System of Rice Intensification (SRI)

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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, minimizing 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.

The soil is kept moist but well drained and aerated to support increased biological 
activity. A small quantity of water is applied during the vegetative growth period 
following which a thin layer of water is maintained on the fields only during the 
flowering and grain-filling stages. Better quality compost, such as well decomposed 
farmyard manure, can be applied to achieve additional yield increases. Since weed 
growth will be more abundant and will be a problem in fields that are not kept 
flooded (and because of the wider spacing), weeding needs to be done at least once 
or twice in the first 10-12 days and a total of three or four times altogether before 
the canopy closes.

SRI does not require additional inputs like new seeds, chemical fertilizer or pesticides, but it does require the skillful management of the factors in production 
and, at least initially, 25-50% more labour inputs, particularly for the transplanting 
and weeding. As farmers become more skilled and confident in SRI, the amount of 
labour needed decreases and can eventually become the same or even less than with 
conventional methods.

SRI is being tried out by farmers in many areas of Nepal’s middle mountains including in the Jhikhu Khola watershed. This area has an altitude of 800-2200 masl, 
and receives about 1200 mm annual rainfall, about 70-80% in the monsoon months 
(June to September).


If rice fields need to be established, the short-term establishment costs and the benefits realized are about the same. However, most farmers already had rice fields and therefore the benefits are more than the costs.

Some farmer reported that SRI method  get the high production with the low availability of water in the field. About 250gms from a single plant of rice. Even though they transplant one sapling, later it grows more than 10 branches in it., but there should be enough space in between the plants. So, one should has to plant with the equal distance between the plant, there should be use the string or rope for the transplantation of the rice in there field. 

Project/Programme Info



  • Saraswoti Bhetwal - Lamidihi, Panchkhal VDC, Ward No.4
  • Harimaya Panday - Dhotra, Panchkhal, VDC, Ward No. 9
  • Nara Bahadur Panday - Dhotra, Panchkhal, VDC, Ward No. 9
  • Ramesh Bika - Dhotra, Panchkhal, VDC, Ward No. 9
  • Pitambar Danuwar - Dhotra, Panchkhal, VDC, Ward No. 8
  • Rama Danuwar - Dhotra, Panchkhal, VDC, Ward No. 8
  • Januka Dhungel - Ekanta Basti, Dhotra, Panchkhal, VDC
  • Nirmala Shrestha - Bakhreldihi, Panchkhal, VDC, Ward No. 7
  • Krishna Bahadur Baniya - Bakhreldihi, Panchkhal, VDC, Ward No. 7
  • Basanta Lal Shrestha - Kharelthok VDC, Ward No. 1
  • Buddha Laxmi Shrestha - Kharelthok VDC, Ward No. 1
  • Ramesh Kharel - Kharelthok VDC, Ward No. 5
  • Mahalaxmi Kharel - Kharelthok VDC, Ward No. 4
  • Indra Bahadur Tamang - Kubhinde, Panchkhal


December - December

Geographical Coverage

For further information contact:

Madhav Dhakal/Vijay Danuwar