Tuesday, October 20, 2015

THE University of Rice Production

How small-scale farmers are growing more rice with
A radical alternative to input-dependent agriculture

SRI, the system of rice intensification, has taken agribusiness giants by surprise with its record-breaking harvests across the globe.

A hectare of land is about 2.471 acres.  
For a large part of the world's population, rice is the most widely consumed staple food.
So any increase in rice yields is a very big deal indeed.

When Indian farmer Sumant Kumar harvested a record-breaking yield of 22.4 metric tons of rice per hectare from his one acre plot, instead of his usual yield of 4 or 5 tons per hectare, it was an achievement that created international headlines in the popular press.

What made Kumar’s yields so notable, however, is that he achieved these results using less than half of the usual applications of nitrogen fertilizer, and only standard applications of phosphorous and potassium.  In fact, the yields reported by Kumar — which are backed up by higher-than-average reported yields from farmers across the globe — are being attributed to the system of rice intensification (SRI), an interrelated set of farming principles that rely on fewer seeds, less water and a partial or complete shift from inorganic fertilizers to organic manures and compost.

Over time something remarkable really was happening in fields where SRI was being practiced, and he has since dedicated his career to figuring out what that “something” is. How could farmers raise their paddy yields from 2 tons to an average of 8 tons per hectare? Without utilizing new “improved” seeds, and without buying and applying chemical fertilizers? With less water? And without providing agrochemical crop protection?

SRI also has profound socioeconomic implications, creating opportunities for some of the world’s poorest farmers — farmers who have not benefited from the shift toward mechanization and increased chemical inputs during the latter half of the 20th century:  “The most intractable problems of poverty and food insecurity are in agricultural areas where households have access only to small amounts of low-fertility land. They do not have the cash income needed to purchase the kinds of inputs that were considered essential for the Green Revolution.”

Screw the Environmentalists who stress and dictate that toxic chemicals and more machinery must be necessary to meet the needs of feeding this planet's people.
As usual, God Provides.  Libtard progressives don't appreciate that.

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