TODAY -

CAU expert disapproves use of paddy seeds from granary
Source: Chronicle News Service / Thongam Premchand

Imphal, June 21 2021: Due to lack of knowledge or reasons best known to them, majority of farmers in the state sow paddy seeds from granary but studies have confirmed that such a practice is one of the factors for reduction in yield and hence sowing selected paddy seeds not only ensure higher yield from 10 to 15 percent but also prevent from diseases and insects, stated an expert of the Central Agricultural University (CAU), Imphal.

With the main objective of providing best and perfect seeds to farmers, CAU Imphal has been taking up seed project under the aegis of Indian Council of Agricultural Research (ICAR) since the past few years and the project is being undertaken by the directorate of research of the university.

According to project nodal officer Dr Th Robindro, the university took up seed production project with the primary objective of providing best and perfect seeds to farmers since the past few years and there is no question of earning profit out of the project.

Under the project, the university has been providing good quality paddy, mustard and groundnut seeds to farmers of Manipur and other states.

Paddy being the staple food for people of the state, farmers pay more attention to paddy cultivation than other food crops and as such the university has been providing good quality paddy seeds to farmers.

However, farmers of the state have long been sowing paddy seeds from granary may be due to tradition or other reasons.

With the advent of advanced technology and extensive researches in farming, sowing paddy seeds meant for consumption and kept at granary has many demerits, he said adding that it has now been confirmed that sowing atypical seeds not only decreases yield but also enhances chance of attack by insects.

Sowing unselected paddy seeds kept at granary for consumption will develop atypical paddy plants while half ripe paddy seeds will also grow as plant but unable to ripe fully for the plant being weak.

Due to inherent weakness, these paddy plants are prone to insects and pests and hence farmers need to select seeds and sow only good quality seeds to save from insects and pests, the CAU expert said and assured that farmers will get at least 25 Phoubot in one Sangam of paddy field when good quality selected seeds are sown.

For the year 2021, CAU has stocked 40 tonnes of good quality paddy seeds popularly known as CAU R-1 or Tampha Phou for distribution to farmers of the state and this will cover around 700 Paris (size of paddy field) of land.

Farmers normally sow 60-80 kilogram paddy seeds per Pari 9 (approx 2.5 acres) of land and majority of farmers practice Broadcast system of sowing nowadays.

However, System of Rice Intensification (SRI) or transplanting is must for Seed Production Programme taken up jointly by the CAU and farmers.

In SRI system, only 12 kilogram paddy seeds per one Pari of land is sown and under buy-back participatory seed production programme of the project, 50 percent of total yield are purchased by the university from farmers and an agreement in this regard is mandatory, he said adding that paddy for seed production were planted at 30 Paris of land last year under the project.

Right from sowing till cultivation, a committee takes care of paddy sown by farmers under seed production project and the committee comprises representatives of ICAR, CAU and officials of state agriculture department.

When the committee finds non-detection of grown atypical plants during field visit, the committee immediately takes steps not to collect paddy from the farmer concerned.

The committee collects paddy from farmers under buy-back policy by paying 20 per cent more than market rate only from the approved paddy fields and this gives more profit to farmers.

Paddy seeds collected from farmers are further processed by CAU including removal of the half-ripe seeds.

This process decreases around 1520 percent of the total paddy collected from farmers, Dr Robindro said adding that a written communique has been sent to state agriculture department that the department could procure good quality paddy seeds from the university.

Dr Robindro also said that 2.5 tonnes of good quality paddy seeds have been sent to Sikkim state and 1 tonne to Meghalaya for plantation in Garo Hills for this year while Assam, Nagaland and Arunachal Pradesh states have proposed supply of CAU R-1 paddy seeds.

Paddy seeds were normally sown during the month of June in the past but as it paddy suited to hot and humid conditions, it can be sown till July month nowadays due to rise in temperature.

Apart from this, Tampha Phou could fully grow and ripe even if sown late, Dr Robindro added.

(This article was written as part of Media Fellowship Programme in Scientific Journalism of the Public Relations and Media Management Cell of CAU
Anyone interested in getting more information relating to this article may contact information and publicity officer of PRMM Cell, CAU Dr Indira Thounaojam or email to prmm@cau.ac.in
) .


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