Success Story 3: System of Rice Intensification (SRI)
Extensive studies on SRI across AICRIP centers proved that considerable amount of water (upto 36%) can be saved and there is marginal increase in grain yield (upto 15%) under SRI method compared to normal transplanting.
Most of the varieties tested varieties performed better under SRI with upto 40% more yield over conventional rice. This proved that SRI is genotype specific. The hybrids performed better under SRI, over early, medium and late duration varieties.
Cost of cultivation was drastically reduced with hybrids in SRI method there by assisting in spread of hybrids in North east areas. An area of more than 10 lakh ha was covered with SRI cultivation especially in Bihar, Tamil Nadu, Tripura and Andhra Pradesh and gaining momentum in other states also.
By taking into account all the factors that determine the adoption of SRI such as proper locations, soil conditions, water control facilities etc., it may be possible to cover about 10% total rice area i.e., about 4.0 million ha which can bring about tremendous benefits for the country. There could be enormous saving in seed as we require only 5 kg seed per hectare as compared to 25 kg/ha in the traditional system, saving 80,000 tonnes of seeds annually which means saving of `. 200 crores per season. Additional yield of 1.0 – 1.5 t/ha will add another 4 – 6 million tonnes of rice to our food basket and meet the challenges of enhancing the rice production. The system also helps us to save about 30% water which is equivalent to 2200 million m3. Besides, soil health improvement which would be a biggest bonus in adopting SRI.