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Progress and Activities

2011 UDPATES

Rural Development Minister Learns More about SRI/SCI Applications in Bihar

The Rural Development Minister for the Government of India, Mr. Jayram Ramesh, along with State Minister Shyam Rajak, visited an SRI village in Gaya district Jayram Ramesh and state minister at PRADAN stall on August 27, 2011, spending time at the SRI stall of PRADAN and talking about the various crops being improved SRI/SCI methods (see photo at right). The Minister had previously visited communities where PRADAN is working in Orissa and Chhatisgarh, including the introduction of SRI and related initiatives, and he expressed appreciation for PRADAN's work on SRI and for farmers’ innovation in improving other crops.

The State Minister, accompanied by the Bihar Secretary for Rural Development, Mr. Santosh Mathew, also spent half an hour in the SRI stall, interested in the impacts of SCI management on various vegetables, oilseeds and sugarcane, and looking at various implements developed for using SRI methods. After visiting the PRADAN stall, the Minister visited a farmer’s SRI plot. Mrs. Jyoti Manjhi, SRI farmer-activist who was elected to the Bihar Legislative Assembly last year, also participated in the visit. The programme was organized by the Bihar Rural Livelihoods Promotion Society.

Round Table Discussion on Status of SRI in India Held in New Delhi
A round table discussion, Status of SRI in India: Upscaling Strategy and Global Experience Sharing, was held March 3, 2011, at the Indian Agricultural Research Institute (IARI) in New Delhi. The event was very timely, as issues of sustainable food security have assumed national importance while the country is debating on the crucial National Food Security bill. SRI is increasingly recognized in India as an innovative practice that increases productivity in a sustainable way, and is gaining acceptance by farmers, particularly of those considered vulnerable or resource-limited.

The SRI-India website has uploaded several items related to the event: The proceedings (the Status of SRI in India), a presentation on the National SRI Consortium, and a photo gallery

• BASIX Strategy for SRI Extension is Self-Financing
BASIX is a group of livelihood promotion institutions established in 1996, working with over 3.5 million customers in India, 90% of them being rural poor households. BASIX works in 18 states with a workforce of over 10,000 reaching out to about 40,000 villages across India. BASIX strategy is to provide a comprehensive set of livelihood promotion services which include financial services, agricultural/business Development services (Ag/BDS) and institutional development services (IDS) to rural poor households under one umbrella.

Under its commitment to provide agricultural and business development services, BASIX began its evaluation of SRI in 2005-06, working with two farmers in Orissa state. By the 2009-10 crop year, the number of farmers assisted by BASIX field staff to utilize SRI methods had reached 18,550, spread across five states of eastern India, a majority of these in Bihar. A report on this ‘journey’ with SRI -- describing both the expansion and the methodology used -- has been received from Shailesh Kumar (BASIX) and is now posted.

Farmers who want assistance from BASIX pay 500 rupees ($11) for a season of training and technical back-up at field level. Since yield increases are averaging 3-3.5 t/ha, a farmer who cultivates just one acre of SRI paddy can recover the cost of the training/technical support fee within one season – 20 times over. The average increase in income from production on an acre is worth  more than 10,000 rupees ($220).

This approach, which complements NGO and government extension efforts for SRI, can be expanded wherever there are farmers willing and able to make this very profitable investment. There are practically no other expenditures that farmers can make which are so profitable. Once farmers have learned SRI methods, they can receive this higher return each year for many years to come with no further expenditure.

Event in Kolkata Focuses on SRI Methods
The International Symposium on “System Intensification towards Food and Environmental Security” which was organized by the Crop and Weed Science Society (CWSS) and Bidhan Chandra Krishi Viswavidyalaya (BCKV) in collaboration with NABARD, Kolkata, was held at the Farmers’ Training Centre (FTC- Lake Hall), Kalyani, Nadia, West Bengal, India, on February 24- 27, 2011. (see flyer)

2010 UDPATES

• National Consortium on SRI for India
Participants in a national workshop on SRI convened October 10, 2010, hosted at the National Centre for Agricultural Economics and Policy Research in cooperation with the NGO PRADAN, agreed to form a National Consortium on SRI to advance the understanding and utilization of SRI methods across India. (See a brief report on the meeting and Powerpoint for objectives and roles).The National Consortium on SRI is participating in a consultative workshop with the Planning Commission on "regenerating natural resources and rural livelihoods in rainfed areas of India" at Hyderabad, December 15-16, 2010, and will offer its suggestions for incorporation in the 12th Five Year Plan.

Natural Resource Management Centre Organizes National SRI Seminar
The Natural Resource Management Centre in Calcutta organized a national seminar on the System of Rice Intensification (SRI) method July 11-12, 2010. The seminar agenda included the status of SRI in India, research and extension in SRI, problems and issues in SRI, the role of the Government and other stake holders in the promotion of SRI and impact of SRI in food security. There were more than 100 participants from all over India.

Kenyan Delegation Visited IAMWARM Project in Tamil Nadu, India
On June 25, 2010, an 18-member team of African agricultural officials and project staff along with two Japanese students visited several projects in Villupuram district, Tamil Nadu, and Hyderabad, Andhra Pradesh, to study the rotary weeder demo in IMAWARM projectimplementation of SRI in India. The delegation, which was received by Dr. V. K. Ravichandran and the President of the CEC/IAMWARM (a project of World Bank), came from six African countries: Burundi, Ethiopia, Kenya, Tanzania, Lesotho and Zambia. Collector R. Palanisamy briefed them about the IAMWARM (Irrigated Agriculture Modernization and Waterbodies Restoration and Management) Project being implemented in the Varaha Nadhi basin in the Villupuran district. The group also visited ICRISAT's Community Watershed Management Project in Hyderabad (see article in The Hindu).

• Bill Gates Learns about SRI and SWI during Visits to Bihar
Bill Gates, Chairman of Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation visited the village Tetariya in the PRADAN project area in Banka district of Bihar on May 12, 2010. He visited the NABARD-supported watershed development programme, a Tasar plantation and two women’s SHGs in the village. The women of the village shared with Mr. Gates how they were cultivating rice and wheat using new techniques such as SRI and SWI (System of Wheat Intensification) and how it has improved yield and ensured food security. Mr. Bill Gates commended PRADAN’s achievements especially those on SRI and SWI. He stated that he would be happy to work with PRADAN in spreading the interventions to many more villages. (See article on PRADAN website).

• State-Level SRI Symposium Takes Place in West Bengal
On April 12, 2010, more than 250 farmers and 25 NGOs participated in the State-Level Symposium on SRI organized by “Banglar SRI” in collaboration with Bidhan Chandra Kishi Vishwavidhalaya (BCKV) and the Directorate of Rice Development (DRD), Patna, and supported by the Sir Dorabji Tata Trust (SDTT) at the State Youth Centre in Kolkata. The best farmer's award went to Anil Roy of Baniyal village of Malda, who is associated with World Vision’s Malda Area Development Programme in West Bengal. (More information on this event will be posted within the week.)

Prime Minister of India Promotes SRI in Speech to Central Ministers and State Chief Ministers
In an April 8, 2010, speech to the First Core Group of Central Ministers and State Chief Ministers on prices of essential commodities, Dr. Manmohan Singh mentions SRI in the fifth paragraph: "...The [food production strategies] will necessarily be different for different areas of our country. Punjab and Haryana farmers showed the way in adopting intensive, HYV based agriculture some forty years ago. They have to do it again through reduced water use, through better agronomic practice like the System of Rice Intensification method of rice cultivation."

• Report on SWI in Uttar Pradesh
Dr. G.V. Ramanjaneyulu, CWS/Hyderabad, has provided a report on progress with System of Wheat Intensification (SWI) methods in U.P.:

“Last week while on a visit to a few villages in Uttar Pradesh, Raibareilly district, in one of the villages we have seen SWI promoted by Rajiv Gandhi Mahila Vikas Pariyojana. The sowing was done with single seeds at 8 inches square spacing. When we visited, the crop was in the final stages. We counted the number of tillers, panicle length, number of grains in the panicle, etc."

  Seed rate No. of tillers Panicle length Grains per panicle
Normal wheat: broadcast 35 kg/acre 4-5 4-6 cm 25-30
SWI: single seed sowing  5 kg/acre 25-30 12-15 cm 60-70

The crop is yet to be harvested, so no yield figures can be given. We have also seen a Kudrat variety of wheat which was developed by a farmer called Raghuvamsi from Varanasi. This is an amazing innovation with a panicle more than 15 cm length and 100-120 grains in a single panicle grown with conventional sowing."
- Ramoo

Our SRI website is currently being improved, and in the new format, we will have a separate section on the application/extension of SRI concepts and methods to Other Crops, including wheat (SWI), sugar cane (SSI), another SRI for ragi (finger millet), STI (teff), and potatoes."

• Symposium on SRI and Sustainable Agriculture held in Orissa Draws Large Audience
"Jaiba Jibika," a state-level Symposium on the System of Rice Intensification and Sustainable Agriculture was held March 20-21, 2010, in Bhubaneswar, Orissa. Presentations by farmers, government officials, researchers and civil society representatives were expected to foster greater collaboration between stakeholders and encourage spread of SRI innovations. A March 21 article in The Hindu said about 700 farmers at the symposium narrated as to how SRI had been beneficial to them and that about 34,944 farmers have adopted SRI cultivation on 22,302 acres of land in Orissa. (see also article in Express Buzz)

The Government of Orissa is looking at scaling up System of Rice Intensification (SRI) across the State, according to Agriculture Minister Damador Rout, who inaugurated the Symposium (see Hindu article and photo at right). Mr. Rout also said that the State Government was trying to include the SRI system in different flagship welfare programs such as National Food Security Mission and that SRI has been incorporated in curriculum of Orissa University of Agriculture and Technology to further boost to these practices. Agriculture Minister Rout at Jaiba Jibika Symposium, Orissa, 2010
Agriculture Minister Rout inaugurating Symposium (click on photo to enlarge)

• New SRI Project in Kerala's Palakkad Region
A project of the Rashtriya Krishi Vikas Yojana (National Farmers’ Development Campaign, RKVY), ‘Validation of SRI for Higher Productivity in Palakkad Region’ was approved with an allocation of 52.70 lakhs ($100,000) to improve productivity of rice farming under under SRI. A land area of nine acres under six different farmers from several panchayats will be involved in demonstration plots. Observations from ongoing trials reported by Dr. K. Karthikeyan, Kerala Agricultural University, showed positive results with SRI methods compared with usual flooded rice practice. In addition to higher yield with SRI practices, average number of tillers was higher (35-40 on SRI plants vs. 20-25 with flooded rice) and grains per panicle (196 vs.170) were increased. Most pests and diseases were reduced in the SRI plots compared with the usual practices (see report for list of pests affected ). The project is expected to continue for five years; plans to expand SRI to several additional villages are under way

• Evaluation of SRI Methods in Gujarat State
The Gujarat Institute of Development Research undertook a study of the effects of SRI introduction in Gujarat in 2007, the second year of extension activity by the Aga Khan Rural Support Programme (AKRSP) to bring this innovation to tribal farmers in 5 sub-districts (taluks) in the southern part of the state. A 50% sample of the 237 farmers using the new methods (N=119) in 13 villages was covered with surveys and interviews, comparing their experience and productivity with SRI methods with their use of traditional methods. The farmers were using SRI methods on one-third their total paddy area, which averaged 66 ha. (See full report.)

The findings in summary were that average yield was increased by 67%, while seed requirements were reduced by over 80%, and chemical fertilizers and pesticides by 32%. There was no explanation for why number of waterings was almost 50% higher. Also surprising, and contradicting the common perception of SRI was that hired labor requirements were not increased. Gross return (Rs./ha) was 80% higher, and net returns (Rs./ha) were calculated to be 155% higher (Rs. 17,908 vs. 10,873).

.• Centre for World Solidarity Promotes SRI at Fair and Undertakes GHG research in Orissa
The NGO Centre for World Solidarity (CWS) has been promoting SRI for a number of years in Andhra Pradesh and Orissa States.  CWS-Odisha recently initiated a campaign on SRI and Traditional Rice Varieties at the “Adivasi Mela,” a yearly state-level exhibition and tribal fair in Orissa that is attended by over 100,000 people. The event, which began on January 26, 2010, is organized by the Department of Scheduled Tribes and Scheduled Castes, Odisha, in association with numerous NGOs, other government departments, and traders T.K. Adhya, CRRI Director, collecting GHG gasses in Orissaof tribal and forest products. The CWS-Odisha campaign at the Adivasi Mela included a display of over 300 traditional paddy varieties that have performed better under SRI practices. 

CWS is also carrying out participatory research on SRI-related Green House Gas (GHG) emissions in partnership with Central Rice Research Institute (CRRI), Cuttack, and 16 farmers of in the same district. Dr. T. K. Adhya, Director of CRRI (Cuttack), is shown at left collecting GHGs for analysis together with farmer participants in the project. (Click on photo to enlarge.) The final results, which will be available in 2010, are expected to help scaling up SRI in India and around the world.

2009 NEWS

New SRI Publications Available
An excellent new publication by Biksham Gujja and T.M. Thiyagarajan, New Hope for Indian Food Security? The System of Rice Intensification, was recently published by International Institute for Environment and drum seeder for riceDevelopment
through its Gatekeeper Series. In Andhra Pradesh, P. Bala Hussain Reddy and his colleagues in Andhra Pradesh at the Acharya Ranga Krishi Vigyan Kendra have provided two new items that highlight SRI principles adapted to direct seeding: Direct Seeding with Drum Seeder - Future Prospects, an English language report, is accompanied by a Telugu language practical booklet. The drum seeder is shown at right. (See also earlier related work on direct planting of rice by carried out by S. Ramasamy et al at Tamil Nadu Agricultural University).

Banglar SRI : A SRI-Promoters’ Platform in West Bengal
While promotion of SRI in West Bengal was initiated by the NGO PRADAN (Professional Assistance for Development Action) in 2002-03 in the Purulia District, its spread throughout the state did not take off until 2005-06. (A 2007 article in the journal Agricultural Water Management studied the success of SRI in Purulia.) As of 2010, the primary civil society groups working on SRI in West Bengal include PRADAN, Ambuja Cement Foundation, the Rural Development Association (RDA), Jeevika, Baradrone Social Welfare Institution (BSWI), Access Development Services, Rajarhat PRASARI, International Development Enterprises India (IDEI) and World Vision India (see report).

With the objective of promoting a state-level SRI learning forum, Banglar SRI first convened on October 10, 2009, at the PRASARI office at Kolkata (see report). The inaugural forum meeting, which included representatives from many of the above-mentioned organizations as well as Mr. M. Biswanath Sinha (Sir Dorabji Tata Trust), key persons/chief executives from the Tagore Society and several academics, was conducted by the all-India SRI monitoring body (SRI Secretariat) based in Bhubaneswar. Through efforts of civil society organizations there are now over 10,000 SRI farmers in West Bengal. While Banglar SRI will continue to facilitate SRI promotion by NGOs, its members also plan to encourage government ministries and departments to increase their participation in the effort to reach marginal rice-producing households.

Rashtriya Gramin Vikas Nidhi Project (RGVN-SRI) Expands SRI in Assam
The pilot project on System of Rice Intensification (SRI) was started by setting up RGVN-SRI unit at RGVN, Guwahati, during April 2008 under the fund support from Sir Dorabji Tata Trust, Mumbai. According to Ramani Kanta Sarma, Coordinator of the RGVN-SRI Unit, the pilot project, which motivated 176 farmers from 21 districts of Assam to adopt SRI on 60.5 acres of land in Kharif paddy during the FY 2008-09, could motivate 619 farmers in Summer Autumn Paddy with total land coverage of 353.7 acres during FY 2008-09 in Assam. RGVN is conducting large-scale awareness-raising for potential SRI farmers of Assam and is expecting to motivate at least 4000 farmers for adoption of SRI during the FY 2009-10.

• Sustainable Sugarcane Initiative (SSI) Manual and Newsletter Available
Following success with SRI, the International Crops Research Institute for the Semi-Arid Tropics (ICRISAT) and World Wide Fund for Nature (WWF), have worked to extend SRI principles and practices to the sugarcane crops through its Sustainable Sugarcane Initiative (SSI) (see SRI-India article). Director General William Dar of ICRISAT released the Sustainable Sugarcane Initiative (SSI) manual at the "Improving Sugarcane Cultivation in India" event organized by the ICRISAT-WWF project on May 5, 2009. The first issue of the Sugar Cane Matters Newsletter series came out in November 2009.

New Publication highlights Indian SRI Farmer Pioneers
A new publication, System of Rice Intensification Experiences of Farmers in India, compiles the experiences of Indian farmers who pioneered the SRI method in their regions. It is published by the WWF-ICRISAT project and can be downloaded from the sri-india.net site at http://sri-india.110mb.com/documents/Farmersexperiences.pdf
.

• Orissa Reports 10,000 Farmers Using SRI Methods
The SRI Learning Alliance in Orissa State has polled its members and has constructed a detailed inventory of SRI use (kharif 2009, rabi 2008-2009), district-by-district, totaling Orissa field close to 10,000 farmers. It shows which farmers have been supported by which NGO or government partners. Of most interest is that the top five districts for SRI uptake -- Koraput, Kalahandi, Nuapada, Ganjam and Nayagarh -- which contribute nearly 80% of both area and number of SRI farmers are ones classified as very backward according to their Human Development Indicators. That these districts are in the forefront suggests that SRI can have particular relevance for food security and poverty reduction efforts in India.

• Pragati Wins National NGO Award in Part for SRI Promotion
Pragati, based in Koraput in Orissa state, has received the 2008 NGO of the Year award for small NGOs in India, given annually by the Resource Alliance and Nand & Jeet Khemka Foundation. The director of Pragati, Prabhakar Adhikari, credits the work that his NGO has done with SRI, taking it to poor and remote villages in tribal areas of Koraput district, for a large part of the credibility, appreciation and impact which Pragati as achieved. The award carries a cash award of Rs. 400,000 which will help to further Pragati’s work.

BAIF (Bharatia Agro-Industries Foundation), which received the NGO of the Year award for large NGOs, is doing successful SRI work with tribal villages in Dangs District of Gujarat state (see presentation). In 2006, the NGO partner PRADAN which is promoting SRI in seven states of Eastern India received the NGO of the Year award for large NGOs.

• Award for Baharul Majumdar in Tripura State
The Department of Science and Technology of the Government of Tripura has selected Dr. Baharul Islam Majumdar for the 2007-08 Acharya Praful Chandra Ray Award for his outstanding contributions in the field of agriculture, citing his leadership in popularizing the System of Rice Intensification (SRI) techniques across the state of Tripura. The prize carries a cash award of 10,000 Indian rupees plus a gold medal and certificate. This is the first such award given by the Science and Technology Council in the agriculture sector. (see "Celebrating Creative Dissent in Science" on the India Water Portal Blog for more information).

Dr. Majumdar began his own trials of SRI methods in 2000 and and in 2002-03 started doing on-farm trials/demonstrations with 44 farmers. By 2005-06 this number had expanded to 880 farmers on 352 hectares. Their good results and confidence in the methods helped get state government support for a popularization campaign, under Baharul’s leadership. The next year, 73,390 farmers used SRI methods on 14,678 hectares, and in the 2007-08 season, over 160,000 farmers used SRI techniques on 32,500 hectares. The Tripura government goal for 2008-09 of 250,000 farmers using SRI methods on 50,000 hectares (21% of total rice area) is on track to be achieved. In 2007-08, the average SRI yield in Tripura was 4.3 tons/hectare compared with the state's average paddy yield of 2.5 tons/hectare.

2008 UPDATES

SRI Network Launched Following SRI Symposium in Bihar
On 29 December 2008, a state-level symposium on SRI was held in Patna, Bihar, with over 135 participants from all over this state, from NGOs, government agencies, research institutions and private sector, and from the self-help group (SHG) federations that are playing an active role in SRI dissemination. The meeting was organized by the Grameen Services of BASIX, a private consulting firm with many pro bono activities, together with the Women Development Corporation of the state government's Department of Welfare. The Principal Secretary of that department presided over the day's proceedings, most of which focused on experience-sharing, and particularly on women's involvement in the process. A representative of the Bihar Rural Livelihoods Promotion Society told how SRI use had expanded from 128 farmers to over 5,000 within one year.

The BASIX model is innovative in that it signs up farmers, even small and poor ones, for SRI training and supervision, for a set fee, 300 rupees plus tax (about $7). This can be more than recovered by net increases in farmers' income from SRI. This gives farmers both expertise and confidence to undertake SRI. The minutes do not give many details of this arrangement but do report farmer satisfaction with this. One deterrent to SRI uptake has been access to reliable technical backup throughout the growing season. This arrangement ensures support (referred to as 'handholding' in the local English vernacular) and makes it self-financing in that farmers can afford to pay for this service from their enhanced income. (see minutes of the meeting).

• Workshops in Orissa and Uttarkhand Held during December, 2008
A SRI Learning Alliance Workshop took place in Bhubaneswar, Orissa, on December 8-9, 2008, followed by a workshop on Promotion of the System of Rice Intensification: Paddy Cultivation for Achieving Food Security in Dehradun, Uttarkhand, on December 11, 2008. The SRI learning Alliance in Orissa, which opened a workshop blog preceding the event, more recently opened the SRI-Orissa Google Group with over 60 members. (Contact sriximb@gmail.com for information on joining the latter group).

Third National SRI Symposium Convenes in Tamil Nadu
Information about the 3rd National SRI Symposium, held in Coimbatore, India, including many of the presentations and publications, can be found on the SRI-India website. The conference was hosted by Tamil Nadu Agricultural University, December 1-3, 2008, in Coimbatore. The previous symposium (2007) in Agartala, Tripura State, attracted over 250 participants from 27 states of India and 8 countries. Tamil Nadu was chosen as a venue because of its rapid expansion of SRI use, reaching 430,000 ha last season and 750,000 ha expected this year. Co-sponsors of the event include the Departments of Agriculture for Tamil Nadu and Tripura States; the state agricultural universities for Tamil Nadu and Andhra Pradesh; the Directorate of Rice Research (Hyderabad) and the Directorate of Rice Development (Patna), as well as the Central Rice Research Institute (Cuttack); the National Bank for Agriculture and Rural Development (Mumbai); the S.D. Tata Trust (Mumbai); the NGO Watershed Support Services & Activities Network (WASSAN) and the World Wide Fund for Nature (WWF) through the WWF-ICRISAT Project.

• SRI Map of India, Newsletters and Other Updates on the SRI India Website
Data on where SRI has been introduced into India is available on a map located on the SRI India website. The map indicates the location of the 164 districts (out of 564 rice-growing districts) where SRI has been introduced throughout India. The website also includes the most recent newsletter about SRI in India, presentations from the 3rd National SRI Symposium (Coimbatore, India) and other documents relevant to SRI in India

• Solution Exchange Dialogue on SRI
The Food and Nutrition Security Community (FNS) of Solution Exchange, which is facilitated by FAO and co-facilitated by Nutrition Foundation of India (NFI), recently carried out a moderated discussion on SRI experiences. The discussion results include a discussion summary, comparative experiences, responses from the April-May 2008 discussions and related resources.

SRI Report from State of Orissa
According to a November 14 article in The Hindu, a farmer from Balipada village in Ganjam district in Orissa got 60 quintals per hectare of paddy using SRI methods and another farmer in Randha is expected to harvest same quantity of paddy. The productivity is almost double the yield in traditional cultivation method, according to Sudhir Rout, a farmer from Balipada. In the conventional method he was getting only 35 to 45 quintals from the same field. The crop cutting was done in his field in the presence of agriculture statistical officers to record the productivity. State Chief Secretary Ajit Kumar Tripathy and Director of Agriculture Arabinda Padhi who visited Randha village to inspect the crop were reportedly overwhelmed.

AMEF-BEST Reports on SRI Experience in Tamil Nadu, 2007-2008
The NGO known as AMEF (Agricultural-Man-Ecology Foundation) has reported on SRI initiatives in Pudokkutai district of Tamil Nadu State. Using farmer field school methods, 105 farmers used SRI methods on 88 acres. Average yield increase is only about 28% (1 ton/ha), but not all SRI practices were used as recommended. The average age of seedlings transplanted was still 22 days (range 11-50 days), but this represented quite a reduction from 39 days average with conventional practice. Farmers' greatest benefit was a 55% reduction in cash costs of production per hectare, which together with the yield increase led to a significant increase in their net income.

• Districts in India Reporting SRI Yield Increases, Water Savings and Rapid Spread
Results from the past season in Tamil Nadu state are being reported in the Indian press, and some districts have very recorded very impressive performances. Tiruchi District farmers achieved 8.4 t/ha with SRI methods, and up to 13 t/ha, according to district officials, who said the new methods were used on 17,000 ha. For next season, they were given a target of 30,000 ha, half of the rice-growing area of the district, but decided instead to organize a campaign of extension for 61,000 ha, the entire district (see article in The Hindu). In Erode district, SRI use went from 500 ha to over 13,000 ha this past season, 21% of the rice area, with an average SRI yield of 10.7 t/ha, which was 3.3 t/ha more than with usual methods. District officials said they would aim for 40,000 ha next season, 80% of the district rice-growing land (see article in the Hindu). For Tamil Nadu district as a whole, the Minister of Agriculture has set a target of 750,000 ha, given that on average, Tamil Nadu farmers are increasing their paddy yields by 50% with SRI methods, while reducing seeds, water and manual labor (see articles in The Hindu, 1/1/08 and 2/20/08).

Three-Year Evaluation of SRI Methods in Punjab State
Dr. Amrik Singh (MANAGE) has prepared a report summarizing results of his three years of trials/demonstrations in Gurdaspur District, 2005-2007. The trials, conducted with controls and replications, and several different varieties, showed an average 50% increase in yield with 40-50% less requirement for water. This latter consideration is very urgent in Punjab because the water table is dropping, due to groundwater extractions, so rapidly that large areas of the state may have to abandon agricultural production within 15 years. The number of farmers cooperating with Dr. Singh on SRI evaluation went from 10 on 3 acres in 2005, to 150 using SRI on 175 acres in 2007.

SRI Training Planned for Punjab State, India
On May 16-17, 2008, a state-wide training program on SRI will be conducted in Gurdapur, inaugurated by the Minister of Agriculture. About 200 farmers from all over the state are expected to attend. Trainers will include Dr. Ravinder Babu from ICAR’s Directorate of Rice Research (Hyderabad), Dr. M. C. Diwakar, director of MOA’s Directorate of Rice Development (Patna), Dr. Mohinder Kumar, and Dr. Amrik Singh.

(See archives for SRI activity in India for information 2001-2007)

Reports, Articles and Books
(in chronological order)

Extension Material and Presentations

India-based SRI Websites
see also discussion groups

Workshops and Conferences
(not a complete listing)

Listservs / Electronic Discussion Groups

SRI Newsletters



The Sustainable Rice Systems Program
Cornell International Institute for Food, Agriculture and Development (CIIFAD)
For more information, contact The SRI Group

http://ciifad.cornell.edu/sri/countries/india/index.html
last updated: Nov. 9, 2011

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