The Agricultural Council of Tanzania implements System of Rize Intensification (SRI) to boost productivity and improve livelihoods in Tanzania.

System of Rice Intensification (SRI) is an agroecological methodology for increasing the productivity of irrigated rice by changing the management of plants, soil, water, and nutrients. Its methodology is based on early, quick, and healthy
plant establishment, reduced plant density, improved soil conditions through enrichment with organic matter and reduced and controlled water application.

Based on these principles, farmers can adapt
recommended SRI practices to respond to their
agroecological and socioeconomic conditions. For
example, adaptations are often undertaken to
accommodate changing weather patterns, soil
conditions, labor availability, water control, access
to organic inputs, and the decision whether to
practice fully organic agriculture or not.
In Africa, SRI was initially developed in Madagascar
and later introduced in Tanzania in 2006. IFAD has
been facilitating its dissemination to several
countries throughout Eastern and Southern Africa
since 1997. In the case of Tanzania, it was
previously promoted by several development
initiatives, but adoption was not widespread and
outcomes not always successful. Limited adoption
was partly because only a limited number of farmers
were introduced to the technology, and it was not
common to share knowledge and best practices
among farmers.

The Tanzanian context
Rice is the second food and commercial crop in
Tanzania after maize and comprises about 18% of
total cultivated area in the country. As part of
activities under the Farmers’ Organization for Africa,
Caribbean, and the Pacific (FO4ACP) Programme,
the Agricultural Council of Tanzania (ACT) has been
implementing the SRI initiative which is currently
conducted in the Mvomero District, Morogoro
region in Eastern Tanzania. More specifically, it is
being implemented in two irrigation schemes:
Mkindo and Dakawa.
Prior to the introduction of SRI, farmers in Dakawa
and Mkindo irrigation schemes needed a lot of
water to produce rice. Poor water management
meant many farmers downstream did not have
sufficient water for them to produce sufficiently.
Rice production was also suboptimal for farmers
upstream using traditional farming methods with
yields only amounting to 15-18 bags per acre, with
one bag containing 100kg of rice. To mitigate these
challenges, SRI methodology was introduced to
reduce the amount of inputs used to grow rice
including the quantity of water and thereby
increase productivity while reducing water use


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