Tamil Nadu

Paddy farmers in Erode expect bumper harvest

System of Rice Intensification (SRI) methodology of rice cultivation has been adopted overwhelmingly by farmers in the district this year, in view of the twin advantages: higher productivity, and lesser requirement of capital and human labour.

In Modakurichi block, for instance, farmers who have switched over to SRI methodology are looking forward to reaping a bumper harvest.

Scientific demonstrations of the benefits carried out by officials through biometric testing have convinced the farmers.

In the first place, seed requirement under SRI methodology is just one-tenth when compared to normal planting.

Fifteen-day seedlings of ADT 38 variety planted under the SRI pattern have shown robust growth at the mature stage, in a five-acre farm owned by Sengottayan in Modakurichi village, who is in the reckoning for State-level prize for best paddy productivity.

The farmer required only 2kg of seeds an acre.

Another farmer Vadivel, who has adopted SRI cultivation for his seed farm at Odanilai is also looking for handsome returns. He is poised to make a margin of two-times over the invested amount from the seven acre field where he is raising seeds of ADT 38 and IR20 paddy varieties.

Tilling is much higher per hill in farms under SRI cultivation wherein saplings are planted with spacing of 25cm.

At the fields of the two farmers, the number of panicles exceeded 45 in certain hills chosen randomly. On an average, there would be not less than 25 panicles a hill in the farms under SRI, explained Kulandaivelu, Assistant Director of Agriculture, Modakurichi.

There are only 16 hills a square metre under SRI when compared to 50 under normal planting.

But, in terms of productivity, the number of panicles are more than thrice under SRI when compared to normal planting. Also, the number of grains is close to 300 per panicle when compared to 180 to 200 per panicle under normal planting method.

As the saplings are planted in lines, cultivators could rely on mechanised equipment and shed dependence on shrinking number of farm labourers. Machine transplanting was a viable option and power-operated rotary weeders could be utilised, Mr. Kulandaivelu said.

There was cost saving in mechanisation since the rotary weeders perform the deweeding task, which would otherwise require a day of employment for 20 labourers, in just a matter of few hours.

Paddy cultivation has been carried out in about 31,000 hectares and 70 per cent of farmers have adopted SRI methodology, Joint Director of Agriculture Selvaraj said. The new methodology had gained popularity fast, he said.

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Printable version | Jun 12, 2021 8:57:17 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/tamil-nadu/paddy-farmers-in-erode-expect-bumper-harvest/article6790754.ece

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