SRI Cultivation in Manipur

Manipur, a landlocked state in the far north-east corner of India is one of the most remote states of India. The state is surrounded in all side by hills and only 25% of its total geographical area of 22,327 Sq Km is valley. The main staple food of the state is rice , in fact, 100% of the population consume rice for their sustenance.  SRI  method of cultivation was first introduced in Manipur by two Extension Officers of Agriculture Department, Govt. of Manipur, Mr. Th. Tomba Singh and Mr. S. Kennedy. It was first initiated after they attend a training programme at Hyderabad in 2005  wherein they spend one whole year trying endlessly to cultivate rice by SRI method at their own homestead. It was also under the vision of Mr. Shamu Kabui, Director of Agriculture , Govt. of Manipur, who believed in their effort, and himself became a pioneer in this field, that this method became more successful. Under their endeavour, they could manage to pursue a farmer name O. Bamonjao of Bishnupur District to try in his land of 2 acre in 2007. They have to promise the farmer that if his yield by trying SRI method fail, the department would compensate four times of what he loses. It was a venture for these officers in trying to introduce this method.  In the same year, the Department also published a handbook of SRI both in English and Manipuri .    What started as a small endeavour seven years back today is now booming. It has now become a state policy and the Government of Manipur has made it a programme for the Agriculture Department with budget allocation. Now the state boost of 26,321 acre land under SRI cultivation which first started only with about 60 acre  in 2007. Accolades can be given to Mr. Shamu Kabui and his team of dedicated SRI soldier in bringing about these changes.

One of the success indicators of SRI method is in the production of Chak-hao  (Black aromatic glutinous rice) which has high demand by an American company Lotus Food. Mr. Ken Lee of Lotus Food and his team visited Manipur to check the quality of the rice produced by this method and they reported that it is  the best quality found nowhere else.