Published May 30, 2024 | Version v1
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  • 1. Office of the Regional Technical Director for Research and Regulatory, Department of Agriculture Regional Field Office 3.
  • 2. Research Division Office, Department of Agriculture Regional Field Office 3.
  • 3. Research Station for Upland Development, Department of Agriculture Regional Field Office 3.



Rice (Oryza sativa L.) stands as the primary staple food for over half of the global population. Projections indicated that by 2025, global rice production would need to increase by approximately 60% to meet rising food demands (Fageria, 2007). Irrigated rice cultivation, which consumes the largest share of water among agricultural activities, faces sustainability challenges due to escalating water scarcities (Bouman et al., 2005). The System of Rice Intensification (SRI) emerged as an alternative farming approach for small-scale farmers, enhancing land and water productivity while optimizing resource utilization. SRI emphasized fostering robust, extensive root systems capable of withstanding drought, waterlogging, and wind damage. Unlike conventional rice cultivation methods, SRI techniques focused on stronger root and stem structures, increasing tiller numbers, and ultimately boosting yields. SRI management advocated for early transplanting to extend the vegetative growth phase and promoted single seedling placement per hill to reduce competition and minimize shading from lower leaves (Tanaka, 1958; Horie et al., 2005). This strategy sustained the photosynthetic activity of lower leaves for extended periods, ensuring heightened root activity through enhanced oxygen and carbohydrate supply. Initial experiments involved transplanting very young rice seedlings, typically aged between 8 to 12 days, with wide spacing (25x25 cm) of single seedlings (NARC, 2005). SRI represented a holistic methodology aimed at bolstering the productivity of irrigated rice farming through refined management of plants, soil, water, and nutrients. By creating favorable conditions, particularly in the root zone, SRI practices fostered healthier soil and plants, fostering greater root development and nurturing soil organism diversity. The study evaluated the growth and yield of four rice varieties—NSIC Rc 436, NSIC Rc 440, NSIC Rc 442, and NSIC Rc 222—under SRI and traditional methods. A Randomized Complete Block Design (RCBD) was employed with two sets of trials, each consisting of three replications. The SRI method involved transplanting 12-day-old seedlings manually with single seedlings per hill at a spacing of 25 cm x 25 cm. In contrast, the traditional method involved transplanting 21-day-old seedlings manually using two to four seedlings per hill. Growth parameters such as plant height, tiller number, leaf area index, and root development were monitored throughout the growing season. Yield-related parameters were measured at harvest to evaluate the effectiveness of SRI compared to traditional practices. The findings revealed that SRI consistently outperformed traditional methods, achieving higher yields and economic returns. NSIC Rc 442 demonstrated superior performance, underscoring the importance of varietal selection based on cultivation methods and environmental conditions. SRI's lower total expenses and higher net incomes highlighted its potential for resource optimization and cost-effectiveness. This study underscored SRI's potential to improve food security and agricultural sustainability by enhancing rice productivity, optimizing resource use, and increasing economic efficiency. Based on these findings, recommendations included promoting SRI practices through training and support, emphasizing the importance of varietal selection, investing in capacity-building initiatives, supporting research and innovation, advocating for supportive policies, and establishing robust monitoring and evaluation systems. These steps are crucial for accelerating SRI adoption, improving rice productivity, and enhancing farmer livelihoods, thereby contributing to sustainable agricultural development and food security.



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