Panama SRI Experience Presented at International Workshop in Costa
Marie-Soleil Turmel brought the SRI experience in Panama to the First Workshop on the System of Rice Intensification (SRI) in Latin America and the Caribbean, which was held at EARTH University, Costa Rica, on October 31- November 1, 2011. Her presentation, Sistema Intensivo de Cultivo Arrocero en Panamá: Investigación sobre los Dinámicos de Nutrientes (SRI in Panama: Research into Soil Nutrient Dynamics), included results of her recent dissertation research and general information on the future of integrating SRI methods into farming systems in Panama (and throughout the tropics).
- Marie-Soleil Turmel Completes Dissertation on SRI in Panama
Marie-Soleil Turmel completed her disseration "Soil properties and the response of rice production to water regime and fertilizer source in low fertility soils of the Republic of Panama." She received the Ph.D. degree from McGill University in Montreal, Canada.
- Initial SRI (SICA) Trials in Panama Produce Good Results
SRI (SICA in Spanish) was introduced and first evaluated in Panama by Marie-Soleil Turmel who completed her dissertation on SRI in 2011 from McGill University in Canada. Her research was based at the Smithsonian Tropical Research Institute (STRI) Panama City, with funding support from the International Development Research Centre of Canada and with supervision from Dr. Ben Turner of STRI. Some of the findings of her studies can be found in the reports and articles section below.
In August 2009, Soleil organized a national conference on SRI held at the STRI with IDRC funding. International participation included: Yoannis Martin from the National Institute of Agricultural Sciences (INCA) in Cuba, Oscar Montero from Costa Rica, and Norman Uphoff from CIIFAD. The conference was attended by professionals from the Agriculture Research Institute of Panama (IDIAP), the Ministry of Agricultural Development (MIDA), and the NGO Patronato de Nutricion.
Patronato de Nutrición has cooperated with Soleil in SRI evaluation under small-farm conditions in 12 communities in various regions of Panama. Together with Panamanian colleagues, Soleil has written an article summarizing initial results, to appear in a forthcoming FAO publication. This summarizes results from five farm communities in Veraguas province in central Panama.
Farmers who did on-farm comparison trials with proper use of the methods and with monitoring of practices were very satisfied with their results. Two communities had almost a doubling of yield, and the two which did not have a yield increase expressed satisfaction with the water saving, which averaged 80% among the five sets of farmers. In the fifth community there was a 36% increase in yield.
Soleil reports that with conventional methods, farmers got increased yields of 0.6 to 3.6 t/ha, while on their adjoining SRI plots, yields increased over previous production by 1.2 to 5.2 t/ha. Weed control was more necessary with SRI management, but farmers did not consider this a problem because they found the mechanical weeder to be very efficient and labor-saving. Transplanting young seedlings took some more time initially, but it enabled them to use the mechanical weeder, which was judged to be a sufficient offset. As the farmers’ evaluations were positive, the article recommends wider testing and demonstration of the new methods.
- Turmel, Marie-Soleil. 2011. Soil properties and the response of rice production to water regime and fertilizer source in low fertility soils of the Republic of Panama. Ph.D. dissertation, McGill University.
- Turmel, Marie-Soleil, Benjamin L. Turner, and Joann K. Whalen. 2011. Soil fertility and the yield response to the System of Rice Intensification. Renewable Agriculture and Food Systems 26(3):185-192. doi:10.1017/S174217051100007X
- Turmel, Marie-Soleil, Juan Espinosa, León Franco, Candelario Pérez,
Horacio Hernández, Eric González, Guillermo Fernández, Carlos
Rojas, Daniel Sánchez and Nicolás Fernández. 2010. On-farm evaluation of a low-input
rice production system in Panama. Paddy and Water Environment.
155-161. DOI: 10.1007/s10333-010-0227-1
- Turmel, Marie-Soleil, León Franco, Candelario Pérez, Horacio Hernández, Eric González, Joann K. Whalen and Benjamin J. Turner. 2010. On-Farm Evaluation of a Novel Low-Input Rice Production System in Panama. System of Rice Intensification website (4p., 25KB pdf)
- 2009. System of Rice Intensification Conference. Smithsonian Tropical Research Institution (STRI) Panama website. August 3.
- Turmel, Marie-Soleil. 2011.
Sistema Intensivo de Cultivo Arrocero en Panamá: Investigación sobre los
Dinámicos de Nutrientes
(SRI in Panama: Research into Soil Nutrient Dynamics). Presentation at the First Workshop on the System of Rice Intensification (SRI) in Latin America, EARTH University, Costa Rica
- SRI Panama Photo Collection
(Click on the photo showing to enlarge it and show captions). If you do not have Flash installed, click here to see individual photos which are made available on Picasaweb.