Wednesday, Oct 13, 2004
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By Our Staff Reporter
KURNOOL, OCT. 12. Lush green paddy fields have reappeared along the KC Canal in Kurnool district after a gap of three years. The canal which could not supply sufficient water due to lean flow in the Tungabhadra river in the past has been flowing at full level this year.
Paddy cultivation under the KC canal also means cultivation of the fine rice variety- "Kurnool Sona''- (BPT 5204). Kurnool Sona is popular across the State and other cities like Bangalore and Mysore in Karnataka. Besides the original value of BPT 5204, the rice grown in Kurnool is considered the premium quality because of suitable soil and climatic conditions.
The "crop holiday'' in the last three years has resulted in the Kurnool Sona losing its market to other varieties, which resemble Sona like NDLR-8 and JGL 1798. It has to be seen whether Kurnool Sona, which is hitting the market after a gap, will regain its original status.
Paddy has been cultivated in 60,000 hectares in the district this year. Majority of the farmers took up BPT 5204 despite the problems associated with its cultivation like susceptibility to blast and Brown Plant Hopper (BPH).
The plots sown late this year are likely to face threat from blast, as the disease is more virulent under cyclone conditions and peak winters.
SRI picking up
According to agriculture officials, paddy crop has been doing well this season, as the forced crop holiday in the last three years has helped reduce the pest problem.
Meanwhile, the System of Rice Intensification (SRI) is picking up gradually under which only 12-day-old saplings are transplanted and water supply was limited to two times a week.
As against 20 to 25 tillers in traditional cultivation, the SRI method helped growth of 50 to 60 tillers. The yield also increased accordingly from 30-35 bags to 50 to 60 bags per acre.
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