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The first SRI trials in Nepal were undertaken in 1998 by a government agronomist at the Khumaltar Research Farm (near Kathmandu) in collaboration with the United States Agency for International Development CRSP program. In 2001, the International Maize and Wheat Improvement Center (CIMMYT) and Appropriate Technology Asia (ATA) began trials at sites near Kathmandu and in the Rupandehi District. Most of these early trials did not produce expected results. In 2002-2003, Farmer Field Schools in the Sunsari-Morang irrigation project supported by DFID in the terai (southern plains) of Nepal undertook replicated SRI trials which produced an average of 8 t/ha, more than either improved practices or conventional practices. In April 2002, SRI presentations sponsored by CIMMYT and Winrock International made at the National Agricultural Research Council (NARC) headquarters in Kathmandu were followed by the formation of a national SRI network and the SRI-Nepal discussion group. A national workshop was held in 2003.

During April 2005, an SRI project was among the winners of the World Bank’s Nepal Development Marketplace (NDM) competition. Mr. Rajendra Uprety from the District Agricultural Development Office in Morang (terai), whose trials from 2004-2007 showed doubling of yields and earlier maturing crops with SRI, used the funds to promote SRI within his and neighboring districts.

SRI evaluation was carried out in 2004 - 2005 by PARDYP (People and Resource Dynamics in Mountain Watersheds of the Hindu Kush-Himalayan Region) sponsored by ICIMOD (the International Centre for Integrated Mountain Development). This began with a few farmers in Jhiku Khola Watership in 2004 and expanded into a 15-village program in 2005 where over 100 farmers participated in SRI Farmer Field Schools. Results included a 40-50% yield increase, 75% reduction in seed requirements and 50-75% reduction in water use, as well as reduced labor for transplanting and irrigation. The cost of weeding was 50-60% more, while costs of fertilizer and harvesting remained the same. During December 2005, ICIMOD hosted a national SRI workshop in Kathmandu.

During 2008, ATA's demonstration and education center in the Madana Village Development Committee (VDC) area has successfully used SRI methods at 2500 m altitude in southern Humla district of Nepal. On May 22-23, 2009, a training program was organized in cooperation with World Vision International/Nepal and Sunaulo Bihani Society Development Center. In April 2010 the NGO FAYA-Nepal in collaboration with UN/FAO established a demonstration plot and carried out trainings in Kailali district with EU funding. Demonstration plots were established in the Dolpa district (Karnali zone) during July 2010.

Two master's theses on SRI (about productivity and economic viability and weed control) were completed at Tribhuvan University during 2009. In a presentation at the 3rd International Rice Congress during 2010, Rajendra Uprety presented evidence that in the Morang District combining SRI with mechanization gave 55% higher yields than conventional cultivation, with 27% reduction in costs of cultivation. Several SRI trainings in early 2011 involving government agencies, UN and bilateral aid groups, and national NGOs (see 2011 updates) have increased the spread of SRI in Nepal. Reports from a 2010 FAYA-Nepal/Mercy Corps Nepal project showed the System of Wheat Intensification (SWI), an adaptation of SRI principles to wheat, average grain yield increased by 91 to 100 percent with adoption of SWI technology compared to traditional practice. Early in 2012, Ram Khadka reported that the Ministry of Local Development have prioritized the System of Rice Intensification (SRI) as an important intervention for food security in Nepal.

During 2013, several magazine articles, a research article and a professional video about the SRI experience in the Kailali district of Farwestern Nepal all pointed to successful adaptation and adoption of SRI over the past few years. According to Rajendra Uprety, the total area covered by SRI is around 1,000 hectares over 35 districts in Nepal as of mid-2013. During 2015, mechanized SRI is making a big impact in Sunsari and Morang districts (see article for details). In June 2015, a new National Network for Nepal was formed (see item below for details). To help achieve self-sufficiency in rice production, the Ministry of Agricultural Development launched a Mega Rice Production Program (MRPP) which emphasizes wider spacing of plants, line transplanting, and mechanical weed management, integrating SRI principles into the conventional rice production system. A 2015 report from the Morang district explains the higher yields achieved by SRI farmers along with varietal performance. By the end of 2016, SRI had been promoted in 35 districts through the Nepal's Mega Rice Production Program (MRPP). During 2017, three irrigation projects were planned to divert water to huge tracts of the Tarai are about to launch in the central and western plains; SRI (which combined with mechanization has already boosted productivity in Tarai farms from an average of 3 tons/hectare to 9 tons/hectare at a lower cost) has been recommended to be used in these areas. During 2019, a study published in the journal PeerJ has shown the significant potential of Trichoderma for increasing both rice grain yield and quality, especially in combination with SRI management practices. During 2020 and 2021, research was carried out on SRI adoption and GHG emissions in Nepal (see items below) and various government and NGO SRI efforts continues (see examples from Morang and World Neighbors).

Progress and Activities.

2024 Updates
1998-2015 -see Nepal activity archives

Reports and Articles

Evaluations and Research (in chronological order)

Practical Information

National Workshops, Conferences, and Meetings

Nepal SRI Network Social Media

PowerPoint Presentations

(Notes: Click here to see all SRI Nepal presentations on Transcripts are at the bottom of each presentation. There is a "full screen" button at the lower right corner of the presentation to enlarge the presentation.)


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