SRI (System of Rice Intensification) basic idea is to help farmer increase productivity of irrigated rice by changing the management of plants, soil, water and nutrients. This method of paddy cultivation first introduced in Madagascar in 1980.


System of Rice Intensification (SRI) is a cultivation technique which optimizes the growth of rice under a changing climate. Bac Kan Province, Vietnam. Photo: Maxwell Mkondiwa.

It has ever since steadily spread worldwide – with thousands of farmers in India, Sri Lanka, Indonesia, Thailand, Vietnam, Cambodia, China and the Philippines have adopted the method.

Unfortunately Malaysian farmers have been slow or yet to adopt this method. What are the benefits of SRI? The benefits of SRI, which have been demonstrated in over 40 countries (see map).

They include:

  • Raise rice production more than 50%
  • Less seed requirement – up to 90%
  • Less irrigation – use less than 25-50% of water
  • Dependence on agrochemical
  • Cost of production reduce up to 20%
  • No need new varieties of seeds
  • Raise net income/ha 50-100 percent more
  • Favorable environmental impact

SRI principals and practices have been adapted for rainfed rice as well as for other crops such as wheat, sugarcane and teff, among others, with yield increases and associated economic benefits. For more information, visit the Africare/Oxfam/WWF report.

Cornell University provides excellent information on SRI [Cornell SRI Online] and you can download this [Cornell SRI country Report 2010-2011].