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
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.