To address the effects of climate change on smallholder farmers in Nigeria, the LINKS programme has been piloting Systems of Rice Intensification (SRI) in the Northern states. While the SRI method has been successful in other countries, pilots in the country began recently. SRI is a framing practice that uses less water, less seeds, has lower costs of production and leads to higher productivity compared to paddy rice. This makes it ideal for farmers that have in the recent past been affected by extreme weather events such as more frequent flooding and droughts. SRI has four main components; soil fertility management, planting method, weed control and water (irrigation) management.
Currently, the project has established 27 SRI demonstration plots in Jigawa and Kano States. LINKS is working with rice aggregators to establish an out-grower model with field coordinators linked to each aggregator offering extension, agricultural inputs and aggregation services to farmers. The field coordinators and lead farmers who oversee the demonstration plots have been trained in SRI practices. They will step down the SRI practices over wet and dry seasons, to other farmers in their areas.
Below we share progress from one of the demonstration plots: