System of Rice Intensification (SRI)

A method for increasing the productivity of rice by changing the management of plants, soil, water, and nutrients

The System of Rice Intensifi cation (SRI) was developed in Madagascar by Henri de Laulanie, in the 1980s. He worked with Malagasy farmers and colleagues to improve the possibilities of rice production. The practice contributes to both healthier soil and healthier plants, supported by greater root growth and the nurturing of soil microbial abundance and diversity. It is based on a number of well-founded agroecological principles. SRI concepts and practices have also been successfully adapted to upland rice.

SRI involves transplanting very young rice seedlings (usually 8-12 days old with just two small leaves) carefully and quickly so as to cause minimum disturbance to the roots. The seedlings are planted individually, in contrast to the traditional method where clumps of 3-4 are planted together, minimising root competition between the seedlings. The seedlings are kept widely spaced to allow better root and canopy growth, in a square grid pattern at a spacing of at least 25 x 25 cm. Planting can be done even wider at 30 x 30 or 40 x 40 cm and even up to 50 x 50 cm in the best quality soils.

WOCAT database reference: QT NEP15

Location: Panchkhal, Hokse, Bhimsensthan, Baluwa, and Patalekhet VDCs in the Jhikhu Khola watershed, Kabhrepalanchok district, Nepal

Technology area: ~ 0.1 km2

SWC measure: Management

Land use: Annual cropping

Climate: Humid subtropical

Related approach: Evaluation of SRI through participatory research and development approach, QA NEP15

Compiled by: Madhav Dhakal, ICIMOD

Date: June 2006, updated November 2006

light green: districts in 2007