SRI 1.0 and Beyond: Understanding the System of Crop Intensification as SRI 3.0
…SRI 2.0 is a set of adaptations of the original practices to be effective under different constraints or opportunities. The principles remain the same – rainfed SRI, direct-seeded SRI, mechanized SRI, etc. SRI 3.0 is the extension and adaptation of SRI ideas and principles to other crops – wheat, millet, sugarcane, mustard, etc. – in other words, the System of Crop Intensification. SRI 4.0 is the integration of SRI ideas into farming systems, going beyond monocropping. SRI 5.0 is the use of SRI beyond agricultural production like reducing GHG emissions, climate-proofing crops, improving women’s working conditions, increasing the nutritional quality, and other ‘externalities’. SRI 6.0 is the research to advance scientific understanding of how and why SRI works. (These versions are not sequential).
SRI has shown the prime importance of two factors: plant roots and the life in the soil. SRI seeks to elicit the genetic potentials to evoke better, more robust phenotypes from a given variety (genotype). In a changing climate, it will become important to grow crops with bigger root systems in soils that have greater abundance of beneficial soil organisms.
This paper accompanied Norman Uphoff’s keynote address at the International Conference on the System of Crop Intensification for Climate-Smart Livelihoods and Nutritional Security (ICSCI22) that took place December 12-14, 2022, at ICAR, Hyderabad, India. [This paper, along with other lead speakers’ presentations, is included in a special edition (vol. 15) of SARR’s Journal of Rice Research: https://sarr.co.in/2023/02/05/volume-15-special-issue/]