Incorporating SRI extension into environmental pledges will enable governments to achieve goals aligned with those required to mitigate global warming, such as the Methane Pledge from COP 26 or the Sharm el-Sheikh Adaptation Agenda from COP 27, alongside several other socioeconomic and environmental benefits.
Targets should be specific and unconditional.
Currently 11 countries include SRI as either a mitigation or adaptation action in their NDCs.
The Government of Bangladesh plans to upscale AWD to 150,000ha of dry season rice fields, and reduce nitrous oxide emissions from fertilisers on 836,000ha crop land.
Both mitigation actions can be achieved through upscaling SRI.
A lack of investment into and provision of equipment to ease the uptake of SRI is a limiting factor to SRI dissemination in many countries. Actions to increase equipment availability are listed below.
SRI practices require less water than conventional practices but improving irrigation will further increase water use efficiency.
to be able to deliver smaller amounts of water more reliably through small-scale irrigation systems.
to coordinate delivery of smaller amounts of water more reliably – government policy, training, programs to develop this ‘software’.
Training is an essential element for SRI to empower farmers to fully understand SRI principles and provide them with the confidence to adapt and adjust as necessary.
this can be carried out through farmer field schools or other organisations.
particularly videos and durable materials. These should be developed with farmers, not just for farmers.
preparation and distribution of materials like t-shirts and baseball caps for trainers.
Extension services typically act as a bridge between research and farmers. Investment in extension services is invaluable to upscaling SRI. By disseminating technical knowledge from extension workers to farmers, the speed of spread of new technologies increased and supported farmers in the conversion from conventional practices.
Establish policy that agricultural extension services will promote SRI use where appropriate
Provide training to agricultural extension agents to properly extend SRI knowledge and practice
Cooperate with NGO and private sector programs extending SRI – may need policy guidance
In addition to harmful emissions, the addition of synthetic inputs to soil has damaging effects on soil health and fertility by causing long-term changes to soil pH, and creating a buildup of chemicals, while disrupting the soil biota.
so that ‘playing field’ is levelled; this has direct positive implications for reducing GHG emission
these need not be permanent, but can serve to build up demand based on evident impacts on yield and soil health
on composting and mulching – what varieties, methods, etc. are best for producing biomass that can be used for these purposes
Increasing private sector participation in marketing of SRI-grown rice will encourage SRI adoption through raising awareness and access to markets for farmers, and ensuring better remuneration.
which can be based upon the practices and principles outlined on this website. Region-specific adaptations will be necessary to produce the best results in different topographies and climates.
so it can be properly remunerated. It is repeatedly reported that SRI has superior qualities that are not remunerated if SRI supply is mixed into undifferentiated stocks - this also can open up opportunities for remunerative export marketing.
Payments for Ecosystem Services (PES) are an economic mechanism to incentivise a transition to more environmental production systems. However, it is important to accurately estimate the opportunity cost of PES schemes, and to use evidence-based evaluation of the ecosystem services flow to ensure sustainability. Carbon markets are a form of PES scheme, where private partners pay farmers for reductions in GHG emissions resulting from implementation of SRI practices.
Conduct GHG emission measurements using local universities or research centres. Different regions and practices result in varying GHG mitigation potentials.
including reliable system for carbon credit compensation.
These are common methods for promotion of agricultural innovations. Credit is less relevant for SRI because this innovation is not input-dependent and reduces costs of production, with less seed required and less or no inorganic fertiliser. Credit systems require both cost and personnel to administer and often have undesirable leakage. Some smallholder farmers may require subsidy support in order to acquire inputs for SRI, such as mechanical weeders or small-scale irrigation pumps.
Weeders, manual or motorised, do not need to be individually owned but can be purchased by groups of 5-6 farmers. Since weeders by themselves raise paddy yield, they more than pay for themselves in one season. A hire-purchase or down-payment system can be set up where private sellers conditionally sell weeders to farmers for, say, 20% of the price, with ownership passing to the individual or group buyers upon payment of the balance remaining (possibly incorporated interest for 3-4 months) at the end of the season, after harvest. This would be more efficient than a conventional credit scheme.
Rather than a conventional insurance scheme, a simple program ‘insuring against loss’ could be established, where farmers willing to try SRI methods are assured (insured) that if their yields do not improve with SRI methods, they will be reimbursed for the value of any shortfall in harvest.
The prior level of production, best averaged over the preceding three years, would be registered in advance. Clear requirements for getting training would be specified, including a form in which farmers record dates (and relevant yields), to assure that SRI methods are learned and used (trainers or extension agents might have to sign off or co-sign on certain items.) Harvest results should be certified, verified by neighbours or extension agents, as part of the promotion program. When a farmer’s yield falls below the pre-specified former yield, there would be compensation.
SRI experience is that farmers almost invariably have increased yield (with lower costs), so there should be little or no financial cost to the government, only planning and establishing SRI policies, and operating a coherent ‘insurance’ program. There should be some provision in the agreement that this does not cover pest or climate damage, which would affect all farmers and not be attributable to their using SRI methods. Usually, use of these methods will indeed mitigate or buffer losses due to stress from climate and/or pests.
NGOs, the Private Sector and Civil Society can be encouraged promote and support SRI.
Corporate social responsibility (CSR), also known as 'corporate citizenship', is a self-regulating business model that helps a company improve their accountability and awareness of the impact they have on society - including their environmental, economic and social impacts.
Make clear to civil society generally (NGOs, local governments, service clubs, churches, etc.) that SRI promotion will facilitate achieving national goals (including NDCs) as well as help their beneficiaries and members.