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Farmers intensify paddy cultivation under SRI

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Better than the old: Agricultural labourers engage in transplanting paddy nurseries raised under System of Rice Intensification at a village near Dindigul.
Better than the old: Agricultural labourers engage in transplanting paddy nurseries raised under System of Rice Intensification at a village near Dindigul.

Staff Reporter

In Dindigul, Athoor and Nilakottai unions since water requirement is less compared to traditional method

DINDIGUL: Despite poor rain and rapid depletion of irrigation sources, progressive farmers in various parts of the district have intensified paddy cultivation adopting System of Rice Intensification techniques (SRI), that helps boost productivity of paddy with less water and fertilizer usage.

It has started picking up among a section of farmers in Dindigul, Athoor and Nilakottai unions.

Planting of single seedlings with wide spacing will ensure good aeration and quick growth. Water requirement is also very less compared to traditional method of farming.

Farmers in Sanarpatti, Senthurai, Sekkapatti, Kovilur, Margampatti and Nayakkanur have taken up paddy cultivation using this technique.

In full swing

Rising of nurseries is in full swing in Athoor union and the nurseries are ready for transplantation in Nilakottai block.

With the release of water for irrigation from Vaigai dam, paddy cultivation under SRI techniques will be taken up in large scale in Nilakottai block shortly, said agriculture officials.

Progressive farmer in Undarpatti village in Dindigul union A. Perumal raised paddy seedlings at Vannampatti village in Athoor union and brought them to his village in Dindigul union for transplantation.

“Saline water and soil conditions were not suitable to raise paddy seedlings in my land. So I went to Athoor union where I got clean water and good soil to raise seedlings. The seedlings were transported to Undarpatti for transplantation. But rain alone would fulfil my ambition because it would change the hardness and salinity of irrigation water. With hope, I completed the transplantation. If there were no rain within a week, all of the transplanted seedlings would wither. I hope for the rains,” said an optimistic farmer.

Earlier, he had applied all organic materials to enrich black soil fit for raising paddy.

Joint Director of Agriculture P. Sankaralingam, who inspected the transplantation at a paddy field at Undarpatti village on Tuesday, said that the Department has planned to bring 8,000 hectares under SRI by January.

Special training on SRI had been given to farmers under Agricultural Technology Management Agency.

Demonstration plots

Ten paddy demonstration plots in 350 hectares were also developed for SRI under Integrated Cereal Development Programme to enable farmers to get hands on experience, he added.

“We had brought 4,900 hectares against the target of 5,000 hectares under SRI last year.”

Agriculture Officers L. Mayakrishnan, N.S. Saravanan accompanied him.

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