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The first SRI trials in Senegal were done in 2003 at the initiative of Dr. William Settle (FAO) who reported control plots yields of 4 and 5 t/ha vs. SRI plot yields of 9 and 11 t/ha, respectively. In 2006, Peace Corps Volunteer Carrie Miner had some initial success introducing SRI to women farmers in the Kolda region (see New Farm article).

During 2007-2009, Tim Krupnik and colleagues at FAO and the Africa Rice Center did a series of evaluations that included adapted SRI practices in the Senegal River Valley and in the Podor region. Their research during 2008-2009 showed that adapted SRI practices resulted in significantly higher yields than farmer practices and were as good or better than recommended management practices. However, while farmers appreciated the yield and water saving benefits of the adapted SRI approach, they were concerned by the increased labor requirements, especially for weeding activities that coincided with labor needs for the horticultural crop.

These findings resulted in further experimentation with a hybrid system that incorporated elements of the recommended practice and the adapted SRI practices (maintaining intermittent irrigation, increasing crop density and following a single round of mechanical weeding with localized herbicide applications). The hybrid system was able to reduce weed biomass, labor, and input requirements (including herbicides) and gave the highest net profits in nearly all sites for the 2009 wet and dry seasons.

During 2012, a delegation from Senegal at the Regional Workshop on System of Rice Intensification of (SRI) in Burkina Faso reported that trials evaluating SRI methods (comparing them with farmer practice under rainfed conditions) in the northeastern part of the country began in 2008 at four sites, and increased to six in 2011. The trials, which were conducted under the Agricultural Development Project in Matam (PRODAM), reported that SRI yields averaged 53% higher than farmer-practice results. In July, 2013, four Peace Corps-sponsored SRI trainings were provided in Senegal's Kaffrine and Fatick Regions. A study on SRI adaptations in these four sites was completed in 2014 by Lorraine Perricone-Dazzo as part of her Cornell University MPS degree (see update below). A regional workshop for finalizing/launching the project "Improving and Scaling Up of the SRI in West Africa" was held in Saly, Senegal, from July 30 to August 2, 2013. (SRI Project Point Focal is Abdoulaye Sy). During 2014, SRI is expanding in Senegal through of the efforts of the World bank-Funded West Africa Agriculture Productivity Program (WAAPP) program, Peace Corps Senegal, and other smaller initiatives in the country.

Progress and Activities

2015 Updates
  • Senegal TV Program Highlights WAAPP-Senegal SRI Activities in Central Senegal

    [January 8, 2014] Senegal’s national television reported on a workshop and training in Kaolack in central Senegal. The SRI segment of the news program, which airs at 20:57 to 23:45, also includes information on the World bank-Funded West Africa Agriculture Productivity Program (WAAPP) SRI project's activities in Kaolack, Fatick and Kaffrine. Abdoualaye Sy, the National Facilitator for the project, relayed that since SRI has been proven effective in the region, and, with 150 million CFA of financing approved for three years from le Fonds National de Recherches Agricoles et Agroalimentaires (FNRAA), Senegal is ready to take SRI to scale in the country’s Peanut Basin. Dr. Waly Diouf, the coordinator for the national program for rice self-sufficiency (Program National de l’Autosuffisance en Riz), also noted that SRI is very relevant and these methods should be taken to scale throughout Senegal. (See minutes 20:57 to 23:45 of the TV clip to view the SRI segment.).

  • WAAPP-Senegal Announces Plans for SRI Activities in the Fatick, Kaolack and Kaffrine Regions

    [December 1, 2014] According to an article in the Agence de Presse Sénégalaise website, National Agency for Agricultural and Rural Extension (ANCAR) plans to mobilize 5,000 rice producers in Senegal's Fatick and Kaolack regions to try out SRI methods in order to improve rice productivity farmer income. According to Abdoulaye Sy, ANCAR's director responsible for the Peanut Basin area and WAAPP National Facilitator for Senegal, the spread of SRI will be accomplished by training technicians and NGOs, who will then train farmers in the regions. During a recent workshop to launch the SRI activities, Sy noted that producers who are trained in SRI will pass on their knowledge to other producers the following year. He said the "cascade training" should reach about 5,000 rice producers in the Fatick and Kaolack within two or three years.
    A second Agence de Presse Sénégalaise article notes that the the WAAPP project will also promote SRI in the Kaffrine region.

  • arrowStudy on SRI Adaptations in Kaffrine Shows Yields Can Be Raised Without Increasing Labor Requirements

    Lorraine Perricone-Dazzo PCVDirect seeding with horsepower[July 2014] Lorraine Perricone-Dazzo (right) has completed a project for her MPS degree in which the potential of locally adapted methods of SRI to raise yields was assessed in four target villages in Kaffrine, Senegal. This study, which she carried out as a Peace Corps volunteer in conjunction with her graduate work at Cornell University, shows that a combination of local practices and best management practices (BMPs) inspired by SRI can raise yields to above household consumption needs without increasing labor requirements. Surveys, trainings, and experimentation during 2012-2013 showed that the most successful combination of practices for both yield and labor savings in the area were in-line direct seeding using local animal traction machinery shown at left (achieving 35cm between-row spacing) and hand-thinning the result at 8 days to 25cm spacing with one plant per hill. According to Lorraine, this work has given farmers in the four target villages the tools to sustainably increase their yields so that they can reduce dependence on imported rice. The successful adaptations also have the potential to progress the livelihoods of rice growers living in similar ecological environments throughout West Africa. (See Lorraine's International Agriculture and Rural Development MPS paper for details. You can also follow her progress over the duration of the project on her blog).

  • arrowSRI Training at Thilambol in Northern Senegal

    [June 20] Peace Corps Senegal Volunteer Dana Roth organized a System of Rice Intensification (SRI) training at the Thilambol Master Farm in northern Senegal on June 16, 2014. Twenty four rice farmers from the region attended. The Senegalese government is providing, seed, fertilizer, and tractors to prepare the new fields and irrigation trenches along with water pumps. Peace Corps will assist with the SRI training. For more info, see the Peace Corps Senegal article, which also links to some of the training documents.

  • arrow Peace Corps Senegal to Undertake SRI Training Circuit in the North and South

    [May 2014] Peace Corps Senegal, funded by the Feed the Future Initiative, will be undertaking a System of Rice Intensification (SRI) Training Circuit May 7-15 in nine different sites in Northern and Southern Senegal. The goal is to train nearly 200 farmers in the SRI method, to have these farmers implement SRI this year, and further extend the method in subsequent years. The project will also include collection of data and subsequent reporting on different rice production methods, adoption of SRI, and yield comparison data of SRI versus traditional methods. Peace Corps Senegal volunteers and their counterparts hope to better understand rice production and to further extend SRI in Senegal in order to improve rice yields, thereby helping Senegal reach its goal of self-sufficiency in rice production.

  • arrowRegional Project to Scale Up SRI Formally launched

    [January 1] The project Improving and Scaling up the System of Rice Intensification in West Africa was formally during January 2014. This is the first phase of a regional World Bank-financed project to increase rice productivity throughout a 13-country Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) area. The three year project, which includes Senegal, is part of the larger West Africa Agricultural Productivity Program (WAAPP), which is funded by the World Bank. SRI-Rice is the technical lead partner on the project, working in close collaboration with the coordinating institution, CNS-Riz, in Mali. Check the project's Senegal page in the coming months for updates.

2013 Updates
  • arrowRegional Workshop for Finalizing/Launching the Project "Improving and Scaling Up of the SRI in West Africa" Held in Saly, Senegal

    [August 2013] A regional workshop for finalizing/launching the project "Improving and Scaling Up of the SRI in West Africa" was held in Saly, Senegal, from July 30 to August 2, 2013.  Since 2001, many of the countries involved with West Africa Agriculture Productivity Program (PPAAO/WAAPP) were reportedly conducting small-scale SRI trials with an average yields ranging from 7.5 t/ha to 11 t/ha compare to 2 to 5 t/ha for the traditional practices. In order to scale up these successful experiences, with the support of CORAF/WECARD, the World Bank-funded National Center of Specialization on Rice (CNS-RIZ) teamed up with SRI-Rice at Cornell University and several other partners to promote SRI in West Africa. The first regional meeting held in Ouagadougou, Burkina Faso, was held July 26-27, 2012, and included participants from the thirteen PPAAO/WAAPP countries. The project entitled "Improving and Scaling-up the System of Rice Intensification in West Africa" was approved by CORAF/WECARD Governing Board during its June 2013 meeting. (See 2013 workshop concept note.) [Note: A follow-up regional workshop to officially launch the project was subsequently held in Benin during February 2014].

  • arrowFour Peace Corps-Sponsored SRI Trainings Provided in Kaffrine and Fatick Regions

    [July 2013] In preparation for the 2013 growing season in the central regions of Senegal (Kaffrine and Kaolack) Peace Corps Agriculture volunteer Lorraine Perricone-Dazzo and program assistants Arfang Sadio and Youssoupha Boye designed and led four SRI trainings for regional farmers. The trainings took place from May to July, 2013, in the villages of Taiba, Karang, Ndioumby, and Katakel and trained a total of 243 farmers. The initial reports have been augmented with a new publication which is part of the Peace Corps' System of Rice Intensification Training Series.

    The Taiba training aimed at teaching ten demo farmers working with Lorraine and their community about the importance and protocol of demonstrations. The other three events taught area farmers the SRI principles through discussion and visual aids and included hands-on practice in seed selection, nursery creation, and transplanting at proper spacing. Following these trainings 14 farmers in the area will be creating demonstrations of the technique with the consultation of Peace Corps volunteers and staff. These demo sites will be used for community education action and dissemination of SRI principles as well as to assess the effectiveness of those principles in various parts of the Kaolack and Kaffrine regions. SRI trainings have been held in the Matam region in the North, and Kolda in the South of the country to be followed by testing and demonstration creation as well. (See report for details).

  • arrowSRI Progress in Senegal Noted at West Africa SRI Workshop in Burkina Faso (July 2012)

    The SRI experience in Senegal was presented at a Regional Workshop on System of Rice Intensification (SRI) held in Ouagadougou, Burkina Faso, on July 26 and 27, 2012. A video interview (below, at right) was given at the workshop by the Ernest Asiedu, Senegal participant and workshop co-organizer from WECARD/CORAF. The event was organized by the West and Central African Council for Agricultural Research and Development (CORAF/WECARD), the National Center of Specialization for Rice (WAAPP Mali) and SRI-Rice (Cornell University) within the framework of the West Africa Agricultural Productivity Program (WAAPP).

    A presentation on Senegal, prepared by Madiama Cisse (ISRA), Baye Salif Diack (SAED), and Abdoulaye Sy (ANCAR), was also made at the workshop. The delegation from Senegal reported that trials evaluating SRI methods comparing them with farmer practice under rainfed conditions in the northeastern part of the country began in 2008 at 4 sites, and increased to 6 in 2011. The trials, conducted under an agricultural development project in Matam (PRODAM), showed SRI yields averaging 53% higher than farmer-practice results, with rainfed SRI yield as high as 6.25 tons/ha. The delegation reported also that evaluations of SRI under irrigated management had started in one irrigated zone in 2002, expanding to 6 zones by 2007. In 2008, the area under irrigated SRI management totaled 30 ha, while in 2011, the SRI area was up to 80 ha. However, no data on yield were reported to the workshop.

2010 Update
  • arrow 2008-2009 SRI Evaluations Reported at Tropentag Conference in Switzerland

    Tim Krupnik reported at the Tropentag conference in Switzerland (September 14-16, 2010) on three seasons of on-farm experiments in three locations in the Senegal River Valley that he conducted together with colleagues from FAO and the Africa Rice Center (see paper abstract). During the 2008 dry season, farmers' (FP) and recommended management practices (RMP) were compared with a locally adapted version of SRI (ASRI), which included all principles, but substituted compost with mineral fertilizer. Across sites, they found yield increased for RMP by 20% and ASRI by 31% relative to FP. Krupnik reports that while farmers appreciated the yield and water saving benefits of the adapted SRI approach, they were concerned by the increased labor requirements, especially for weeding activities that coincided with labor needs for the horticultural crop.

    After the first season, farmers designed and implemented a fourth system that hybridized RMP and ASRI, by maintaining intermittent irrigation, increasing crop density and following a single round of mechanical weeding with localized herbicide applications. This hybrid system was generally successful in reducing weed biomass, labor and inputs, and returned the highest net profits in 2 of 3 sites. RMP, ASRI and hybrid yields were all significantly greater (25%, 25% and 19%) than the farmer practices in the 2008 wet season.

    In the 2009 dry season, the Senegalese State discontinued herbicide subsidies. The hybrid approach reduced herbicide use by 38% and 57% compared to FP and RMP, and was most profitable at all sites. While the economic impact of water savings imply that scaling up by the entire irrigation system could be beneficial, constraints noted by farmers presented problems to system-wide adoption. Krupnik and colleagues believe that future research should incorporate farmer ideas and circumstances before designing experiments rather than comparing pre-defined cropping systems that may or may not be relevant to local conditions.

  • arrow SRI Evaluations Proceeding in Cooperation with the African Rice Center (WARDA)

    senegal trialsTim Krupnik, PhD candidate at University of California, Santa Cruz, (currently with CIMMYT) carried out an evaluation of SRI methods under the auspices of the African Rice Center (WARDA) in cooperation with key Senegalese agricultural research institutions and with FAO Global Integrated Production and Pest Management Facility. He evaluated agronomic productivity, soil, water and pest management practices, and also assessing socio-economic tradeoffs. On-station trials were conducted, including varietal trials, at two locations in the Senegal River Valley, and also on-farm trials in the Podor region. An interim report on the research is available in English or French. (Additional photos are contained in Krupnik's 2007 report). The picture at right shows the new cono weeder that the project is evaluating. (Click on pictures to enlarge).

  • arrow New Farm Article Documents Peace Corps Experiences with SRI in Kolda Region

    Peace Corps Volunteer Carrie Miner working at village level in Kolda region has had some initial success introducing SRI to farmers in 2006. Miner's experiences are written up in an article by Nathan McClintock in Rodale Institute's on-line magazine, The New Farm.

  • arrow FAO-Initiated SRI Trials Result in Doubling of Yield in 2003

    The first SRI trials in Senegal were done in 2003 at the initiative of Dr. William Settle (FAO), with two sets of side-by-side comparison trials. Yield on the control plots was 4 and 5 t/ha, while that on the SRI plots was 9 and 11 t/ha, once again showing that a doubling of yield can often, not necessarily always, be obtained with SRI methods. Senegal has been included along with six other West African countries in a large FAO project receiving Dutch funding, and complementary GEF funding, for work on ecologically-sustainable agriculture. The project has provided for the training of 30,000 farmers in SRI concepts and methods.

General Reports and Articles

(See also research reports.)

Research and Evaluations


  • 2015 (January 6). Journal TV 20H de la RTS1 du 6 Janvier 2015. 39.37 min (SRI segment plays during minutes 20:57 to 23:45). Produced Radiodiffusion Télévision Sénégalaise, RTS channel, YouTube. [TV channel report on workshop and training in Kaolack, with additional reporting on the WAAPP’s SRI project in Kaolack, Fatick and Kaffrine.]
  • 2012 (August 23). The First West Africa SRI Workshop, Ouagadougou, 8/26-27/12: Ernest Asiedu (Senegal). 4:44 min. Produced by SRI-Rice. sricornell channel, YouTube.

    [Dr. Ernest Asiedu, Workshop Co-organizer, WECARD/CORA, comments on SRI at the First West Africa System of Rice Intensification (SRI) Workshop, Ouagadougou, Burkina Faso, July 26-27, 2012.]


Photo Collections

  • Page 2 of Tim Krupnik's 2007 interim report contains photos of his SRI trials in Senegal.
  • The photos in the SRI-Rice Senegal collection, which is embedded in the summary section at the top of the page, were provided by Tim Krupnik and Lorraine Perricone-Dazzo. If you do not have Flash installed, click here to see individual photos which are made available on Picasaweb.

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