Rwanda: Rice Intensification System (SRI): Awareness and adoption in the Eastern Province of Rwanda


The System of Rice Intensification (SRI), originated from Madagascar is currently spreading all over the world as a special innovation to increase rice productivity by using fewer production inputs and consequently reducing production costs. In alignment with the Rwandan Government’s goal of achieving self-sufficiency in rice production, the SRI method was introduced in 2007 by the Ministry of Agriculture and Animal Resources through PAPSTA project. This study aimed at evaluating the awareness about the basic SRI practices as well as their adoption among the rice farmers in the schemes of Rwabikwano and Cyunuzi in the Eastern province. Data from 120 farmers were collected using a semi-structured questionnaire. Results showed that 96% of respondents were informed about the one seedling per hill principle while only 10% had information on the time of transplanting. 81% reported that they know the practice of using less water. Findings also revealed that 87% of respondents have used the SRI method at least during one cropping season. Since its introduction, only 37% of rice farmers persevered in using the SRI method. Furthermore, the number of adopters among the respondent progressively decreased from 70% in 2007 to 40% in 2010.Difficulty in respecting all the SRI principles was stated by 27% of respondents as the main constraint to adoption. The study proposes more research on the adaptability of SRI practices in Rwanda. Moreover, the awareness of SRI principles should be improved through trainings of farmers. Key words: Rice Intensification System (SRI), Awareness, Adoption, Rwanda