Direct Seeded Rice method to be encouraged

The aim is to achieve achieve better water use and production efficiency

To help paddy growers overcome farm labour shortage, exacerbated by the COVID-19 pandemic, and rising cost of cultivation, the Agriculture department has stepped up efforts to encourage more farmers to adopt the Direct Seeded Rice (DSR) method as a means to achieve better water use and rice production efficiency.

The DSR method of paddy cultivation is steadily gaining ground among farmers in the traditional paddy growing areas of the district, particularly in the aftermath of the lockdown.

The last agricultural season saw a significant number of farmers switching to the DSR mode from the conventional paddy cultivation method of transplanted rice.

Sources said that the dry-DSR and wet-DSR methods were used in paddy cultivation on a little over 10,000 acres last year. So far in the present kharif season, the DSR method of paddy cultivation has been taken up on about 5,000 acres.

The Agriculture department has launched an awareness campaign to educate farmers on the multiple benefits of the DSR technology coinciding with the ongoing fourth phase of Palle Pragathi programme in various parts of the district.

Direct sowing of paddy through broadcasting method was demonstrated in a dry field in the presence of Transport Minister P Ajay Kumar and Collector R V Karnan at Mucharam village in Kalluru mandal in connection with the Palle Pragathi programme on Tuesday, sources added.

The department drew up a plan to organise an awareness programme on the DSR technology including the wet-DSR method involving sowing of sprouted seed on puddled soil at Lalapuram village in Konijerla mandal on July 7.

More paddy growers are evincing keen interest in the DSR cultivation method owing to its multiple advantages including saving irrigation water, reducing cost of cultivation and above all its economic benefits, said Joint Director of Agriculture, Khammam, Vijaya Nirmala.

An intensive campaign was under way in the form of lectures by progressive farmers, field visits and awareness programmes at Rythu Vedikas to motivate farmers to adopt the DSR technology to reap rich dividends, she said, adding that the area of paddy cultivation under the DSR method was expected to increase substantially in this kharif season.

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