Wednesday, December 2, 2009

World Bank President Robert Zoellick Notes SRI's Potential

A December 2 article by World Bank President Robert Zoellick published online in the Hindustan Times makes a very favorable reference to SRI. The article, India could be a new pole of global growth: World Bank president, notes in paragraph 11: “Everyone cites India’s Green Revolution. But I’m even more intrigued by what is known as SRI, or system of rice intensification, and I know this is also an area of interest or PM Manmohan Singh. Using smart water management and planting practices, farmers in Tamil Nadu have increased rice yields between 30 and 80 per cent, reduced water use by 30 per cent, and now require significantly less fertilizer. This emerging technology not only addresses food security but also the water scarcity challenge that climate change is making all the more dangerous. These are all lessons for our world.” (Comments can be posted after the article if you would like to respond.)

Nemani Chandrasekhar subsequently pointed out in a SRI-India discussion group posting that Zoellick is visiting India from December 2-5, 2009, and during his visit will meet Prime Minister Dr. Manmohan Singh, Finance Minister Pranab Mukherjee and several members of the Union Cabinet. He will also meet the CEOs of leading private sector companies in addition to interacting with farmers and rural communities on water issues. [For information on joining the SRI-India discussion group, see For information on groups in other countries, see our SRI Groups and Websites page]

The World Bank Institute News also recently covered the SRI toolkit that includes, among other items, videos on SRI.

A new 10 minute video by Tamil Nadu Agricultural University's IAMWARMP project shows some of the progress in Tamil Nadu that is referred to in Zoellick's article. This Tamil language video with English subtitles covers SRI experiences of the Tamil Nadu Irrigated Agriculture Modernisation and Water Bodies Restoration and Management Project in Tamil Nadu India. [See our list of other SRI videos]

There are many resources about SRI in India online. Two excellent sites are the ICRISAT-WWF Project's SRI-India site and the WASSAN SRI site maintained by the Watershed Support Services and Activities Network.

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