To: SRI-UPDATE-L@cornell.edu (SRI-UPDATE-L)
From: Norman Uphoff
Subject: SRI-UPDATE-L #11 (June 21, 2007)
Dear SRI-Update-L subscriber,
This is the eleventh in the SRI UPDATE series that is sent occasionally throughout the year. Enhanced versions of these e-updates and archives are available on the SRI website. This url also contains information on subscriptions for other SRI groups in other countries.
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 interactive SRI discussion list, instead of this announcement-only list, see http://ciifad.cornell.edu/sri/listservs/index.html#rice.)
Another Update (#12) will be coming shortly, catching up for the delay in compiling and sending out this one (#11). So much has been transpiring that we have unfortunately fallen behind, but the good work being done by colleagues all around the world keeps on building up. Everyone should keep doing things on behalf of SRI knowledge and practice as creatively and consistently as possible, and we in the SRI Group at Cornell will try to keep abreast. You can help us by sending in reports or notes that you think would be of interest and use to others, for posting on the web page and/or sharing in these updates.
for CIIFAD SRI Group
1. SRI Association Formed in Japan
2. Formal SRI Committee Established in Iraq
3. SRI Farmers Association Formed in Ondo, Nigeria
4. Officials Preside at SRI Harvest Ceremony in Indonesia
5. Indian Minister of Agriculture Endorses SRI in Parliament
6. Successful Field Day in Bangladesh
7. SRI Represented at Biovision Forum in France
1. SRI ASSOCIATION FORMED IN JAPAN
A Japanese Association for the System of Rice Intensification (J-SRI) has been established with members from a number of institutions. J-SRI is based in the Department of Global Agricultural Sciences at the University of Tokyo and its head is Prof. Eiji Yamaji, assisted by Dr. Masaru Mizoguchi and Dr. Tetsuya Araki who serve as chief secretary and secretary. Mr. Shuichi Sato with Nippon Koei, project manager for DISIMP in Indonesia, has been designated as SRI advisor. J-SRI has invited Norman Uphoff to meet with its membership in early July, and he will give an open seminar at the University of Tokyo July 2, making presentations also to several other groups.
2. FORMAL SRI COMMITTEE ESTABLISHED IN IRAQ
Dr. Khidir Abbas Hameed reports that an SRI committee has been established with several staff of the Al-Mishkab Rice Research Station near Najaf, including its Director, and a representative from the General Company for Horticulture and Forestry, which has experience with the production and management of organic matter. The committee intends to promote extension of SRI methods in Iraq and to formulate a national SRI project. This initiative, undertaken under adverse circumstances, has the best wishes of all SRI colleagues and we will be awaiting any results of Hameed’s initiative. A report on 2006 evaluations and results is already posted on the SRI web page for SRI work in Iraq.
3. SRI FARMERS ASSOCIATION FORMED IN ONDO STATE, NIGERIA
On March 22, a training session was held at the Smedan Akure Business Support Center in Ondo State in southeastern Nigeria with 27 farmers attending, who formed an SRI Farmers Association. The former Commissioner of Agriculture for Ondo State gave the keynote address, and Engineer Adebayo Oluwu provided the training, based on materials that he had gotten from the SRI home page and from CIIFAD. All 27 farmers agreed to try out the new methods this season, and Olusu plans to start use SRI methods on 3 hectares of riceland himself.
Meanwhile, Safdar Khalifa, a volunteer SRI promoter in northern Nigeria, has been arranging for Dr. Bruno Andrianaivo in Madagascar to visit Kano and Kaduna states. Trials were conducted at Sabon Gida in 2006 by Safdar and N.S. Badeji, MOFA extension officer, comparing SRI (10-day seedlings, 20 per m2, with alternate wetting and drying -- 5 days/10 days) with conventional practices (25-day seedlings, 80 per m2, continuous flooding), using the same variety on same soil. SRI yield from replicated trials doubled conventional yield (5.8 vs. 2.91 t/ha), requiring 812 m3 of irrigation water vs. 1364 m3 with conventional practices. Water productivity was boosted from 2.13 to 7.14 kg/m3, which helps increase interest in SRI in northern Nigeria too.
4. OFFICIALS PRESIDE AT SRI HARVEST CEREMONY IN INDONESIA
Over 300 persons attended the SRI Harvest Festival held at the SRI Research Station at Puyung in Lombok, West Nusa Tenggara Province on April 5. SRI results were appraised and praised by, among others, the Governor of the Province, the Director-General for Water Resources in the Ministry of Public Works (PU) and the Director for Land and Water Management in the Ministry of Agriculture. The event was organized by the Decentralized Irrigation Systems Management Improvement Project (DISIMP) in Eastern Indonesia and was reported by the Japan SRI Association. The two Ministries are now cooperating in SRI extension with a view to raising yield as well as saving water. In West Nusa Tenggara last season, 2,349 farmers used SRI methods on 1,169 hectares and achieved an average yield of 8.2 t/ha, with reductions in both water and fertilizer application.
5. INDIAN MINISTER OF AGRICULTURE ENDORSES SRI IN PARLIAMENT
In a written communication to the Rajya Sabha on March 16, Dr. Akhilesh Prasad Singh informed members of parliament that the Indian Council for Agricultural Research (ICAR) has found SRI "effective in enhancing the production and productivity of rice in various parts of the country, including Andhra Pradesh." This follows a recommendation from the Minister of Water Resources that SRI be promoted for its water-saving value.
6. SUCCESSFUL FIELD DAY IN BANGLADESH
The SRI National Network for Bangladesh organized a field day in Gaibandha district, with the support of Oxfam GB, on May 12. This was attended by 80 farmers from two Oxfam project areas and officials from the Department of Agricultural Extension (including a former Director-General), the Bangladesh Rice Research Institute, IRRI, and cooperating NGOs. The crop-cutting, covered by Bangladesh Television (BTV) and journalists from the print media, demonstrated a SRI yield of >8 t/ha, contrasting with the usual yield of 5-6 tons in the area. The SRI National Network, based in the Bangladesh Rice Foundation in Dhaka, is attracting wider organizational participation and increasing donor interest.
7. SRI REPRESENTED AT BIOVISION FORUM IN FRANCE
Norman Uphoff was invited to participate in the 5th World Life Sciences Forum held in Lyon, March 11-14, and was able to talk about SRI in the session on "Integrated Approaches to Eliminate Hunger." He made a number of key contacts for SRI with persons from international organizations, private corporations, and several NGOs. The Minister of Agriculture from Burkina Faso who attended the Forum was shown pictures sent by Tim Krupnik of the first SRI results in that country. This may help get SRI evaluated more fully there. A trip report has been prepared for anyone interested in an SRI perspective on the event.