Selected News from SRI-Rice: March 2019 **sririce.org
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TAJIKISTAN: System for Rice Intensification: Enhancing food security and increasing income for smallholder farmers in Tajikistan

Oxfam has launched an ambitious System for Crop Intensification (SCI) programme in Tajikistan with a view to transforming crop productivity and the food security landscape in the country. Oxfam has launched an ambitious System for Crop Intensification (SCI) programme in Tajikistan with a view to transforming crop productivity and the food security landscape in the country. Within the broader framework of SCI, a field trial of System for Rice Intensification (SRI) was carried out in Khatlon region in the summer cropping season of 2018. Preliminary results from the limited trial show an increase in rice productivity of up to 60% using standard SRI methodology (compared with traditional methods). Furthermore, there was a dramatic reduction in the use of seeds, fertilizers and water, which led to a significant cutback in the cost of rice cultivation for farmers.

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NEPAL: Earth Day 2019 – Growing Rice with Far Less Water and Chemicals

NEPAL: Earth Day 2019 – Growing Rice with Far Less Water and Chemicals | Selected News from SRI-Rice: March 2019 **sririce.org | Scoop.it

Kathmandu, Nepal, April 13, 2019: While climatologists, health experts and others believe a more diverse food supply is preferable, rice will remain a staple for years to come.

Efforts can focus on growing rice in way that puts much less stress on natural systems. Since so much of this staple is grown by family farmers, that's a good place to start. That's exactly what's happening in Nepal with the System of Rice Intensification (SRI). The result is faster and greater yields with far less water and minimal if any chemical fertilizers and pesticides. This means lower costs—and higher profit--for family farmers. For example, in Nepal farmer Mana Maya Samal has experimented with SRI on her 360 sq. 

SRI-Rice's insight:

These farmers are assisted by World Neighbors, a development group with a focus on female-led projects that use sustainable techniques.  Please contact the author at  202 554-5796 to interview World Neighbors staff.

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MAHARASHTRA, INDIA: RBL CSR - System of Rice Intensification (SRI) Project Video

System of Rice Intensification Project Project in Sindhudurg district, Maharashtra, India. Supported by RBL Bank and implemented by Dilasa Janvikas Pratishthan, Aurangabad.

23,000 farmers have been reached with the SRI project.

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SRI-Africa.net -- The SRI Network and Resource Site for Africa!

SRI-Africa.net -- The SRI Network and Resource Site for Africa! | Selected News from SRI-Rice: March 2019 **sririce.org | Scoop.it

The SRI-Africa website is the home of the new System of Rice Intensification (SRI)  Resource Center for Africa, which is in the early stages of forming a regional network for SRI in Africa. Check out their new pages and also the SRI-Africa Research Database! SRI-Africa is headed by Dr. Bancy Mati at Jomo Kenyatta University of Agriculture and Technology in Kenya.

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PANAY, PHILIPPINES: ZIDOFA’s Organic SRI Rice Operation in Panay Philippines

Joby Arandela describes the organic rice processing procedure used by the ZIDOFA group in Panay, Philippines. The rice is grown using System of Rice Intensification. ZIDOFA is associated with the national SRI group SRI-Pilipinas.

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KENYA: Integrating Mechanical Weeding and Planting for Reduced Labour Input in Paddy Rice under System of Rice Intensification (SRI)

KENYA: Integrating Mechanical Weeding and Planting for Reduced Labour Input in Paddy Rice under System of Rice Intensification (SRI) | Selected News from SRI-Rice: March 2019 **sririce.org | Scoop.it

The most notable [SRI benefits] are savings on water use and increase in yield. Alternate Wetting and Drying (AWD) has also paved way for mechanical weed control in paddy fields. One of the major constraints to adoption of SRI is the perceived increased labour input due to the careful transplanting and frequent weed control. This paper evaluates the effect of mechanization on labour input in SRI in comparison to the less mechanized farmer practice. In attempt to reduce drudgery in transplanting under SRI, the drum seeder was used to establish the rice crop by direct seeding. This was then followed by using SRI practices i.e. AWD and mechanical weeding. Direct seeding using a drum seeder was compared to transplanting in both SRI and the common farmer practice. Hand weeding was also evaluated and compared to mechanical weeding. Labour input cost was also compared to the income accrued from the yields. From the study, it was noted that direct seeding using the drum seeder reduced labour input by 97% compared to transplanting. This was possible in that in direct seeding, and there was no nursery preparation and management as in transplanting. The use of a mechanical weeder reduced labour input by 28.3% in relation to hand weeding. Labour input cost for SRI was cheaper (Kshs. 124,080 per hectare) compared to the common farmer practice (Kshs. 139,117.50 per hectare). There was more yield from the SRI practice (2.75 Ton/ha) compared to the common farmer practice (1.88 Ton/ha).

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WEST BENGAL, INDIA: Thrive by Ambuja Cement Foundation: Filling India's Rice Bowls

WEST BENGAL, INDIA: Thrive by Ambuja Cement Foundation: Filling India's Rice Bowls | Selected News from SRI-Rice: March 2019 **sririce.org | Scoop.it

...Starting small in Sankrail in 2009 with just 10 farmers, ACF began to teach a different way to till and tend the land. System of Rice Intensification (SRI) helps farmers reduce agri-inputs, lower costs, reduce pests and disease, cut water use and methane emissions. Most importantly - to increase yields by 20-25%. One such farmer was Asit Kanji. Despite coming from a farming background he worked at a local jute mill to make ends meet. But in 2009, he retired and turned back to farming. With Ambuja Cement Foundation's (ACF) SRI support, his income doubled.
Since inception, ACF's SRI initiative has increased outreach from 174 farmers in 2009 to over 10,000 farmers in 2019. And farmer profits have increased 30%.

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NORTH KOREA: Agriculture Consultant Employment in Democratic People's Republic of Korea

NORTH KOREA: Agriculture Consultant Employment in Democratic People's Republic of Korea | Selected News from SRI-Rice: March 2019 **sririce.org | Scoop.it

EMPLOYMENT OPPORTUNITY (includes SRI):
DPRK Agriculture Consultant 
Deadline to apply April 23, 2019
Project Duration: July 2018 to Dec. 2019
Project Objective: Improve the quality of life for rural populations in North Hwanghae Province, North Korea, through improved food security/health.
Consultancy Purpose: To provide agricultural technical input to Mission East’s food security activities in Singye County, North Hwanghae, DPRK.

Consultancy Objectives:
• Support Mission East’s planning for the project’s food security activities
• Discuss new farming methods and agree on activity plans with farm management, technicians and other stakeholders.
• Train farm managers and workers on Conservation Agriculture (CA) and System of Rice Intensification (SRI) and support demo plots establishment
• Plan and design agroforestry sites with farm management and oversee plant procurement
• Coordinate with other food security actors in DPRK

SRI-Rice's insight:

More info: https://uncareer.net/vacancy/agriculture-consultant-224026

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SOUTH KOREA: Greenhouse Gas Reduction from Paddy by Environmentally-Friendly Intermittent Irrigation: A Review

SOUTH KOREA: Greenhouse Gas Reduction from Paddy by Environmentally-Friendly Intermittent Irrigation: A Review | Selected News from SRI-Rice: March 2019 **sririce.org | Scoop.it

Irrigated and flooded rice paddy contributes to the greenhouse gas emissions (GHG) that affect climate. This in turn affects the supply and reliability of the water needed for rice production. This dynamic makes current rice production methods foreseeably less sustainable over time while having other undesirable effects. Intermittent irrigation by a means of the system of rice intensification (SRI) and alternate wetting and drying (AWD) methods was reviewed to reduce global warming potential (GWP) from 29% to 90% depending on site-specific characteristics from flooded rice paddy and analyzed to be a promising option for enhancing the productivity of water as well, an increasingly constraining resource. Additional benefits associated with the SRI/AWD can be less arsenic in the grain and less degradation of water quality in the run-off from rice paddies. Adoption and expansion of intermittent irrigation of SRI/AWD may require costly public and private investments in irrigation infrastructure and upgrading of water management agencies.Private and public collaboration as a means of earning carbon credit under the clean-development mechanism (CDM) with SRI/AWD for industries can meet GHG emission quota as well as help to achieve UN sustainable development goals (SDGs).

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World Economic Forum video: "Up to 21 million farmers in 61 countries use the method"

World Economic Forum video: "Up to 21 million farmers in 61 countries use the method" | Selected News from SRI-Rice: March 2019 **sririce.org | Scoop.it

February 11, 2019: This video shown at the World Economic Forum in Davos beings with "This sustainable way of growing rice produces bumper harvests.." See what you can learn about the System of Rice Intensification (SRI) in less than one-and-a-half minutes!

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MYANMAR: Minoru-Keiwa Myanmar donates rice transplanting, seed cleaning machines to DAR

MYANMAR: Minoru-Keiwa Myanmar donates rice transplanting, seed cleaning machines to DAR | Selected News from SRI-Rice: March 2019 **sririce.org | Scoop.it

A demonstration of rice planting machines, and the donation of rice transplanting and seed cleaning machines to the Department of Agriculture Research (DAR), was held at the DAR research field in Nay Pyi Taw yesterday.
At the event, Union Minister for Agriculture, Livestock and Irrigation Dr. Aung Thu witnessed a demonstration of the seed cleaning machine, the leveling of farm land with machinery, and the planting of rice using SRI (System of Rice Intensification) system with Minoru RX61 rice transplanting machine. (It) creates six planting rows, and the distance between rice seedlings can be adjusted from 6 to 12 inches and can carry 23 seedling trays containing 448 seedlings.

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VENEZUELA:  Sistema Intensivo de Cultivo de Arroz (SRI) - Experiencia Venezuela

"El Sistema Intensivo de Cultivo de Arroz (SRI) - Experiencia Venezuela," a PowerPoint by Betsaida Soublette (National Institute of Agricultural Research - INIA) presented at the webinar Sistema Intensivo de Cultivo de Arroz (SRI) - Experiencia Venezuela, February 15, 2019. The area is located in an irrigation scheme in Guárico, Venezuela. (see more info)

SRI-Rice's insight:

On February 15, 2019, the Inter-American Institute for Cooperation on Agriculture (IICA) organized a webinar to bring together those working on SRI in Venezuela over the past several years. The event covered National Institute of Agricultural Research (INIA), Nestlé, and DANAC Foundation SRI trials in the states of Guárico and Portuguesa. (This ppt includes primarily info from Guárico).

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MALAYSIA: Local farmers, local food: A gathering of passionate natural farming advocates in Malaysia

MALAYSIA: Local farmers, local food: A gathering of passionate natural farming advocates in Malaysia | Selected News from SRI-Rice: March 2019 **sririce.org | Scoop.it

February 15, 2019, marked the first Local Farmers, Local Food (LFLF) gathering ever held in Malaysia. This one-of-a-kind event is a gathering of farmers, education professionals, doctors, indigenous peoples, and activists representing eleven of the country’s fourteen states, as well as an international body of volunteers. It was hosted by Sri Lovely, the first and only certified organic rice farm in all of Malaysia, tucked away in the jungle of Kedah, (jelapang padi—Malaysia’s “rice bowl”) and the first Slow Food Community in Malaysia and South East Asia. Captain Zakaria Kamantasha—the CEO of Sri Lovely— has a mantra “if you do good, you get good back”. This mentality seeps into his farming practice in the System of Rice Intensification (SRI) method, a more sustainable way of rice production, and his involvement in starting the first Slow Food Community in Malaysia. 

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PAKISTAN: Rice: time to adopt SRI

PAKISTAN: Rice: time to adopt SRI | Selected News from SRI-Rice: March 2019 **sririce.org | Scoop.it

Pakistan’s rice is a highly export centric commodity, with an average 60 percent of total domestic production going towards export. Over the past three decades, focus of large-scale farming in the country has shifted increasingly towards paddy crop, with output recording consistent gains at an average of 2.16 percent per annum during the period.

Yet, compared to other major rice exporting countries, Pakistan’s yield per hectare has inched forward very slowly at 1.66 percent per annum, and currently stands at an average of 2,500 kilos per hectare. In contrast, yield per hectare stands at over seven thousand in China, six in Vietnam, and four thousand in India.
Since early 1990s, many countries have adopted System of Rice Intensification practices (SRI) that help increase productivity of land and water. Compared to other nations, Pakistan continues to rely on flood irrigation for paddy farming, which has often labelled ‘virtual water export’ due to high water footprint of the paddy crop.

SRI techniques are neither capital intensive nor require significant investment in modernizing farm infrastructure, including canal to farmgate infrastructure which has become the most complaint of local farming community. The techniques are however more labour intensive as single seedling plantation and other practices require much greater care during and post sowing period.

SRI techniques have helped increased yields by 50 to 100 percent, according to one World Bank report, with greatest success in South Asian countries such as China, Indonesia, and Vietnam. The practices have also become equally popular in neighbouring India. And it is the SRI experience of Pakistan’s forever frenemy that carries most lessons for us.

The success of SRI in India came on the back of wide-scale marketing and public awareness campaign undertaken by public and private sector organizations. Newspapers and TVCs accorded significant and disproportionate share to awareness campaign adverts, with private sector rice milling and exporting associations picking tab for funding.

Given SRI success not only in canal irrigated but also rain-fed regions around the world, it presents an obvious opportunity for Pakistani rice farmers to increase yield at a time of water scarcity, given its significant low-cost potential.

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LIBERIA: “Love Liberian Rice” Campaign Launched

LIBERIA: “Love Liberian Rice” Campaign Launched | Selected News from SRI-Rice: March 2019 **sririce.org | Scoop.it

The Community of Hope Agriculture Project (CHAP) in collaboration with authorities at the Ministry of Agriculture (MoA), recently launched the “Love Liberian Rice Campaign,” which aims at improving food security in the country through rice production, processing and marketing. Montserrado District #2 Representative, Jimmy Smith, who launched the campaign on behalf of the Vice President Jewel Howard-Taylor called on all Liberians to support the process and promised to purchase 200 bags of the rice produced by CHAP to promote the campaign. Paynesville City Mayor, Palm Belcher-Taylor, pledged L$85,000 in support of the Campaign as well.

CHAP Executive Director, Robert Bimba said that the initiative aims at soliciting a volunteer contribution of US$1 from each individual, mainly those that are engaged in agriculture activities, to purchase farming implements to empower smallholders’ farmers. Bimba said about 5,000 smallholder farmers, mainly women, are expected to benefit from seed rice under the program this year beginning with farmers in Bomi County. CHAP has taught the farmers with improved technology in the “System of Rice Intensification” to increase the production of rice.

SRI-Rice's insight:

CHAP has a new website!! You can read more about the Community of Hope Agriculture Project (CHAP) here: http://www.chapliberia.org/

 

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INDIA: World Water Day 2019: Positive Water Actions by Farmers, Governments

INDIA: World Water Day 2019: Positive Water Actions by Farmers, Governments | Selected News from SRI-Rice: March 2019 **sririce.org | Scoop.it

Tamil Nadu The SRI methodology is gaining popularity in Trichy district as the agriculture department has resolved to implement the technique on 87,500 acres out of 1.25 lakh acres where samba crop cultivation usually takes place.

At the same time, the agriculture department has nominated a dedicated assistant agriculture officer in each for 84 revenue villages, under the ‘Whole village’ scheme, to switch the cultivation method to SRI from traditional methods.

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VENEZUELA: AgroEnlace - Transmisión en vivo | System of Rice Intensification (SRI)

VENEZUELA: AgroEnlace - Transmisión en vivo | System of Rice Intensification (SRI) | Selected News from SRI-Rice: March 2019 **sririce.org | Scoop.it

Upcoming Radio show on SRI in Venezuela: En Venezuela, una sequía de casi tres años afectó una de sus principales zonas arroceras: Calabozo, en el estado Guárico. Esto, aunado a la escasez de semilla y otros insumos, condujo a una fuerte caída de la producción.

Para enfrentar la situación los sectores público y privado, con el liderazgo técnico del IICA, retoman ensayos y validaciones en campo del SRI, un sistema de cultivo altamente productivo y rentable, agroecológico y climáticamente inteligente. Una experiencia que nos cuentan sus protagonistas.

SRI-Rice's insight:

(To be presented April 17 on the biweekly AgroEnlace radio show that encourages the participation of small and medium agribusiness in national and international markets.)
In Venezuela, a 3-year drought affected a main rice area: Calabozo, in the Guárico state. This, coupled with the shortage of seeds and other inputs, led to a sharp drop in production.To deal with this, the public and private sectors, with the technical leadership of IICA, tested the System of Rice Intensification (SRI)  as a highly productive and profitable, agroecological and climate-smart farming system.

 (See related PowerPoint)

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MANIPUR, INDIA: Maxim: Maximum - Tata Trusts Horizons Magazine

MANIPUR, INDIA: Maxim: Maximum - Tata Trusts Horizons Magazine | Selected News from SRI-Rice: March 2019 **sririce.org | Scoop.it

"I did not sleep the night after planting the seeds,” Mr Ibotomba says, “and only fitfully in that first week. I was plagued by worry. What if it did not work, what if the rice died on me? This continued for a month, until the seeds began flowering. When harvesting time came I was over the moon: my output had increased by more than 50%.”  He should never have agonised so much as he had joined the ‘System of Rice Intensification’ (SRI) programme being supported by the Tata Trusts in Manipur and there was plenty of evidence that those swearing by its tenets would reap serious benefits. But Mr Ibotomba had to see before he believed. The SRI initiative, which has in its fold 4,580 farmers from 41 villages in five districts of the state, is primarily aimed at offering food and nutritional security for households with meagre resources.

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SOUTH SUMATERA, INDONESIA: Petani Organik Panen Raya

SOUTH SUMATERA, INDONESIA: Petani Organik Panen Raya | Selected News from SRI-Rice: March 2019 **sririce.org | Scoop.it

Petani organik Binaan PT Medco E&P Indonesia di Desa SP 8 Trijaya, Kecamatan BTS Ulu, Kabupaten Musi Rawas melaksanakan panen raya padi organik, Kamis(21/03). Panen raya tersebut dihadiri Wakil Bupati Musi Rawas Hj Suwarti.

Lahan padi organik yang dipanen di lokasi ini seluas 2,3 ha dengan jenis padi ciliwung, sentanur, merah dan hitam.Hasil panen raya pertanian organik dinilai lebih produktif dibandingkan sistem non organik. Sriyadi, Pemilik Lahan sawah mengatakan sebelum menggunakan Budidaya Padi Organik System Rice Intensification (SRI) Organik, lahan padinya hanya menghasilkan 3,5 tons/hektare dan setelah menggunakan SRI Organik, lahan padinya bisa menghasilkan 7 hingga 8 ton /hektare serta menghasilkan kualitas beras yang bagus.

SRI-Rice's insight:

Organic Farmers guided by PT Medco E & P Indonesia in SP 8 Trijaya Village, Ulu BTS Subdistrict, Musi Rawas Regency, held an organic rice harvest festival on Thursday (03/21). The harvest was attended by Deputy Regent of Musi Rawas Hj Suwarti. The organic rice fields harvested ciliwung, sentanur, red and black rice varieties.  Sriyadi, a producer, said before using Organic System Rice Intensification (SRI), the paddy field only produced 3.5 tons/hectare; after using SRI Organic, the yield was 7 to 8 tons/hectare of good quality rice.

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CHHATTISGARH, INDIA: Systematic Rice Intensification Process and Impact ACF

Systematic Rice Intensification Process and Impact by Ambuja Cement Foundation Chhatisgarh While not in English, you can follow along with all the activities from seed preparation to harvest!

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INDONESIA: Penerapan Algoritma Genetika Untuk Optimasi Pengelolaan Air Lahan Padi Sawah Rendah Emisi Gas Metana (CH4)

Conventional paddy field with continuous flooding irrigation produces a lot of greenhouse gases (GHG) emissions, especially methane gas (CH4). Effective water management is important to reduce methane gas emissions from paddy fields. This study aimed to determine optimum water level and soil moisture in each plant growth stage by genetic algorithms (GA) with system of rice intensification (SRI) practices. Research was conducted with three irrigation regimes i.e, continuous flooding regime (FR), moderate regime (MR), and dry regime (DR). Observation data were used to simulate the optimum water level and soil moisture. Based on the optimum water level scenario of the GA model, methane gas emissions could reduce 63.54% and optimum soil moisture can reduce methane gas emission up to 58.12%.
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CANADA: How to fight climate change in agriculture while protecting jobs

CANADA: How to fight climate change in agriculture while protecting jobs | Selected News from SRI-Rice: March 2019 **sririce.org | Scoop.it

In agriculture, climate action usually involves one of two approaches: sustainable intensification to increase agricultural yield while maintaining the ecosystem integrity or agroecological farming to restore agriculture’s ecosystem services. Agroecology includes a mix of social, economic and environmental goals.

Case studies confirm the optimism that the adoption of agroecological principles and practices would feed the growing population in socially, morally and environmentally responsible ways. There are overlaps between sustainable agriculture and agroecology, including climate smart agriculture, conservation agriculture, biodynamic agriculture, organic agriculture and permaculture. One example of the overlap is the “System of Rice Intensification,” which increases yield with lower inputs and lesser environmental damage. Seedlings are planted further apart to allow for robust growth that reduces seed, fertilizer and agrochemical use, and controlled irrigation — instead of conventional flooding — increases water use efficiency and decreases methane emissions.

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CENTRAL & WEST ASIA: Rice production training to focus on the System of Rice Intensification

CENTRAL & WEST ASIA: Rice production training to focus on the System of Rice Intensification | Selected News from SRI-Rice: March 2019 **sririce.org | Scoop.it

A three-day training in Iran on the System of Rice Intensification (SRI) is being sponsored in May/June by the Central & Western Asia Rice Center (CWARice). The primary trainers will come from Iraq and Iran. The event is intended for rice scientists, rice experts/practitioners and professional rice growers.

SRI-Rice's insight:

This is the first international SRI training that we know of in this part of the world!

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KENYA: New rice method increases yields

KENYA: New rice method increases yields | Selected News from SRI-Rice: March 2019 **sririce.org | Scoop.it

As Monica Awino spreads her rice in the sun to dry at her Nyang’ande home in Nyando, she expects a windfall. For over two decades, Ms Awino toiled and prayed for a better harvest in vain.

The past two seasons have seen her prayers shift from better harvest to reliable market, courtesy of a new technology dubbed system for rice intensification (SRI). The system, borrowed from Mwea Irrigation Scheme, involves intensive utilisation of water, where farmers have equal access to the limited commodity for a particular number of days, then they give it to other farmers, and the cycle continues. This has seen the likes of Awino embrace team work right from land preparation, planting, harvesting and marketing.

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LAOS: ProNet 21 SRI project in Laos

 Photos of SRI activity in Luangprabang Province, Laos. The System of Rice Intensification (SRI) project was undertaken by the NPO ProNet 21 together the Government (PAFO and DAFO) during 2006-2018. The project was funded by through JICA.

SRI-Rice's insight:

An overview of this successful project, is available from here:

http://sri.cals.cornell.edu/countries/laos/index.html#2019

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