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Project title: Participatory Action Research: Increasing water use efficiency in rice using principles of System of Rice Intensification (SRI) and green mulch in Northeast Thailand (SG504)


Rice production in Northeast Thailand contributes more than 55% of the total Thai rice production. However, it is severely constrained by lack of irrigation water, inadequate water management techniques, flash floods and droughts. System of Rice Intensification (SRI) is based largely on the principles of ecological farming to achieve environmental sustainability with “more crops with less seeds and less water”.

The project was a collaborative research into the water productivity of transplanted rice using the governing principles of SRI with farmers, NGO and GO personnel in Northeast Thailand and to compare the effectiveness of two water regimes (just moist and flooding).

Research Highlights

Research highlights

Greater water use efficiency and higher rice yields were obtained using SRI. The green mulch (mung bean) management performed better than existing practices.

Results demonstrated that rice yield using SRI with mung bean mulch is not governed by any single factor but many factors combine in a synergistic manner.

Project Outcomes

Project outcomes

The season-long Farmers’ Field School provided an opportunity to conduct adaptive research to test and refine technology and management practices under prevailing conditions.

Farmers learned ecosystem principles using Agro-ecosystem Analysis (AESA). This analysis focuses on field observation and data collection of rice plants and their micro-environment, data analysis and its preparation for display to the other farmers.

Project Partners

Project partners


Project Lead

Project lead


For more information on Phase 1 outputs please contact Udana Ariyawansa.