Efficient and ecological rice production strategy relies heavily on health of soil microbes
"...Much of the impact of SRI practices should be attributed to the massive, invisible multitudes of symbiotic microorganisms that inhabit soils and also plants. The bacteria and fungi that live in, on and around plants (and animals) provide the substrate for vast and intricate soil-plant ‘food webs’ that range from miniscule microbes up to larger, visible creatures. These networks are composed of organisms that feed upon each other and that improve the environments of other complementary species. The soil biota channel large flows of energy that support and sustain the production of all of our crops and livestock."
Source: Abraham et al., “The System of Crop Intensification: Agroecological innovations,” 7–8.