HYDERABAD: System of Rice Intensification (SRI) can save water and input costs, a recent study conducted in Narayanpet district concluded. The research was conducted by Watershed Organisation Trust (WOTR) with the support of Axis Bank Foundation.
The study assessed the significance of SRI in terms of water savings, input costs, plant growth and other social impacts.
The research also found that a number of farmers who employed SRI method saw a significant reduction in the number of pumping hours as well as number of irrigation days as compared to conventional paddy farmers.
The study report said that it is now proven that SRI can help meet the policy objectives in the Indian agricultural sector.
The study was recently published in the journal of agricultural sciences of scientific research publishing under the title 'Potential of System of Rice Intensification (SRI) to contribute to the policy objectives: Paradigm of three-tier approach in south Telangana - A case study of Narayanpet'.
"The results show that a significant amount of water was saved by SRI method - 8,586 cubic metre per hectare. Less utilisation of water and distance maintained in SRI has benefited in reducing the biotic and abiotic stress caused by snails and nutrient deprivation, respectively," the research said.
"However, It is also suggested that appropriate drainage, irrigation scheduling, water control at open sluice, and block irrigation are some of the areas that must be modified to the best of the farmers’ ability to maximise the benefit of both types of paddy cultivation," it added.
The total yield from SRI method was found to be 22 per cent more than conventional method, expenditure was found to be 13 per cent less. It was found to increase SRI farmers' net income by nearly 69 per cent as compared to the conventional paddy farmers.
The SRI method also requires a a lower labour deployment - eight persons per hectare. The conventional method requires 16 persons per hectare, at a cost of Rs 250 per person a day, the study found.
WHAT IS SRI?
SRI is a modified way of cultivating paddy, although the fundamental practices remain more or less the same. It is a combination of several practices that include changes in nursery management, time of transplantation, nutrient, water and weed management. It alters certain agronomic practices
According to a baseline survey in which 6,800 farmer households participated from 2018 to 2021, only 1,519 (22.3 percent) had access to borewells and could cultivate in off-season. The rain-fed households had to migrate to work various types of daily wages jobs