Assessing adoption and water productivity of the system of rice- intensification under farmer-led irrigation system in northern Tanzania


This study was conducted to evaluate farmers‟ appropriation of

the system of rice intensification (SRI) in an informal irrigation

scheme in northern Tanzania. Understanding the integration and

performance of SRI in the local rice farming will assist in short

and long-term planning and allocation of available resources.

First, a survey was conducted to explore farmers‟ adjustments of

SRI principles. Second, yield and water productivity of the

integrated system was assessed by setting up experimental

plots in the farmers‟ fields. Four treatments representing

farmers‟ adaptations of SRI practices were assessed. One

treatment (F1) was continuous flooding while the other three

treatments (F2, F3 and F4) were under intermittent irrigation. The

yield of 4.8, 8.5, 8.2 and 9.2 tons/ha, and water productivity of

0.15, 0.39, 0.35 and 0.51 Kg/m 3 were obtained for F1, F2, F3

and F4, respectively. Water-saving under SRI was 34.3%, 28.9%,

and 45.1% for F2, F3 and F4, respectively. The figures are

comparable to those reported under full SRI, which is in the

range 20% to 60%. The highest yield (9.2 tons/ha), water

productivity (0.51 Kg/m 3 ) and water-saving (45.1%) was

obtained in F4 involving one seedling 15 days old transplanted at

25 x 25 cm. However, this method is not preferred by many

farmers due to lack of supporting infrastructure. Hence, F2

involving two seedlings 21 days old planted at 20 x 20 cm with

intermittent irrigation is recommended for this area as it ensures

a sufficient number of plants, relatively higher yields and a

reduced considerable amount of irrigation water.

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