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PAKISTAN

Overview


   Pakistan - (See also complete photo album)

During 2005, Pakistan became the 22nd country from which there was evidence that SRI methods can provide multiple benefits. The ICIMOD Newsletter (no. 46) from the International Centre for Integrated Mountain Development, based in Kathmandu, reported on its introduction of SRI last year into Hilkot village, Mansehra District, in the Northwest Frontier Province. The newsletter noted that SRI methods "... resulted in a 50% yield increase. The skeptical farmers who transplanted the rice found these results unbelievable."

Following a visit to Sri Lanka during September 2005, Dr. Mushtaq Gill, director-general for the On-Farm Water Management wing (OFWM) of the Punjab State Department of Agriculture, initiated a number of SRI trials and field demonstrations together with other partners. As observed by Norman Uphoff during a October 2006 visit (see trip report), on-farm trials in Okara District south of Lahore gave an increment to yield of 30-45% with basmati varieties. A very evident benefit was much-reduced lodging of basmati rice during rainstorms. At the time of the report, some farmers were also combining SRI with direct-seeding and zero tillage (ZT) as well as with the use of raised beds. On-station trials at the Agricultural University at Faisalabad (UAF) also began trials during 2006 (see 2007 Gill presentation at Cornell University).

SRI workshops were organized by the Lok Sanjh Foundation in 2009 and 2010 in Sheikhupura district, one of the main basmati rice growing areas in Pakistan, and this NGO is now launching an expanded program for organic SRI production. As of 2013, as many as 300 farmers in 65 villages between Sheikhupura and Sialkot have reportedly adopted the SRI as a result of Lok Sanjh training. Roughly 80% of these farmers are using organic SRI methods.

During 2009, results of the first full mechanization of System of Rice Intensification cultivation methods (called MSRI for "mechanized SRI") were reported by Mr. Asif Sharif, who devised/modified various implements to substantially reduce the labor requirements for SRI. His company, FarmAll Technology, was able to capitalize on SRI inherent production potentials and to reduce the crop water requirements by 70% over usual levels of irrigation in Punjab state of Pakistan (see MSRI section below). Yield on Sharif's 20-acre trial plot averaged 13 tons/ha. Second season trials in 2010 confirmed water productivity (0.92 kg/m3) was 2-3 times higher than with conventional sowing. During 2010, FarmAll adapted further adapted SRI principles and machinery for a succession of other crops, including wheat, onion, carrots and potato. In 2011, the System of Maize Intensification (SMI) was added.

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2010 UPDATES
2009
2005-2008

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