Transforming rice production with SRI (System of Rice Intensification) knowledge and practice: Reducing agriculture foot print and ensuring food security: A book by T M Thiyagarajan and Biksham Gujja

This book by AgSri , attempts to explain the origin, principles and practices of System of Rice Intensification (SRI), a technology that aims to save water and also enhance the rice yield. The main feature of the SRI method is raising raised bed nursery, transplanting young 8-10 day old seedling with a wider spacing, maintaining water to saturation level, weeding and incorporation weeds in the soil and application of organic fertilizers.

The concepts and methods of SRI, show how to create better growing environments for rice and other plants, thereby raising the productivity of the resources -land, labour, water, seeds, and capital that is controlled by farmers.

The book is divided into 14 chapters covering the following aspects of SRI: main field preparation and transplanting; water management; nutrient management; weed management; pests and diseases in SRI; effects of SRI on soil and crop; benefits of SRI; SRI extension, adoption and constraints; and rice market.

 Drawing examples of rice cultivation from various parts of the country, the authors have elaborated the above stated issues in a comprehensive manner along with graphical representation of data collected from the field. At the end of each chapter a brief summary of the chapter is provided, which makes it a reader friendly book.

 The authors conclude by stating that SRI, though this method of cultivation was initially promoted by civil society organisations, it is now been promoted by governments in different countries. This has opened doors for research organisations to explore, refine and improvise SRI to suit local conditions. However there are debates both inside and outside policy circles that question the validity, sustainability and merits of SRI. This is done by drawing comparisons between SRI and Non-SRI methods of cultivation. Further the future prospects of research in SRI, in India are also highlighted.

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