Summary of SRI in Niger
In 2012, the NGO Africare funded the initial tests of SRI in Niger, which were implemented by the NGO ONAHA. After mixed results of these trials, Institut National de la Recherche Agronomique du Niger (INRAN) and ONAHA were encouraged by CORAF through its 13-country regional SRI project, Improving and Scaling up the System of Rice Intensification in West Africa (SRI-WAAPP), to continue testing and sensitize all stakeholders in the rice sector to promote the SRI in Niger. In 2012, a member of Niger’s Ministry of Agriculture presented on the potential adoption of SRI in Niger at the Regional Workshop on the System of Rice Intensification (SRI). In 2014, an awareness mission was launched on SRI practices on several irrigated perimeters along the river. This mission identified 16 pilot producers who agreed to conduct the tests in their plots. These producers are distributed on the following perimeters: 3 in Daybéri, 4 in Sébéri and Say II and 5 in Sakondji Birni. This mission was followed by the training of more than 60 producers and their supervisors in rice production techniques using the principles of SRI. WAAPP-Niger’s report by Haougui et al covers dry season SRI trials for the 2014-2015 season, which found that the adoption of SRI management principles resulted in more tillers and higher yields. By 2015, SRI-WAAPP in Niger had directly trained 100 farmers and indirectly exposed almost 6,000 farmers to SRI principles. After the close of the SRI-WAAPP project, the West Africa Agricultural Productivity Program (WAAPP) in Niger has continued to support SRI. A report of the August 2018 training for producers in Dogo (Zinder region), Kalfou (Tahoua region), Say (Tillabéri region), Karakara, Dioundiou, Birni and Gaya (Dosso region) outlines interest, potential, and status in these areas. A 2019 article by Adamou et al in the Journal of Research Biology present research findings that suggest scaling-up SRI practices in lowlands ecologies of Niger has a high potential of increasing returns to rice growers.
- On-farm Testing of the System of Rice Intensification (SRI) in Lowlands Ecology in Niger
[September 20, 2019] An article by Haougui Adamou et al in the Journal of Research Biology presents results of on-farm testing of the System of Rice Intensification (SRI) in lowlands ecology in Niger. The research aimed at evaluating practices of SRI in the lowland agroforestry ecologies with irrigated rice. On-farm testing was conducted in three regions – Tahoua, Zinder and Dosso. SRI practices in these regions were compared to conventional rice production practices used by forty-five producers. Results showed clearly that relative to conventional practice, SRI methods increases tiller production by 45% and paddy yield by 58.2%. Furthermore, results showed that 55.5% of producers implemented thoroughly SRI methods, and 11% of producers applied them moderately. Despite their moderate usage of SRI methods, the latter group of producers also realized promising gains on their investment. The authors suggest that scaling-up SRI practices in lowlands ecologies of Niger has a high potential to increase returns to rice growers.
- Area-Wide SRI Training Workshop Sponsored by WAAPP and Institut National de la Recherche Agronomique du Niger (INRAN)
[August 14, 2018] As part of the scaling up of the SRI approach that continues to be used by the West Africa Agricultural Productivity Program (WAAPP) in Niger, practical training for rice farmers was held from August 13-14, 2018, in the Sébéri irrigation scheme. The workshop brought together twenty-four participants including the CDA and the producers of Dogo (Zinder region), Kalfou (Tahoua region), Say (Tillabéri region), Karakara, Dioundiou, Birni and Gaya (Dosso region). The main objective was to train SRI champions who in turn could disseminate information to other rice producers in their area. Another aim was to increase the number of specialized NIS producers who could be used as facilitators in farmer field schools in order to widely popularize this new ecological approach to producing rice. The training included a visit to a cooperative whose president is Mamoudou Bonkano, one of the first SRI champions in Niger. Farmers also practiced the different stages involved in SRI, including seed selection, nursery and plot preparation, transplanting 12-day old seedlings that were planted in advance of the training, and testing of two different models of mechanical weeders in an existing plot. [See French language workshop report.]
- SRI Begins Scaling Up in Niger with SRI-WAAPP Project
While there have been sporadic reports of SRI plots in Niger since 2012 (see Ministry of Agriculture presentation), SRI began to scale-up during 2015 with the project on Improving and Scaling up the System of Rice Intensification in West Africa (SRI-WAAPP). SRI-WAAPP is a regional World Bank-financed project to increase rice productivity and competitiveness in thirteen countries in West Africa during 2014-2016. As of 2016, there have been trials in progress in six target zones in Niger (see map at left).A video (right) of a SRI-WAAPP farmer interview was made during 2015. The locations of the farmer fields shown in the video are available on a map provided SRI-Rice. In the video, which is in Zarma and French languages, several farmers share SRI experiences alongside SRI Champion Amadou Bonkano and technician Sita Rami at the Sébéri irrigation scheme southwest of Niamey.
According to SRI-WAAPP’s National Facilitator for Niger, Adamou Haougui, who is also an official at INRAB (the national agricultural research institute), project beneficiaries as of December 2015 included:
- 98 men and 2 women were directly trained through the project
- 5,834 men and 120 women were exposed to SRI indirectly through exposure to trained farmers in same irrigation schemes.
- Niger represented at SRI Workshop in Burkina FasoWAAPP-Niger’s report by Haougui et al covers dry season SRI trials for the 2014-2015 season, summarizing results from three different trial locations, with side-by-side trials of SRI and conventional rice production at each site, with both irrigated and rainfed conditions at one of the sites (Say II). At the Say II site, the average number of tillers per pocket with SRI management increased by 24% for the irrigated sites (36 vs 29), and 66% for the rainfed sites (25 vs 15), while average yields with SRI management increased by 29% for the irrigated sites, and 31% for the rainfed sites (8.45 vs 6.55 t/ha for irrigated plots, and 3.94 vs 3 t/ha for rainfed plots). At the Sébéri site, the average number of tillers was 58% higher for SRI plots (52 vs 33), while yields increased by 30% (8.29 vs 6.38 t/ha). At the Daibéri site average tiller numbers increased by 57% (58 vs 37), while yields increased by 64% (8.03 vs 4.89 t/ha). The larger difference in yields observed at Daibéri was attributed to an increased rate of organic matter used for fertilization (1.5 times more than at the other sites), which allowed farmers to completely forgo use of synthetic fertilizers, and a more stringent adherence to the 25cm x 25cm spacing commonly used in SRI. Water use was reduced by 30%, though labor increased, and weed seeds were an issue due to the type of organic matter used. Both issues were planned to be addressed in a second season of trials, through increased familiarity with SRI methods and distribution of mechanical weeders (reducing labor needs).
- Niger represented at SRI Workshop in Burkina FasoRepresentatives of Niger’s Ministry of Agriculture made a presentation on the potential for adoption of the SRI in Niger at the Regional Workshop on the System of Rice Intensification (SRI), which was held in Ouagadougou, Burkina Faso. The workshop, which was held July 26 and 27, 2012, was organized by the West and Central African Council for Agricultural Research and Development (CORAF/WECARD), the National Center of Specialization for Rice (NCOS-Rice Mali) and SRI-Rice (Cornell University) within the framework of the West Africa Agricultural Productivity Program (WAAPP).
- Adamou, Haougui, et al. 2019. On-farm testing of the System of Rice Intensification (SRI) in lowlands ecology in Niger. Journal of Research in Biology 9(4): 2693-2700.
- Ali, Bibata, and Haoungui Adamou. 2018. Rapport de formation des producteurs de riz en hors amenagement sur le Systeme de Riziculture Intensive (SRI). August 14. [Area-wide SRI training workshop sponsored by WAAPP and INRAN
- Haougui, Adamou. 2017. Le Systeme de Riziculture Intensive (SRI). PPAAO/WAAPP-Niger blog. April 28.
- Haougui, Adamou. 2017. Le Systeme de Riziculture Intensive (SRI). PPAAO/WAAPP-Niger website.
- Haougui, Adamou, Hamidou Souley and Rabi Alou. 2015. Rapport d’activites sur les tests d’introduction du System de Riziculture Intensive (SRI) Au Niger. [2014-15 SRI Dry Season Activity Report for SRI-WAAPP activities in Niger.] [French, 11p. pdf]
- 2015. Les Nouvelles du PPAAO-WAAPP Niger. WAAPP-Niger Quarterly News Bulletin. April-June 2015. [overview of the rice sector in Niger and SRI as a promoted strategy].
- 2015. SRI /Système de Riziculture Intensive. Réseau National des Chambres d’Agriculture du Niger website. December.
- Styger, Erika, and Jenkins, Devon. 2014. Technical Manual for SRI in West Africa: Improving and Scaling up of the System of Rice Intensification in West Africa. SRI WAAPP website. [French version is also available].
- Haougui, Adamou, et al. 2016. Système de Riziculture Intensive, une approche pour booster la production du riz au Niger. SRI West Africa website. [French language SRI-WAAPP-Niger scientific poster presenting results from the first year of trails for the SRI-WAAPP project in Niger.]
- Test du Système de Riziculture Intensive au Niger Campagne Saison Seche 2012
Powerpoint presented at the West Africa Regional SRI Workshop, Ouagadougou, Burkina Faso, July 26-27, 2012. 9 slides.
- 2015. (January 11). SRI Niger entrevue avec un cultivateur pilote du SRI au zone irrigué à Sébéri (français / djerma). 13:17 min. SRI-Rice channel, YouTube. [French language TV clip with farmer SRI interviews. M. Amadou Bonkano, Champion SRI et M. Sita Rami, technicien qui conduit les tests sur le périmètre, avec un cultivateur local qui décrit son première teste SRI dans la zone d’irrigation Sébéri (en français et djerma).]
- 2014. Niger SRI Tele Dounia. 2:48 min. SRI-Rice channel, YouTube. [French language Promotional Video for the SRI-WAAPP Project]