New Sigappi paddy variety creating interest among growers

NEW RELEASE: The International Rice Research Institute recorded its appreciation for the release of this new variety. Photo: Special Arrangement  

Cauvery delta region, considered to be the granary of Tamil Nadu, is prone to many natural calamities like uncertain monsoon rains, periodical floods etc.

Under these circumstances, a new rice variety named “Sigappi” has been developed by researchers at Annamalai University to get better yields under submerged conditions. It is 150-154 days under irrigated condition and is ideally suited for samba (khariff) season in Tamil Nadu.

Better yield

“With the North East Monsoon affecting the livelihoods of small and medium farmers of Cuddalore, Nagapattinam, Tiruvarur and Thanjavur districts, this semi dwarf, erect, and non–lodging variety gives higher productivity of 3.4 tonnes per hectare even if fields get submerged in water during monsoon for 10-12 days continuously,” says Dr.RM. Kathiresan, Professor, Department of Agronomy, Faculty of Agriculture, Annamalai University.

Being similar to the traditional popular variety called Ponmani, released nearly a decade back, the Sigappi variety has white coloured short and bold grains, is best suited for making idli and dosa and fetches a good price.

It is also found to be resistant to leaf folder, stem borer and moderately susceptible to green leaf hopper, brown spot, rice Tungro disease and rice blast, according to him.

“The main reason for developing an alternative variety to Ponmani for Samba season was a long felt need among delta farmers.

In these regions the choice among rice varieties with fine grains that suit the requirement for lunch purposes are comparatively more than the options for rice varieties that suit tiffin purposes (idly and dosa making) with bold grains and better dough making quality, and Sigappi variety suited well,” explains Dr. Kathiresan.


A kg of this paddy is priced at Rs.20 to 23 and Rs.30 to 32 as rice today in local market. When sold for seed purpose, it fetches a price of Rs.35 to 40 per kg.

Though most of the rice varieties generally withstand partial submergence for prolonged duration, complete submergence is intolerable for more than a day or two.

It also gives a straw yield of six tonnes per hectare, on an average, and the straw remains unaffected even after ten days of complete submergence under water.

The package of practices for cultivation is again similar to any long duration samba variety, with a seed rate of 30 kg / hectare, spacing. The rice was distributed free of cost to farmers in delta regions under different schemes implemented by the University. This has resulted in farmers exchanging the seeds among themselves thereby increasing the area under its cultivation.


The International Rice Research Institute recorded its appreciation to the University for the release of this new variety.

It could also be a suitable variety for consideration under new seed subsidy scheme, if released by State Variety Release Committee. “Sigappi would certainly serve the best interest of Cauvery delta farmers as it protects their livelihood and economic interests at times of natural calamities,” says Dr. Kathiresan.

Especially, in villages like Keelathirukallipalai of tsunami affected parangipettai block this variety has made a significant farm impact.

Previously, local varieties grown there it did not produce better yield, after the tsunami so many switched over to this variety and they observed this variety to be better. From an acre the farmers have been able to harvest 2 tonnes under normal conditions. In case of flash floods they can get 1.2 to 1.5 tonnes of grain from an acre, whereas from other varieties, less than one tonne alone could be expected.

In Thalaignayiru and Vattakudi villages of Vedaranyam in Nagapattinam district, the Sigappi variety is being tried under direct sowing conditions. It is also a perfect choice for integrated rice farming designs such as paddy, fish and poultry integration.

Seed distribution

For the ensuing season free seeds have been distributed to more than 100 farmers and nearly 150 farmers are cultivating it.

It is also suitable for growing in other parts of the country which are prone to flooding during monsoon, according to Dr. Kathiresan.

For more details contact Dr. RM. Kathiresan, Professor,Department of Agronomy, Faculty of Agriculture, Annamalai University, Annamalai Nagar – 608 002, email:, phone:04144 –239816, mobile:9655188233.

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Printable version | Jan 17, 2022 5:55:02 PM |

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