System of Rice Intensification provides environmental and economic gains but at the expense of social sustainability - A multidisciplinary analysis in India

Abstract

The System of Rice Intensification (SRI) is claimed to make rice more sustainable by increasing yields while reducing water demand. However, there remains a shortage of high quality data to test these assertions, and a major research gap exists concerning the wider social and economic implications of SRI techniques.

Using primary data the authors developed a model to simultaneously analyse social, economic and environmental sustainability (greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions, ground water abstracted, energy use, costs, profit, gender, employment quality and employment quantity) to compare SRI to conventional flooded-rice production systems (control). Data was based on farmer-recall questionnaires in Andhra Pradesh, India. Analysis was per hectare and per kg of paddy.

Identifying and understanding the trade-offs associated with SRI is essential for policy management - while it is not possible to eliminate all trade-offs, identifying them allows for the mitigation of losers.

Citation

Gathorne-Hardy, A.; Reddy, D.N.; Venkatanarayana, M.; Harriss-White, B. System of Rice Intensification provides environmental and economic gains but at the expense of social sustainability — A multidisciplinary analysis in India. Agricultural Systems (2016) 143: 159-168. [DOI: 10.1016/j.agsy.2015.12.012]

System of Rice Intensification provides environmental and economic gains but at the expense of social sustainability - A multidisciplinary analysis in India

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