Jute is an important environment friendly fibre producing crop and it is mainly grown by small and marginal farmers as a rain-fed crop followed by paddy. Sowing of jute is the most important farm operation for getting healthy and dieses less crop for higher fibre production. Traditionally jute farmers follow broadcast method of sowing to utilize the limited soil moisture availability due to summer rainfall. In this method, it is difficult to maintain the recommended seed rate due to small size seeds and low rate. In practice farmers use a higher seed rate (7-8 kg/ha) than recommended seed rate. To maintain optimum plant population of 5-6 lakh/ha in the field, the excess 75-80% of the emergent seedlings are removed during weeding and thinning operation. Further, due to uneven plant population and higher plant density, the overall fibre yield reduces about 10-15 per cent. On the other hand line sowing of small seeds using seed drill saves precious seed, ensures depth of placement, germination and reduced cost of sowing and weeding. The socio-economic conditions of the jute farmers do not permit them to have seed drills. They are therefore bound to follow the traditional practice of broadcast sowing and face difficulty in intercultural operations and overall management of their crop. As the yield rate is low, farmers derive marginal benefit out of their produce. Considering the above aspects, a low cost manual driven seed sowing CRIJAF Multi-Row Seed Drill has been developed by ICAR-CRIJAF which facilitates in maintaining optimum plant population and thereby enhancing productivity and production with reduced cost.
Acharya Narendra Deva University of Agriculture and Technology 1