2005 NEWS AND LATEST RESOURCES
News from other years:
- BBC World Service Reports on SRI in Nepal
- Recent Conference Presentations
- SRI Initiative wins Seed Award (4/05)
- Indian Government recommends SRI (5/05)
- Potential grants for SRI research and development
- Article on SRI in Nepal in Deccan Herald (11/8/05)
- Upcoming SRI Forum in Cambodia
- AP Agri Minister recommends SRI to conserve water(11/9/05)
- SRI Discussion Groups on the web (11/7/05)
- News article on SRI in Tripura (11/25/05)
- Chief Minister adds support for SRI activities in India
- Nepal report highlights young seedlings and early weeding
- Abha Mishra receives two grants to study SRI in Thailand
BBC WORLD SERVICE REPORTS ON SRI IN NEPAL
The Friday, September 2, 2005, edition of BBC World Services' South Asia news featured a story on the benefits that SRI methods are providing to farmers in Morang district of Nepal. In addition to the article, a television report by Charles Haviland (BBC News, eastern Nepal) was broadcast on BBC World Service on Tuesday, September 6, 2005, at 1430 GMT (1530 British summer time) on the Asia Today program.
SRI PRESENTATIONS IN INDONESIA AND GERMANY
On September 12-14, the Indonesian Agency for Agricultural Research and Development hosted an international rice conference in Bali, in cooperation with IRRI. Norman Uphoff was invited to make a presentation on “Prospects for Rice Sector Improvement with the System of Rice Intensification, considering Evidence from India,” co-authored with Dr. A. Satyanarayana from the Andhra Pradesh Agricultural University (ANGRAU) and Dr. T. M. Thiyagarajan of Tamil Nadu Agricultural University. Uphoff’s trip report on his visit to Indonesia, including a report on the conference, is also available.
Norman Uphoff also gave the keynote on SRI within the larger context of agroecology at the University of Hohenheim’s "Deutscher Tropentag 2005" (Tropical Day) held October 10-13, 2005, near Stuttgart in Germany. Both the paper and the PowerPoint presentation are available.
SRI PROJECT IN NEPAL IS RECIPIENT OF NEPAL DEVELOPMENT MARKETPLACE AWARD
The Morang Agricultural District Office's SRI project Low-cost increases in rice production for food-deficit people was one of twenty recipients of the The Nepal Development Marketplace 2005 awards. Locally known as the “Lau Na Aba Ta Kehi Garau” contest, the Nepal Development Marketplace is a collaborative effort sponsored by the World Bank, the Nepal Poverty Alleviation Fund (PAF), Kantipur Publications Pvt. Ltd., the Poverty Reduction Strategy (PRS) Resource Centre, and the Society of Economic Journalists, Nepal (SEJON).
INDIAN GOVERNMENT RECOMMENDS SRI
According to a Government of India Press Information Bureau posting on May 31, 2005, the Ministry of Agriculture has advised farmers to adopt ‘System of Rice Intensification (SRI)’ wherever it is feasible for better yields.
SRI INITIATIVE WINS SEED AWARD
'Global Marketing Partnership for SRI Indigenous Rice- Cambodia, Madagascar and Sri Lanka' was a winner of the 2005 Seed Awards that were announced April 20, 2005, in New York City. The award was also announced in the UN News Centre and reviewed on the World Changing website and by the Environment News Service.
The project involves farming communities, a research institute, NGOs, and businesses collaborating to market indigenous varieties of rice grown with System of Rice Intensification (SRI) methods, thereby improving incomes, conserving biodiversity, and benefiting health and the environment.
His Excellency Dr. Mok Mareth, Senior Minister, the Ministry of Environment of the Kingdom of Cambodia, His Excellency Ambassador Zina Andrianarivelo, Permanent Representative of the Mission of Madagascar to the UN, Mr. Thosapala Hewage - Secretary of the Ministry of Urban Development and Water Supply, Government of Sri Lanka presented the award to Dr Yang Saing Koma, Director, Centre d'Etudes et de Developpement Agricole Cambodgien and Professor Norman Uphoff and Mrs Olivia Vent, Cornell International Institute for Food, Agriculture and Development.
More information on the Seed Initiative (Supporting Entrepreneurs in Environment and Development) and its awards is available on their website (http://www.seedawards.org/). It aims to inspire, support and build the capacity of locally-driven entrepreneurial partnerships to contribute to the delivery of the Millennium Development Goals and the Johannesburg Plan of Implementation. The core partners of the Seed Initiative are IUCN, UNDP and UNEP working closely with the German Federal Ministry for Environment, the government of the United States, and the UK and Norwegian environment ministries. Collaborating organizations include Partnerships Central and the Global Public Policy Institute (GPPi).
GRANTS POTENTIALLY APPLICABLE TO SRI
The Challenge Program on Water and Food - Small Grants Program has issued a call for proposals to develop innovative ways in which research on water productivity might be followed through to achieve developmental impact. 10 - 15 projects will be funded within a budget range of US$25,000 to US$75,000. NGOs are particularly invited to submit proposals.The innovation component of this proposal refers to the discovery of novel ideas that hold promise for improving water productivity in agriculture, and their subsequent up-scaling and dissemination to end-users. Closing date: October 15, 2005. The Asia Rice Foundation USA-sponsored research/travel grant competition for rice in Asia (up to $3500) closed on July 15, 2005. Check the website in a few months information on next year's competition.
ANOTHER NEWS ARTICLE ON SRI IN NEPAL
A November 8, 2005, article in the Deccan Herald featured a story on SRI use in the Morang district of Nepal. Entitled "Nepal Joins the Band Wagon," this story in the Science and Technology section of the on-line newspaper includes the experiences of several farmers who have had positive experiences with SRI.
SRI FORUM AT ROYAL AGRICULTURAL UNIVERSITY IN CAMBODIA
The SRI Secretariat at the Ministry of Agriculture, Forest and Fisheries (MAFF) in Phnom Penh, is organizing a Forum on The System of Rice Intensification (SRI) on Monday, November 14, 2005, at Royal University of Agriculture (RUA) Chamkar Doung, Khva Village, Sangkat Dang Kor, Khan Dang Kor, Phnom Penh, Cambodia. The Forum on SRI will be chaired by His Excellency Dr. Chan Sarun, Minister of MAFF. At least 200 participants from the line ministries of MAFF, farmers, IOs and NGOs are expected to attend. The Forum, which will be held in the Khmer language, will include SRI progress in Cambodia; visits to SRI rice field; and exchange of SRI experiences among SRI farmers, non-SRI farmers and forum participants. For further information firstname.lastname@example.org.
ARTICLE ON USING LESS WATER IN ANDRHA PRADESH
A November 8 article on Webindia123.com (an India-based reference portal) entitled "AP Agri Min asks farmers to emulate Punjab peasants," reports that Agriculture Minister N Raghuveera Reddy is encouraging farmers in Andhra Pradesh to switch over from paddy to other alternative crops to conserve groundwater. The article outlines incentives to grow other crops and "allow paddy cultivation under the System of Rice Intensification (SRI) wherever no other crop except paddy would be possible."
SRI DISCUSSION GROUP INFO NOW ON WEB
There are currently five electronic discussion groups, also known as "listservs," or "mailing lists," that are exclusively devoted to the discussion of SRI issues. These lists, as well as subscription information and links to their archives, are available at: http://sri.ciifad.cornell.edu/listservs.index.html. The discussion groups include a Philippine SRI Group, a Nepali discussion group, an SRI marketing group, a global SRI announcement list and and a global SRI discussion group (primarily production issues)
EFFECTS OF USING YOUNG SEEDLINGS AND DOING EXTRA AND EARLIER WEEDING IN NEPAL Some interesting relationships have emerged from an analysis of the results for 412 farmers in Morang district who used SRI methods during the main 2005 season, over and above their being able to double their paddy: 6.3 t/ha with SRI vs. 3.1 t/ha with regular methods. SRI methods reduced time to maturity by 1-3 weeks, with seedling age as well as number and earliness of weedings affecting this crop parameter. Seedlings 15 days old or more, when using SRI methods, matured 1 week earlier; seedlings transplanted at10-14 days of age matured 2 weeks earlier; while seedlings just 8-9 days old matured 3 weeks earlier. The yields for the 3 different seedling ages were 5.5, 6.1, and 6.9 t/ha, respectively, confirming the value of using young seedlings. Doing more weedings than the minimum of 2 needed to control weeds greatly increased yield: The 32 farmers doing only one weeding produced 5.16 t/ha; the 366 farmers doing 2 weedings got 5.87 t/ha, while the 14 farmers doing 3 weedings achieved 7.87 t/ha. This 'bonus' of 2 t/ha from doing a third weeding paid, many times over, the cost of doing the extra weeding. This confirms the value of active soil aeration in conjunction with other SRI practices. The data also showed that starting weeding earlier after transplanting both enhanced yield and promoted the earlier maturation of the rice crop. Details are given in the seasonal report prepared by Rajendra Uprety, District Agricultural Development Office for Morang District, Nepal.
ABHA MISHRA RECEIVED TWO GRANTS TO STUDY SRI
Abha Mishra, an Indian PhD student in Agriculture Systems and Engineering at the Asian Institute of Technology in Thailand, recently won two grant competitions to further her work on SRI. She was one of two winners of the Travel and Study Grant Award from the Asia Rice Foundation USA. Her research objectives are to explore 1) Why SRI works better than conventional rice management practices and 2) What makes the significant difference in SRI yield potential." Her award will finance experimental work to illuminate the possible effects of soil biological factors and alternate wetting and drying in SRI.
Mishra also submitted one of several successful proposals (out of 126) to the CGIAR Challenge Program on Water and Food Small Grants Competition. The project, Increasing water use efficiency by using mulch under SRI (System of Rice Intensification) management practices in Northeast Thailand, will be begin in January 2006.
The project will help farmers to innovate and localize the agronomic practice suitable to increase water use efficiency, i.e. flooded rice to AWD rice with SRI management practices using Participatory Action Research (PAR) methodology. This would be further integrated with local innovations like use of green manure crops as intercrops, use of rice straw so that suitable mulching could be achieved within the framework of existing production practices. The broader aim of the project is to establish whether alternative water use methods, which not only increases the rice yield but also adds to the overall sustainability, are feasible without bringing any major technological input from outside.