In 2002, I read an article by Norman Uphoff on (System of Rice Intensification) SRI in the LEISA Magazine. I thought that this technology might be useful for Nepalese farmers as well. I contacted Mr. Uphoff for more information on SRI, and in 2003 I established two small rice plots using SRI principles: planting young seedlings, wide spacing, less water, and some weeding. My healthy plants produced an equivalent of more than 7 tons/ha. This was very encouraging, and we started to share the results with local farmers through training, articles in our newsletter and personal and group contacts.
Many farmers wanted to try the SRI technology, but first they wanted to see the results on someone else’s field! So three farmers volunteered to plant their early rice crop according to SRI principles. Two of these farmers harvested nearly 6 tons/ha. The third farmer, Mr. Udaya Narayan Nepal, transplanted rice seedlings of different ages – 8 days, 12 days, and 17 days – on different plots. In spite of the lack of irrigation and poor soil, the vegetative growth was very good with up to 130 tillers per hill. Even after evident water stress, his crop produced rather well.
Features of SRI:
- requires very few inputs, small quantities of water, and very few seed (3-5 Kg/ha).
- Tillering starts after 2-3 days after transaplanting and single seedling produces upto 135 tiller per hill.
- If soil kept just moist then even older seedling(21 days seedling produces 40 tiller/hills and 350-400 grains/panicle.
- Spacing: 40-45 cm2, 30*30 cm2 for early variety without water scarcity.
- Requires less time to mature (7 to 30 days less) depending upon variety, soil type, water availability, and the age of seedling when transplanted. and 15 days earlier to mature when traditional method used.
Advantages: Higher production, eralier crop production, reduce the pesticide requirements for leaf-hoppers & case worms etc.
(Originally written By Rajendra Uprety published in Leisa)