India to have largest rice produce area in next 5 years

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Agartala, Oct 07 (UNI) India can meet its food grain demand of 220 million tonnes in the next five years and become the world's largest produce area by implementing Madagascar model of paddy cultivation.

Briefing on recommendations of 2nd national symposium on System of Rice Intensification (SRI) method held here last week, Directorate of Rice Research Project Coordinator B C Viraktamath told UNI today that Tripura's performance was excellent in following the model.

''We have identified 21 locations in India for adoption of SRI method of cultivation,'' Dr Viraktamath added.

The SRI model was developed in Madagascar during 1980 and is currently practiced in 28 countries including China and USA.

The model helps to yield by over 30 per cent with less than 40 per cent water.

The SRI method develops nutrient-rich nurseries by ensuring wider spacing between seedlings and managing water carefully to avoid plants' roots getting saturated.

The conventional method of cultivation requires 60 to 70 kg of seeds per hectare, while the SRI method requires about five kg, Dr Viraktamath said adding that the conventional water-intensive crop such as rice was expected to increase by 38 per cent by 2040.

SRI is the best principle of cultivation to conserve environment, and water, he maintained.

Scientists, environmentalists, farmers from seven countries, besides experts from various agricultural research institutes, have assembled here for a three-day national symposium week to devising strategies for further expansion of the SRI method in India and other agrarian countries.

UNI

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