Reported By: Mr. Yasir Qureshi, Sr. Manager – Programmes, Kashmir
Edited By: Communications Team
Kashmir: IGSSS team in Kashmir has been proactively promoting the System of Rice Intensification (SRI) methodology through various capacity building programmes and on – field demonstrations. Riyaz Bhat of village Ankholla in Bandipora district was among the first to adopt the System of Rice Intensification (SRI). He has cultivated paddy in two kanals as per the SRI methodology and his plot is being promoted as a demonstration site for other farmers in the area.
This plot is one of its kind in Sumbal block and as per Riyaz Ahmad, many farmers from the neighbouring villages keep visiting his plot with a number of questions. Enthused over the response from other farmers, he feels that he has achieved a distinction by trying out the innovation. Riyaz says that he had never thought of cultivating paddy with such little water and a young single seedling transplantation. He further shared, “adaptation of SRI is so easy and it is a convenient method of rice cultivation as compared to the traditional method. Preparing seedlings on raised beds and transplanting young seedlings of 14 to 16 days in square planting with single seedling was a new concept and innovation for me and other farmers.” He added that, “adaptation of SRI on my land has seen very encouraging results especially as there was less seed and water requirement, good growth and vigor of seedling in minimum time and maximum use of organic fertilizers. SRI adaptation provided an opportunity for me and neighbouring farmers to learn by doing, by being involved in field activities and discussion.”
This practice is very unusual to the traditional farmers in Kashmir who cannot imagine paddy cultivation in this manner. Riyaz spends a considerable time at his plot for its upkeep and to answer the many farmers who keep visiting his plot. He understands that if this demonstration is successful, many farmers will switch over to SRI. It is worth mentioning here that the agriculture department and the university had tried their best to get the farmers to adopt the SRI methodology, but had not met with any success.
The System of Rice Intensification (SRI) is a methodology aimed at increasing the yield of rice. It is a low water method that uses younger seedlings, singly spaced and typically hand weeded with special tools. It was developed in 1983 by the French Jesuit Father Henri de Laulanié in Madagascar. As per various studies in India, the system of rice intensification (SRI) method has helped increase yields by over 30% — four to five tonnes per hectare instead of three tonnes per hectare, while using 40% less water than the conventional methods.
IGSSS will keep promotion of SRI a key focus area in the target villages of Baramulla and Bandipora.