Paddy and Water Environment

, Volume 16, Issue 1, pp 23–34 | Cite as

Modified system of rice intensification for higher crop and water productivity in Meghalaya, India: opportunities for improving livelihoods for resource-poor farmers

  • Anup Das
  • Jayanta Layek
  • G. I. Ramkrushna
  • D. P. Patel
  • B. U. Choudhury
  • R. Krishnappa
  • Juri Buragohain
  • Gulab Singh Yadav


The productivity and water-use efficiency of traditional rice (Oryza sativa)-based cropping systems in northeastern hill region of India is low and needs to be revisited for improving food security and mitigating the impact of climate change. The adoption of modern agricultural technologies is a necessity for upliftment of agricultural productivity and livelihood of the farming households. Therefore, a modified system of rice intensification (MSRI) was demonstrated in participatory mode during 2010–2012 in 16 farmers’ field of Meghalaya, India, to increase cropping intensity, yield, water productivity (WP) and improve livelihood. The 20-day-old seedlings of improved rice variety ‘Shahsarang-1’ were transplanted at 20 cm × 20 cm spacing with two seedlings hill−1 under MSRI as against 30-days-old seedlings transplanted randomly using 4–5 seedlings hill−1 under farmers’ practice (FP). The average rice productivity under MSRI was enhanced by 39% than that under FP. The employment and net returns were enhanced by 15 and 61% over FP, respectively. Adoption of MSRI also increased water-use efficiency by 12% and WP by 59% compared to FP. The rice crop under MSRI matured 15 days earlier than that under FP. Thus, adoption of MSRI facilitated growing of vegetable pea (Pisum sativum) with average productivity of 4.2 t ha−1 after rice which doubled the cropping intensity and increased farmers’ income. In addition, the available nitrogen, phosphorous, potassium and organic carbon content of soils under rice (MSRI)-pea cropping system were also increased by 7.5, 5.2, 3.4 and 4.3% over antecedent level after 2 years. Hence, MSRI is recommended for enhancing rice productivity, sustaining soil fertility and income of hill farmers in studied ecosystem.


Crop diversification Participatory research Pea Rice Soil organic carbon Water productivity 



The author sincerely acknowledges the Ministry of Water Resources, Govt. of India for providing financial support for the scheme Farmers’ Participatory Action Research Programme (FPARP) Phase-II to undertake the study.


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Copyright information

© The International Society of Paddy and Water Environment Engineering and Springer Japan KK 2017

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Crop Production DivisionICAR Research Complex for NEH RegionUmiamIndia
  2. 2.Central Institute for Cotton ResearchNagpurIndia
  3. 3.National Institute of Abiotic Stress ManagementBaramatiIndia
  4. 4.Natural Resource Management DivisionICAR Research Complex for NEH RegionUmiamIndia
  5. 5.ICAR Research Complex for NEH RegionWest TripuraIndia
  6. 6.Carbon Management and Sequestration Centre (C-MASC)Ohio State UniversityColumbusUSA

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