IRAQ: Water Savings, Yield, and Economic Benefits of Using SRI Methods with Deficit Irrigation in Water-Scarce Southern Iraq | SRI Global News: Nov. 2023 - Jan. 2024 ** -- System of Rice Intensification |

This study evaluated what intervals of irrigation in conjunction with the use of SRI methods could achieve the greatest economic, as well as agronomic returns when growing irrigated rice under the water-deficit conditions of southern Iraq. A field study at the Al-Mishkhab Rice Research Station in southern Iraq recorded input and output data for three different irrigation regimes: continuous submergence of the rice crop; irrigation at 3-day intervals; and irrigation at 7-day intervals. Benefit–cost analysis showed 3-day intervals with SRI methods, giving the highest net returns and highest internal rate of return, indicating that the continuous irrigation of rice fields is a waste of water, with neither agronomic nor economic benefit. In Iraq, there are large opportunity costs for any unnecessary use of irrigation water. The highest water productivity was achieved with 7-day intervals of irrigation together with SRI methods, but this entails some sacrifice of the yield ha−1, as 13% less grain is produced than with continuous submergence of the crop. With 7-day intervals compared to 3-day intervals, water-saving was 44%, but compared to continuous submergence of the crop, the water-saving was 72%. This large amount of water could, if redeployed, enable many more farmers to cultivate larger areas of the land, increasing total rice production for Iraq.