Characteristics of rice produced under direct and indirect SRI practices in Chimala Area in Mbarali District Tanzania


The current status of rice production in Chimala Area in Mbarali is dominated by conventional
rice growing practices with limited adoption of the system of rice intensification (SRI), which has been
reported of having more advantages. This study evaluated the characteristic of rice produced under SRI
and conventional practices in Chimala Area in Mbarali District of Mbeya Region in Tanzania. The
evaluation considered the farm management practices, rice yields and the characteristic of the rice grains.
The unlevelled characteristics of the farms and the variation of the soil influence the rice yields and the
quality of the grains. The transplanting age of the seedling was within the age limit preferred when SRI
practices are implemented and the limited water availability for conventional rice growing practice
necessitated the intermittent wetting and drying of the rice fields which is preferred for SRI practices. The
application of agrochemicals such herbicides limit the aeration of the root system and the development of
a healthy roots system. Bird scaring is among the activities which increased the production cost of rice
grown under SRI practices. Rice yields under SRI practices where more than 16ton/ha against less than
8ton/ha for conventional rice growing practices. The rice grains grown under SRI practices was observed
to be suitable for seeds. With regard to milling, conventionally grown rice produced more good rice (69%)
SRI (51%) grown. However, the large percentage of husks (24%) likely suggest that rice grains produced
under SRI are more protected and further provide evidence as a good rice seed producing practice. The
quality of cooked rice indicate that rice produced under SRI practices has higher aroma and fragrance when
compared to that produced under conventional practices. Further studies should consider the effect of the
number of seedling per hill, application of herbicide instead of applying push weeder and the suitability
of using by-product, rice husks as a source of energy.

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