Rajahmundry: The Agriculture department is encouraging farmers to directly sow paddy seeds for the ensuing rabi season, as it enables early harvesting by about 15 days and reduces labour cost by over Rs 3,000 per acre in Godavari districts.
Though a good number of farmers have started opting for direct sowing, several are still taking up the conventional method of cultivation, i.e., raising paddy nurseries and later transplanting the saplings to fields.
This exercise consumes a lot of time and farmers have to engage labourers for both raising paddy nurseries and for their transplantation, involving a huge input cost.
Moreover, the more the time it takes from raising paddy nurseries to transplantation and to harvest, the more the crop is vulnerable to damage or loss due to natural calamities like cyclonic storms and floods.
To avoid the risk of damage or loss to crop, the authorities are motivating farmers to opt for direct sowing of paddy seeds. In East Godavari district, the authorities are expecting paddy cultivation in about 1.6 lakh hectares and farmers are being advised to plant varieties such as MTU 3626, MTU 1001 and the MTU 1010.
MTU 3626 variety can be harvested in 130 days while the remaining two varieties of seeds take nearly 120 days for harvest.
Over 13 lakh metric tonnes of paddy is targeted to be produced in the district for rabi season. Some farmers in the district who have opted for an early sowing can even raise pulses as a third crop and nearly one lakh hectares is being targeted for the cultivation of pulses across the district.
East Godavari agriculture joint director K.S. Vara Prasad said, “As farmers are getting ready for paddy harvest raised in kharif season in the next few days, we are encouraging them to take up direct sowing of paddy seeds for rabi to get early crop and reduce input cost.”...