Agricultural system by means of the System of Rice Intensification (SRI) has been known able to increase agricultural production. In addition, through such methods, environmental sustainability can be well maintained, especially with economical use of water. Seeing the opportunity of the development of SRI farming method, the Department of Agricultural Engineering, Faculty of Agricultural Technology UGM, facilitates farmers in Yogyakarta to develop it.
Lecturer, Prof. Dr. Ir. Sigit Supadmo, M. Eng., said there were more than 300 farmers in Yogyakarta already assisted to develop this system. They also focus on researches on the excellence of the system. "The research also involves the faculty and students," Sigit said at the sidelines of the announcement of SRI’s contest winners and SRI’s collective harvest event at the Jering VI sub-village site, Sidorejo, Godean, Sleman, Thursday (28/10). This activity is a joint work among UGM- SRI Farmers Forum-Central Association of Opak-Serayu River Region.
Sigit explained that the SRI system has many advantages compared with the usual system. The advantages, among others are; the economical use of water, economical use of seed, and more production.
He described the utilization of rice seeds at a relatively young age of about 10 days, thus saving the amount of the seeds. "There are about 42 types of rice varieties being developed for this SRI system. So far the results are pretty good, "said Sigit. Some of the names of rice varieties grown in that location are Maros, Batas Gadis, Pandanwangi, Code, Sarinah, Somali, etc.
Similarly, a farmer from Karangmojo, Sunaryo, said that the SRI system has many advantages. He gave an overview of the economical use of the rice seeds. With SRI, the seeds used are only about 0.5 kg or 1 kg while with non-SRI system, the seeds could reach up to 10 kg.
Meanwhile, the production also increased dramatically with the SRI system. By utilizing only 7.5 kg of seeds, they can harvest up to 1 ton of dry-milled rice. Conversely, with non-SRI system, an amount of 15 kg of seeds will result around 7-8 quintal only. "The benefits of this system is obvious, many farmers in my region in Gunung Kidul have developed it by now since our income automatically increases," said Sunaryo who is also the contest winner of the Gunung Kidul regency.
Previously, Chief Executive of SRI Farmers Forum of Yogyakarta, Nuryanto, said the contest is held annually. The contest in 2010 was followed by 220 participants, consisting of 63 farmers from Bantul, 30 farmers from Gunung Kidul, 74 farmers from Kulon Progo, 35 farmers from West Sleman, and 18 farmers from the East Sleman.
The winners are decided in each district. The grand winner at the provincial level is also determined, this time it is Sugeng from Temon, Kulon Progo regency. "The production could even reach 12.88 tons of rice," said Nuryanto.
Head of Central Association of Opak-Serayu River Region, Ministry of Public Works, Ir. Bambang Harono, Dipl.HE, said the SRI farming system in addition to having the advantages and economical in terms of the use of seeds and water, it is able to reduce social conflict among the farmers in terms of water distribution.
SRI system quite helps the government program in terms of food security. It is also very suitable with the weather and climate in Indonesia. The method that is originated from Madagascar and found about 20 years ago in its development has come under the international spotlight. This is proved by the presence of foreign tourists group from the United States, Nepal, Italy, South Africa, Holland, China, Korea, Taiwan, Japan, and several other countries to the village of Jering VI, Sidorejo, Godean, Sleman. They are about to witness the organic farming land using the SRI methods. "Along with the Youth Pledge Day on October 28, the young generation shall be able to continue to develop SRI method because it is quite nature-friendly and helps the government in food security programs," said Bambang.