System of Rice Intensification (SRI): Practices and Results in the Philippines
19 Pages Posted: 14 Jul 2008
Date Written: July, 14 2008
This paper traces briefly the origins of the System of Rice Intensification (SRI) in Madagascar. It then reviews the range of practices and results from field trials of SRI in the Philippines, based on the reports from groups, institutions and individuals which have tried SRI and on personal interviews with SRI practitioners and researchers. The current  average yield of SRI trials in the Philippines is about 6.4 tons/ha, 114% more than the national average of 3.0 tons/ha. Return on investment (ROI) ranges from 78% to 452%. Worldwide, yield gains from SRI have ranged from 14% in China to 209% in Gambia. Aside from increased yield gain, the SRI effect results in phenotypically distinct plants which produce 30, 50 or even 70 tillers with correspondingly vigorous root growth. The government hybrid rice program already includes some of the management practices that SRI has shown to be productive, like single seedlings and wider planting distances. This suggests that some of the reported hybrid rice yield gains are due to the SRI effect and not to changed genetic potential. The paper proposes: 1) a scientific conference on SRI; 2) more research on SRI practices; 3) nationwide verification trials; 4) widespread farm-scale trials; and 5) a review of the government rice program to include SRI in the Dept. of Agriculture budget.
Keywords: system of rice intensification, rice production, Philippines
JEL Classification: N55, O13, Q16
Suggested Citation: Suggested Citation