0603 Reducing Water for Improving the Livelihoods & Ecosystems: Experiences from Mid-Godavari Basin

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Presenter: Biksham Gujja Audience: International Workshop on Rice and Water: Exploring Options for Food Security and Sustainable Environments IRRI, Las Banos Subject Country: India

Text of 0603 Reducing Water for Improving the Livelihoods & Ecosystems: Experiences from Mid-Godavari...

  • 1. Reducing water for improving the livelihoods & ecosystems: Experiences from Mid-Godavari basin [annotated presentation, focusing on SRI] International Workshop on Rice and Water: Exploring Options for Food Security and Sustainable Environments 6-8 March 2006, IRRI, Las Banos, PhilippinesDr. Biksham Gujja Policy Advisor, Global Freshwater Programme, WWF-International [email_address] [email_address]

2. WWF's MISSION IS TO STOP THE DEGRADATION OF THE PLANET'S NATURAL ENVIRONMENT ANDTO BUILD A FUTURE IN WHICH HUMANS LIVE IN HARMONY WITH NATURE ,BY:

  • Conserving the world's biological diversity
  • Ensuring that the use of renewable natural resources is sustainable
  • Promoting the reduction of pollution and wasteful consumption

3. Water is Becoming a Global Issue

  • Too much, too little or too dirty
  • 1.3 billion without safe water supply
  • 2 billion without sanitation
  • 800 million malnourished
  • Thousands killed by floods

4. DIALOGUE ON WATER, FOOD AND ENVIRONMENT http://www.iwmi.cgiar.org/dialogue/godavari/ 5. Why this Dialogue?

  • To provide elements of answers to the question:How can the poor get enough food without further damaging the environment?
  • To bridge the gap between the agricultural and the environmental communities to make common cause for Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) and for natural ecosystems.

6. Food security and Water crisis: Options

  • There arebetter ,cheaperandfasterway to help farmers to grow more rice while reducing the water use.
  • The System of Rice intensification (SRI) is proving itself to be one of the ways to achieve this.

7. Exploring options

  • Restoring traditional water systems
  • Reducing water demand of thirsty crops: sugarcane, cotton and rice
  • Reducing conflicts by establishing dialogues
  • To avoid major water infrastructure investments

8. SRI: An option to reduce water demand!

  • Rice consumes more than 85% of the water allocated for irrigation in Asia.
  • How can we reduce this?? It could have a large impact on environmental conservation.

9. The WWF-ANGRAU Collaboration Focus Districts for Evaluation of SRI 10. Farmers Evaluation Some Details

    • Evaluation done in farmers fields
      • 11 districts across agroecosystem types
      • 212 farmers participating
      • > 0.4 hectares plots for comparison
    • Methods set for comparison trials:
      • Conventional and SRI
      • Same variety (farmers choice)
      • Same nutrient inputs (farmers choice)

11. Claims of benefits from SRI: Experience from WWFs evaluation 1. Less water requirement about 25% less2. Less seed 80-90% less 3. Lesser chemical inputs 4. Soil health improvement through biological activity5. Reduced duration (by 10 days) 6. Higher yields of both grain and straw7. Less chaffy grain % 7. Higher head rice recovery 8. Withstand cyclonic gales 9. Cold tolerance 10. Drought tolerance 12. Four main components

  • Soil fertility management: FYM application
  • Planting methods changed:
  • - Transplanting young seedlings (8 to 12 days old) along with seed and soil clump
  • - Transplanting at wider spacing (25 X 25 cm)
  • Weed control: regular weeding, preferably with mechanical weeder that aerates the soil
  • Water (irrigation) management: keep soil wet without flooding

13. Land preparation 14. Marking for wide and regular spacing 15. Scooping out 10-day-old seedlings 16. Carrying seedlings in a tray 17. Single seedling removed with seed and soil clump for transplanting 18. Transplanting single seedlings 19. Protective irrigation and weeder 20. Weeding in interspaces 21. Non-SRI & SRI plant roots 22. Intermittent wetting and drying 23. Tillering and panicle setting 24. SRI plant ready for harvest 25. Swarna under SRI

  • SRI Technology uses
  • Less external inputs
    • Less seed (2 kg/ac)
    • Fewer plants per unit area (25 x 25 cm)
    • Less chemical fertilizer
    • More organic manures
    • Less pesticides
    • Less water

26. WWF-ANGRAU: Issues studied

  • Quantification of water reduction
  • Productivity enhancement
  • Root growth, rhizosphere changes, soil ecology, and soil fertility (in cooperation with ICRISAT)

27. Soil types of farmers fields 28. Adoption of young seedlings Districts Percentage 29. Adoption of appropriate weeding practices Districts Percentage 30. Adoption of organic matter application Districts Percentage 31. SRI - Water savingsNote:Initial water used in land prep, etc. is not considered 32. SRI vs. Conventional Rice Yieldsin Andhra Pradesh (Rabi 2004) Yield (Kg/Ha) Yield (Kg/Ha) 33. Mean Yields for SRI and Conventional Rice Compared by District 34. Results (highlights)

  • Overall
  • Of the 26 soil variables or determinants (13 parameters x 2 observations), the data value for fifteen were higher for SRI than non-SRI plots (and significantly higher for 8 parameters by 7 to 25%). For the other 11 variables, data were similar for both treatments. All 18 fields, except one, for which data were available, had higher yield in the SRI plots (by 12 to 55%), but the differences were not significant statistically given sample size.
  • Caution for interpreting results
  • Inputs (particularly compost and fertilizers) varied across treatments in a field and across fields (or farmers), this would have affected the data.
  • Increase in OC% in SRI plots was unexpected and may be due to substantially more roots with SRI; some may have got into the analysis and thus be a methodology artifact.

35. Constraints

  • Psychology and attitude of farmers and professionals
  • Social acceptance not yet widespread
  • Lack of support systems
  • Water management can be difficult:
  • - Maintenance of thin film of water only
  • - Accuracy in land leveling not high yet
  • - Uncertainty of power supply
  • - Canal irrigation in some cases makes individual
  • water regimes difficult

36. Constraints (contd.)

  • Weed management
  • - Laborious
  • - Mechanical seeders difficult to operate
  • (need better design)
  • - Supplementary manual weeding is required
  • Compost (organic manure)
  • - Often ready sources are not available.
  • - Modern methods like inorganic fertilizers havechanged the scenario
  • Transplanting
  • - Large area more difficult
  • - Regular training for women labourers needed

37. Project outputs of WWF-ANGRAU collaboration

  • Scientific reports district-wise and consolidated report
  • Compendium of SRI farmers able to serve as resource persons for other farmers
  • Training manual
  • Film

38. Publications 39. Media Events 40. Lessons

  • SRI type of methods have great potential to reduce water demand and increase yields
  • If appropriate support systems are created,farmers can adopt it well
  • Further research is required to standardise methods and fill the gaps
  • High expectations created with SRI are one of the reasons some farmers are not continuing with it
  • Quantification of water reduction has to be done much more systematic and in large fields

41. Conclusions..

  • SRI type of farm-based methods have great potential, but there are constraints and certain obstacles.
  • Farmers and politicians are ready for this change
  • Scientific community has still to conduct systematic research
  • International communities committed to MDGs need to invest a lot in these methods
  • Farmers need training, assistance, and designing or redesigning of the tools and fields for best result
  • This opens great opportunities to work together

42. Three challenges..

  • Establish a global target of reducing water demand for rice cultivation by 20%, while increasing the production for farmers and consumers.
  • Develop a combination of agronomic, infrastructural, economic and institutional measures to ensure the large-scale adoption of these methods.
  • Initiate an international process that integrates different institutional agendas to the common goal of growing more rice with less water.

43. Date 03-03-06 44. 45. 46. Thank You

  • www.panda.org/freshwater