: Paddy is to be cultivated under the innovative and water saving System of Rice Intensification (SRI) method in over 8,000 hectares during the current samba season, Collector S. Jayandhi said at Veerarakkiam village near here on Thursday.
Speaking after planting paddy saplings to mark the commencement of SRI farm activity for the current samba season in the district, Ms. Jayandhi said in all around 17,500 hectares would be brought under paddy in the district.
Of that Samba paddy season (starting October-November) accounted for a major chunk of 16,000 hectares while farmers preferred Navarai paddy, with planting in January and harvest by April, in only 1,400 hectares, she said.
The old Amaravathy aycut abutting Karur town would account for the balance 100 hectares and that too only when water was made available.
Detailing the block-wise target for SRI method in the district during the current year, Ms. Jayandhi noted that the Department of Agriculture has planned to raise paddy under SRI method in 420 hectares in Karur Block, 810 hectares in Thanthoni, 40 hectares in Aravakurichi block, 520 hectares in K. Paramathi block, 2,140 hectares in Kulithalai bock, 1,760 hectares in Thogamalai block, 680 hectares in Kadavur block and 1,630 hectares in Krishnarayapuram block.
With the State government rooting for the SRI method of cultivation to overcome several problems farmers faced, a total of 34 villages have been declared as SRI villages in the district and the method has received good response in those villages. A lot of awareness programmes on popularising SRI method of cultivation was being undertaken in the district, Ms. Jayandhi said.
Under the National Agricultural Development Programme, the district has been allotted a sum of Rs.Nine lakh to be disbursed to farmers who raise paddy under the SRI method in their demonstration fields at Rs.3,000 per hectare per farmer. Of that Rs.1,000 would be in kind in the form of agricultural input and the balance Rs.2,000 would be given as back ended subsidy, M. Jayandhi said.
Joint Director of Agriculture M. Deivendran noted that under the SRI method, paddy farmers could increase their productivity from 7,500 kg per hectare on an average to a remarkable 8,930 kg per hectare.
Besides farmers could also benefit from frugal water and agricultural input requirements for crops under the method, he said. Assistant Director of Agriculture Sivanandam, Krishnarayapuram Tahsildar Mookkan were present on the occasion.