Adaptive farm trials with the System of Rice Intensification
The System of Rice Intensification (SRI) that was developed in Madagascar in the 1980s offers resource-poor farmers the possibility of attaining higher yields without use of external inputs. Conflicting reports on the validity of SRI suggests that more research should be devoted to examining the process by which technology is adapted to different regions. This paper reviews four sets of adaptive SRI farm trials in Nepal, Bangladesh, Sri Lanka and Bhutan. Using key informant interviews to supplement reported data, this paper compares the different approaches to adaptive farm trials with SRI by examining trial methodology, challenges encountered during the trials, outcomes and institutional recommendations for further research. The findings underscore the importance of conducting preliminary farm trials to adjust technology to local conditions for ensuring its successful diffusion and adoption.