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Seed multiplication programme under way

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Innovative: N. Ponnuswamy, right, Joint Director of Agriculture, Tiruchi, inspecting the paddy crop at a field in Vairichettipalayam.
Innovative: N. Ponnuswamy, right, Joint Director of Agriculture, Tiruchi, inspecting the paddy crop at a field in Vairichettipalayam.

S. Ganesan

Of hybrid paddy variety developed by Agricultural University

TIRUCHI: The Agriculture Department has taken up an on-field seed multiplication programme of a hybrid paddy variety, CORH-3, developed by the Tamil Nadu Agricultural University (TNAU), Coimbatore.

The programme has been successful in six out of the eight places, where the crop was raised in Tiruchi district. The variety, with a yield potential of 10 tonnes a hectare, is a 115-day crop. It is said to be resistant to Tungro virus and blast disease. The fine variety paddy was released by TNAU in 2006 and the on-field seed multiplication programme was being carried out across the State now.

In Tiruchi district, the seed multiplication programme of the variety was taken up in about 10 hectares under different climatic conditions at Lalgudi, Manikandam, Andhanallur, Musiri, Thathaiyengarpet, Uppilliyapuram, Thuraiyur and Tiruverambur. The crops were raised in the fields of progressive farmers.

It has been successful except in Manikandam and Andhanallur. In Manikandam, the crop was affected by the high ‘relative humidity,’ and in Andhanallur it was affected by the last month’s rain during the flowering stage. The crops were raised in different periods starting December last year. The crops in other places were healthy and the yield is expected to be good, according to N. Ponnuswamy, Joint Director of Agriculture, Tiruchi.

In Thathaiyengarpet, the harvest has been completed recently, and the paddy seeds have been sent for evaluation and certification.

The Agriculture Department would buy-back the seeds produced by farmers. The certified seeds would be made available to farmers at much cheaper rates than the market price for hybrid paddy seeds, which currently ranges between Rs.140 and Rs.180.

The Department was hoping that about 10 tonnes of seeds would be produced from the fields.

The seeds would be enough to cover about 20,000 hectares, if one went by the department’s recommended use of two kilograms of seed an acre under the System of Rice Intensification technique. The harvest would be completed by the end of May or early June and the seeds would be ready for distribution for the kuruvai season in the district, Mr. Ponnuswamy said. The seeds would be distributed to farmers through the usual channel of agricultural extension centres.

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