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A Seminar on SRI - A New Paradigm for Agricultural Production and Participatory Development at AIT

A Seminar on SRI - A New Paradigm for Agricultural Production and Participatory Development at AIT



Norman Uphoff, professor of government and international agriculture at Cornell University, will conduct a seminar on SRI (System of Rice Intensification) - A New Paradigm for Agricultural Production and Participatory Development at Milton Bender Auditorium, on Thursday, 19 July 2007, from 10-11 a.m.

Prof. Uphoff, worked on participatory approaches to agricultural and rural development for over 30 years, first as chair of Cornell's Rural Development Committee from 1970 to 1990, and then as director of the Cornell International Institute for Food, Agriculture and Development (CIIFAD) from 1990-2005. For the last ten years, he has redirected most of his research and outreach activities to agro-ecological issues, having been involved with the System of Rice Intensification (SRI) developed in Madagascar in the 1980s and now spreading around the world and is now validated in 28 countries.

SRI enables rice farmers to 'get more from less' -- to raise yields substantially, often by multiples rather than increments, with less seeds (much-reduced plant populations), less water (no flooding of paddies), less cost (and thus more net income), and even in many cases, less labor. This is an unconventional and unprecedented approach, which is still controversial in some circles. While government agencies in Cambodia, Cuba, India, Indonesia, Madagascar, Pakistan and Vietnam are now supporting SRI extension, most of the impetus has come from NGOs and farmers themselves, thus there is a participatory development element in this new direction of Uphoff's work. He will discuss the SRI innovation and how it has been spreading in Asia, Africa and Latin America. More information on SRI could be seen at Cornell’s SRI website (http://ciifad.cornell.edu/sri/). Contribution of AIT to the SRI research and extension could also be assessed at country profile of Thailand on this website. Prof. Norman Uphoff’s curriculum vitae could be seen at <falcon.arts.cornell.edu/govt/faculty/UphoffCV.pdf>.

AIT through a competitive grant received from the Consultative Group on International Agricultural Research - CGAIR (www.cgiar.org) challenge program on water and food(http://www.waterandfood.org/index.php?id=76) is working with rice farmers in NE Thailand since 2006 with outstanding achievements in form increased water and rice productivity. These documented project achievements could be seen at country profile site of the Cornell’s University SRI webpage (http://ciifad.cornell.edu/sri/countries/thailand/index.html). Some of the key results from AIT’s experiences would also be shared with the participants. In addition, Abha Mishra (under the advisory of Prof. V. M. Salokhe), a PhD candidate Agricultural Systems and Engineering, School of Environment, Resources and Development working on SRI will share her experiences of research work carried out at AIT and the action research undertaken with support from FAO Regional IPM Program in Cambodia. Rice researchers/extension personnels from Rice Department of Department of Agriculture; Personnels from Department of Agriculture Extension; Staff of Chai Pattana Foundation and other NGOs working with Rice and SRI are likely to attend this seminar.

All interested community members are invited to attend the seminar.

Contact persons: Dr. Prabhat Kumar, Telephone: 025245477; Email: pkipm@ait.ac.th