rice cultivation has long been associated with large amounts of water.
Currently convectional rice production is faced with major challenges of water
shortage as a result of increasing population sharing the same water resources,
as well as global environmental changes. The System of Rice Intensification
(SRI), as opposed to conventional rice production, involves alternate wetting and
drying (AWD) of rice fields. The objective of this study was to determine the
optimum drying days period of paddy fields that has a positive effect on rice
yields and the corresponding water saving. The experimental design used was
randomized complete block design (RCBD). Four treatments and the conventional
rice irrigation method were used. The treatments were the dry days allowed
after draining the paddy under SRI before flooding again. These were set as 0,
4, 8, 12 and 16 day-intervals. Yield parameters were monitored during the
growth period of the crop where a number of tillers, panicles, panicle length
and panicle filling were monitored. Amount of water utilized for crop growth
for each treatment was measured. Average yield and corresponding water saving
were determined for each treatment. The results obtained show that the 8 days
drying period gave the highest yield of 7.13 tons/ha compared with the
conventional method of growing rice which gave a yield of 4.87 tons/ha. This
was an increase of 46.4% above the conventional method of growing rice. Water
saving associated with this drying regime was 32.4%. This was taken as evidence
that SRI improved yields with reduction in water use.
Cite this paper
Omwenga, K. , Mati, B. and Home, P. (2014) Determination of the Effect of the System of Rice Intensification (SRI) on Rice Yields and Water Saving in Mwea Irrigation Scheme, Kenya. Journal of Water Resource and Protection
, 895-901. doi: 10.4236/jwarp.2014.610084
 Satyanarayana, A., Thiyagarajan, T.M. and Uphoff, N. (2007) Opportunities for Water Saving with Higher Yield from the System of Rice Intensification. Irrigation Science, 25, 99-115. http://dx.doi.org/10.1007/s00271-006-0038-8
 Obiero, O.B.P. (2011) Analysis of Economic Efficiency of Irrigation Water-Use in Mwea Irrigation Scheme, Kirinyaga District, Kenya. Kenyatta University, Nairobi Kenya.
 Belder, P., Bouman, B.A.M., Cabangon, R., Lu, G., Qualing, E.J.P., Li, Y.H., Spiertz, J.H.J. and Tuong, T.P. (2004) Effect of Water-Saving Irrigation on Rice Yield and Water Use in Typical Lowland Conditions in Asia. Agricultural Water Management, 65, 193-210. http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.agwat.2003.09.002
 Tabbal, D.F, Bouman, B.A.M., Bhuiyan, S.I., Sibayan, E.B. and Sattar, M.A. (2002) On-Farm Strategies for Reducing Water Input in Irrigated Rice; Case Studies in the Philippines. Agricultural Water Management, 56, 93-112. http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/S0378-3774(02)00007-0
 Uphoff, N. (2005) Features of SRI Apart from Increase in Yields. CIIFAD, New York.
 Chapagain, T. and Yamaji, E. (2010) The Effect of Irrigation Method, Age of Seedling and Spacing on Crop Performance, Productivity and Water-Wise Rice Production in Japan. Paddy and Water Environment Journal, 8, 81-90. http://dx.doi.org/10.1007/s10333-009-0187-5
 Estela, P., Tubana, B., Bertheloot, J. and Lafarge, T. (2004) Impact of Early Transplanting on Tillering and Grain Yield in Irrigated Rice. 4th International Crop Science Congress, Brisbane, 26 September 2004.
 Ceasey, M., Reid, W.S., Fernandes, E.C.M. and Uphoff, N.T. (2006). The Effects of Repeated Soil Wetting and Drying on Lowland Rice Yield with System of Rice Intensification (SRI) Methods. International Journal of Agricultural Sustainability, 4, 5-14.
 Yang, J.C., Zhang, J.H., Wang, Z.G., Liu, L.J. and Zhu, Q.S. (2001) Hormonal Changes in the Grains of Rice Subjected to Water Stress during Grain Filling. Plant Physiology, 127, 315-323. http://dx.doi.org/10.1104/pp.127.1.315
 Lilley, J.M. and Fukai, S. (1994) Effect of Timing and Severity of Water Deficit on Four Diverse Rice Cultivars III. Phenological Development, Crop Growth and Grain Yield. Field Crops Research, 37, 225-234. http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/0378-4290(94)90101-5
 Halil, S. and Neemi, B. (1999) The Effect of Water Stress on Grain and Total Biological Yield and Harvest Index in Rice (Oryzae sativae L.). In: Chataigner, J., Ed., Future of Water Management for Rice in Mediterranean Climate Areas: Proceedings of the Workshops, CIHEAM, Montpellier, 61-68.
 Uphoff, N. (2006) The System of Rice Intensification (SRI) as a Methodology for Reducing Water Requirements in Irrigated Rice Production. CIIFAD, New York.