Summary of SRI in Madagascar

SRI work began in Madagascar (and the world), with the efforts of Association Tefy Saina (ATS) to disseminate and further develop the methods that Fr. Henri de Laulanié originally assembled in the 1980’s. In 1994, CIIFAD began working with ATS in introducing SRI in the peripheral zone around Ranomafana National Park under a USAID-funded conservation and development project there. By 1997, after the farmers guided by ATS field staff on SRI use had averaged 8 t/ha yields where before they had averaged 2 t/ha, CIIFAD and ATS began working more earnestly to advance the knowledge and practice of SRI, first in Madagascar and then in other countries.

Prof. Robert Randriamiharisoa, while director of research for the Faculty of Agriculture (ESSA) at the University of Antananarivo, joined with CIIFAD and ATS in 1997 to begin validating and explaining SRI through student thesis research assisted by Tefy Saina and CIIFAD (see more on his group’s research). In 1998, Bruno Andrianaivo, senior rice specialist with FOFIFA, the government’s agency for agricultural and rural development, began working with ATS, the University of Antananarivo and CIIFAD on SRI evaluation, including an adaptation of SRI concepts and practices to upland rice production. He subsequently did PhD thesis research on SRI and became a supporter within the Madagascar government, which had been otherwise disinterested in SRI. In November 1999, the Rockefeller Foundation made a small grant to a consortium of Tefy Saina, the University, FOFIFA and CIIFAD to do research on SRI and its dissemination. This collaborative research continued until 2003. (see FOFIFA final report and Consortium final report).

In 2000, Catholic Relief Services began to disseminate SRI in 8 dioceses of Madagascar and found yield increased according the number of SRI practices used. ADRA and other NGOs also began to disseminate SRI in the early part of the decade. CIIFAD continued to investigate and promote SRI in the Landscape Development Interventions (LDI) project funded by USAID and implemented by the consulting firm Chemonics. Master’s and PhD research on SRI by Cornell and Malagasy students was supported under this project, while SRI was extended in the central-eastern part of Madagascar through a network of farmer associations known as “Kolo Harena” assisted by the project. In 2003, Dr. Willem Stoop of WARDA visited Madagascar to review SRI progress.

Master’s theses and associated articles completed by Cornell University students include 1) an evaluation of SRI adoption and disadoption done by Christine Moser that found SRI dissemination and maintenance depended heavily on extension support, and 2) joint 2000-2001 theses and 2003 articles by Joeli Barison and Oloro McHugh, who concluded that SRI is an ‘unambiguously superior technology.’ (Barison and McHugh estimated that half of the 88% increase in yield with SRI practices for these 107 farmers was attributable to the adoption of SRI techniques on a ceteris paribus basis. The other half was attributable to differences in ‘farmer quality,’ which could also be interpreted as meaning ‘best use’ of SRI practices).

During 2006, the U.S. Embassy in Madagascar cooperated with Association Tefy Saina in setting up and maintaining a 0.36 ha SRI demonstration plot at the Presidential Palace at Ioavolaha. The U.S. Ambassador and the Madagascar President, Marc Ravalomanana, both participated in the planting of young seedlings, and in the harvest ceremony. During 2008, then President of Madagascar, Marc Ravalomanana, in his address to the U.N. General Assembly as part of its debate on the global food crisis, said: “We are promoting the widespread use of the System of Rice Intensification (SRI), an eco-friendly and pro-people method developed in Madagascar in the 1980s. SRI promotion is an important part of Madagascar’s recently launched ‘natural revolution’.” During a subsequent Madagascar Action Plan national workshop in 2008, two days were devoted to getting SRI knowledge and practice disseminated to all 22 regions through government and NGO partnerships.

Organizations in the GSRIWith support from the Better U Foundation of Los Angeles, California, the SRI Group of Madagascar (GSRI) was established in November/December 2008, providing technical and logistical support for an SRI Secretariat based in Antananarivo. This has created a hub for SRI activities in Madagascar, also making small grants to NGOs and local government bodies to experiment with and evaluate innovative ways to improve and apply SRI and to get it more widely adopted. In 2009, a SRI Blog and website were set up by the Secretariat of the SRI Platform in collaboration with the Ministry of Agriculture and various SRI entities in Madagascar and the Better U Foundation provided technical advisors as well as financial assistance for this venture. Membership of the SRI Group of Madagascar, which began with ten organizations collaborating in the BUF initiative in 2008, and has grown to 267 members and partners distributed in 22 regions of Madagascar and organizations in 2012 (see map at right).

After several years of involvement from several projects (Business and Market Expansion, Landscape Development Initiative, and BVLac Alaotra) and from volunteer groups (US Peace Corps and Agronomes et Vétérinaires Sans Frontières), Lotus Foods imported to the US the first container (about 18 tons) of milled pink rice or “Varini Dista” grown with SRI methods in the Lac Alaotra region. With BUF funding, the farmers in the Koloharena (KH) village association that grew the rice acquired weeders, other simple implements, and organic inputs, resulting in a 50% increase in production.  Lotus Foods imported a second container in early 2010 and is working with the KH and Ecocert on organic and fair trade certifications.

Progress and Activities (chronological order)

2018 Updates
    • arrow30% of Farmers in Alaotra Mangoro Region Have Adopted SRI[August 16, 2018] According to an article on the MA-TV website, 510,000 tons of paddy in the Alaotra Mangoro Rice production has improved significantly this year, said Lucien Ranarivelo, Director General of Agriculture at the Ministry of Agriculture and Livestock (MPAE). Overall, an increase of 15% over normal years is estimated. For the Alaotra Mangoro Region, production increased by 50% compared to last year. According to his explanations, the production of this region, rice granary of Madagascar, will be 510,000 tons for this year 2018. This marked improvement in the harvest is due to several factors. The Director General cited, among other things, the rehabilitation of three large dams in the Alaotra Mangoro region and the renovation of 75 km of irrigation canals. He also noted that hese efforts of the MPAE would be in vain without the commitment of the producers, noting that, “At least 30% of the farmers have changed their practice by undertaking the SRI technique adapted to the region and the climate.”
    • arrow Government Promotes SRI in the District de Marovoay[August 6, 2018] Rice self-sufficiency in 2020 is one of the objectives of the Fisandratana Plan of the President of the Republic of Madagascar HE Mr. Hery Rajaonarimampianina. Conditions for improving rice yield and achieving this goal is the adoption and practice of modern rice crop cultivation techniques and the use of improved seeds. The Regional Directorate of Agriculture and Livestock (DRAE) Boeny has undertaken for this campaign 2017/2018 promotion of SRI in the District of Marovoay. A SRI demonstration site, with an area of 15 ares, has been set up in the rural district of Ankazomborona District Marovoay. Transplanting on April 19 and harvesting followed on August 6. The yield is estimated at 5 tons/ha.

arrowIncrease of Rice Production Linked to SRI, Government Support and the Abundance of Rain

[May 31, 2018] According to an article on the MA-TV website, a good harvest this year is the cause of a significant drop in the price of rice. Since 2015, the government has strengthened extension of rice cultivation using SRI methods, which were developed in Madagascar in the 1980s, and have enjoyed considerable success in several areas of the country. In Marovoay, Antalaha and Ambatondrazaka, producers who have adopted SRI methods have doubled their production which has been linked to the abundance in the country’s rice production. The strengthening of support to producers through the provision of improved and certified seeds and the rehabilitation of irrigation systems in areas with high rice potential have also reprotedly led to a clear improvement in productivity. The country has additionally benefited from the abundance of rain which was not the case in 2017 when water shortages hit the country. The government has set a goal of doubling agricultural production, with Madagascar’s main island becoming the food granary of the Indian Ocean.

2015 Updates
  • Use of SRI in Ambohidratrimo District Double Crop Yields[May 6, 2015] The Malagasy Ministry of Agriculture says that about 4 million tons of rice are expected to be harvested this year in Madagascar compared with 3.6 million tons in 2014. According to the article in in the Indian Ocean Times, the use of System of Rice Intensification in the district of Ambohidratrimo in the northeast province of Tananarive, in particular allowed double crops. This is important as the required rice imports in Madagascar in 2015 could approach to about 235,000 tons against 363,423 tons imported in 2014 to about 410,373 tons in 2013.
  • arrow SRI Among Methods Promoted in REDD+ Project Funded by Microsoft through Pioneering Carbon Credit Scheme[February 18, 2014] According to an article in Green Business, Microsoft is helping to protect one of Madagascar’s most pristine rainforests, after buying a block of carbon credits from the government to use in the Makira REDD+ (Reducing Emissions from Deforestation and Forest Degradation ‘plus’) conservation project. Overall, the project aims to curb deforestation on 320,000 hectares of land, preventing the release of 32.5 million metric tonnes of carbon into the atmosphere. The project plans to reduce deforestation while teaching local communities about the benefits of sustainable farming. The project is enabling households to adopt alternative techniques that replace destructive and unsustainable methods. These activities include SRI as well as other sustainable improved farming techniques. The investment makes Microsoft the first organization to purchase carbon credits from the new scheme, which is being run by the Madagascan government and the Wildlife Conservation Society. The move is the latest investment made by Microsoft as part of its commitment to operate as a “carbon neutral” company by curbing emissions where possible and offsetting its remaining emissions.
  • arrowVideos about SRI in Madagascar Available on the CODEGAZ YouTube Channel.[January 28, 2014] Corrine Lalo produced two French language videos on SRI practices and successes in Madagascar in collaboration with the NGO Association Tefy Saina and the French NGO CODEGAZ. Both videos are available on the CODEGAZ channel on YouTube. They are 1) CODEGAZ et la genèse du SRI (système de riziculture intensive) à Madagascar and 2) Système de Riziculture Intensive SRI préconisé par CODEGAZ à Madagascar.
  • arrow SRI Among Successes in Madagascar’s Millennium Village Project[August 22 and March 23, 2013] An article on the IRIN website featured a Millennium Village Project site in Madagascar after five years of support from the UN Development Programme (UNDP) ended during March 2013. Launched in 2004 by the UN in conjunction with the Earth Institute at Columbia University and the international nonprofit Millennium Promise, Sambaina Commune in Madagascar was one of 14 sites in rural Africa selected to become “Millennium Villages.” Madagascar’s Millennium Village appears to have had some success in demonstrating that sufficient, targeted investment can speed up development despite four years of political crisis and low economic growth.

    The IRIN article mentioned the Rabodozafy family, who learned about SRI methods through the project, is now growing enough food to eat for 11 months of the year, while previously they had rice for only three months. Mayor Arsene Randriamiarana of Sambaina reported that about 73 percent of local farmers now use the SRI method, greatly improving their production. (See also Aug. 22 allAfrica article.)

  • arrow Article in Farming Matters Documents CODEGAZ Success with SRI in Madagascar[April 2, 2013] An article by Alain Oscar published in the March edition of Farming Matters magazine recounts successes in two SRI projects in Madagascar. CODEGAZ, a French NGO working on SRI in Madagascar since 2009, has been developing organic SRI-based projects. The first was implemented in the Ménabé region, where 150 families were invited to follow a training programme aimed at increasing their food security and helping them overcome poverty. Since 2010, CODEGAZ has been developing a larger-scale SRI project to train 3,000 families in Morarano. [see more in the CODEGAZ item below.]
2012 Updates
  • arrow CODEGAZ Reports on SRI Success in MoraranoFarmer in CODEGAZ project in Morarano with weederIn 2012, CODEGAZ continued cooperating with its Malagasy partner TAOEZAKA on a SRI project in the rural town of Morarano. The project results showed that rice yields could be significantly increased with SRI method, and, with a yield of 8 to 9 tons per hectare, rice yields could triple. This program also included a specific SRI awareness and initiation campaign for school children through presentations in the town schools; 441 pupils were introduced to SRI methods. The 2011-2012 campaign, the second for CODEGAZ, brought very good results:
    • 1,549 farmers trained on the SRI methods
    • 434 rice farmers practiced SRI in their fields
    • 8.193 m2 of seedbeds were planted, and,
    • 85 hectares of rice fields were planted with SRI methods.

    A study with a sample population of 20 people determined that practicing SRI had been very beneficial for the farmers with respect to living conditions, health conditions, sending children to school, and even their general well being. All rice farmers interviewed were unanimous about the effectiveness of SRI, particularly rice farmers with small plots, who were able to double or triple their yield through SRI. Farmers also benefited from the use of weeders as shown in the photo at right. (See page 3 of project report.)

  • arrow GSRI Meeting Showcases SRI Accomplishments and OpportunitiesDuring a February 10, 2012, meeting held at CRS Tsiadana, the Groupement SRI Madagascar (GSRI) presented its 2011 accomplishments, current activities and prospects for this year 2012 to a group of individuals representing NGOs, several government ministries/agencies, agribusiness interests and other civil society stakeholders. The GSRI, with its secretariat, is a work-group started in association with the Ministry of Agriculture of Madagascar and with the financial support of the Jim Carrey’s Better U Foundation. It currently has 267 members and partners distributed in 22 regions of Madagascar (covering 63,714 ha of SRI with 218,155 practitioners as of mid-2011 compared 56,000 ha and 159,000 practitioners in mid-2010). An external consultant’s study presented at the meeting indicated that, given the socioeconomic constraints, climate variability, and other parameters related directly or indirectly in the rice sector in Madagascar (world market, cost of fuel, etc.), the use of SRI methods should help rice to regain its previous rank in terms of quantity and quality.

    The Ministry of Agriculture shared information at the meeting about CARD (Coalition for African Rice Development), an advisory group of bilateral donors and multilateral and international institutions which aims to double rice production in sub-Saharan Africa by 2018. A delegation the CARD members, led by the Ministry of Agriculture, adopted a “National Strategy for Rice Development” with various projects to be implemented in order to achieve CARD goals. With regard to Madagascar, SRI has been enlisted to help achieve these results through “Priority Project No. 07: Support for the dissemination of SRI,” which is part of the PTA of the Ministry of Agriculture and is present in various projects / programs presented to the General Assembly of the CARD in Uganda during November 2011.

  • arrow Better U Foundation’s SRI Program in Madagascar Broadens it OutreachThe Better U Foundation‘s SRI program in Madagascar, which was initiated in 2007, has made significant strides in during the past year which are outlined in an August 2011 report. The program supports direct field activities of partners through competitive grants as well as supporting the Secretariat for the SRI Group of Madagascar (GSRI) which serves as a hub for SRI activities in the country. GSRI membership has now grown to over 200 groups and organizations (see map at right).The BUF-supported SRI work is now taking place in twelve regions of the country with eight field grants being disbursed during 2010-2011. Among its numerous projects, the GSRI is continuing its successful pilot ‘SRI school’ initiative in which teachers and students in primary schools are introduced to basic concepts and principles of SRI. (See the report for details of other efforts).
  • arrow Reports of National and Regional SRI Workshops DisseminatedA report by the Secrétariat Permanent Groupement SRI (GSRI) about a National SRI Conference held November 22-24, 2010, at Siège FFPM Vohipiraisana Ambohijatovo Atsimo, Antananarivo, is now available. (see full report or executive summary – both are in French).

    The Ministry of Agriculture, which now has a permanent link to the Groupement SRI on its website, reported recently on a February 17 consultation workshop with a variety of stakeholders that was held in the Ambositra capital of the Amoron’i Mania region in collaboration with GSRI and the Regional Fund for Agricultural Development (FRDA). According to Jean Roger Rakotorahalahy, a rice farmer and member of the Coordination Platform, many farmers are practicing SRI in the region, but they are constrained by a lack of inputs and production equipment. The workshop included strategies for moving forward with SRI in the region.


Reports and General Articles

Research / Evaluations
[in order accessed]

Practical Information

  • 2011. Système de Riziculture Intensive (SRI). Collection Guides Practices du CTA No. 17. Groupement SRI Madagascar website. 8p. [French language SRI manual published by CTA in collaboration with GDC and the Groupement SRI Madagascar] [no longer online].
  • 2011. Intensive Rice Cultivation. CTA Practical Guide Seri No. 17. website. 6p. [This English language manual is a collaborative effort of the Technical Centre for Agricultural and Rural Cooperation (ACP-EU) – CTA, Groupement SRI Madagascar and Group Counsel Developpment (GCD)]
  • Association Tefy Saina. 2006. Voly Vary Maro Anaka: Systeme de Riziculture Intensive. Association Tefy Saina website. (36p., 3.1MB pdf) [Malagasy language SRI manual, also online on CIIFAD’s System of Rice Intensification website. Contact Operation SRI Madagascar for Spanish and French translations]
  • Uphoff, Norman, and Association Tefy Saina. Comment Faire pour Avoir des Plants de Riz Qui Croissant Ibex et Qui Rowdiest plus Informez et Informez les Autres. System of Rice Intensification website. (20p., 230KB pdf) [Manual written Association Tefy Saina, an NGO in Madagascar.]

SRI Websites and Blogs in Madagascar

  • Groupement SRI Madagascar
(no longer active)
French & Malagasy

Video and Audio


  • 2012. Le SRI: Une technique agro écologique en faveur du développement durable. Groupement Madagascar SRI (GSRI) website. 16 slides. [GSRI presentation at a national workshop to prepare for the United Nations Conference on Sustainable Development] [no longer online].
  • 2011. Groupement SRI Madagascar
    – PowerPoint by Winifred Fitzgerald, advisors to the Antananarivo SRI Secretariat in Madagascar. 30 slides. [French language 2011 updates on the activities of the Groupement SRI Madagascar]
  • 2007. SRI au Madagascar: Rendement, Méthodes Riziculture, et des Facteurs de Meilleur Rendement dans les Rizières de SRI
    – PowerPoint by Yasuhiro Tsujimoto, Graduate School of Agriculture Kyoto University. 23 slides

Photo Collection

  • CIIFAD Madagascar Photo Collection The Madagascar Photo Collection contains photographs provided by Norman Uphoff and various colleagues in Madagascar. (Click on the photo showing to enlarge it or to see captions). If you do not have Flash installed, click here to see individual photos which are made available on Picasaweb
  • Groupement SRI Madagascar photo gallery (blog) (SRI-Antsahabe)