Case Study “The system of rice intensification”


The System of Rice Intensification (SRI) is an innovation in rice production systems that is
still evolving and ramifying, but already it is raising factor productivity and incomes for
more than 1 million small farmers producing rice around the world on over 1 million
hectares. SRI addresses the major constraints affecting the livelihoods of small and poor
farmers: their limited resources of land, labour, water and cash, as well as losses from
pests and diseases and adverse climatic conditions. SRI does not require rice farmers to
purchase and use any external inputs, since its benefits derive from changes in the ways
that their existing resources are used for rice production.
Because SRI is a biologically-driven innovation, rather than being based on introducing
certain genotypes or increasing purchased external inputs, there can be wide variability in
results. Averages are thus not very meaningful, but generally speaking, SRI methods are
seen to have the following impacts compared to their conventional counterparts:
• Depending on current yield levels, output per hectare is increased usually by 50%
or more, with increases of at least 20%, and sometimes 200% or more.
• Since SRI fields are not kept continuously flooded, water requirements are reduced,
generally by 25-50%. more: