The System of Rice Intensification (SRI) was developed in Madagascar in the 1980s and has since been tried out successfully in many countries across the world. SRI involves transplanting young single seedlings wide apart instead of the conventional method of transplanting multiple mature seedlings close together. It does not depend on continuous flooding of rice fields and only requires the fields to be wet. The emphasis of the programme is on the use of less water, seeds and chemical inputs in rice cultivation for enhanced yields.
The Natural Resource Management and Rural Livelihood portfolio of Sir Dorabji Tata and The Allied Trusts launched the first phase of SRI in 2008 in Odisha. It is now being promoted among small and marginal farmers in select districts in various states. The project is being implemented with a consortium of NGOs and has resulted in significant increase in productivity and food security in the districts covered. SRI principles are now being used to increase the yield of other crops. There are plans to explore interventions in other thematic areas as well.
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