Farmer-led study demonstrates benefits of SRI on Cropping Cycle


An article by Pascal Gbenou et al analyzes the results of 90 participating farmers who undertook SRI trials on 32 plots over 3 years beginning in 2009. In both plateau and floodplain environments, farmers compared conventional methods to SRI as well as ‘farmer-adapted’ practices (modified SRI using only the principle of early transplanting). The trials showed that SRI methods could increase average yields under farmer conditions by 54%, while reducing seed requirements by 87%. To achieve these benefits, however, required an increase in the amount of labor by 36 %. The findings also showed that under SRI practices, the crop cycle was shortened by 14 days. Significant differences in crop cycle duration among SRI (118 days), farmer-adapted methods (126 days), and conventional (132 days) suggest it is not only early transplanting, but the synergy of SRI practices that promote healthy root development and positively contribute to plant metabolism and growth. The authors note that shorter crop cycles “can reduce the risks related to hydro-climatic hazards… [and] can also diminish the crop’s exposure to pests and diseases.” [See full article in the European Scientific Journal for details.]