To: SRI-RICE-L@cornell.edu (SRI-Rice-L)
From: SRI Group
Subject: SRI-RICE-L Update #13 (September 10, 2007)
Dear SRI-RICE-L subscriber,
The following material is part of the SRI UPDATE series being sent out occasionally throughout the year. We expect to send another Update (#14) in a few weeks because there is a lot of SRI news to communicate. Additional information on subscribing to SRI discussion groups in other countries can be found at http://ciifad.cornell.edu/sri/listservs/.
The numbered listing of sections below provides an overview of the contents of this Update, to let you know what items are included. To subscribe to the update-only SRI announcement list, instead of this discussion list, see http://ciifad.cornell.edu/sri/listservs/index.html#update.
for CIIFAD SRI Group
1. Indonesia: Pres. Yudhoyono Gives Strong Endorsement of SRI
2. Japan: New Association for SRI Organizes a Week of Activities
3. Peru: Two Years of Results Reported
4. Vietnam: Academy of Agricultural Sciences Holds SRI Workshop
5. Hanoi Agricultural University Faculty Work on SRI Since 2001
6. Cambodia: New System of Intensification and Diversification
7. Thailand: University and Government Interest Growing in SRI
8. India: SRI Demonstration Program Staring in Meghalaya State
1. INDONESIA: PRES. YUDHOYONO GIVES STRONG ENDORSEMENT OF SRI
On July 30, Pres. S. B. Yudhoyono presided at an SRI Harvest Festival in Cianjur, West Java, attended by 1,300 persons including the Ministers of Agriculture and of Irrigation. In his extemporaraneous remarks, the President (who has a PhD from IPB, the Agricultural University at Bogor) praised SRI because "Productivity is increased, and at the same time the environment is saved." He said that "this SRI method, being a solution, instead of adding to the problem (of water demand and chemical pollution of soil and water), by providing opportunities for agricultural development is suitable for Indonesia." He concluded: "I want to urge everybody, starting with the Minister of Agriculture and everyone else, let us support this SRI method with our maximum capacity." Pres. Yudhoyono's remarks are available on the Indonesia web page. We hope to eventually post a video of his presentation, with English subtitles, on the Indonesia SRI page.
The harvest festival was preceded by a 3-day SRI workshop with farmers from 13 provinces, from Aceh to Papua, where training was done by the NGO Aliksa, which is dedicated to promotion of organic SRI and which the President has endorsed. The workshop and festival were supported by one of the largest in Indonesia (Medco), which appreciates the environmental benefits of SRI as well as its benefits for farmers. With the Ministries of Agriculture and Irrigation working together, with presidential instructions, and with NGO and private sector (Nippon Koei) support, one can expect SRI spread in Indonesia to accelerate during the coming season.
2. JAPAN: NEW ASSOCIATION FOR SRI ORGANIZES A WEEK OF ACTIVITIES
The Japan Association for System of Rice Intensification (J-SRI, http://www.iai.ga.a.u-tokyo.ac.jp/j-sri/e-index.html), formed in April hosted a visit by Norman Uphoff during the first week of July, which began with a public lecture on SRI at the University of Tokyo which was attended by over 100 persons. A presentation on SRI was subsequently made to scientists at the National Agricultural Research Organization (NARO) in Tsukuba by Uphoff and Shuichi Sato of Nippon Koei. Presentations were also made to the staff of a consulting firm ICNet; to the Institute of Development Economies (IDE) in Chiba; and to the Japanese International Volunteer Center, which operates as the Japanese counterpart to the U.S. Peace Corps. JVC volunteers are helping introduce SRI in Cambodia, Laos and Vietnam [more info....]
3. PERU: TWO YEARS OF SRI RESULTS REPORTED
Dr. Angel Fernandez at the National Institute of Engineering, who has been doing SRI evaluations in the coastal region of Peru over the past several years, reports on results of carefully planned trials over the past four seasons of six months each. The evaluations started with 19 farmers on 100 hectares, but the number grew to 169 farmers on 400 hectares by the third season, and then to 500 hectares in the fourth, indicating farmer satisfaction with the methods. Whereas yields over the past 10 years with standard methods in that area have been 5-7 tons/ha, with SRI methods the yields have been at least 8 tons/ha and more usually 9-10 tons/ha, with some yields of 10-11 and 11-12 tons/ha achieved by farmers who adapted appropriately all the SRI practices -- sowing density, water applications, fertilization, and timing of irrigation.
Costs of production were reduced from $1000/ha to $800/ha, adding to the profitability of SRI methods. A mechanical weeder is being used that makes the use of herbicides unnecessary, and fertilizer applications are reduced by 50-60%, with higher yield. The profitability of SRI has become very convincing to farmers, Angel reports. "However, I was considered crazy initially." This comment we have heard many times before, but it is particularly gratifying to have this feedback from Latin America, where the uptake of SRI (SICA) has been slowest of the three main rice-growing continents. Angel is looking for financial support to expand this transformation of rice production in Peru and is optimistic based on these results.
4. VIETNAM: ACADEMY OF AGRICULTURAL SCIENCES HOLDS SRI WORKSHOP
Following a decision by the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development (MARD) in April to endorse SRI as a 'technology advance,' the Vietnam Academy of Agricultural Sciences (VAAS) invited Uphoff to visit Vietnam and plan collaborative efforts with the Academy and other Vietnamese institutions. During the second week of July, VAAS hosted a national SRI workshop in which scientists, NGO personnel, donor representatives, and farmer representatives participated. A report on the workshop and on field visits to provinces where colleagues in the National IPM Program and the Thai Nguyen University have been introducing SRI is also available (accessible from the SRI Vietnam page as well.
5. HANOI AGRICULTURAL UNIVERSITY FACULTY WORK ON SRI SINCE 2001
We have learned that Dr. Nguyen Tat Canh, cropping systems specialist, and Dr. Nguyen Van Dung, water management specialist, at this national university have been working with SRI methods in their country on their own for a number of years. Canh and Dung have done trials and demonstrations in over a dozen provinces and now have support for their SRI work from the Ministry of Environment and Technology and from Spain and Luxemburg [more info...]. Canh and Dung and other faculty at HAU will join the emerging SRI network in Vietnam that includes government, university and NGO partners.
6. CAMBODIA: NEW SYSTEM OF INTENSIFICATION AND DIVERSIFICATION
Farmers working with the Center for Study and Development of Cambodian Agriculture (CEDAC) have begun modifying their farming systems, capitalizing on the fact that they can double and even triple their rice yields with SRI methods. In what is being called the 'System of Intensification and Diversification' (SID), farmers take half of their paddy land out of rice cultivation and redeploy it to establish fish ponds and raise vegetables, legumes and fruit, also poultry and sometimes frogs. This raises their net incomes from small holdings, between 0.3 and 1 hectare, but two or three times. Using a small grant from the Triad Foundation, Ithaca, NY, provided through CIIFAD, CEDAC has produced an illustrated Khmer-language manual based upon farmer experimentation to popularize this transformation of smallholder farming systems. An English version will be published soon. Two of these SID systems are described in a trip report.
7. THAILAND: UNIVERSITY AND GOVERNMENT INTEREST GROWING IN SRI
About 75 students, faculty and invited guests attended an open lecture on SRI at the Asian Institute of Technology (AIT) in Bangkok, July 19, at which Norman Uphoff, CIIFAD, and Abha Mishra, AIT, presented an overview of SRI experience and learning worldwide, and then results of Mishas research on SRI under controlled greenhouse conditions in Thailand and with farmer participation in Cambodia. The next day, there was a meeting with the Director of the Ministry of Agricultures Rice Department, Chanpithya Shimphalee, to discuss SRI experience and the results of SRI evaluations in northeast Thailand organized by Mishra and Prabhat Kumar at AIT [see report]. As a result, the Rice Department is beginning SRI trials in Chacheongsao Province. These and other activities are described in at trip report.
8. INDIA: SRI DEMONSTRATION PROGRAM STARTING IN MEGHALAYA STATE
SRI is being demonstrated in the northern hill state of Meghalaya as part of up-scaling activities of a program of the International Centre for Integrated Mountain Development (ICIMOD) funded by the International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD). The Meghalaya Rural Development Society (MRDS) has initiated training and demonstrations in three districts, East Garo Hills, South Garo Hills and Ri-Bhoi, with training only in the Jayantia Hills district. More than 100 farmers have participated in the SRI training and demonstrations for the four districts. For more information, contact Dr. Dhrupad Choudhury, coordinator of the ICIMOD- IFAD program who is coordinating also the SRI initiatives in Meghalaya.
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