Evaluation of the System of Rice Intensification in Bhutan. Karma Lhendup Faculty of Agriculture College of Natural Resources Royal University of Bhutan Thimphu. 2 nd National SRI Symposium, 2007. Brief background on paddy cultivation in Bhutan.
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Evaluation of the System of Rice Intensification in Bhutan
Faculty of Agriculture
College of Natural Resources
Royal University of Bhutan
2nd National SRI Symposium, 2007
Rice is cultivated in a wide range of elevations from 150 m - 2600 masl
Over 50,000 acres -- about 20,235 hectares -- are under rice cultivation in Bhutan (MoA, 2004)
Average rice productivity is about 2.88 ton/ha
No documentation of any SRI activities in Bhutan prior to 2006
In 2006, SRI evaluation trials were carried out at three locations in Eastern Bhutan.
To assess the respective responses to SRI practices of different rice varieties (cultivars) popularly grown in Bhutan.
To disseminate and promote SRI technique to community and agriculture extension workers.
To seek greater knowledge about SRI under Bhutanese conditions
Site I (Khangma)
Site II (Thragom)
Site III (Pangthang)
Methodology: Location of study sites
16 Geogs (blocks) of
RCBD with 3 replications and 5 treatments
20 x 20 cm spacing, 3-leaf stage seedling age
20 x 20 cm spacing, 4-leaf stage seedling age
30 x 30 cm spacing, 3-leaf stage seedling age
30 x 30 cm spacing, 4-leaf stage seedling age
Control (farmers’ practice), > 7 leaf stage
Plot size was 5 x 4 m2, with a total of 15 plots at each site
Granular pre-emergence herbicide Butachlor was applied @ 40 grams per 10 m2 containing 5 % Butachlor.
Urea was applied at the rate of 173.8 gm per plot, equivalent to 40 kg/ha, at 55 days after transplantation due to yellowing of the tips of leaves.
The full set of SRI’s recommended practices was not assessed – only:
(a) Seedling age (younger vs. older)
(b) Wider spacing -- plant density per hill and per square meter (m2), and
(c) Water control – reduced amounts
(d) Weeding (active soil aeration) through the use of a rotary weeder was not done; a hand hoe was used to loosen the soil.
(e) Additional organic fertilization was not applied, although cattle were tethered in the fields for about 2-3 weeks prior to ploughing the field.
The results reported here are thus for partial application of SRI methodology.
Results and Discussion
In all three sites, SRI plots on average showed better yield performance as compared to conventional method.
a cv = 9.5%
b ** = Significant at 1% level of significance
Trials have already sparked some interest among farmers as well as researchers and extension workers.
Moreover, this study would contribute to the promotion of organic farming in Bhutan.
Evaluations of SRI methods at various elevations in Bhutan are continuing.
Sharing SRI technique to agriculture students for multiplier effect.