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System of Rice Intensification

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System of Rice Intensification-SRI

 

Rajeew Kumar

G.B.Pant University of Agriculture & Technology, Pantnagar-Uttrakhand

 

India is one of the largest producers of rice in the world; however, rice cultivation in recent times has suffered from several interrelated problems. Increased yields achieved during the green revolution through input intensive methods of high water and fertilizer use in well endowed regions are showing signs of stagnation and concomitant environmental problems due to salinization and water-logging of fields (the grain bowls of India Punjab and Haryana are some of the worst affected). In other parts there have been social conflicts between water users in several canal-irrigated areas due to the water intensive nature of the crop. To take care of such problems System of Rice Intensification, or SRI, has evolved over the last few decades of the 20th century and offers a radical departure in the way of growing more rice with fewer inputs specially water.

What is SRI ?

SRI is a different method of cultivating Rice plant. Fr. Hentri de loulanie and his students developed the SRI method which is spreading very fast across the continents. SRI can be adopted in any variety of rice, climate and type of soil with little irrigation facilities. This needs some of the time immemorial methods to be changed to induce the plant to express itself fully in producing more grains.

SRI Practices:

1)     Transplanting young seedlings (8 to 12 days);

2)     Wide spacing (at least 25 X 25 cms);

3)     Planting only one seedling per hill and shallow planting;

4)     Transplanting quickly within 30 minutes of uprooting without damage of roots;

5)     Intermittent watering (up to vegetative period);

6)     Keeping the soil moist during the first fifteen days after transplantation and during the formation of panicle; and

7)     Frequent weeding using simple tools (instead of hand weeding).

8)     Use of organic manure or compost to improve soil quality.

Why SRI?

Of late, the normal method of paddy cultivation is creating demand for more water, increased cost of inputs including heavy dosage of chemical fertilizers and pesticides and less returns causing negative effect on the livelihoods of the farmers. Paddy is basically not an aquatic plant but over the years due to over stagnation of water in the paddy plots, it has developed resistance towards more water. In present paddy cultivation method, farmers adopt unscientific methods to address some problems which, causes damage to the growth of the plant. Methods like aged nursery, awkward way of uprooting seedlings, transplanting bunch of seedlings, less spacing, stagnating water and applying more chemical inputs are basically have a bearing on yield and productivity. The tendency to devote less time for cultivation also has contributed to the problem. The SRI method works the other way round and has the potential to increase the yield, reduce demand for water and improve the livelihoods of the farmers. Thus, SRI method enables paddy plant to have normal growth with less water. By adopting these changes the rice plant expresses itself fully and in turn in high yield. The demand for scarce water is reduced by 50 per cent, in most cases and up to 70 per cent in some cases. But the opposite happens in the yield. It increases by two fold in many cases.

Formatted and uploaded by Priyanka Shukla

 

 

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Please note that this is the opinion of the author and is Not Certified by ICAR or any of its authorised agents.