As opportunities to enhance the irrigation base for raising food production in the country are dwindling, India needs a more concerted effort to increase the efficiency and productivity of its irrigation systems. This study, based on an analysis of experience from the state of Andhra Pradesh, addresses the potential of the System of Rice Intensification (SRI) to contribute to systemic corrections in present paddy cultivation, both with regard to agronomic productivity and irrigation water use efficiency. This study points to the considerable increase in rice productivity and farmer incomes, which is being achieved in Andhra Pradesh with substantial reduction in irrigation water application, labor, and seed costs through utilization of SRI methods. Potential public savings on water and power costs could be drawn upon not only for promoting SRI but also to effect systemic corrections in the irrigation sector, to mutual advantage.
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