Wednesday, March 21, 2012

New Production record for Paddy - Nalanda, Bihar

Long time back we had a green revolution, it solved then existential problem of severe food shortage. After that, we took a long sleep. But in these days of disillusionment from other sectors there are some fine news coming again from Agriculture.

In Bihar, under the System of Rice Intensification (SRI) scheme yield of wet paddy has been recorded at 22.4 tonnes/ha and dry paddy at 20.16 tonnes/ha. According to the government reports, it surpassed the previous record of 19 tonnes/ha held by China. 

In the world of ever shrinking farming area, rising cost of fertilizers and other inputs we need nothing less than an explosion in productivity to feed the burgeoning population. Not only that, it is quite important to give confidence to farmers. In order to convince them, we need to provide new verity of seeds, fertilizers and revolutionary cultivation methods, so that they will be able to increase the yield/ha.

When I was a kid, during summer vacation we used to wait for the harvest; after that paddy fields were free to us (till the rain). In this short period we used to create our own pitches for playing cricket. As we grow older, the space for playing started shrinking very fast. There were no more paddy fields for playing cricket!!!

Dwindling profits from rice forced the farmers to go for other crops like banana, tapioca, ginger, turmeric and even Areca nut and Rubber. Slowly, we saw the vast paddy fields, once the face of Kerala villages became banana fields and the state started importing rice. Rising trade Unionism only increased the burden for farmers. Unfortunately, we can’t eat rubber, for that we need rice. As the cultivation area reduced the cost for local rice verities started increasing exponentially.

So it is important to convince farmers that they can make profits by cultivating rice, wheat etc. National Food Security Mission (NFSM), Rashtriya Krishi Vikas Yojana (RKVY) are indeed a good development in this direction. We need more schemes like this to sustain our food security. Hope that our mission to increase productivity will bear fruit very soon.


Photo Courtesy: US Agricultural Research Service, Wikipedia

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