Either due to uncertainty of getting water from the Tungabhadra dam, owing to failure of rain in the months of June and July this year, or due to relentless motivation by the officials of the Department of Agriculture, Direct Rice Sowing (DRS) method has caught up in Ballari district during the kharif season.
Around 10,200 hectares out of the total 77,000 paddy growing area in the district has been brought under DRS method.
The farmers, who opted for this method, were also happy for, under the improved agricultural practice, they could not only harvest yield on par with the traditional method of transplantation, but could save considerably on input cost and also ensure reduced usage of precious water.
Though the DRS method was introduced in 2013-14, the response was very lukewarm then. In 2016-17, the area brought under DRS method was a mere 1,100 hectares. But during the current year, a large number of farmers chose to adopt the DRS method in over 10,000 hectares raising the hopes of the officials that the area would further increase during the next season.
“I could save a minimum of 25 % per acre on the cost of cultivation under DRS method compared to transplantation method on the use of pesticide, application of fertilizer, few labour and also on reduced water utilisation, while getting a bumper crop,” Keshav Reddy, who cultivated paddy in about 16 acres of land in Banapur village under DRS method, told The Hindu.
To motivate other farmers to adopt DRS method, the Department of Agriculture organised a field demonstration day on Keshav Reddy’s fields and the turnout of farmers from the surrounding villages to personally see the bumper crop which was ready for harvest was huge. “Our target was to bring 10,000 hectares under DRS method and we could exceed the target with more number of farmers showing positive response. We hope that more number of farmers would adopt DRS method and harvest bumper crop besides saving a lot on input cost and also water,” Sharnappa Mudgal, Joint Director of Agriculture, said.
K.V. Rajendra, Chief Executive Officer Zilla Panchayat, also exhorted the farmers to adopt improvised farm techniques to get good yield with reduced input cost.
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