Free Press Journal

Gujarat farmers, experts root for new rice transplant method


Ahmedabad: Farmers in Gujarat have asked the state government to adopt a new technique that helps in increasing the yield of rice as part of its farm policy.

‘System of Rice Intensification’ (SRI), a method of boosting yield of the key kharif crop, has been adopted by some of the States in the country.

Nearly 100 farmers from Dang, Valsad and Navsari districts want Gujarat to implement this procedure and incorporate it in Gujarat’s agriculture policy.

These farmers and agriculture experts were taking part in a workshop on SRI titled ‘More from less’ organised here today by Aga Khan Rural Support Programme (AKRSP).

“Andhra Pradesh, Odisha, Tripura and Bihar have made SRI a part of their farm policy and we want Gujarat Government to follow suit,” Apoorva Oza, Chief Executive officer of AKRSP in India, said at the workshop.

“We have conveyed it to State Agricultural Secretary and got a positive response. We have been told it will be introduced in the next ‘Krishi Mahotsav’ (agricultural festival organised by state government).”

Under SRI, rice seedlings, less than 15 days old with just two leaves, are planted singly and spaced optimally to permit more growth of roots and canopy. Seedlings are removed and relocated when young to avoid trauma to roots and minimise transplant shock.

Oza said the technique requires less water and seeds, and increases yield on any type of land.

“Through SRI, our farmers can get five times more paddy production,” said Atul Mehta, an agricultural scientist, adding farmers in the tribal belt of South Gujarat have successfully adopted this technique.

“Farmers in Navsari, Narmada and Dang districts saw 40 to 150 per cent increase in production in different paddy varieties under SRI as compared to conventional methods,” Mehta added