My son, who lives in Iceland, and sees a lot of different media than we in the U.S. sent me this link and I was STUNNED and EXCITED by what I read.
has anyone else seen any of this work? This is so completely freaking awesomely excited about it that I had to post this here and see who else
knows about it and who else wants to talk about it. INCREDIBLE!!!
This was not six or even 10 or 20 tonnes. Kumar, a shy young farmer in Nalanda district of India's poorest state Bihar, had – using only farmyard manure and without any herbicides – grown an astonishing 22.4 tonnes of rice on one hectare of land. This was a world record and with rice the staple food of more than half the world's population of seven billion, big news.
It beat not just the 19.4 tonnes achieved by the "father of rice", the Chinese agricultural scientist Yuan Longping, but the World Bank-funded scientists at the International Rice Research Institute in the Philippines, and anything achieved by the biggest European and American seed and GM companies. And it was not just Sumant Kumar. Krishna, Nitish, Sanjay and Bijay, his friends and rivals in Darveshpura, all recorded over 17 tonnes, and many others in the villages around claimed to have more than doubled their usual yields.
That might have been the end of the story had Sumant's friend Nitish not smashed the world record for growing potatoes six months later. Shortly after Ravindra Kumar, a small farmer from a nearby Bihari village, broke the Indian record for growing wheat. Darveshpura became known as India's "miracle village", Nalanda became famous and teams of scientists, development groups, farmers, civil servants and politicians all descended to discover its secret.
When I meet the young farmers, all in their early 30s, they still seem slightly dazed by their fame. They've become unlikely heroes in a state where nearly half the families live below the Indian poverty line and 93% of the 100 million population depend on growing rice and potatoes. Nitish Kumar speaks quietly of his success and says he is determined to improve on the record. "In previous years, farming has not been very profitable," he says. "Now I realise that it can be. My whole life has changed. I can send my children to school and spend more on health. My income has increased a lot."
While the "green revolution" that averted Indian famine in the 1970s relied on improved crop varieties, expensive pesticides and chemical fertilisers, SRI appears to offer a long-term, sustainable future for no extra cost. With more than one in seven of the global population going hungry and demand for rice expected to outstrip supply within 20 years, it appears to offer real hope. Even a 30% increase in the yields of the world's small farmers would go a long way to alleviating poverty.
"Farmers use less seeds, less water and less chemicals but they get more without having to invest more. This is revolutionary," said Dr Surendra Chaurassa from Bihar's agriculture ministry. "I did not believe it to start with, but now I think it can potentially change the way everyone farms. I would want every state to promote it. If we get 30-40% increase in yields, that is more than enough to recommend it."
So of course there is huge controversy rising up... no shit , the big dogs do not like it when little people change the world of results and leave their profits out of it - but I have only just
seen this for the first time and wonder if any of you permies folk know more... and also want to implement serious testing of this idea in my own beds, etc and see who else wants to experiment on this?
Anyone else here every heard of this SRI thing? Anyone played with it? It does seem interestingly sort of polarly the other direction of permaculture poly culture etc..
Fascinated by this and looking for conversation and exploration about it!!
Believe in a better world. then follow the inspiration to create it!
I did a system pretty much exactly like Sri farming last year to grow rice. I live in zone 7, I did a small scaleto test it out this year I'll be doing much much more this year in a Sri/polyculture system. The rice from the system was excellent and pretty easy to grow. I used duck pond water gravity fed to irrigate.
The ultimate goal of farming is not the growing of crops, but the cultivation and perfection of human beings. - Masanobu Fukuoka
Oops, I just posted about this same article in the "organic" forum. Very exciting stuff!
I love how the "agricultural experts" are saying "but, but, there's no tractor that can plant the single baby rice seedlings! It will never work!" and the farmers are doing it and breaking world records for rice and potato production in tons per hectare. Yes, it is only feasible for small holdings with high labor inputs. There are millions of farmers all over the world who are already farming small scale--this lets them massively increase their production while simultaneously decreasing their costs. They can save seed and replant--no patented crops. They don't have to buy chemical fertilizer.