Workshop: Promotion of System Rice Intensification Paddy cultivation for Achieving Food Security
System of Rice Intensification ensures an average increase of 60 per cent in grain and 36 per cent in straw yields in a crop and also helps farmers save seeds, water and physical labour.
Dehradun, December 11
Jyotirmay Thapliyal, Tribune News Service
Peoples' Science Institute (PSI) held a state level workshop entitled Promotion System Rice Intensification Paddy cultivation for Achieving Food Security in Dehradun today.
Inaugurating the workshop, Uttarakhand chief secretary, Indu Kumar Pandey, said that the System Rice Intensification (SRI) technique can lead to better yield. He said the state government was committed towards efforts for coming high yield cropping system. He disclosed that the government has asked the Pantnagar University to identify equipments that would promote the agriculture in the fields of hilly areas.
The fast shrinking yield of indigenous Dehradun basmati rice, has put this exclusive rice variety of Dehradun into oblivion. SRI ensures an average increase of 60 percent in grain and 36 percent in straw yields in a crop and also helps farmers save seeds, water and physical labour.
In his keynote address, Prof Norman T. Uphoff, programme leader for sustainable rice systems, Cornell International Institute, New York, said that the introduction of System of Rice Intensification (SRI), technique has led to rising produce outputs. Prof. Norman T Uphoff further said, "The SRI has proved successful in increasing yield in indigenous rice varieties in South Asia and Dehradun basmati too can be benefited from this very popular technique being used in as many as 33 countries world over."
Referring to such experiments in neighbouring countries like Sri Lanka and Pakistan, Prof Norman said both the countries have extremely benefited from the technique and are producing minimum of two to three tonnes extra basmati per hectare in their respective countries.
He said the basmati grown in Punjab province of Pakistan has been extremely benefited from the SRI technique. He said even in San-Francisco as many as 35,000 outlets have come that are selling SRI technique grown rice from China, Bhutan and Bangladesh in high numbers.
While emphasising on enhancement of rice quality, Prof Norman who had been at forefront in Asia in the SRI promotion said there was little concern in India towards maintaining quality rice. He also disclosed that farmers in the state of Uttarkhand and Himachal Pradesh are taking the new technique in a big way.
Earlier welcoming the participants, director PSI, Ravi Chopra, said, the Achieving Food Security today was most formidable challenge before mankind. He disclosed that the PSI was organising seminars in Uttarakhand and Himachal to inform the farmers of the benefits linked to adoption of SRI technique.
The workshop discussed the results of 2008 paddy season in Dehradun. It also hold sessions to discuss strategies for scaling up SRI in which experts discussed future plans for extension of the technique across the states and evolve strategy for further promotion of SRI in the state. Delegates from Tripura, Tamil Nadu and Orissa were prominent participants at the workshop.