Although initial 2001 trials of SRI methods by the Multiple Cropping Center (MCC) at Chiang Mai University were not successful, continued evaluations by MCC, the McKean Rehabilitation Center (see MRC trials) and others led to a national SRI network, which was formalized at a national SRI workshop held in Chiang Mai in May 2003. A February 15, 2005, meeting of the SRI Network in Thailand held at MCC reviewed progress of network members (4 government groups and 9 NGOs and projects). With Thailand Alternative Agriculture Network (AAN) coordination, the SRI Network organized a workshop in June 2005 co-hosted by the Surin Farmers' Support Project (SFS) in the southern section of northeast Thailand.
During 2005-2006, Abha Mishra, at the time a PhD student at the Asian Institute of Technology (AIT), wrote successful proposals to the Asia Rice Foundation USA (see resulting journal article) and the CGIAR Challenge Program on Water and Food to support participatory action research with farmer field school groups to evaluate SRI.The CPWF project, undertaken by an AIT team headed by Dr. V. M. Salokhe, introduced SRI through action-research with villages in northeast Thailand (see report on Increasing water use efficiency by using mulch under SRI management practices in Northeast Thailand and video).
The 2008 AIT project proposal on Community preparedness for climate change and increased water use efficiency for rice cultivation using principles of System of Rice Intensification (SRI) in central Thailand was selected for the Asia-Pacific Forum for Environment and Development (APFED) Showcase 2008 Programme. The project, which used FFS extension, took place in Ratchaburi Province between 2009 and 2011 (see summary report).
A Southeast Asia regional workshop on SRI involving Mekong River Basin (MRB) countries (Cambodia, Laos, Vietnam and Thailand) was organized at Asian Institute of Technology (AIT), Bangkok, Thailand, June 22-23, 2009, in collaboration with the World Bank Institute. During 2011, AIT began a EU-financed regional project, Sustaining and Enhancing the Momentum for Innovation and Learning around the SRI in the Lower Mekong River Basin, which is focused rainfed SRI in Cambodia, Laos, Thailand and Vietnam. During 2012, a thesis and several academic papers were published on SRI (see 2012 updates for summaries). One of these, Rice root growth and physiological responses to SRI water management and implications for crop productivity, won the SAWADA Prize for best paper published in the journal Paddy and Water Environment Engineering for the year 2012. Also during 2012, AIT recieved an EU grant for working on SRI in the Lower Mekong Delta River Basin in Cambodia, Laos, Thailand and Vietnam. The project in Thailand involves Uttaradit and Surin Provinces.
- Lower Mekong River Basin SRI Project Makes Progress in Uttaradit and Surin Provinces
Two Thai provinces where rice production is considered "insecure and vulnerable" are part of a study project working to improve crop standards of rice farmers throughout the region. The Asian Institute of Technology (AIT) in partnership with the Ministry of Education, is engaged in studying sustainable intensification of rice involving "Smart" farmers of Thailand in part of regional project. [Smart farmers are local rice farmers selected for their skills who work as managers and lecturers to provide their community with counseling, servicing, collecting of information, and reporting problems in crop production.] The project in Thailand is being implemented in six districts of the two food insecure provinces, Uttaradit and Surin. The wider project is also working in Cambodia, Laos and Vietnam, under one umbrella funded by the European Union (EU) as part of a global programme on agricultural and research for development. The project is led by the Asian Institute of Technology (AIT) in partnership with the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO), Oxfam, SRI-Rice of Cornell University, the University of Queensland together with the local ministries, and NGOs.
The food security challenges of rainfed smallholder farmers in Thailand were reviewed during a regional inception and planning workshop at AIT in Pathumthani in April 2013. Two season-long training projects - the Central Farmer's Participatory Action Research (CFPAR)- were staged from March, one in Surin and one in Uttaradit provinces. In Surin, the three districts Srikhoraphum, Chumphon Buri and Tha Tum were selected and in Uttaradit, the districts of Tron, Pichai and Ban Khok. Thirty farmers - ten Smart farmers from each district - studied rice cultivation. The activities included collection, compilation, analyses and interpretation of the data. In a recently conducted CFPAR meeting, the Smart farmers harvested the crop and final analysis was carried out involving local ministries which overwhelmingly showed that SRI principles could save 20 per cent in cost of production and input, and yet provide a higher yield up to 30 per cent, compared to conventional rice cultivation.
As a follow-up to this CFPAR, the Smart farmers are now engaged in experimenting with SRI principles for healthy and profitable crops. They have set up 24 field experiments in the Famer's Participatory Action Research (FPAR) in the 2014 wet season in all six districts. The experiments range from reduced seed rates, water management, fertilizer management, and varietal response - all under the broader umbrella of SRI principles and practices based on the need and choice of each community. [See article in The Nation for details.]
- Lower Mekong River Basin SRI Project Fine-Tuned
for Uttaradit and Surin Provinces
A National Inception and Planning Workshop took place in Thailand on January 29-30, 2014, regarding the Asian Institute of Technology's (AIT) project on "Sustaining and Enhancing the Momentum for Innovation and Learning around the System of Rice Intensification (SRI) in the Lower Mekong River Basin." The main objective of the project is to contribute to enhance resilience of rainfed small-scale farmers of Lower Mekong region confronting climate change. The workshop involved government organizations, NGOs, relevant ministries, farmers, students, academicians, FAO and think tank to ensure national consultation on the objectives and activities of the project prior to implementation of action in two selected provinces of Thailand, Uttaradit and Surin. Read more about the 60 month project, which involves Cambodia, Laos, Thailand and Vietnam, on the SRI-LMB website.
- Asian Centre of Innovation for Sustainable Agriculture Intensification
Launched with EU Grant for SRI
The Asian Institute of Technology's (AIT) recent US$ 4.37 million grant from the European Union for SRI innovation in the Lower Mekong Rive Basin enabled the launch on April 9, 2013, of the Asian Centre of Innovation for Sustainable Agriculture Intensification (ACISAI). The project "Sustaining and Enhancing the Momentum for Innovation and Learning around the System of Rice Intensification (SRI) in the Lower Mekong River Basin" aims to support the intensification of small-scale agriculture as a performing model that could ultimately provide jobs to millions of landless farmers and enhance food security.(.. more on the project.)
The ACISAI was officially inaugurated at a brief ceremony by Prof. Jayant K. Routray, Chairman of the AIT Academic Senate, along with Prof. Norman T. Uphoff, Cornell University; Dr. Rosa S. Rolle, Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) Regional Office for Asia and the Pacific; and Prof. Amir Kassam, University of Reading (see photo at right and SRI-LMB Newsletter).
- Asian Institute of Technology Receives Grant to Help Small Farmers Confront Climate Change in the Lower Mekong River Basin through SRI
The Asian Institute of Technology (AIT), Thailand, has been awarded a grant by the European Union (EU) for the implementation of a project on "Sustaining and Enhancing the Momentum for Innovation and Learning around the System of Rice Intensification (SRI) in the Lower Mekong River Basin." The contract between AIT and the European Union, which was signed on November 12, 2012, indicates that the project will last 60 months with a total cost of approximately 3.4 million Euros, 85% of which will be provided by the EU. The main objective of the project is to contribute to enhance resilience of rainfed small-scale farmers of the Lower Mekong Region confronting climate change.
The project will be implemented in Cambodia, Laos, Thailand and Vietnam. The main applicant for this project is AIT along with its partners - FAO Regional IPM Programme in South and Southeast Asia, Oxfam America, and Institute of Development Studies University of Sussex in UK. The Associate partners for the project are the SRI-Rice Center at the Cornell International Institute for Food, Agriculture and Development (CIIFAD) in at Cornell University, and the University of Queensland in Australia. For more information, contact: Abha Mishra, project manager. (See press release for more information.)
- Abha Mishra gets Best Paper Award for Paper on SRI Roots and Water Management
Asian Institute of Technology's (AIT) Dr. Abha Mishra has been conferred the SAWADA Prize for the best paper published in the journal Paddy and Water Environment Engineering for the year 2012. The award was granted during the International Society of Paddy and Water Environment Engineering (PAWEES) 2012 Conference titled "Challenges of Environment and Water Management in Monsoon Asia" held November 27-29, 2012, at the Royal Irrigation Department, Pakkred, Thailand.
The award, which consists of a plaque, certificate and a cash award of Japanese Yen 100,000.00, is granted to authors for publishing an original article of extraordinary significance in the journal Paddy and Water Environment during a twelve-month period. The paper, Rice root growth and physiological responses to SRI water management and implications for crop productivity, is coauthored with Prof. Vilas M Salokhe. It reports on research findings on rice root responses while applying SRI water management principles under semi-field and field conditions, along with variations in plant density and microbial density in the soil. The article considers the relevance of exploiting roots' potential for plasticity to enhance crop productivity, in the context of impending water constraints and effects of climate change. (See AIT news article and research paper).
- Uppsala Thesis on Thai Rice Cropping Systems Finds SRI More Beneficial and Efficient than Conventional Systems
Supisra Arayaphong has recently completed a thesis about SRI for the Master Programme in Sustainable Development at Uppsala University in Sweden. Cost-Benefit Analysis of Different Rice Cropping Systems in Thailand quantifies and compares costs and benefits of SRI and the conventional system of rice cultivation in Thailand to find the best system for a farmer, the environment and a society. The study finds that SRI saves production inputs and increases yield gain significantly. The most impressive results are a reduction in water consumption and number of seeds. Also, the environmental damage caused by this system is lower due to less amount of chemical fertilizer and pesticide applications as well as a low rate of methane gas emission. Sensitivity analysis shows that SRI has better performance under best and worst case scenarios for both types of soil (clay soil and sandy loam). However, the system contains the highest risk for farmer's profit. The author suggests that while SRI is more beneficial and efficient than conventional system, risk aspects should be considered in decision making. Further studies on combination between SRI and between SRI and conventional system were suggested.
- Cambodian NGO Shares SRI Expertise with Chachoengsao Province, Thailand
Mr. Vann Saran, a staff member of the Cambodian NGO CEDAC, was posted in Thailand for a 10 months assignment with the FK (Fredskorpset Norway) exchange program. His tasks were to share knowledge and experiences from CEDAC as well as to learn from the host organization techniques. Saran conducted SRI demonstrations at Bana Isan village, Sanam Chaiket district, Chachoengsao province (right), Thailand. Twelve farmers from Hin Rae cooperative and Banna Isan group followed the demonstrations, which took place from August 23 to December 14, 2011, on a plot of 15m x 25m. While the yield of 2,340 kg/ha seems low, it is actually high when compared to the 300 kg/ha average yield with the traditional methods. The farmers appreciated the field practice of the SRI techniques because by using less rice seed and fewer resources and transplanting only one seedling, they could get around 11 tillers per clump on average and a higher yield than usual. (For details, see CEDAC report).
- Article on the Potential of SRI and the FFS Approach in NE Thailand for
Increasing Sustainability in a Climate Change Context
A January 2012 article by Abha Mishra et al published in the International Journal of Agricultural Sustainability describes the facilitated learning process of farmers, its results and implications in addressing the low productivity of Jasmine rice in northeast Thailand. The SRI-Farmer Field School (SRI-FFS) approach was used in a collaborative action research involving numerous stakeholders and a thorough analysis of the current management practices and innovative agronomic crop management (IACM) practices was conducted. The results confirmed the potential of IACM in enhancing crop and water productivity along with soil fertility with relatively low input-use (seed, water and fertilizers) and higher net farm-income compared to existing crop management practices. The study found that factors such as the age of the farmers and off-farm employment opportunity are key drivers that affect the crop management decision-making process. Recommendations included exploration of value-added production alternatives and favorable policies to sustain IACM practices that can benefit farmers, consumers and the environment. The participation of policy-makers at the action research continuum was deemed to be essential for effective follow up, scaling up and sustainability of such environmentally sound practices. (see full article for details; if subscription prevents access, contact the authors).
For 2001-2010 SRI Activities, see Thailand Archives
- A National Inception and Planning Workshop about the Asian Institute of Technology's 60-month project enititled "Sustaining and Enhancing the Momentum for Innovation and Learning around the System of Rice Intensification (SRI) in the Lower Mekong River Basin" took place on January 29-30, 2014, at the AIT's Conference Center .
- A Northern Thailand SRI Network was formed during a meeting organized by the ECHO Regional Office and facilitated by Green Net at ISAC (FARM) February, 2010. Thirty participants from 13 organizations from Phrae, Nan, Phayao, and Chiang Mai attended.
- A Southeast Asia Regional Knowledge Exchange on SRI Producing More with Less Water involving MRB countries (Cambodia, Laos, Vietnam and Thailand) was organized at Asian Institute of Technology, Bangkok, Thailand, June 22-23, 2009, in collaboration with World Bank Institute, Washington DC, followed by a field-visit on 24 June in NE Thailand.
- A workshop on practices and experiences with the System of Rice Intensification (SRI) was held during June 2005 near the provincial capital of Surin. The Thailand Alternative Agriculture Network (AAN) organized the workshop which was co-hosted by the Surin Farmers’ Support Project (SFS)
- A meeting of the SRI Network, organized by MCC/CMU (Multiple Cropping Center), was held at Chiang Mai University, February 15, 2005.
- A national SRI workshop, held at Chiang Mai University, June 5-6, 2003, was organized by MCC/CMU (Multiple Cropping Center) in cooperation with ISAC, RRAFA and MRC.
Research and Evaluations
- Doi, Ryoichi, and Masaru Mizoguchi. 2013. Feasibility of system of rice intensification practices in natural and socioeconomic contexts in Thailand. International Journal of Sustainable Development & World Ecology (published online first June 17, 2013). doi:10.1080/13504509.2013.801002
- Watanarojanaporn, N., et. al. 2013. Effect of rice cultivation systems on indigenous arbuscular mycorrhiza fungal community structure. Microbes and Environments. (published online first, May 29, 2013)
- Arayaphong, Supisra. 2012. Cost - benefit analysis of different rice cropping systems in Thailand. Master's thesis, Uppsala University, Sweden. (60p., 2MB pdf).
- Mishra, Abha, Prabhat Kumar and Andrew Noble. 2012. Assessing the potential of SRI management principles and the FFS approach in Northeast Thailand for sustainable rice intensification in the context of climate change. International Journal of Agricultural Sustainability (published online early by iFirst). doi:10.1080/14735903.2012.658648
- Mishra, Abha, and Vilas M. Salokhe. 2011. Rice root growth and physiological responses to SRI water management and implications for crop productivity. Paddy and Water Environment 9:41-52. DOI: 10.1007/s10333-010-0240-4
- Sooksa-Nguan, Thanwalee, Phrek Gypmantasiri, Nantakorn Boonkerd, Janice E. Thies, and Neung Teaumroong. Changes in Bacterial Community Composition in the System of Rice Intensification (SRI) in Chiang Mai, Thailand. Microbes and Environments 23(3):224-227. DOI:10.1264/jsme2.ME09184
- Mishra, A. and V. M. Salokhe. 2010.The Effects of Planting Pattern and Water Regime on Root Morphology, Physiology and Grain Yield of Rice. Journal of Agronomy and Crop Science 196(5):368-378. DOI: 10.1111/j.1439-037X.2010.00421.x
- Mishra, Abha. 2009. System of rice intensification (SRI): A quest for interactive science to mitigate the climate change vulnerability. IOP Conf. Ser.: Earth Environ. Sci. 6: 242028. DOI: 10.1088/1755-1307/6/24/242028
- Mishra, Abha and V.M. Salokhe. 2008. Seedling characteristics and the early growth of transplanted rice under different water regimes. Experimental Agriculture 44:365-383. doi:10.1017/S0014479708006388
- Mishra, Abha. 2006. Increasing water use efficiency by using mulch under SRI management practices in Northeast Thailand. Paper presented at the the CGIAR Challenge Program on Water and Food Forum, November 12-16, in Vientiane, Laos. (68p., 866KB pdf)
- Gypmantasiri, Phrek. 2002. Experience with the System of Rice Intensification in Northern Thailand. Presentation at the international conference on Assessments of the System of Rice Intensification (SRI), April 1-4, in Sanya, China. [Presentation from the Multiple Cropping Foundation, Chiang Mai University]
General Reports and Articles
- 2014. Thai 'smart' farmers lead drive to boost production. The Nation. September 14.
- Bicksler, Abram, and Rebecca Garofano (eds.). 2014. SRI Innovations. ECHO Asia Notes. Issue 21, June 2014. [Includes five articles from Asia about SRI, mostly about tools used for planting SRI in Thailand.]
- Asian Centre of Innovation for Sustainable Agriculture Intensification (ACISAI). 2013. System of Rice Intensification - Lower Mekong River Basin website. [Project website of AIT's "Sustaining and Enhancing the Momentum for Innovation and Learning around the System of Rice Intensification (SRI) in the Lower Mekong River Basin"]
- 2013. SRI-LMB Newsletter. Vol. 1, Issue 1 (4p. pdf; a biannual newsletter of the SRI Lower Mekong River Basin Project. This issue covers the launch of the project together with the ACISAI Center at the Asian Institute of Technology in Bangkok during April 2013.) [acquired October 2013]
- Asian Institute of Technology. 2013. AIT awarded € 3.4 million grant by the European Union to intensify sustainable agriculture development in Thailand, Laos, Cambodia and Vietnam. AIT website. April 9. [Asian Centre of Innovation for Sustainable Agriculture Intensification (ACISAI) launched with Lower Mekong River Basin grant from EU.]
- Asian Institute of Technology. 2012. AIT signs agreement with EU for 3.4 million Euro project. AIT website. December 14. [Regarding AIT-led project "Sustaining and Enhancing the Momentum for Innovation and Learning around the System of Rice Intensification (SRI) in the Lower Mekong River Basin"]
December 14, 2012, Asian Institute of Technology (Thailand)
- Li, Zhong. 2012. The system of rice intensification (SRI) is gaining ground in Asia. Thailand Business News, May 15.
- Mishra, Abha. 2011. Sustaining and enhancing the momentum for innovation and learning around the SRI in the Lower Mekong River Basin. System of Rice Intensification website. September 9.
- Mishra, Abha and Prabhat Kumar. 2011. Community preparedness for climate change and increased water use efficiency for rice cultivation using principles of System of Rice Intensification (SRI) in Central Thailand: Summary report. System of Rice Intensification website. May 1. (16p. 595KB pdf) [This Asia-Pacific Forum for Environment and Development (APFED) Showcase 2008 project was undertaken 2009-2011 by the Asian Institute of Technology in collaboration with Department of Agriculture Extension, Royal Government of Thailand and the rice farmers of Ratchaburi province. It was intended to bring the latest agricultural innovation to the rice farming communities of central Thailand to prepare them to cope with the negative externalities of the climate change.]
- 2010. Innovative climate friendly rice production in Central Thailand. Greater Mekong Subregion Energy and Environment Network section of the Asian Institute of Technology website. 30 March.
- Mishra, Abha and Prabhat Kumar. 2009. Southeast Asia Regional Knowledge Exchange on SRI Producing More with Less Water. Asian Institute of Technology, Bangkok, Thailand. (109p., 13.22 MB pdf)
- 2008-2009. Various entries related to SRI on the Surin Farmers Support blog. (http://www.surinfarmersupport.org/search/label/SRI)
- Uphoff, Norman. 2007. Report on visit to Thailand to review SRI Progress. System of Rice Intensification website. July 18-20. (3p. pdf) [Trip report for the Cornell International Institute for Food, Agriculture and Development]
- Salokhe, V.M., P. Kumar and A. Mishra. 2007. Increasing Water Use Efficiency by Using Mulch under SRI Management Practices in Northeast Thailand, Participatory Action Phase (July.- Dec. 2006). CPFW, AIT and TEF, Bangkok. System of Rice Intensification website. (40 p., 2.13MB pdf) [Challenge Programme for Water and Food (CPWF)-funded Small Grant Project No. 504]
- 2006. AIT, NGO team up to make rice growing greener. Asian Institute of Technology website. [Article about competitive research grant from the Consultative Group on International Agricultural Research Challenge Program for Water and Food in awarde to AIT in February 2006]
- U-saengsri, Rachakorn. 2005. Minutes of Meeting on System of Rice Intensification. Multiple Cropping Center (MCC) Chiang Mai University. System of Rice Intensification website. 15 February. (5p., 119KB pdf)
- The Agricultural Extension Unit at the McKean Rehabilitation Center in Chiang Mai, Thailand, authored a Thai language SRI manual. (A separate English language introduction to the Thai version as well as the Thai version with an English title and author page are also available).
- 2006. Living Labs Mekong
River Basin. Video (on YouTube) about SRI and rice production in Thailand
produced by TVE Asia for CGIAR Challenge Program for Water and Food. 5.02
- Mishra, Abha. 2012. IPM-SRI Practices in Thailand. PowerPoint presented at the National Workshop on Sustainable Rice Production: Revisiting IPM, Universiti Kebangsaan Malaysia, Bangi, Selangor, Malaysia, September 12-13. 38 slides.
- Mishra, Abha. 2010. Climate Change and SRI @ AIT. PowerPoint presented at the Pre-Congress 'SRI Day" at the 3rd International Rice Congress, Hanoi Hotel, Ha Noi, Vietnam, November 8 . 16 slides. [also available as pdf version]
- 15 PowerPoint presentations are available from regional workshop "Southeast Asia Regional Knowledge Exchange on SRI Producing More with Less Water", an event organized at Asian Institute of Technology, Bangkok, Thailand, June 22-24, 2009, in collaboration with World Bank Institute, Washington DC.
- The Thailand Photo Collection contains pictures obtained from Norman Uphoff and others. The slideshow can be viewed in the summary section at the top of the page. Clicking on the photo showing will enlarge it. If you do not have Flash installed, click here to see individual photos which are made available on Picasa.