Students learn skills of traditional paddy cultivation

Students learn skills of traditional paddy cultivation

The paddy seeds sown on thermocol for developing seedlings.

After successfully cultivating paddy on a four-acre fallow land and using the rice for midday meals in the college last year, the students of Dr P Dayananda Pai and P Satish Pai Government First Grade College, Car Street, have taken up paddy cultivation on over six acres of land at Konaje.

About 1,000 college students have already lent their manpower in the last five weeks (on weekends) in various process of paddy cultivation. In fact, all the college students are eager to take up paddy cultivation.

Speaking to DH, Assistant Professor and NSS Programme Coordinator Naveen Konaje said the paddy seeds were processed traditionally instead of using the chemicals this year. 

Under the traditional system, the seeds were mixed with salt, egg and water, to weed out the seeds that are not good. Later, the good seeds are filled in a gunny bag and kept near the flowing water for 24 hours to ensure that the salt contents are removed from the seeds. The seeds start germinating in the sack itself. Later, the seeds are processed in cow dung and are sown on soil filled thermocol for developing seedlings, he said.

The traditional processing of the seeds was taken up under the guidance of Umesh Gatti. The sowing on thermocol for developing seedlings were taken up under the guidance of progressive farmer Vijay Uliya, Naveen Konaje said.

The students in different batches have taken up the work on tilling the field and removing the weeds. In addition, they have also helped eight farmers in transplanting paddy seedlings on the field in Konaje as well.

Naveen Konaje said, “We will be cultivating on two acres of land that has been left fallow for the last eight years at Kattepuni in Konaje organically, under the guidance of Brother Eldo. In fact, Brother Eldo has traditional paddy seeds which have medicinal value. We are planning to grow the seeds on a piece of land on a pilot basis. The cultivation will be taken up only after conducting the soil test of the land. The children from Swaroopa Adhyayana Kendra too will lend their hand in transplanting seedlings on a one-acre field on August 12 which will be attended by Minister U T Khader as well.”

In addition, to the paddy cultivation, the students have adopted four wards of Konaje Gram Panchayat wherein they are also creating awareness on ill-effects of plastic use, consumption of alcohol, uses of solar energy and also collecting details on the problems in each ward. In the last five weeks, the students have also dug around 350 percolation pits, he said.

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