Increasing Rice Yields and Profits in the Developing World

October 12, 2009

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SRI farming requires farmers to plant rice seedlings far apart from one another and not to flood the paddy fields.

On Mondays, we occasionally bring you segments about food and where it comes from. Today, we learn about an innovation in rice farming that's being increasingly adopted in many parts of the developing world. It's called System of Rice Intensification, or SRI. It uses far less water than regular methods and produces healthier plants. Rare grains, which can fetch top prices on the global market, also flourish under SRI practices.

Olivia Vent is a former director of information for CIIFAD, the Cornell International Institute for Food, Agriculture and Development at Cornell University. She is currently a consultant on SRI and development issues for Lotus Foods, a California company that sells specialty rice. She talked to us about what separates SRI methods from other forms of rice cultivation.