Chandrashekhar Rao, a traditional paddy farmer is a happy man after adopting a new technology of cultivating paddy.

Known as ‘drill sown paddy', the technique has helped him save at least Rs. 7,500 an acre.

The technology has gained rapid acceptance among paddy farmers in north India, with more than 25,000 hectares of land under the new practice. It has now been introduced in Karnataka in the paddy growing areas of Koppal, Gulbarga and Raichur districts by scientists of the University of Agriculture Sciences (UAS), Raichur, and the Krishi Vigyan Kendra.

Director of Education in the UAS S.G. Patil and convener of the Krishi Vigyan Kendra Raju Teggalli, who have taken on the task of popularising the technology among farmers, told The Hindu here on Monday that it paves the way for effective water management techniques with very little water used for the paddy crop.

Besides, there is no need to manually remove weeds, as this can be controlled by applying weed killers.

Direct sowing

Mr. Teggalli said the usual tilling and puddling of land before transplantation of the crop is not required. The seed can be directly sown using specially designed hand-operated drill-cum-sowing machines.

Besides, it does not require transplantation of the crop, or for it to be raised in a nursery.

A major advantage is that the farmer can immediately take up sowing of the next crop after harvesting the paddy. “He/she can choose either paddy or a rotation crop such as maize, sorghum or wheat. Field trials have proved that the crop yield increases by about 10 per cent,” he said.

Mr. Teggalli said UAS Raichur and Krishi Vigyan Kendra had adopted 40 acres of land owned by Mr. Rao as a demonstration plot. It had drastically reduced costs and dependence on manual labour, he claimed.

Crop residue left on the field after the harvest prevents moisture loss and saves water, he added.

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