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Tuesday, Jun 15, 2004

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New system of paddy cultivation unveiled

By Our Staff Reporter

SRIKAKULAM, JUNE 14. Farmers can reap a rich harvest if they opt for System of Rice Intensification (SRI) for paddy cultivation. Paddy crop grown under the system is labour-intensive, requires less seed and early transplantation, according to M.R. Naidu, Associate Dean of Agriculture College. SRI was first developed in Madagascar and later successfully taken up in neighbouring Sri Lanka.

Prof. Naidu told The Hindu that as against 35 kg of seed per acre in traditional cultivation, only 2 kg of seed was required in SRI and any variety could be sown.

The nursery must be grown in a raised bed and the seedlings should be transplanted between eight and 12 days.

However, preparation of the field plays an important role. The field must be prepared a month ahead by using green manure and must be well ploughed. It must be watered well but must not be flooded, says Prof. Naidu.

The transplantation should be shallow and equidistant with one-foot distance. The crop is labour intensive and requires double the workers employed in the traditional crop. The yield per acre will be between double and triple than that of traditional farming, says Prof. Naidu.

He is of the view that SRI cultivation can be taken up as irrigated dry crop and suits the north coastal region, all the Telangana districts barring Adilabad, Mahabubnagar and upland areas of the coastal districts.

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