The System of Rice Intensification (SRI) Special Issue in Agronomy: SRI Contributions to Agricultural Sustainability

SRI was validated in over 60 countries, its methods are evolving and expanding beyond rice to other crops like wheat and sugarcane. The issue showcases how SRI principles are being adapted in diverse environments, including rainfed rice cultivation and direct seeding. It will explore modifications aimed at reducing labor, enhancing crop resilience to climate change, and increasing crop biodiversity.

These issues consist of research and reviews publication, aim to update understanding and application of SRI, inviting critical and empirical evaluations.


Kumar et al., the Researchers from ICAR-Indian Institute of Rice Research conducted over six years evaluation of system of rice intensification (SRI) methods in India, comparing them with three alternatives: modified, partially mechanized SRI (MSRI), direct-seeded rice (DSR), and conventional transplanting of rice with flooding of fields (CTF). This study is aimed to evaluate the most advantageous rice crop management practices for India, examining various factors including yield, water productivity, soil microbial populations, biological activity, greenhouse gas emissions, and economic returns.

Francois Siewe and his team have done the research to identify the potential of the system of rice intensification (SRI) as an agricultural method that feasible to reduce the rice deficit in Northwestern Nigeria. This study aimed to find the adaptation of SRI practices that best suited the conditions of the region, taking into practical factors for the farmers. The research involved the active participation of farmers over several years, with support from agriculture faculty and students from Ahmadu Bello University in Zaria, Nigeria. It is expected that the results of this research will provide significant environmental, economic and social benefits to farmers.

In this study, Mohammed et al. (2023) emphasizes the critical role of rice as Iraq’s primary crop, essential for food security, despite occupying only 5–6% of cultivated land due to limited arable area in the country. With water scarcity posing a greater challenge to agricultural production than land availability, the research assessed the economic and agronomic benefits of employing system of rice intensification (SRI) methods with deficit irrigation intervals in southern Iraq. Contrary to common belief, the study challenges the notion that rice thrives best under continuous flooding, highlighting the importance of evaluating water stress tolerance in rice plants to optimize yield without compromising productivity.

Between 1960 and 2015, global agricultural production had a threefold increase due to advancements such as the Green Revolution and the expansion of land and water resources for farming. However, hunger and malnutrition persist in many countries. Demand for rice continues to increase due to population growth and changing consumer preferences, especially in Africa and South Asia. system of rice intensification (SRI) has been popular in more than 60 countries due to its ability to reduce water use and production costs compared to traditional methods. SRI can also help reduce the impact of climate change and greenhouse gas emissions. In this paper, Chintalapati et al. conducted a meta-analysis covering various studies on insect pests in rice fields, aimed to provide a deeper understanding of the relationship between rice cultivation methods and insect pest management through a comprehensive analysis of the existing literature.

It is estimated that sheath blight causes an average reduction in rice production in Asia of about 6% with local losses reaching 50%. Doni et al. conducted this research to examine the potential of endophytic Trichoderma spp. in decreasing sheath blight disease in rice caused by Rhizoctonia solani. This evaluation was performed within the growth conditions set by the system of rice intensification (SRI) practices, and it was compared with the conditions of standard irrigated rice cultivation.


Rice contributes approximately 20% of the total dietary energy intake for humans, as well as a similar proportion of their protein consumption. However, rice cultivation is a significant source of greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions, comparable to emissions from the aviation industry. The primary GHG emitted during rice production is methane, largely produced by conventional rice cultivation (CRC), which involves continuously flooding rice fields throughout the crop cycle. Extensive research indicates that adopting alternate wetting and drying (AWD) techniques for rice cultivation can significantly reduce methane emissions. AWD is a key component of the system of rice intensification (SRI), an agroecological approach that emphasizes optimal management of plants, water, soil, and nutrients. This article provides a comprehensive review of field studies examining GHG emissions associated with the adoption of AWD and SRI practices.

The increasing global demand for rice due to population growth, rising incomes, and persistent food deficits requires a significant boost in rice production by 2050. However, simply developing new rice varieties may not suffice to meet this challenge, given the diminishing environmental resources. The system of rice intensification (SRI) offers a promising approach by modifying rice crop management techniques to enhance the genetic potential of existing rice varieties, both traditional and improved. This paper examines how implementing SRI methods with traditional rice varieties can enhance yields, reduce production costs for farmers, increase incomes, and contribute to the preservation of rice biodiversity.

Contemporary agricultural practices have negative environmental impacts, such as poor soil and water quality, reduced biodiversity, and greenhouse gas emissions. These practices also make agriculture more vulnerable to climate change. To address these issues, more resilient and productive farming methods are needed. conservation agriculture (CA) and system of rice intensification (SRI) are agroecological systems that aim to increase productivity while conserving natural resources. This review article by Zampaolo et al., explores the compatibility between CA and SRI, highlighting instances where they complement each other effectively.

Over the past two decades, the system of rice intensification (SRI) has evolved significantly, leading to various versions labeled as SRI 2.0, 3.0, 4.0, and so on. This review examines the emergence of rainfed SRI, direct-seeded SRI, mechanized SRI, and other modifications since 2000, along with adaptations for improving crop production beyond rice, such as wheat, finger millet, maize, and sugar cane. SRI principles are integrated into diverse farming systems, extending its impact, reducing greenhouse gas emissions and conserving biodiversity. SRI practices have also contributed to knowledge about plant roots and soil ecology, demonstrating how crop management can enhance desirable traits in plants. Collaboration among farmers, civil society groups, scientists, private sector entities, governments, and funding agencies plays a key role in driving significant changes in agriculture, with the aim of further deepening and expanding these partnerships.

The system of rice intensification (SRI) as an ecological approach to rice farming originating from Madagascar, has gained global attention. Despite initial controversy and skepticism, often fueled by misconceptions and biased evaluations, research has shown promising results. Previous critiques of SRI lacked comprehensive scientific examination and comparison with established practices. Recent studies have provided ample evidence of the physiological and phenotypical enhancements in rice plants grown through SRI methods. Through an overview of global research, this paper highlights how SRI practices lead to stronger and more productive rice plants, offering insights into its effectiveness.