Mr. V. Krishnan received the Best farmer Award during the farmers day-2015(6-9 feb)

Name of Farmer : Shri.V.Krishnan
Village : Thandalai
Taluk : Alanganallur
District : Madurai
State : Tamil Nadu
Paddy variety : Komal
Collaborator : State Department of Agriculture

Every year Mabindra Tractors the notable and innovative farmers in different categories with Mabindra Samriddhi India Agri – Awards. IFFCO. Farmer – MR.V.Krishnan has been awarded with krishak Samrat Samman under small farmer category (less than 5 acres bolding) with the Mahindra Samriddhi India Agri – Awards 2012 by the Honourable Minister of Agriculture, Shri Sharad Pawar. Mr.Krishnan received the award, citation and cash pize of Rs.2.11 lakh for biggest productivity of rice.

The System Rice Intensification (SRI) which was developed in Madagascar in 1983 by Father Henri Laulanie, is one among the scientific management tools for utilizing irrigation water based on soil and climatic condition to achieve maximum crop production per unit of water applied per unit area perunit time. SRI increases rice production and raises the productivity of land, labour, water and capital through different practices of management. This system also provides better growing conditions for rice. Even though the new system has promised less water and other recourses the major problem among the rice growers is labour scarcity. The system of rice intensification (SRI) is an improved technology of production of rice. SRI is considered to be a disembodied technological breakthrough in paddy cultivation. To solve this problem, IFFCO joined hands with agricultural department and made efforts to reduce the labour drudgery by introducing mechanization in all operations of SRI technology. Rice is the major food crop grown in the state of Tamil Nadu with cultivated area of about 2 mha with an average productivity of 2.7 tonnes per ha which is less than the productivity of some major rice producing neighbouring countires, viz., Japan 96.52 tonnes/ha), China (24 tonnes/ha) and Indonesia (4.25 tonnes/ha). The Challenges for enhancing rice productivity using conventional methods are

  • Declining resource base like land, water and labour
  • Deteriorating soil health
  • Increasing fertilizer cost and less availability and use of organic manure
  • Increasing cost of cultivation
  • More dependency on labour and less utilization of farm mechanization
  • Low productivity

To overcome the above constraints, rice growers need to adopt the fine tuned practices for rice production, ie the system of rice intensification. SRI method differs from conventional method of rice cultivation as given below.

Nursery management
Raised seed bed should be prepared by mixing FYM in the soil either on polythene cover, banana sheaths etc. or on soil itself .

Seed rate : Ten kg of seed is required for nursery raising under SRI as against 50 -62.5 kg in conventional method to transplant one hectrare.

Age of the seedling : in SRI, the transplanting should be done with 10-12 day old seedlings having two small leaves as against 25-35 day old seedlings in conventional method.

In SRI method, transplanting operation is very much easy and as the roots of the seedlings are less damaged, so the establishment in the main field is faster while in conventional method roots are disturbed to larger extent, so it takes 12-15 day for the seedlings to come out of transplanting shock.

Wider spacing
Wider spacing of 25 cm x 25 cm in square pattern should be maintained for better aeration and for easy intercultural operations as against 50 to 66 hills per square meter in conventional method.

Naturally, weed growth is more in these fields because there is no stagnant water. Weeding should be done with rotary weeder/cono-weeder for at least four times at an interval of 10 day starting from tenth day  after transplanting. It churns the soil, and the weeds are incorporated in the soil which serves as organic manure. It imporves soil acration and soil health.

Water management
The soil should be kept moist but not saturated allowing alternate wetting and drying condition.

The project
A pilot project was implemented adopting scientific and mechanization oriented cultivation with minimum deployment of labour and so the cost of cultivation is significantly reduced. 10 farmers were selected having one acre land in Thandalai village of Madurai district. The operations like nursery preparation, transplanting, weeding and harvesting through mechanized way.  The productivity of rice was 6.30 tonnes/ha and there is significant reduction in the cost of cultivation to the tune of Rs.9,750 per hectare as compared to conventional method. The details are given below.

Table 1. Yield and yield attributes

Particulars SRI method (Average) Conventional method (average)
Plant height (cm) 85 86
No of tillers/hill 21-24 12-14
No of effective tillers/hill 18-21 10-12
Panicle length (cm) 20-22 18-20
Test wt (g/M2) 650 510
Yield /kg/ha 6305 5060

Table 2. cost of cultivation and savings through SRI and mechanization

Particulars Conventional method +manual cost in Rs. SRI method + mechanized cost in Rs. Cost saving / ha/ in Rs.
Nursery preparation 2,500 750 1,750
Main field preparation 3,250 3,250 Nil
Transplanting 8,750 7,500 1,250
Seed cost 2,250 375 1,875
Fertilizer 3,000 3,000 Nil
Weeding 6,250 4,000 2,250
Irrigation 1,250 1,250 Nil
Plant protection chemicals 750 750 Nil
Harvesting 8,750 3,500 5,250
Total 36,750 24,375 12,375

Soil testing campaign
A soil testing campaign was organized ensuring full participation of farmer for collection of soil testing. The mobile soil testing van was engaged for analysis of macro nutrients and micronutrients are analyzed in the laboratory. After getting soil test results, fertilizer recommendation was prepared and farmers were educated for fertilizer for engagement practices.

Seed treatment
Seeds are treated with Bavistin per g/kg of seed, 24 hours prior to sowing and 200g of Azospirillum was treated one hour. Prior the mechanized sowing operation. The seedlings were vigorous disease free and healthy as compared to non treated tray seedlings.

Nursery raising:
The seeds were sown in 60 planter trays which were sown the nursery field for 14 days and these trays with seedling were used for transplanting in the main field.
Preparation of main field and transplanting : After the nursery preparation, farmer started preparing main field with power tiller with 3 plantings simultaneously within one week. The field was inundated with water for one week to reduce the weed seeds activation in the field. Two day before the mechanized transplanting, the farmer was advised proper level the field to ensure proper distribution of irrigation water in the field. Subsequently, water was drained the mud was allowed to settle for proper holding of seedlings during transplanting. Normally, transplanter take 45 minutes to complete the transplanting of one acre.

Nutrient management:
Farmyard manure was incorporated in the soil one week prior to planting @ 5 tonnes/acre. IFFCO NPK 20:20:0:13 complex was applied as basal dose prior to transplanting @ 100kg/acre. Urea was applied in three splits at an interval of 20 days @ 50 kg/acre and muriate of potash @ 50 kg / acre along last dose of urea. After 2 days of transplanting, 10 kg of zinc sulphate was applied in the main field to avoid zinc deficiency and to ensure proper root growth and tillering.

Irrigation management:
The main field was kept in alternate wet and dry condition as system suggests and this should be practiced up to 100 days.

Weed management:
Weeding was done four times through cono-weeder at 10 day interval. The first weeding was started 29 days after transplanting. This helps the plants to produce extra roots as well as tillers compared with manual weeding.

Harvesting :
The harvesting operation was carried out through paddy harvester which  took 1 hour for one acre area. The biomass was collected through tractors in the field only to save the time. The operators charged Rs.1,400/ acre for harvesting operation. In this operation, only two manual labours are required for side cutting and supervision.

Impact of IFFCO’s mechanized SRI technology
By SRI method and introduction of mechanization farmer saved Rs.12,375 per ha by way of reducing seed rate and minimizing labour cost. In conventional method, the labour charges for transplanting, weeding and harvesting becomes the major expenditure. The farmers were motivated to go in for mechanized way of paddy cultivation so that the labour drudgery could be effectively managed.

Irrigation water could be saved up to 25% by using alternate wet and dry condition.Additional yield to the tune of 26% was recorded under SRI as compared to conventional method. Proper spacing between rows and plants helps better aeration and also the rat menace to certain extent. The line planting helps in easy intercultural operations with cono-weeder.

Manual harvesting requires huge labour and timely harvesting becomes difficult since larger area comes to harvest at the same time. The mechanized transplanting, weeding and harvesting becomes easy and cost-effective to the farmers and their over dependency on labour is also well managed.

IFFCO farmer – Mr.V.Krishnan has been awarded Krishak samrat samman under small farmer category (less than 5 acres holding) with the Mahindra Samriddhi India Agri – Awards 2012 by the Honourable Minister of Agriculture, Shri Sharad Pawar. Mr.Krishnan received the award, citation and cash prize of Rs.2.11 lakh.

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