A Best-Bet System of Rice Intensification for Sustainable Rice (Oryza sativa L.) Production in Northwestern Nigeria


System of Rice Intensification (SRI) practices are expected to be used in location-specific
ways and thus will vary somewhat across countries and regions. This study undertook to identify
a ‘best-bet’ version of SRI for conditions in northwestern Nigeria, considering what is feasible for
farmer use. Two years of experimental data from 260 farmer-managed rice plots evaluating four
of the SRI practices in Zamfara State were analyzed. The variables evaluated were seedling age at
transplanting, plant density, irrigation schedule, and fertilizer application. Farm budget analysis
showed that the best-bet SRI practices most productive given the natural environment and farming
system were transplanting 11-day-old seedlings at 25 cm × 25 cm spacing, with alternate wetting-anddrying of fields, as well as providing full compost plus some inorganic fertilization. Net economic
returns were found to be highest with best-bet SRI practices and ranged from USD 1450–2120 ha−1
While rice production was profitable under both SRI and more conventional management, the return
on investment was at least 40% higher with SRI practices than with the other practices evaluated.
Based on our data and analysis, we recommend that the Nigerian government and its development
partners prioritize and expand the testing and promotion of SRI in the northwest and other regions
of the country. This initiative can significantly enhance farmers’ incomes and, ultimately, bolster
food security.


Read the article here: https://mdpi-res.com/d_attachment/agronomy/agronomy-13-02049/article_deploy/agronomy-13-02049-v2.pdf?version=1691056929