Staff Reporter

SALEM: The Agriculture Department has begun implementation of System of Rice Intensification (SRI) for paddy cultivation in 19 blocks in the district. Paddy seedlings are planted in 25 acres in each block under the new method.

The SRI is a new technique for improving productivity in paddy crop with less quantum of water.

Farmers can get three tonnes per acre instead of 2 to 2.5 tonnes under the conventional method, Joint Director of Agriculture K. Janagan said after inspecting the paddy fields which were brought under the method in Chettichavadi village near here on Thursday.

“Paddy is being cultivated in about 46,000 hectares in the district. We have decided to cover at least 800 hectares under the method this year. Training programmes for farmers on SRI are being organised in various parts of the district. We are encouraging more farmers to adopt the method,” Mr. Janagan said.

Farmers were advised to ensure wider spacing between seedlings and manage water carefully under this method, agriculture officials said.

The usage of water was minimal under the SRI method when compared to the conventional method, P. Perumal, a farmer, said.