After 25 years, farmers get ready for ‘kar’ paddy cultivation

A farmer demonstrates the direct method of sowing paddy by using a drum seeder to officials at Nanalkadu near Vallanadu in Thoothukudi district on Wednesday.   | Photo Credit: RAJESH N

After a gap of 25 years, farmers in the district are gearing-up for ‘kar’ season paddy cultivation as water was released from Papansam dam on June 1 even as the major dams in Tirunelevli district have decent storage of water.

Since water from Papansam dam was released on June 1 for 137 days for ‘kar’ paddy cultivation, farmers have started preparatory works. While farmers in some areas have already completed transplantation, agriculturists in other areas have started work through direct sowing method.

“The farmers are being advised to go in for ‘System of Rice Intensification (SRI)’ technique during this ‘kar’ paddy season for better yield and consequent increased income. Hence, they are being guided in direct sowing method by using ‘drum seeder’, which will effectively address the labour scarcity issue while reducing the transplanting cost,” said Joint Director of Agriculture (In-Charge) Thamizh Malar, who visited a good number of paddy fields in Vallanaadu area on Wednesday to inspect the direct sowing method.

Farmer Subramanian of Vallanaadu said direct sowing by drum seeder required only 10 kg seeds per acre and the planting cost would not exceed ₹2,000 per acre. “We don’t get farmhands in adequate number for transplanting though it is an expensive exercise. At the same time, using drum seeder for SRI technique is cheaper than the transplanting method we used to follow,” Mr. Subramanian said.

Agriculturist Arasu Vinayagam of Nanalkadu near Vallanadu demonstrated sowing of paddy through the direct method by using a drum seeder in the presence of the officials.

The farmers are sowing certified high-yielding paddy varieties such as TKM – 13, NLR 34449 and Co – 51, which are being sold to the growers through the Agriculture Extension Centres.

“Though the target for this ‘kar’ paddy season is 3,500 hectares, the farmers have already cultivated paddy on 3,100 hectares and cultivation is expected to be taken up on another 1,500 hectare to exceed the target to reach 4,600 hectares,” Ms. Thamizh Malar said.

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Printable version | Sep 22, 2021 3:17:42 PM |

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