To: SRI-RICE-L@cornell.edu (SRI-Rice-L)
From: SRI Group
Subject: SRI-RICE-L Update #14 (September 20, 2007)
Dear SRI-RICE-L subscriber,
The following material is part of the SRI UPDATE series being sent out occasionally throughout the year. Additional information on subscribing to SRI discussion groups in other countries can be found at http://ciifad.cornell.edu/sri/listservs/.
The numbered listing of sections below provides an overview of the contents of this Update, to let you know what items are included. To subscribe to the update-only SRI announcement list, instead of this discussion list, see http://ciifad.cornell.edu/sri/listservs/index.html#update.
for CIIFAD SRI Group
1. China: SRI Extent in Two Provinces Surpasses 1 Million Acres
2. India: 2nd National SRI Symposium to be Held in Tripura State
3. Cuba: Video Produced Documenting SRI Root Growth
4. Afghanistan: Trials Show Promising Response to SRI Methods
5. Senegal: Trials of SRI Initiated in Cooperation with WARDA
6. Cambodia: SRI Productivity Used for Diversification
7. Vietnam: OXFAM Amreica Assisting Network of SRI Partners
8. Iraq: SRI Activity and Information Expands
9. Pesticide Action Network Publishing Factsheet on SRI
1. CHINA: SRI EXTENT IN TWO PROVINCES SURPASSES 1 MILLION ACRES
SRI colleagues in the provinces of Sichuan and Zhejiang in the west and east of China have taken effective initiatives to evaluate and extend SRI in these two large rice-growing areas. The Crop Cultivation Research Center of the Sichuan Academy of Agricultural Sciences in Chengdu and the National China Rice Research Institute in Hangzhou invited Norman Uphoff to visit before this season's SRI crop was harvested so that he could see some of the 6.5 million mu ( >1 million acres) on which SRI methods are being used this year. Details are given in Uphoff's trip report.
Two significant things documented in his trip report contradict a common stereotype of SRI, that the system is 'good only for small farmers' and that it is 'too labor-intensive for widespread adoption.' In China, larger farmers are taking up SRI methods even more rapidly than smaller ones. They have adapted SRI concepts to their local conditions so that SRI methods not only save seeds and water and lower costs of production -- but they reduce the need for labor. This 'scale-neutrality' does not make SRI any less attractive and beneficial for small farmers, who have the most to gain from the methods, but it does mean that the spread of SRI can be wider and the environmental benefits greater than anticipated previously.
In Sichuan province, SRI area went from 57,000 hectares in 2006 to 100,000 hectares this year. In Zhejiang province, there is no chance of sustaining a doubling of the adoption rate because already one-third of the rice area (5 million mu out of 15 million mu) is being cultivated with what scientists, extensionists and farmers all regard as SRI. Given such widespread and rapid acceptance, the suggestion that SRI is, and will remain, a 'niche innovation' is not tenable.
2. INDIA: 2nd NATIONAL SRI SYMPOSIUM TO BE HELD IN TRIPURA STATE
Following up the well-attended first national SRI symposium held in Hyderabad in November, 2006, there will be a second symposium held October 3-5, 2007, in Agartala, capital of the state of Tripura in northeast India (see http://www.sri-india.net/ for details -- and also for a very fine SRI web page). This event is hosted by the Tripura state government's Department of Agriculture and is co-sponsored by the Directorate of Rice Research (DRR) and the Directorate of Rice Development (DRD) of the Indian Council for Agricultural Research (ICAR), the Central Rice Research Institute, the National Bank for Agricultural and Rural Development (NABARD), the Andhra Pradesh state agricultural university (ANGRAU), and the Sri Dorabji Tata Trust. It is supported by the World Wide Fund for Nature (WWF) through its collaborative program with ICRISAT. Participation from outside India is welcomed by the organizers. Queries can be sent to Dr. Vinod Goud.
3. CUBA: DVD PRODUCED DOCUMENTING SRI ROOT GROWTH
Dr. Rena Perez, who since 2000 has served as a volunteer national coordinator for SRI in Cuba -- where SRI is known as SICA, /Sistema Intensivo de Cultivo Arrocero/ -- has produced a DVD on SRI/SICA with the cooperation of Luis Romero, a farmer who has had great success using the new methods and is now working with the Cuban Institute for Rice Research (IIA) as a technician. A picture of Romero holding and comparing the root systems of two rice plants -- same variety and same age, both 52 days -- has become iconic for SRI communication and is seen around the world.
A video shows how such huge differences in root growth developed in real time through a season of growth, so that a rice plant transplanted at just 9 days and grown under SRI conditions can have 42 tillers, while a sister plant, kept flooded and crowded, has only 5. This video, covering a full crop cycle, documents the contrasting growth of SRI and non-SRI plants and conveys the understanding of SRI/SICA that Romero and neighboring farmers have gained from their experience with the new methods. A 14 minute Spanish language video (35.2MB) is available on the SRI Cuba page as well as a longer 36 minute version with English subtitles (76.2 MB).
4. AFGHANISTAN: TRIALS SHOW PROMISING RESPONSE TO SRI METHODS
In May, the Aga Khan Foundation brought Parcha Kishan Rao from Hyderabad, India, to Afghanistan to teach SRI methods to farmers in Baghlan province. We have received reports from AKF in July and August indicating that despite some initial problems with weed growth, which had to be controlled by energetic use of a rotating hoe plus hand weeding, the SRI plants are growing very well. The August report said that some SRI plants had reached a total of 120 tillers, although a subsequent email said that grain formation was not proceeding as well or as fast as anticipated. As soon as harvest results are received from the AKF program, these will be posted on the Afghanistan country page.
5. SENEGAL: TRIALS OF SRI INITIATED IN COOPERATION WITH WARDA
Tim Krupnik, who is doing research on SRI for his PhD thesis in environmental science and agroecology for the University of California, Santa Cruz, reports that the trials he has gotten started at the Senegal station of the African Rice Center (WARDA) are doing well. "The rice is going well so far. We are just at 3 weeks after transplanting, but the SRI is starting to tiller nicely, impressing even the most skeptical of research station technicians who thought the one plant would die off within a week." The trials were visited recently by Dr. William Settle, with the FAO Plant Protection Division in Rome, who has supported SRI evaluations in other West African countries as well, and the West Africa director of the FAO farmer field school program (see Senegal page).
6. CAMBODIA: SRI PRODUCTIVITY GAINS USED FOR DIVERSIFICATION
The Cambodian Center for Study and Development of Agriculture (CEDAC) has been working with small farmers, having as little as 0.3 ha of land, to capitalize on the yield increases that SRI methods make possible so that they can diversify their farming systems and earn more income from available land, labor, water and capital. CEDAC has now completed an English version of the manual (3.9MB) that it developed in Khmer language, based on the experience of innovative Cambodian farmers. It shows how they have multiplied household income by developing their own respective 'systems of intensification and diversification' (SID) based on SRI.
7. VIETNAM: OXFAM AMERICA ASSISTING NETWORK OF SRI PARTNERS
Oxfam America has committed $500,000 to support demonstrations and extension of SRI in six provinces over the next three years, and it will also support networking activities that include the National IPM Program, Thai Nguyen University and Hanoi Agricultural University, the Centre for Sustainable Rural Development, and the Japanese Overseas Volunteer Corps. Oxfam Quebec is also giving support to this initiative. For more information on the partners activities in Vietnam, see the Vietnam trip report.
8. IRAQ: SRI ACTIVITY AND INFORMATION EXPANDS
Since establishing a formal committee in March for extension of SRI in Iraq based at the Al-Mishkhab Rice Research Station (see report), there have been several initiatives to take SRI into a number of sites. Three demonstration plots have been set up on farmers' fields in different areas, one in Manadira district and two in Mishkhab subdistrict, with also four sets of trials at MRRS. An activity that is very promising for Iraqi conditions is to plant clover as a green manure with SRI. These trials are being done in two provinces at many sites. Results will be reported and posted on the SRI web page after harvest.
Despite many difficulties working in Iraq these days, Hameed Khidir (MRRS) reports that SRI concepts have been published in the Iraqi media, with feature articles in Tareek Al-Shaab (People's Way) and Al-Sabaah (The Morning), important newspapers, and an article in the magazine published regularly by the Ministry of Agriculture, Iraq Agriculture. There have been three reports on SRI broadcast on Iraqi television channels: Al-Diyar, Salah al-Deen, and Al-Gadeer. A report on this coverage is posted on the Iraq country page. CIIFAD is working with Khidir to get the articles and TV clips posted on the SRI web site, so that there will be materials on SRI available in Arabic language.
9. PESTICIDE ACTION NETWORK IS PUBLISHING FACT SHEET ON SRI
The Pesticide Action Network for Asian and Pacific (PANAP), one of five regional networks operating under the auspices of PAN International, has requested pictures and text to publish in its fact sheetseries soon. This will give the most complete listing of published articles on SRI and also a good set of pictures and figures that explain about SRI. Copies will be available from PANAP at the URL given above, and in another month or so, the fact sheet can be downloaded directly from the website.
You received this e-mail because you are subscribed to SRI-RICE-L.
To unsubscribe to SRI-RICE-L, send the following message to: firstname.lastname@example.org:
Additional electronic discussion lists are described at: http://ciifad.cornell.edu/sri/listservs/index.html
For additional subscription assistance, contact: email@example.com