Aims & Objectives
This Conference generally aims at sharing SRI knowledge and experiences, particularly from the SRI researchers and practitioners in Malaysia, discussing issues revolving on positioning of SRI as an option towards rice security and food safety in the country. The SRI technique is specifically highlighted due to its multi-faceted functions not only to address rice and food security challenges, but also to safeguard the very foundation of Malaysian cultural heritage, while embracing sustainable socioeconomic benefits and sustainable rural development.
Second National Conference SRI 2013 MALAYSIA : An Untapped Potential for Food Security
11-13 June 2013, Lumut
Rice security of Malaysia has come under scrutiny following the 2008 food crises. Rice for Malaysia is not only a matter of food security but also regarded as a matter of national security and roots of Malaysian culture and heritage. The issues and concerns related to making rice supply available, accessible and affordable to Malaysians have been frequently cited as the main reasons for increasing local rice production towards achieving self-sufficiency goals. Hence, technology and methods of production have moved towards so-called “modern agriculture” and high-yielding rice varieties that can withstand climate change and promise high returns to farmers. Today, some methods or technologies used in producing rice have indirectly subjected Malaysia to compromise a lot on the socio-cultural benefits of rural rice farmers, on the environment, as well as, safety and health of both producers and consumers, posing potential threats to rice security and rice heritage of Malaysia.
The System of Rice Intensification (SRI), which has been widely accepted, is practiced in many major rice producing countries, where labor is inexpensive. Based
on natural farming philosophy and approaches, SRI pays high regards and respects for the local ecosystem and biodiversity, particularly in water conservation. SRI has been proven to be equally efficient to cope with the needs and demands for rice security and heritage values of rice production. Hence, SRI is an untapped potential for food security in Malaysia.
SRI 2013 will review the progress on cultivation practices and research findings of SRI Method for rice production in Malaysia, as a follow up to the First National SRI Conference on July 2011. This step would demand further awareness, promotion and dissemination of knowledge on SRI for stakeholders, decision makers, policy makers and farmers in rice production and consumption at all levels. A dynamic plan, with a view to the future provided by experts and renowned speakers, would provide insights into the dynamics of SRI and its relevance to Malaysian communities, for which this conference recognizes the need to:
- Promote the dissemination and sharing of scientific technical information, knowledge and experience on sustainable agriculture which is biodiversity- and ecological-based, particularly in rice production.
- Improve the livelihoods of rice farmers and rice farming communities.
- Ensure sustainable use of natural resources and the conservation of the environment in view of global warming and climate change.
- Highlight the key rice production and management practices related to soil, crop nutrition, water, pests and diseases, seed varieties, climate, etc., and the impact of these factors on the sustainability of rice production.
- Enhance the capacity of rural rice farming communities to become more resilient with sustainable socioeconomic development through the diversification of economic activities.
- Promote SRI as one of the key strategies for sustainable food security for Malaysia.