Assessing the suitability and profitability of the system of rice intensification (SRI) methodology under farmers’ circumstances in Sierra Leone
In Sierra Leone, rice yields in farmers’ fields are lowand estimated on average at 0.8 t/ha. The System of Rice Intensification (SRI) is an on-farm management approach that changes how rice plants grow and produce, regardless of what variety is used. Study in 2013 cropping season to assess the suitability and profitability of SRI was carried out on Farmers fields in the Associated Mangrove Swamp to determine its effectiveness in increasing rice productivity and assess the cost benefit of the system. Three production practices involving conventional method, basic SRI and enriched basic SRI were evaluated. The results were significantly different at p = 0.05 for practices and location effects. The enriched basic SRI gave an average yield that was actually 3 times greater than the average yield obtained with current farmer practices (6.2 and 2.0 t/ha). The basic SRI without any organic matter raised paddy yields by 60 % over conventional methods, (3.2 and 2.0 t/ha, respectively). The number of tillers and panicles per square meter, the number of panicle per tiller, the number of grain per panicle and thousand-grain weight was highest for the enriched basic SRI. The economic analysis shows that shifting from conventional practice and basic to the enriched basic SRI practices is economical and rewarding.
Key Words : Suitability, profitability, organic matter, SRI, economic analysis.