Tuesday, January 10, 2012

SRI Gaining Momentum in Latin America - - Cuba

Cuba SRI Workshop Focuses on Water Saving and Mechanization
Following on the momentum generated by the First SRI Workshop for Latin America and the Caribbean held  Oct 31 - Nov. 1, 2011,  in Costa Rica, a workshop was held in Cuba to discuss the potential  of integrating the System of Rice Intensification  (SRI in English and SICA in Spanish) methods into Cuban rice production systems. Cuba’s newly-created Agricultural Engineering Research Institute (IAGRIC) coordinated the workshop in Havana, December 12-16, 2011, to discuss the crucial situation with respect to water usage for rice on the island as 47% of the total water dedicated to agriculture is consumed by rice production.

There were 55 participants, including officials from FAO and UNDP, scientists/technicians from two research institutions (In Granos and IAGRIC), representatives from the Popular Rice Group (MINAG) and three types of coops (CCS, CPA and U BPC) and private producers.  Erika Styger, from SRI-Rice at Cornell University, also prepared material that was presented at the workshop.
The participants, who came from the five major rice growing regions in the country, spent five days talking about the problems associated with Cuba's increasing water shortage, followed by discussions about the possibility of addressing them by introducing, the System of Rice Intensification, a new way of growing rice. The workshop was intended to promote the new programs related to agricultural decentralization on the island. The program and summary of the workshop are available in English and Spanish
 For additional information on the development of SRI in Cuba over the past few years, check the Cuba page on the System of Rice Intensification website.
For those interested in SRI (SICA) in Latin America, you might want to join the Spanish language listserv, SICA America Latina found at https://groups.google.com/group/sica-america-latina?hl=es .

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