Agriculture Department promoting mechanised paddy growing in Moodshedde, Kateel and other areas.

Though the growth of paddy in his 5-acre field of 60-year-old Ramanath Attar of Moodshede is not impressive for him, he has reasons to smile.

“This land has turned into a plot to demonstrate how mechanised paddy cultivation makes a barren land productive. There are lot of such barren lands,” said Mr. Ramanth. He believes in integrated farming and grows sugarcane, the native “Harekala” Chilli, Mangalore Cucumber and watermelon in the remaining part of his agricultural land.

It was at Mr. Ramanath’s land that the Agriculture Department conducted “Kshetrotsava” — a programme to promote mechanised cultivation of paddy on Saturday. Farmers from Moodshedde, Kateel and other areas attended the programme. The land was practically unirrigated for more than three years for want of labourers. Mechanised cultivation of paddy came as a feasible solution for Mr. Ramanath.

Joint Director H. Kempegowda said with paddy cultivation turning labour intensive, many in the district were not opting for its cultivation.

“There are equipment and measures available for cultivating paddy in a small piece of land. The cost of mechanised form of cultivation and cutting is one third of that spent for traditional cultivation,” he said.

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