To: SRI-UPDATE-L@cornell.edu (SRI-UPDATE-L)
From: Norman Uphoff
Subject: SRI-UPDATE-L #15 (Janaury 5, 2008)
Dear SRI-Update-L subscriber,
The following material is part of the SRI UPDATE series being sent out occasionally throughout the year. In this issue, you will find updates about the numerous SRI efforts in India. Enhanced versions of these e-updates and archives are also available on the SRI website along with information on how to subscribe for other SRI groups in other countries.
The numbered listing of sections provides an overview of this Update, so you can see quickly what items are included. More information is then given below, and full reports or pictures can be accessed from the SRI home page. To subscribe to an interactive SRI discussion list (INSTEAD of this announcement list to which you are currently subscribed), see http://ciifad.cornell.edu/sri/listservs/index.html#rice.
for CIIFAD SRI Group
1. National SRI Symposium in India Draws over 250 Participants from 26 States and Territories
2. SRI Use is Expanding in a Number of States in India
3. SRI Applications are Being Extended to Wheat, Sugar Cane and Mustard
4. TNAU Advertises SRI Benefits under World Bank Project
5. New Electronic Discussion Group in India
1. NATIONAL SRI SYMPOSIUM IN INDIA DRAWS OVER 250 PARICIPANTS FROM 26 STATES AND TERRITORIES
This three-day event, the second national SRI symposium to be held in India, was hosted by the Tripura State government and was attended by researchers, extension personnel, farmers, NGO workers, government officials, and private sector from all parts of the country. Besides the state government, the symposium was co-sponsored by the Indian Council for Agricultural Researchs Directorate of Rice Research (DRR) and Central Rice Research Institute (CRRI); the Ministry of Agriculture and Cooperatives Directorate of Rice Development (DRD); the National Bank of Agriculture and Rural Development (NABARD); the agricultural university of Andhra Pradesh state known as ANGRAU; the Sir Dorabji Tata Trust (SDTT); and the World Wide Fund for Nature (WWF) through its Dialogue Project on Water for Food and Environment with ICRISAT. There were also international participants from 7 countries who came to this state in N.E. India. Many of the PowerPoint presentations from the symposium are available at http://ciifad.cornell.edu/sri/countries/india/TripuraPPTs07/index.html.
2. SRI USE IS EXPANDING IN A NUMBER OF STATES IN INDIA
Tripura state was chosen as the location for second National SRI Symposium because SRI use there has expanded from <1,000 farmers in 2005 to >70,000 farmers in 2007. A report by Norman Uphoff on field visits to more than a dozen villages where SRI is being taken up has been posted on the web: http://ciifad.cornell.edu/sri/countries/india/inntutrep1007.pdf.
The Hindu (January 1, 2008) quotes the Minister of Agriculture for Tamil Nadu state saying that 430,000 hectares, one-fifth of the states 2.1 million hectares of rice land, was under SRI methods, getting on average 50% more yield with reduced inputs of seeds, water and manual labor (http://www.thehindu.com/2008/01/01/stories/2008010153180300.htm). The Minister noted that three years earlier the SRI area was 4,638 ha and two years ago 11,320 ha.
Under its National Food Security Mission, the Government of India has allocated $40 million for SRI extension to 5 million hectares of rice land. This campaign is targeted for 110 districts in 12 states where poverty and food shortages have been documented as particularly significant.
A SRI workshop held in Gaya, Bihar state in November brought together representatives of 17 NGOs and government research and extension staff. Crop cuts by agricultural scientists at some of the best SRI fields around Gaya documented yields of 14.26, 12.26 and 11.26 t/ha, about four times the state average. According to an email report to the Indian SRI google-group from Anil Verma, PRADAN, The top SRI yield this season in Bihar was 18.18 t/ha. (see item #5 below for more information on India's SRI discussion group).
3. SRI APPLICATIONS ARE BEING EXTENDED TO WHEAT, SUGAR CANE AND MUSTARD
At the Agartala symposium in October, the People's Science Institute, an NGO based in Dehra Dun, reported on its initial trails with two wheat varieties showing 28-40% increase in yield and 18% increase in straw with an adaptation of SRI methods (see tables at http://ciifad.cornell.edu/sri/countries/india/othercrops/inSWIpsiresults.ppt).
An English summary has been received of a booklet prepared in Telugu language by Alwar Swamy in Krishna district of Andhra Pradesh state, on the methodology that he has developed called Sugarcane Renewed Intensification (SRI) (http://ciifad.cornell.edu/sri/countries/india/othercrops/inSRIsugarcane07.pdf). This builds on ideas from SRI and its strategy has been taken up by the AP state government (see update #8).
A write-up on a System of Mustard Intensification (SMI) developed by Pravash Cahndra Satpathy, a farmer in Mayurbhanj district of Orissa state, has been sent by Shambu Prasad, Xavier Institute of Management and is posted on the SRI website (http://ciifad.cornell.edu/sri/countries/india/othercrops/inSMImustard1207.pdf).
We look forward to further extrapolations of SRI concepts and practices to other crops such as maize and sorghum. In Tamil Nadu state, Gopal Swaminathan, Kadiramangalam village in Cauvery delta, has used SRI concepts for cotton. He got a 20% increase in yield, with lower production costs, although cotton is not a gramineaceous (grass family) plant species like rice.
4. TNAU ADVERTISES SRI BENEFITS UNDER WORLD BANK PROJECT
The Water Technology Centre of the Tamil Nadu Agricultural University in Coimbatore has advertised SRI methods -- being promoted under a World Bank-funded project in Tamil Nadu state (IAMWARM) -- in Tamil language in the newspaper, New Indian Express, December 28, 2007 (http://ciifad.cornell.edu/sri/countries/india/inTNAUnews1207.pdf). See the English translation (http://ciifad.cornell.edu/sri/countries/india/intnaunews07Eng.pdf) for the text, which indicates a 114% increase in net profit per hectare.
5. NEW ELECTRONIC DISCUSSION GROUP IN INDIA
SRI-India, a Google Group for sharing information on SRI, was created in October 2007. This electronic discussion group, which currently has 135 members, in intended for those interested in the System of Rice Intensification (SRI), especially as it relates to food security in India. To subscribe to this group, see instructions on the SRI-India's Google Group website (http://groups.google.com/group/sriindia) or send an e-mail to: firstname.lastname@example.org.