Free Open Source CAD Software — SketchUP

Free Open Source CAD Software that runs on your browser — CoffeeSCad


SRI Implements — WASSAN Database

Africa Rice

Conservation Agriculture

Sample of photos of CA equipment with annotations

FAO – Conservation Agriculture Technology Database

Farm Hack

Open Source Ecology

Engineering for Change

Sample Manufactures SRI Equipment Sites

Making Society – Open source Computers

Sample of Larger Statement of Need regarding SRI Equipment

Lucy Fisher IRC poster abstract, IRRI Conference Thailand 2014: Development of Appropriate Equipment for Use with the System of Rice Intensification (SRI)

The System of Rice Intensification (SRI) is an agroecological, knowledge-based methodology for increasing the productivity of irrigated rice by changing the management of plants, soil, water and nutrients, while reducing dependency on external inputs. The use of SRI methods, which originated in Madagascar in the 1980s, has spread to over 50 countries throughout Asia, Africa and the Americas in less than 15 years.  Because SRI uses less water, seed, and agrochemicals, it has increasing appeal for farmers, policy-makers and researchers as a climate-smart methodology that helps farmers adapt to as well as mitigate climate change.

One of the bottlenecks to adoption of SRI is access to appropriate small-scale equipment, especially in areas where labor is in short supply or increasingly expensive. Most of the commercially-available rice production equipment needs to be adapted to use with SRI methods, which involve wider spacing, younger seedlings (when transplanted), and reduced flooding of paddies. Development of suitable equipment is also important for scaling-up SRI, which is at present largely practiced by smallholder farmers.

The equipment that can increase efficiency of SRI operations includes: weeders (as reducing flooding with SRI can increase weed growth), markers (to indicate grids for transplanting), transplanting machines, and direct-seeders for farmers who opt not to transplant.  While farmers have been quite innovative in dealing with weeds by designing manual weeders such as the “Mandava” and “Cono” weeders and multi-row motorized weeders, adaptations in design for women as well as for variations in weed pressure and edaphic conditions are needed.

Existing transplanters and direct-seeders must be adapted for the wider spacing with SRI methods. Also, transplanters need to be adapted to plant single, younger seedlings (8-12 days old) that SRI methods recommend. In addition to design issues, affordable small-scale equipment relevant to SRI production needs to be made accessible to farmers in many areas before SRI adoption can be scaled-up. This requires making information available on how to build and/or modify equipment, or where and how to purchase it. In some cases, the market itself will need to be developed as demand for small-scale rice production equipment for SRI expands.