First developed in Madagascar in the 1980s by Father Henri, and since then several countries in the world have been practising it, including India.
- Involves cultivating rice with as much organic manure as possible, starting with young seedlings planted singly at wider spacing in a square pattern; and with intermittent irrigation that keeps the soil moist but not inundated, and frequent inter cultivation with weeder that actively aerates the soil.
Benefits of SRI
- Higher yields – Both grain and straw; Increase in income security for farmers
- Reduced duration (by 10 days)
- Lesser chemical inputs
- Less water requirement
- Systemic regulation of climate, soil and water
- Reduction in Methane evolution
- Less chaffy grain %
- Grain weight increased without change in grain size
- Reduced vulnerability & risks
- Improved farm health
- Higher head rice recovery
- Withstand cyclonic gales
- Cold tolerance
- Soil & water health improves through biological activity (reduction in nitrogen)
- Public health improvement with improvement in food security
Limitations with SRI
- If unchecked, greater weed growth will cause a substantial loss of yield.
- Higher labour costs in the initial years – needs 50% more man-days for transplanting and weeding.
- Difficulties in acquiring the necessary skills.
- Not suitable when no irrigation source is available.
Source: Indian Express