Plot level characteristics also determine the use of SRI. A key factor is the availability of a technical irrigation system that allows farmers to control water levels in accordance with SRI recommendations. Water management by user groups may hinder SRI adoption, because then farmers cannot control water levels on their plots individually. Close proximity of a plot to the homestead also increases the likelihood of adoption, as this facilitates monitoring and experimenting with the new technology. Improved rural infrastructure could also help reduce the time to reach plots at larger distances. Finally, the decision to adopt SRI is influenced by soil characteristics and topography, including conductivity, loam content, and slope, which are all related to water and nutrient holding capacity. Ignoring such factors in SRI dissemination programmes may lead to unsatisfactory adoption outcomes.

Adaptation through knowledge

The analysis in Timor Leste suggests that successful adoption of SRI requires a substantial amount of experimenting with how to adapt the technology and its components to location-specific conditions.