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SRI is taking off in Colombia – Regional Workshop to share SRI experiences

Diddier Moreira, Erika Styger and Gabriel Garces

SRI practitioners, researchers and program leaders from 11 countries came to together in Ibagué, Tolima, Colombia from 10-12 October 2017 to share their experiences with SRI and visit some Colombian SRI farmers. Represented countries were: Argentina, Colombia, Costa Rica, Cuba, Dominican Republic, Ecuador, Nicaragua, Panama, Trinidad and Tobago, United States and Venezuela.

This second regional exchange was organized by the Inter-American Institute for Cooperation on Agriculture (IICA) and the National Federation of Rice Growers of Colombia (FEDEARROZ), part of the Project "Cultivate more with less: Adaptation, validation and promotion of the System of Rice Intensification (SRI) in the Americas as a response to climate change" financed by FONTAGRO and the GEF.

Cornell University was represented by Erika Styger and Wenjia Gu. Erika presented an overview on global SRI activities with two posters, and shared some lessons learned i) on data collection for SRI, ii) seed production with SRI, and iii) the irrigation method alternate wetting and drying as

applied with SRI.

Wenjia Gu, PhD student in the School of Civil and Environmental Engineering at Cornell University, gave an oral presentation titled: Harnessing 3D Printing to Increase the Sustainability and Productivity of Smallholder Agriculture. She also demonstrated a 3D Printer for the workshop participants, and discussed opportunities using 3D printing in the design of SRI adapted equipment. She diagnosed together with Diddier Moreira and Gabriel Garces which parts of the tray seeding machine and the rice transplanter could be modified with 3D printing in order to respond better to SRI planting requirments of lower seeding rates and transplanting densities.

Workshop Video Summary: Check out the first 9 minutes of this edition of Vistazo Agropecuario including an overview of the regional workshop, progress with SRI in Colombia and LAC, as well as some interviews with workshop participants from different countries.

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