Tanzanian farmers have stated they have managed to double their rice production from four to eight tones per acre, and that too using less water! They attributed the success to the practice to an innovative farming method known as System of Rice Intensification (SRI), funded by Commission for Science and Technology (COSTECH), aimed at investigating the performance of System of Rice Intensification.
Since 2012, local farmers have been adopting this practice in which the number of days of planting rice seeds is reduced from 21 days to eight, uses fewer rice seeds and lesser water utilization in fields. SRI had educated and instructed farmers in Mvomero district in the method to help them increase productivity
According to a post in the Cornell University website about SRI, the method has been successful in over 50 countries. They include: 20%-100% or more increased yields, up to a 90% reduction in required seed, and up to 50% water savings. SRI principles and practices are ideal for rain-fed rice as well as for wheat, sugarcane etc with yield increases and associated economic benefits.
SRI is a method aimed at increasing rice yields. It requires little water, is not labour intensive and uses organic manure.It uses younger seedlings that are singularly spaced. Weeding is done by hand using special tools. Proponents of SRI claim its use increases yield, saves water, reduces production costs, and increases income and that benefits have been achieved in 40 countries. Critics of SRI suggest that claims of yield increase in SRI are due to unscientific evaluations. hey object that there is a lack of details on the methodology used in trials and a lack of publications in the peer-reviewed literature.Some critics have suggested that SRI success is unique to soil conditions in Madagascar.