SHIFT 1/3/2023

Problem: Rice is eaten regularly by over half the world's population, accounting for 20% of the total caloric intake.  It uses 11% of global cropland, and accounts for the same amount of global greenhouse gas emissions as the entire aviation industry. Ref: International Rice Research Institute.

Solution: A new system of growing rice that results in a 50-70% increase in carbon, 50% less water, 50% lower emissions per kg rice produced, 90% less seed, 100% increase in yield, and produces much more income for the farmer.

SRI is a System of Rice Intensification that uses regenerative agriculture practices, which is about adding to all the parts within a system in a way that uses synergy to balance strategy and purpose.   Synergy could be defined as a cooperative or combined action of individual parts that collaborate for a common cause or mutual benefit.

The Circular Economy movement is all about this regenerative cycle.  Where one part benefits the next and the next, to generate a net benefit for all the parts within a system and also in the broader context of its whole…the environment. 

It's a departure from the typical linear model we approach most things with.  Agriculture is steeped in 10,000 years of tradition and a certain way of doing things…which is usually 'our way'. 

'Our way' is about exerting the force of 'our will', in the way we know, in the way we think it should be and to our own end.  The problem with this line of thinking, is that it fails to consider the system as a whole and the impact of all the other parts, for example when we work against nature in selecting for 1 outcome by killing all the other parts and then failing to take into account the real cost of producing that one outcome. 

This short video illustrates how working with nature and taking the real cost into account can produce a perpetual  'win-win-win' solution even in the case of intensive agriculture. 

It does however require a paradigm shift in re-thinking, re-designing and using nature to re-produce in way that is sustainable for every part within a system. 

I think this will be one of the biggest challenges of this century.  If they can do it for rice, what else can we do it for??