TNAU institute at Kumulur urges farmers to adopt the concept for entire paddy cultivation

Mechanisation in paddy cultivation, right from seeding to harvest, would not only help overcome the problem of shortage of labour but also double rice production.

This was the message that was sought to be conveyed to a sizeable gathering of farmers of the delta region during a farmers mela-cum-demonstration on mechanisation in rice cultivation organised at the Tamil Nadu Agricultural University’s Agricultural Engineering College and Research Institute at Kumulur, near here on Friday.

Although many farmers were using machines such as transplanters and harvesters, the institute sought to expose farmers to the mechanisation of entire paddy cultivation.

On the field demonstrations of “laser land levelling”, drum seeding, mechanical transplanters of different types, cono-weeding, two-row and three-row power weeders, direct dry seeding of rice using TNAU multi-crop seeder and turbo seeder and cultivation of paddy under drip and sprinkler irrigation were organised as part of the event.

Farmers got to see first hand on how rainwater harvesting can be used effectively as supplement irrigation for dry land crops from a farm pond and irrigation park established at the institute.

Earlier, inaugurating the mela, M. Senthil, Chief Engineer, Agricultural Engineering Department, said the government had taken steps to introduce full mechanisation in paddy cultivation so as to double rice production.

The government planned to join hands with producers’ associations to establish centres to rent out machines to farmers.

The Agricultural Engineering Department was organising demonstrations of agricultural machines and implements, training farmers in handling and maintaining the machines.

R. Rabindran, Registrar, Tamil Nadu Agricultural University, while underlining the need for increasing productivity, said that rice production would come under additional pressure from intense competition for land, water, and labour.

An important step to reduce the pressure on rice farming was through mechanisation from seeding to harvest.

TNAU was focussing on development and promotion of power tiller and tractor operated seed drills for dry seeding and drum seeder for wet seeding with lower seed-rate.

K. Ramasamy, Dean (in-charge) of the agricultural engineering college, said that mechanisation of rice cultivation could help attract youths to take to agriculture as it reduced the drudgery.

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