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Current Affairs

Direct Seeding of Rice

Date: 07 May 2022 Tags: Agriculture

Issue

Incentive of Rs 1,500 per acre has been announced by Punjab government for farmers opting for Direct Seeding of Rice (DSR).

 

Background

DSR is a water efficient method of rice cultivation. If the technique is followed, the state can save precious groundwater.

 

Details

  • Studies have shown that an average 3,900 to 4,000 litres water is required to grow one kg rice in the state.

  • The figure goes up for long duration varieties. About 32% of state’s paddy cultivation is of long duration variety.

 

Saving water through DSR

The technique has the potential to save 15% to 20% water. Only 15-18 irrigation rounds are needed against 25-27 for traditional method.

 

Other benefits of DSR

  • Labour shortage problem can be solved by DSR method as it does not require a paddy nursery and transplantation into the main puddled field.

  • DSR allows groundwater to recharge as it prevents hard crust just beneath the plough layer due to puddled transplanting.

  • Yield of rice through DSR technique is higher than puddled transplanted rice.

 

Requirements for DSR

  • Sowing of saplings has to done only after pre-sowing (rauni) irrigation and not in dry fields.

  • The field should be laser levelled.

  • Spraying of herbicide must be done simultaneously along with sowing.

 

Issues with DSR

  • The technique is suitable for medium to heavy textured soils including sandy loam, loam, clay loam, and silt loam. It should be avoided for light textured soil.

  • Sandy and loamy sandy soil must be avoided as it suffers from severe iron deficiency, and there is higher weed problem in it.

  • DSR is not suitable for fields which are under crops others than rice as soils is likely to suffer more from iron deficiency and weed problems.