23 January 2001
Rice yields raised by breaking rules

By FWi staff

A RADICAL new cultivation system introduced in Madagascar in the 1980s has produced startling results in rice crops, reports the Financial Times.

Yields of two tonnes shot up to between 8-10t/ha without chemical fertilisers, pesticides or expensive seed varieties.

The technique, developed by agronomist priest Henri de Laudani and known as System of Rice Intensification, broke traditional rules of rice management.

Seedlings are transplanted earlier and fields are kept dry for much of the time, improving oxygen and nutrient flow, and deriving more benefits from the sun.

After being ignored for a number of years, SRI has spread to other countries including Bangladesh, China and Indonesia.

Details were presented at a recent conference on sustainable agriculture in London.

  • Financial Times 23 January, 2001 page 44