Efforts on to promote SRI in paddy cultivation

Officials inspecting a field at Vengur near Tiruchi where paddy is being raised under System of Rice Intensification.  

The Agriculture Department is looking to promote the System of Rice Intensification (SRI) in at least 70% of the area covered under samba season in the district this year.

SRI helps maximise yield with less water. “We are hoping to bring at least 87,500 acres under SRI, out of the total of 1.25 lakh acres expected to be covered under samba paddy,” K.Balraj, Joint Director of Agriculture, told reporters here on Tuesday.

In an attempt to persuade farmers to take to the system, the department has asked each of its 84 Assistant Agriculture Officers to adopt one revenue village to promote SRI in the entire village.

On Tuesday, Collector K.Rajamani inspected some fields at Kuvalakudi, Vengur and a few other villages in Tiruverumbur taluk where SRI had been adopted. Samba paddy has been raised on about 10,115 acres in the taluk so far. Of this, the crop has been raised under SRI on about 8,775 acres. The total expected coverage of samba paddy in the taluk is 18,350 acres.

Explaining the salient features of the system, Mr. Balraj said as against normal practice of transplanting paddy nurseries in about 30 days, transplantation under SRI can be done in 14 days. SRI helps reduce water requirement by 30 to 40 %. Nurseries need to be raised only on about 40 square metres to cover an acre while under conventional methods nursery is raised on about 320 square metres for an acre. Only three kg of seeds is required for an acre while farmers normally use about 20 kg of seeds for raising nurseries under the conventional method.

Wider spacing between seedlings keeps pest attacks and rat menace under check and the use of cono-weeder effectively controls weed growth.

R.Srinivasan, a progressive farmer of Ariyamangalam, who has been raising paddy under SRI for the past 10 years, says that he has been able to get 700 kg more yield an acre by adopting the system. “I used to get about two tonnes an acre under the conventional system. Under SRI, I get at least 700 kg more an acre. Under SRI, quality tillers are ensured through line planting and good aeration,” he said.

Collector Mr.Rajamani said by adopting SRI farmers can save at least ₹5,000 an acre in the cost of cultivation. Following complaints, officials have issued ‘stop sale’ orders against 24 tonnes of complex fertilizers as the maximum retail price was not printed on bags. He instructed officials to keep a close vigil against old stocks of fertilizers being sold at revised rates in the district.

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Printable version | Jan 19, 2022 6:11:38 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/cities/Tiruchirapalli/efforts-on-to-promote-sri-in-paddy-cultivation/article25386588.ece

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