Rice intensification (SRI) technique benefits farmers in Tripura

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Agartala, Oct.29 (ANI): The successful implementation of the system of rice intensification (or SRI) technique in Tripura has greatly benefited farmers of the State.

Tripura is one of the States in the country, which has successfully adopted and popularized the system of rice ntensification (or SRI) technique, also known as the Madagascar method.

The system is based on eight principles, which are different to conventional rice cultivation method. They include developing nutrient-rich and un-flooded nurseries; ensuring wider spacing between rice seedlings; preferring composts or manure to synthetic fertilizers; and managing water carefully to avoid plant roots from saturation.

Department of Agriculture, Tripura started the SRI on an experimental basis with just 44 farmers. arge-scale adoption of the method started in the 2006-07 and since then around 39,490 hectors of land in the state has been covered under SRI benefiting over 100,000 farmers.

"SRI one season's harvest is enough for their yearlong consumption and another season's harvest they can sell in the arket, which is a direct benefit. Moreover, SRI is not only benefiting people economically but the total fertility level of ur country as well as state has been decreased due to the injudicious application of chemical fertilizer that is being alanced as this is also an approach to restore soil health and fertility," said Baharul Islam, Agriculture Scientist, Tripuraver 90 percent farmers of Tripura have been benefited from the SRI method.

With rice being the staple diet of the people of Tripura, farmers usually grow two crops for the whole year's consumption, but were not able to meet the requirement. However, with the implementation of SRI, the yield of paddy produced per hectare has almost doubled than it could be using the conventional rice farming method.

Thus, with minimum input of water, manure and labour farmers are able to get the maximum returns. The agricultural department also gave additional bonus in the form of cultivation incentive of Rs. 4,000 per hectare for adopting SRI to farmers.

"Earlier two pura of paddy was required for the sapling but now we require only one kilogram to 800 grams for the same and thus rofit starts that the saplings onward. Again we need less labor and water in our fields so profit is more. Now other farmers have lso started SRI influenced by our success and shall only find this new method of farming in all fields," said Birchandra Singh, a farmer practicing SRI, Tripura

In India, the SRI method has been applied over 20 million hectares of the total land under rice cultivation, which would enable the country to meet its food grain objectives of 220 million tonnes of grain by 2012 instead of 2050.

With the rice production doubling in the State, Tripura is also all set to achieve this goal. By Pinaki Das (ANI)

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