System of Rice Intensification (SRI): Impacts on Crop Productivity and Saving Water in Africa


The System of Rice Intensification (SRI) is a package of practices that changes how rice is
grown in paddies, which incredibly increases yields. Rather than fully flooded paddy systems,
SRI involves among its practices, the alternate wetting and drying of paddies which saves
water, use of less seeds, wider crop spacing, transplanting one seedling per hill and use of
organic fertilizers, all of which result in a sturdier rice plant. Other benefits include better grain
quality, healthier work environments through reduced water-borne disease vectors and as a
climate-smart practice. Data from several African counties shows that SRI increases rice yields
by between 20% to 80% depending on variety and local conditions, saves water by about 39%
and reduces seed requirement by 66%. SRI has been adopted by millions of farmers worldwide,
while within Africa, some 25 countries are documented to have adopted SRI. This paper
presents the opportunities inherent in enhancing and promoting SRI adoption of the in Africa.
To facilitate this, the SRI-Africa knowledge portal was launched in 2018. The portal collates
and shares data, information, publications and happenings in SRI from African counties, thus
facilitating promotion of SRI in Africa and worldwide (visit