An Agroecological Strategy for Adapting to Climate Change: The System of Rice Intensification (SRI)
Abstract, Sustainable Solutions for Food Security, 2019
Farmers around the world have to cope with the adverse effects of climate change in their efforts to provide food security for themselves and their families and, to the extent possible, for others. Agricultural production methods developed for less-challenging and more-predictable climatic conditions need to be rethought and revised. The ideas and methods that constitute the system of rice intensification (SRI) developed in Madagascar, and now being extrapolated to other crops beyond rice, are enabling farmers to get more production from their available resources by making reductions in seed, water, and agrochemical inputs. Fortuitously, SRI crops are also more resistant and resilient to the hazards of climate change. When SRI methods are used in irrigated rice production, there is also a reduction in greenhouse gas emissions. The main factors that are contributing to SRI crops’ ability to adapt to and mitigate climate-change effects are the enhancement of the growth and functioning of their root systems and at the same time the abundance and diversity of life forms enhanced in the soil by SRI management. Root systems and the soil biota were both ignored by Green Revolution technology. This chapter reviews what is known about SRI as an agroecological approach to enhancing food security under climate-stressed conditions.
Keywords Climate change Climate resilience Food security Improved crop phenotypes Reduction in greenhouse gas emissions System of rice intensification