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Summary of SRI in Democratic Republic of the Congo

In 2007 and 2008, Baile Mutambue, an agronomist with the National Rice Program in DRC, reported that SRI methods have been tried for several years in Kinshasa, Mbandaka, Kikwit, Mbanza-Ngungu, and Kisangani and have successfully increased average paddy yields from 1 ton/hectare to 1.5 or 3 tons/hectare. In 2013, the Italian NGO, Mazao, trained farmers in SRI methods in the Tanganyika district of Kalanga province, with experimental fields receiving yields as high as 9 tons/hectare. Also in 2013, the NGO BATIDE collaborated with the National Rice Program and the European Cooperative for Rural Development (EUCORD) to conduct SRI trials in Kingabwa, in the western part of the country, which reported yield increases with SRI of 64-121% with four rice varieities. The project was renewed with phase II running 2015-2018. To the east, in the Ruzizi plain of South Kivu, the Belgian NGO VECO has begun teaching SRI methods to farmers, with photos and results posted on their facebook page. Finally, during 2016, a report from the US-based Woods Hole Research Center describes the onset of a project (Projet Équateur) in the DRC's northern Equateur province to study the possibility of using SRI methods to make use of a degraded swamp area. Mid-2016 project results record tripling of rice yield, though finding labor to construct and work in paddies while converting from slash-and-burn agriculture has slowed SRI adoption; Projet Équateur is hoping to use REDD+ funds to reduce agricultural extensification. During December 2016 and January 2017, the NGO Mazao reported on their success using SRI methods in an economic development project with a sizable Pygmy population in conflict areas in Kalemie, Tanganyika province. In 2018, Rikolto in DRCongo became facilitator of the rice sector in an agricultural program in the Great Lakes region: PICAGL, a three-year program funded by the World Bank is intended to ensure that "the rice value chain is efficient and sustainable and contributes to food sovereignty in the provinces." The program, which operates in South Kivu and Tanganyika provinces, promotes SRI methods.

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