From ‘Miracle’ Rice Plants to Technology Hybridization: My SRI Journey


Rajendra Uprety

Executive Director, AgriGreen Nepal, Morang, Nepal.
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Volume 15(Special Issue), 2022   ;    Click here for Pdf


This paper is prepared based on the author’s experiences in working with SRI ideas and methods in diverse agroecological and socioeconomic contexts in Nepal and abroad. I have found that rice farmers used diverse field management strategies to incorporate SRI into their farming systems. Some farmers used all of the SRI practices introduced during their training, i.e., young seedlings, single seedlings, wider spacing, alternate wetting and drying irrigation, mechanical weeding, and the use of compost. However, the majority modified their methods to be appropriate for their farming situation. Farmers used younger seedlings in areas where irrigation was reliable and drainage facility was better. The use of mechanical weeding was very effective for higher yield; however, its effectiveness and productivity were not the same everywhere. Similarly, many farmers did not follow the advice to use compost (alone, or with fertilizer). It was interesting to note that the poorly-producing farmers were using more fertilizer than required. By contrast, the farmers who attended the SRI training have reduced their fertilizer use. In short, the introduction of SRI methods influenced the traditional rice farming system, but not in a uniform way. After years of experience, the majority of farmers adjusted these practices to fit their personal farming situation. Most farmers who changed their rice farming system were following neither SRI nor traditional practice, but rather a hybrid of methods, and they developed a hybrid system that is more feasible and productive in Nepal.