Staff Reporter

It requires 30 per cent less water and seed

Initially it is being launched in a few villages on experimental basis

Government seeks partnerships with farmers, individuals and NGOs

BHUBANESWAR: The Orissa Government has decided to introduce the System of Rice Intensification (SRI) farming in a few villages before taking it in a big way to other districts in the State.

Speaking at a workshop to mark the launching of project on up-scaling SRI in the State, Director of Agriculture and Food Production Arabinda Padhee said the department would go for SRI farming by taking a village as an unit in order to encourage others.

Reaching out

The Centre for World Solidarity (CWS), a non-government organisation and Mumbai-based Sir Dorabji Tata Trust have partnered with NGOs to reach out to 7,000 farmers in 355 villages, covering 3,000 acres with the SRI farming in six districts in Orissa.

The project is initially being implemented in six south-eastern districts such as Rayagada, Gajapati, Ganjam, Nayagarh and Cuttack.

Misconception

Top agriculture researchers, officials of agriculture department and farmers attended the workshop.

Mr. Padhee said everybody had misconception that organic farming yield less but it had been documented that the productivity in SRI farming increased. Government would seek partnerships with farmers, individuals as well as NGOs to experiment the system and spread it different districts, he said.

Huge success

Addressing the farmers, former information commissioner and a prominent advocate of SRI farming Prof Radhamohan said this particular farming required 30 per cent less water and seed. “SRI is a huge success in some of teh villages in Ganjam and Koraput district .

Even tribals have started accepting the SRI method of agriculture in their fields,” he said.

Prof. Radhamohan emphasised on proper coordination between the government agencies and farmers to take up the SRI farming in all the districts.

“The project aims to improve livelihood of small and marginal farmers through efficient management of various factors of crop production and increase productivity, profitability and innovation in SRI, the alternative farming system approach,” CWS coordinator Rekha Panigrahi said.