Money

New farming technology doubles paddy output

- Narayan Sharma, NAWALPARASI

Oct 13, 2014-

The use of System Rice Intensification, an advanced methodology in paddy farming, has enabled farmers here to double their output.

Using this improved technology, farmers can grow paddy with less water and it has also helped to minimize production costs compared to the traditional way of farming.

The technology is being implemented by women entrepreneurs mainly in Mukundapur village. Two women’s groups, Kalika and Shreejana, have been using the technology in the collective farming which they have been doing on 18 katthas of land. These farmers have been sowing two types of paddy, namely Gorakhnath and Sabitri.

Maya Thapa, leader of Chetana, another local women’s group, said they had been conducting collective farming on 5 katthas, 6 katthas and 7 katthas of land in different places. The group, which is receiving technical support from Agriculture and Forest University, Rampur, Chitwan, has been paying a rent of Rs 1,500 for the land annually.

The technology, which is the first of its type in the district, has given respite to the farmers by increasing their income. The farmers have constituted a common fund with the money they have earned from selling their produce which provides loans to farmers’ groups.

Sahamati, a non-government organization in Gaidakot, and Oxfam Nepal, an international NGO, have been providing support to the farmers by providing them improved paddy seeds and organizing them into groups. The farmers have been transplanting 10-day-old paddy saplings at intervals of 25 cm.

Rampur Agriculture Campus Professor Shrawan Kumar Shah said a reasonable distance could help plants to receive an adequate amount of sunlight and air which enable them receive sufficient nutrition. “As a result, production increases significantly compared to the traditional technology,” he said.

Shah said the new approach could yield 4-6 muris of paddy while the traditional method gives only 2-3 muris per kattha. According to him, 20 countries have been

producing paddy using this technique.

The local farmers have responded positively to the use of this technology. Farmer Rajmani Khojwar said they needed to apply fertilizers 15 days after transplantation and weed their fields three times before the harvest.

“Although the process was tiresome in the beginning, the good yield more than made up for the hardship,” she said.

Encouraged by the high production at lower cost, Khojwar along with a large number of other farmers are reported to have expanded cultivation to a large plot of land.

Karuna Sagar Subedi, advisor of Sahamati Gaidakot, said the technology could provide respite from the problem of food shortages it gives high yields.

According to him, many farmers have been seeking help to expand the technology which is being implemented as a pilot project.

“Although it is necessary to weed the fields several times when using the technology, the farmers have been attracted towards it as it saves time and effort,” Subedi said.

 

Published: 13-10-2014 10:43

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