Some Agro-ecological and Institutional Aspects of the System of Rice Intensification (SRI): The Bang...
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Some Agro-ecological and Institutional Aspects of the System of Rice Intensification (SRI): The Bangladesh Case. Prof. A. M. Muazzam Husain Coordinator SRI National Network Bangladesh. Introduction :.

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Prof. A. M. Muazzam Husain Coordinator SRI National Network Bangladesh

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Some Agro-ecological and Institutional Aspects of the System of Rice Intensification (SRI): The Bangladesh Case

Prof. A. M. Muazzam Husain


SRI National Network Bangladesh

Introduction :

  • The paper discusses some agro-ecological and institutional constraints to effective application of SRI method in Bangladesh

  • Results of some SRI trials are also presented to show the impact of SRI in the country

A. Agro-ecological Constraints

  • Unfavourable soil condition: sandy soil affects irrigation mgmt, raises cost (28% of total cost in RBP area), and adversely affects yield

  • Climatic factors: rainfall and submergence of rice plots prevent irrigation control during Kharif (wet season) - no drainage is possible; thus SRI has been restricted to Rabi season so far

  • Fall in temperature: cold wave and fog during Rabi (winter) season causes cold injury to young plants resulting in stunting and seedling mortality; transplantation is often delayed, affecting yield

B. Cross-cutting factors

  • Soil nutrient depletion due to:

  • High cropping intensity (average 178%)

  • Increased demand for food results in high cropping intensity

  • Imbalanced and exclusive use of chemical fertiliser

  • Drastic fall in organic fertilizer due to replacement ofanimal draft power by power tiller

  • Rice mono-cropping in many areas means no crop rotation

  • Use of cow dung and crop residues as fuel has led to organic manure and biomass shortage

Cross Cutting Factors ……continued

- In 70% of medium-high and high land soil, organic matter has gone below critical level

  • Reluctance to Weeding

    - Farmers are habituated to keep plots flooded to reduce need for weeding

    - Weeding is considered to increase labour cost and time

    What to do:

    - As weeding helps in controlling weeds and aeration of the soil facilitates nutrient uptake, rotary weeders may be supplied that reduce time and cost, and they add biomass into the soil. Extension staff may motivate farmers and show them benefits

C. Institutional Constraints

  • Water management problems in isolated SRI plots :

    -Transplantation of SRI seedlings gets delayed for

    non-availability of water

    -Transplanting SRI seedlings with non-SRI older

    seedlings causes late flowering and seed formation

    in SRI plots

    -Lack of water adversely affects grain formation

    of SRI plants

    -Increased pest infestation and yield loss

Institutional Constraints….. Contd.

A way out :

Community/command area approach is a solution to irrigation problem - benefits documented by ActionAid experience during 2006-07 Boro season include:

  • Easier management of irrigation, fertiliser application, weeding, and pest control

  • Production cost is lower

  • Yield and profitability are higher

  • Farmers can harvest crop at same time, and

  • Demonstration effect is better

Institutional Constraints……. Contd.

  • Lack of government policy support

  • General apathy of most rice scientists at BRRI

  • Sporadic and individual level interest shown by DAE in the past – technical support now increasing

  • Lack of interest from large national NGOs

  • Several international NGOs like Oxfam GB and ActionAid are showing interest to improve food security for resource-poor households, but on limited scale and often in unfavourable areas

Results of selected SRI trials: PETRRA SP 36 02Farmer participation, acreage, yield gain, and economic returns

Comparative yields, returns and BCR of different methods in Satkhira, 2002-03*

Monitored farmers and average yield gains in Oxfam GB and ActionAid studies, 2005-06 and 2006-07

Impact of SRI in Bangladesh

  • Agronomic and economic findings of SRI trials have been positive

  • Farmers’ perceptions are also positive

  • However, trials were conducted on a small scale and on isolated plots – trials were sporadic and short-lived

  • Trials were abandoned before farmers could adopt the new method (SRI) with confidence

  • Lack of funding source and institutional support for conducting large-scale trials

  • As a result, country-wide impact has so far been modest

Concluding remarks

  • Even with an early start (1999-2000), progress and impact of SRI in Bangladesh has been modest due to various factors mentioned

  • The SRI NNB recently received some funds for promotional activities, a MOU was signed with DAE for undertaking a national SRI promotion programme, a few international NGOs are extending their support for replication of SRI, and a few other institutions including BAU plan to come forward to work on SRI

  • With these recent welcome changes, the SRI NNB hopes to help create a significant impact on adoption rate of SRI in the country in near future

Thank YOU

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