SRI Helps Vietnam’s Small-scale Farmers Increase Production

10:40:45 PM | 10/20/2011

Vietnam celebrates over a million small-scale farmers who are embracing a technique that grows more rice with less seed, fertilizer, water, and pesticides. 
The technique is called ‘system of rice intensification’ or SRI for short.  It is a package of good agricultural techniques for hand-planted rice that helps farmers reduce their costs while increasing their production.
The application of Oxfam’s innovative approach in agricultural production in Vietnam and other countries in the world has brought positive results. These include reducing production costs, increasing the average yield by 10-20 percent, using less water, reducing gas emissions and increasing environmental protection; all of  which helps to contribute to adapt to climate change, enhance food security and develop sustainable agriculture.
Ms Le Nguyet Minh, Oxfam’s Manager of the Farmer-led Agricultural Innovation for Resilience Programme said: "Results show that these innovative techniques are helping the poorest rice producers on the smallest rice paddy areas to boost their rice yields”. When compared to traditional rice growing techniques, SRI producers can increase rice production by as much as 500 kilos (more than 1,000 pounds) per hectare (about 2.5 acres). This typically increases income by about US$130 per hectare, enough money to cover food costs for a month for a family of four, or invest in five piglets to raise and sell.
The Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development reported that, by the summer – autumn crop this year, there are 1,070,384 farmers-about 70 percent of whom are women-applying SRI on 185,065 hectares (457,110 acres) of their rice fields. The number of farmers using SRI practices in Vietnam has tripled since 2009.
“It’s a great achievement for small farmers because they are the ones leading the SRI innovation,” said Ngo Tien Dung of the Agriculture Ministry’s Plant Protection Department. “We need to build momentum for SRI extension over the coming years. It’s a smart investment needed to lift people out of poverty and to boost the national economy.”
Thien Di