System of Rice Intensification National Network Bangladesh (SRINNB) Enhancement of Food Security and Climate Resilient Livelihood Opportunities for the Farming Community in Bangladesh – An Exploratory Study Report
Gopal Chowhan¹ and Muazzam Husain AM²
1 Member, Executive Committee, SRI NNB
2 Coordinator, SRI NNB and Chairman, Bangladesh Rice Foundation
Corresponding author email: firstname.lastname@example.org
The System of Rice Intensification (SRI) was initiated in Bangladesh in 1999-2000 when the government’s Department of Agricultural Extension (DAE) and CARE-Bangladesh introduced SRI to a few groups of farmers in Kishoregonj. The average SRI yields in that first Boro season were 6.5-7.5 t/ha, which was around 20% higher than farmer practice. The SRI movement started in 2000 after Prof. Norman Uphoff visited Dhaka and spoke on the benefits of SRI to representatives of agricultural-related organisations and NGOs in the BRAC Head Office. The objectives of SRI NNB are to enhance crop intensification, production, and income for the farmers. The crop intensification initiative of SRI NNB followed the farmer participatory action (PAR) research approach for involving the farmers in undertaking field experiments, observation, analysis, and adoption processes to increase farm productivity and income. Though SRI practice was initiated about two decades ago in Bangladesh, it didn’t expand much throughout the country. The farmer-to-farmer extension took place in localized proximity. Institutional management support and resource allocation are considered to be inevitable to expand the benefit of SRI among the farmers. It is expected that farmers might exercise the SRI principles in other crops as well. The recent emerging impact of climate change is to be addressed together with SRI practice and appropriate climate smart technologies in Bangladesh to improve food security of the poor and marginal farmers.