‘Teach farmers to cultivate paddy economically’

Krishna Byre Gowda, Minister for Agriculture, observing the functioning of one of the machines installed at Krishi Mela in Shivamogga on Friday.— Photo: VAIDYA  

Minister for Agriculture Krishna Byre Gowda has called upon agriculture scientists to educate the farmers in Malnad region about cultivating paddy in an economically viable manner by adopting scientific practices.

He was speaking after inaugurating Krishi Mela, a four-day agriculture expo at the University of Agricultural and Horticultural Sciences (UAHS) campus, Shivamogga on Friday.

Mr. Byre Gowda said that paddy was the main crop in Malnad earlier and this was why the region was known as the ‘rice bowl of Karnataka’. Paddy is cultivated using the traditional rain-fed method in Malnad region. Owing to a decline in profit in cultivating paddy, farmers here are switching to commercial crops. The decline in area of cultivation of paddy will pose a threat for the food security of the nation, he said.

Agriculture scientists should provide farmers with paddy varieties that are suitable to the climate of Malnad. Farmers should be trained on mechanised transplantation of paddy saplings, removal of weeds and harvesting. The mechanisation of agricultural operations would help the farmers save expenses incurred by labour. By adopting these measures it is possible to earn lucrative returns from paddy cultivation, he said.

Mr. Gowda said that in the wake of the drought prevailing in the State for the second consecutive year, it had become necessary to re-contemplate the utilisation of water for cultivation of paddy. Less water-intensive practices such as System of Rice Intensification (SRI) should be promoted, he said.

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Printable version | Jun 12, 2021 8:55:46 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/karnataka/%E2%80%98Teach-farmers-to-cultivate-paddy-economically%E2%80%99/article16078443.ece

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