In our country, about 3.0 million hectare rice area is affected by water logging, mostly in the coastal region. The risk of frequent submergence due to flashfloods and water logging makes the ecosystem less responsive to better management. In these areas, water accumulates at depths of 25-30 cm for substantial period of the crop growing season. Water logging at the early stages of crop growth suppresses tillering and increases plant mortality. Poor drainage in water logged areas leads to accumulation of toxic substance (iron toxicity, sulphide injury etc.) and increase in incidence of pests and diseases.
‘As the crop management is a major problem under water logged situations, varietal improvement is the only alternate to increase the rice production and productivity’, said Dr. T.K. Adhya, Director, CRRI, Cuttack. To contain the water stagnation problem under this ecology, varieties should have some suitable features, such as height of 115-130cm, stiff culm, erect leaves, drought tolerance at seedling stage, submergence tolerance with less elongation and without culm elongation and strong seed dormancy. ‘Achieving higher productivity from this under fertilized otherwise high potential areas is thus an immediate need of the country, particularly in the eastern region’, he added.
(Source: NAIP Sub-Project Mass Media Mobilization, DIPA with inputs form CRRI, Cuttack)