demonstration plots at the FTC in Perak and build the SRI workshop structures.
Group from Kedah Regional Development Authority (KEDA) Trains at the
Nusantara Organic SRI Center in Indonesia
A slideshow of the training (at right) was posted on the NOSC twitter feed. The trainings included three days of activities on organic SRI, two days on organic horticulture practices and a field day.
For 2008-2009 SRI activities, see Malaysia Archives
- Nawi, Nolila Mohd, and Siti Samiha Zainal. 2012. Malaysian paddy farmers' awareness and perception towards System of Rice Intensification (SRI) practices: A preliminary study. Proceedings of the International Conference on Agricbusiness Marketing, June 25-26, Jember, Indonesia. (pp.727-737)
- 2012. Income growth for paddy farmers using SRI technique. Mediaselangorku website. November 12.
- Taharim, Noorazimah. 2013 postings on SRI in Malaysia. Weblog Padi Selangor - Pertanian Selangor. [updated weekly]
- Zamzuri, Azmir Firdaus. 2013 postings on SRI. Hijau Sawah blog. [There are over 15 SRI posts as of June 2012 for the current year.
See June 29, 2012 post: Padi SRI - SRI vs SRI organik]
- Azura. 2012. Jungle Tracking - Lintang Organic Valley, Sik Kedah. AzuraHanna blog. May 23.
- Kuantan, Alang B. 2012. Pahang aims for higher GDP. New Straits Times, March 5. [Pahang state government will introduce eight new initiatives, one of which is to introduce the System of Rice Intensification for rice cultivation.]
- Kuantan, Alang B. 2012. Pahang adopts proposals. New Straits Times, March 2. [The Menteri Besar of Pahang State says Pahang will be turned into a national food security hub ... equipped with a rice cultivation technique -- System of Rice Intensification]
- 2011. Kecekapan Pengeluaran Padi SRI Sawah Sempadan. Hijau Sawa blog. December 3.
- Uphoff, Norman and Lucy Fisher. 2011. Report on S.R.I. Visit to Malaysia - July 1-9, 2011. System of Rice Intensification website. (20p., 315KB pdf) [Trip report covers the 1st National Conference on System of Rice Intensification and field visits to Kedah, Selangor, Kelantan].
- Yahya, Salehuddin. 2011. A harvest test to verify presence of variability in a SRI-Rice crop. SRI Padi Malaysia blog. July 23.
- Many other reports/articles appear on five websites listed directly below in the Blogs and Websites section.
- Gagasan SRI Malaysia, the website of the SRI-Mas Network, the national SRI network in Malaysia
- Taharim, Noorazimah. 2010-present. Weblog Padi Selangor - Pertanian Selangor. [Bahasa Malaysia blog primarily about SRI rice projects in Sabak Bernam, Selangor and Tunjong, Kelantan, Malaysia. See Noorazimah Taharim's videos on the iamnoor channel on YouTube]
- Yahya, Salehuddin. 2011. SRI Padi Malaysia blog [English language]
- Padi SRI Selangor FaceBook page [Bahasa Malaysia]
- Zamzuri, Azmir Firdaus. 2011-present. Hijau Sawah blog. [Technical information on SRI in Malaysia]
- Lee, Victor. 2010. System of Rice Intensification. Agroecologic website.
- Isahak, Anizan. 2009. SRI-PADI / SRI Group blog. [Blog of a multidisciplinary research group at UKM called SRI-PADI which was created by Dr. Anizan Isahak at the National University of Malaysia]
- IPM-SRI Practices in Thailand. Presentation by Abha Misha, AIT. 38 slides.
- Enhancing Soil Health for Rice Growth. Presentation by Iswandi Anas, Professor of Soil Biotechnology, Bogor Agricultural University, Bogor Indonesia. 27 slides.
- Enhancing Plant Health for Sustainable Rice Production. Presentation by Anizan Isahak, Faculty of Science and Technology Universiti Kebangsaan Malaysia.19 slides.
- Taharim, Noorazimah. 2012. Optimizing Costs through Using Indigenous Microorganisms (IMO) 9Mengoptimumkan Kos Melalui Penggunaan Mikroorganisma Tempatan). Presentation by Noorazimah Taharim, Menteri Besar Incorporated (MBI), Selangor. 58 slides.
PowerPoints presented at the National Workshop on Sustainable Rice Production: Revisiting IPM, Universiti Kebangsaan Malaysia, September 12-13, 2012:
- Over 130 videos on SRI in Malaysia can be views on the iamnoor channel on YouTube. These videos, which were recorded by Noorazimah Taharim, contain footage from SRI projects in Selangor, Kedah and Kelantan, as well as SRI-related seminars, trainings and the 1st National Conference on System of Rice Intensification held July 5-6, 2011, in Putrajaya, Malaysia.
- Selected videos from Malaysia are listed on SRI-Rice's playlist for videos in Bahasa Malaysia