Salima rice farmers are all smiles after adopting a new rice production technology known as System of Rice Intensification (SRI) which uses less water, less seed but makes it possible for them to produce almost twice as much from a unit piece of land.
One of the farmers, Mariam Bwanali, who is a member of Lifuwu Rice Scheme, said two years after adopting the technology, she is able to realise more out of her rice farming.
SRI is a technology that was invented in the 1980s by Henri de Laulanié from Madagascar and Lifuwu Research Station adopted it and has since availed it to farmers for two years now.
Deputy station manager at Lifuwu Research Station Cornwell Imani said the innovation has come with other technologies including a cornweeder machine for weeding as opposed to the past where farmers were only hand weeding which was labour intensive.
Said Imani: “Normally in SRI, farmers transplant seedlings that are eight centimetres (cm) to 10 cm tall as opposed to the past where farmers were supposed to transplant the seedlings at 21cm to 30cm when the seedlings were quite mature. When transplanted at 10cm there is increased tillering [budding of shoots] up to 30 shoots while if you transplant at 30cm, only 10 shoots appear and this has an impact on yield per unit area.”
He said with SRI, farmers can yield up to eight tonnes per hectare while with the conventional type of farming, farmers harvest about four tonnes of rice.n