Farmers learn new method to increase paddy yield

Collector for adopting System of Rice Intensification

MADURAI: Paddy cultivators could get higher yield using lesser quantity of water by adopting the System of Rice Intensification (SRI), Collector S. S. Jawahar said.

He was addressing a meeting to spread awareness among farmers on SRI at Pattinam village off Madurai-Melur highway on Saturday.

He said that farmers were worried about the future of paddy farming — lower yield because of water scarcity, weeding and mounting expenses.

The SRI, to be implemented in all the 13 blocks of the district, was aimed at teaching the farmers the right scientific procedure to be adopted to get a higher yield. “You need not bother much because it involves simple techniques,” he said.

Farmers could save money on quantity of seeds, water and fertilizers and get yield of up to 10 tonnes a hectare as against six tonnes got in conventional farming method. Stating that farmers had doubts about higher yield, the Collector said that some of the farmers in Krishnagiri and Dharmapuri had got as much as 13 to 14 tonnes from a hectare.

Adequate spacing between each plant provided necessary sunlight and air that helped better growth of plants, he said. The farmers should also make use of leaf colour chart through which right quantity of fertilizers could be used. Cono-weeder was being given to farmers to remove weed and turn them into fertilizer, he added.

A total of 1,580 markers (to provide right spacing between plants) and similar number of cono weeders have been distributed to the farmers, he added. The farmers could make use of the expertise of officials of Department of Agriculture in adopting right practices, he added.

To cover 21,000 ha

The district administration had set a target to bring 21,000 hectares under SRI during the current year.

Mr. Jawahar said that adequate quantity of fertilizers had been stocked in the primary agriculture cooperative societies and private retailers. Joint Director (Agriculture) P. Mahadevan and Deputy Director G. Natarajan were among those who were present.

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