To boost paddy production and to overcome labour shortage, farm mechanisation was introduced among farmers in the district.

To begin with transplantation of paddy seedlings, a highly labour intensive work, was mechanised, according to Collector K. Nagarajan.

While inspecting a demonstration of mechanised paddy transplanting in an eight acre of paddy field owned by Ajiz at Chithayankottai in Athoor block here recently, he advised the farmers that the System of Rice Intensification programme, a new production system developed by agriculture scientists, was ideal for farmers to enhance paddy production and boost their income.

It would also scale down production costs and save much time for farmers. Above all, farmers could easily overcome labour shortage, he pointed out.

Yield will be around four tonnes per acre the new system which was just three tonnes per acre under the traditional method of cultivation, said agriculture officials.

Transplanting machine

The new transplanting machine will plant seedlings in eight acres in an hour and the gap between seedlings will be 28 X 15 cm in a row. Planting costs per acre will be around Rs.4,000 only, they added.

This method will ensure good circulation of air in the field and create conducive atmosphere for the plants to grow. Weed removal will also become an easy task, they added. Weed removal machine could be used effectively under the new system and paddy will be ready for harvest in 120 days, they pointed out.

Farmers should adopt modern agriculture practices not only to boost agriculture production but also to get better yield and weed out other practical difficulties.