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India: Seed technology brings hope for farmers in Odisha's Kalahandiqrcode

Jun. 28, 2019

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Jun. 28, 2019
Paddy seeds being sown using drill machine at the research field in Bhawanipatna.

A technology to reduce dependence on seeds, particularly in non-irrigated areas, has emerged as a ray of hope for farmers in Kalahandi district.
Research on the technology is being carried out at Regional Research and Technology Transfer Station (RRTTS), Bhawanipatna for the last three years.

Associate Director of Research Prof Chandramani Khanda said 80 to 100 kg seeds per hectare is needed for broadcasting as per the existing process and it needs beusaning.

However, the seed requirement can be brought down to 40 to 50 kg per hectare using tractor or power tiller drawn seed drill machine.
The process also eliminates the need for beusaning. Prof Khanda said by using the technology, the yield can be increased by 8-10 per cent and it will also result in savings of Rs 8,000-10,000 per hectare.
He said the technology will facilitate quick sowing of seeds and is less time consuming and labour intensive.
“It will be easier to control growth of weed using the mechanical weeder and herbicides that come along with the technology,” Prof Khanda said.

He said the technology will help increase yield in second crops like Mung, Biri and other pulses and added that soil condition in seed drilled fields will be better than those transplanted after the first crop.
Prof Khanda added that trials of the seed drill was conducted by International Rice Research Institute in collaboration with OUAT in Puri, Bhadrak and Mayurbhanj districts in 2012 and it yielded encouraging results.
Executive Engineer of Agricultural Engineering Division Alok Das said Kalahandi is one of the leading districts of Odisha in adopting modern agriculture technology by increasing the area under irrigation.
However, as far as the use of seed drill machine is concerned, it is yet to pick up pace in the district. 
Seed shortage hits farmers
Shortage of paddy seeds has farmers worried in the district. The Agriculture department had given a target to Odisha Seed Development Corporation (OSDC) to supply 57,050 quintal paddy seeds to the district.
However, OSDC has supplied 20,000 quintal of seeds to the district till date.
Seed Processing Officer Subash Behera said the seeds supplied by the corporation have been lifted by 62 Primary Agriculture Cooperative Societies and 105 dealers from different blocks of the district except for Kalampur and Thuamul Rampur. 

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