Friday, 9 September 2011

Innovative Andhra Pradesh farmers grow rice under adverse conditions

Syed Akbar
Hyderabad: Rice is an ecologically sensitive crop, but two
innovative farmers from Andhra Pradesh have successfully cultivated
paddy in cyclone prone areas and through drip irrigation.

Cultivating paddy in cyclone prone areas is a major agricultural
challenge as frequent crop submergence leads to huge losses. Moreover,
paddy requires lot of water and cultivating it through drip irrigation
is not an easy task.

But farmers Muppana Pavan Kumar of East Godavari and Shiv Shankar
Reddy of Kadapa have surprised agricultural scientists by carefully
selecting rice varieties that suits their local conditions.

Besides Kumar and Shankar, two other State farmers Bachu Veera Reddy
of Karimnagar and Duddeda Sugunavva of Warangal show-cased their rice
cultivation technologies at the Innovative Rice Farmers' Meet
organised by the Directorate of Rice Research here. Dr
Swapan Kumar Datta, deputy director-general (crop science), Indian
Council of Agricultural Research, Dr KD Kokata, DDG (extension), ICAR,
Dr BC Viraktamath, project director of Directorate of Rice Research,
and former MP Vadde Sobhanadreeswara Rao honoured them, along with a
host of innovative farmers from across the country.

Pavan Kumar identified the paddy variety RGL-2537 as suitable for the
cyclone prone areas and cultivated it on a six-hectare plot in
Peddapuram of East Godavari. It is a long duration variety with fine
grain and withstands lodging moderately. The variety is also free from
most of the pests and diseases compared to other varieties like
BPT-5204 and Swarna.

Siva Shankar Reddy introduced new varieties like NLR-3041 and 20084 in
his fields in Obulampalli village of Kadapa using drip irrigation
alternatively with system of rice intensification (SRI). The area is
prone of acute water crisis and introduction of drip irrigation proved
profitable.

Veera Reddy prepared a bio-pesticide using the leaves of neem,
calotropis, custard apple, hyptis and datura and mixed them with cow
urine. He collected the extract a week later and found it as a
bio-pesticide against stem borer, leaf folder, whorl maggot and BPH.

Sugunavva developed a modified weeder for SRI cultivation which is
more efficient than the existing technology. Since weeding is labour
intensive and mostly done by women workers, she conceived the idea of
developing a new weeder by changing the design of implements available
in the market.

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