Operation SRI Madagascar
by Redaktion (comments: 0)
Madagascar routinely suffers from food shortages, a situation only exacerbated by the current spike in grain prices, while more than 80 % of the population lives on less than one euro a day. In the 1980s, Father Henri de Laulanié, a French agronomist working with peasant farmers in Madagascar, developed a method of rice cultivation that revolutionized traditional practices, now known as the System of Rice Intensification (SRI). SRI is structured around several simple techniques: early replanting of rice seedlings, replanting on a grid, and partial drying of rice paddies. SRI is working according to organic principles, which frees small farmers from the cycle of debt incurred by buying increasingly expensive chemical fertilizers and pesticides.
SRI is now used by farmers in over thirty countries, where it has been shown that these techniques can easily double or even triple yields even in the first year of harvest using SRI. Though there are 1,721,000 rice growers in Madagascar, only 65,000 of them currently use SRI due to a lack of diffusion of and training in these techniques throughout the country. Over time, promoting SRI would ensure that Madagascar becomes self-sufficient in rice production, and could even begin to export.
Through Operation Sri Madagaskar, it was sought to raise awareness for the efforts of Tefy Saina and to support it. Tefy Saina has offered to meet the burgeoning demand for training in agrobiology in Mayotte and Reunion by offering courses at several training centers in the various fields like agrobiology, reforestation, composting techniques, mulching, complementary crops and crop rotation, biopesticides, ox-driven plowing, intensive rice cultivation, water supply and irrigation, toolmaking, and ecological construction. The training centers are soon to become part of the WWOOF network, so that a wider public from around the world can be welcomed.
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