Innovative steps to rejuvenate paddy cultivation
Narayana Das who owns seven acres of agricultural land in Bailur near Udupi CMC area, has experimented with “Chape Neji,” a novel method to cultivate paddy saplings following mat system. In this system, the seedbed is prepared using good quality of soil with proper cohesion of soil and fertilizers. Later, the soil compost is spread across 10x4 feet dimensioned plastic mat in a thickness of 3/4th inch. The seeds should be spread apart in a 10-inch gap and turned over.
Narayana Das told Deccan Herald that careful seed treatment in mat system is an important aspect of increasing rice productivity. He said the sprouts turn into saplings within 15-18 days. The saplings will be four to five inches height. However, the seeds after going through dormant period need to go through a series of treatments before being planted in order to achieve better germination, more uniformity, and less susceptibility to disease. Rice seed treatment includes sorting, disinfecting, seed dipping, and germination stimulation which should be done frequently but carefully. This can be easily done in the mat that is spread nearby to the house, he adds.
The Chape Neji pattern of cultivation helps the germination rate, which is increased with higher transparency of seed skin from increased oxygen. Oxygen is regularly provided through Kona Veeder system.
Reduction in anti-germination substances in the mat results in better germination rate and speed. The saplings comprises higher rate of grain filling and more disease resistance, he said. The farmer says that the next phase wherein transplantation of paddy seeds is systematically done using machine. One can do transplantation in nearly four acres of land in a day. In traditional cultivation, one can only do transplantation for one to one and half acres per day using nearly 13 labourers per acre.
The farmer can save nearly Rs 2,500 to Rs 3,000 per acre. The “Chape Neji” is also far better than drum seedling wherein the seeds are not guaranteed for quality and survival.
The fertility of the soil is also very high in the new method. The new system has brought in lots of hopes to Narayana Das who was worried, as the situation had compelled him to stop cultivating. “I will continue with “Chape Neji” pattern henceforth to get rid of labour problems. It also saves my money and time,’ he adds.