6 July 2015. Milan. The International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD) won a ‘best sustainable development practise in food security’ award for its work promoting the System of Rice Intensification (SRI) in Madagascar. This unique approach allows smallholder farmers to maximise rice yields while reducing the amount of seeds, water and land used.
The awards ceremony took place at the EXPO Milano 2015 world fair and was hosted by the Feeding Knowledge Program – an international network for research and innovation in food security. The competition was implemented by the Mediterranean Agronomic Institute of Bari.
Together with Cornell University and the Ministry of Agriculture, Livestock and Fisheries, IFAD began applying the SRI method in the Upper Mandraré Basin Development Project in Madagascar in 1997. The success of the project, which ran in two phases until 2007, has lead to the adaptation of the SRI method in at least 50 countries around the world and by as many as five million smallholder farmers.