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System Of Rice Intensification (S.R.I.)

  A method of achieving higher rice yields from the same area of land, without the use of GM assistance.

The method was developed by Dr. Norman Uphoof at Cornell University, based on his observations while looking a the work of a French Jesuit priest , Father Henri de Laulanié in Madagascar during the early 1990's.

By planting much earlier than has been traditional, giving more room between seedlings (so their roots have more space to grow) and no longer flooding fields (so saving much needed water) – yields increased from 2 tons per hectare to 8 tons per hectare.

What started in Madagascar, is now growing in popularity in Southern India, where 400,000 hectares are now under culyivation by this method. Veerapandi Arumugam, the agricultural minister in Tamil Nadu has described the improved yields as staggering.

Opponents of the schemes, mainly coming from those who have much to gain by selling GM alternatives, say it's a step backwards as it increases the drudgery in rice farming.

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