Water shortage hits prospects of paddy in Godavari delta
Two-day meeting of research and extension advisory council begins
‘There is need to develop non-lodging alternative to Swarna'
ELURU: The Zonal Research and Extension Advisory Council (ZREAC), an arm of Acharya N.G. Ranga Agricultural University, has turned its spotlight on research on promotion of alternative crops in the Godavari delta in the light of water shortage in the other-wise perennial Godavari river making the paddy prospects bleak, especially in the rabi.
Inaugurating a two-day meeting of the ZREAC here on Thursday, G. Lakshmikantha Reddy, Director (Research) of Acharya N.G. Ranga Agriculture University, spelt out the research priorities of the university vis-à-vis promotion of non-traditional crops such as maize, castor, sesame and the other pulse varieties like green gram and red gram, in the traditionally paddy-rich Godavari delta spread over 10 lakh-odd acres falling under East and West Godavari districts. The impact of non-availability of water in the river on the crop prospects in the delta is so severe that 50 per cent of the area had to remain fallow in the current rabi for want of irrigation water.
He informed that the scientists were working on developing maize varieties with zero tillage traits for sowing in the rabi in the delta. The underlying concept was to help the farmers sow the variety directly without tilling the fields after harvesting crop in khariff, he added.
Mr. Reddy called for intensification of research for development of hybrid rice varieties for increase of food grain production. Although Swarna (MTU 7029) was continued to be a ruling variety for a long time with certain inherent drawbacks like lodging because of its high-yielding quality, there was a need to develop a non-lodging alternative seed to Swarna, Mr. Lakshmikantha Reddy said.
P. Satyanarayana Reddy, Associate Director of Research, Marutereru Regional Agricultural Research Station (RAS), gave a presentation of research highlights during khariff-2009.
P. Jayarami Reddy, Principal Scientist (Plant Physiology), Maruteru RARS, also spoke.