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7 October 2015, Rome - Genome sequences of more than 3,000 rice varieties have been placed with the International Treaty on Plant Genetic Resources for Food and Agriculture (ITPGRFA) by the world's leading rice research institute in a move boosting plans to set up a global data exchange system for crop genetic resources.
The Philippines-based International Rice Research Institute (IRRI) and the Treaty (ITPGRFA) made the announcement at the 6th session of the Governing Body of the FAO-based 136-member nation plant treaty that is being held in Rome this week.
Around the world governments and organisations are storing genetic material in seed banks, but without one single gateway to genetic resource data, it is very difficult for researchers and plant breeders to know what is held where and what genetic resources are contained in the seeds. 
"The genetic information that IRRI is making available to us, and the public at large, is a hugely generous and significant show of support to our endeavours to make all relevant information on genetic resources on plant crops available for future food security" said Shakeel Bhatti, Secretary of the International Treaty.
"To have so much information on rice, which after all is the basic food for half the world's population, placed at the fingertips of everyone is a major step in securing food security for future generations," he added.
A genome sequence is like an inbuilt instruction book that tells living organisms how to grow and react to the environment. Each rice plant has about 400,000,000 "letters" in its genome sequence.
With a burgeoning global population, and climate change causing more shocks to agricultural production such as drought, floods and pests, the need to develop crop varieties that are both more productive, less environmentally damaging and also shock tolerant is crucial.
The Rome meeting will discuss how to enhance the current multi-lateral system through the creation of one Global Information System on Plant Genetic Resources. This system containing information including on how to access genetic material and seed samples from existing gene banks would be developed and overseen by the Treaty's host, FAO."We can't expect every programme, every gene bank in the world to re-design their databases to match some international standard; what we need is inter-operability, to create portals where everyone's databases can talk to another. This is what the Global Information System on Plant Genetic Resources for Food and Agriculture will be," said Robert Zeigler, Director General of IRRI.


Rice: Research to Production Courses

 The 3-week course aims to create a new generation of plant scientists that are well networked into the international community and understand the importance of innovative plant science in addressing global problems. It shall provide the participants with:

(a) an understanding of the basics of rice production in Asia;
(b) familiarity with the germplasm collection at IRRI and current issues related to germplasm exchange and intellectual property rights;
(c) an appreciation of the research issues of IRRI and its developing partners;
(d) handson skills relating to rice breeding, molecular genetics, and genomics;
(e) an understanding of how to structure effective international collaborations; and
(f) a plan and personal contacts to work effectively as part of the international research community in the future.


Farmers demand water till April 10 to save standing paddy crop

Farmers in Ballari taluk and Alur taluk of Kurnool district of Andhra Pradesh, have urged the authorities to extend release of water to the low-level canal up to April 10 to save the standing paddy crop in Ballari taluk.
Addressing a joint press conference here on Thursday, Darur Purushotamgouda president of district unit of Karnataka Rajya Raitha Sangha and Hasiru Sene, and Ramreddy Samadgeri, farmer leader from Holagund Kurnool district, said that the quota for Karnataka comes to an end on March 31. Due to climatic change, the growth of paddy crop was affected and needed wetting till April 10.
“Farmers of Ballari taluk are demanding extension of release of water for ten days to save the standing crop and also the farmers to get good yield. If not, the farmers will undergo losses. To prevent this they will have to draw water from Andhra quota ultimately leading for clash between farmers”, they said.
Purshotamgoud informed that the Tungabhadra dam had excess storage of seven tmc feet. Release of one tmc feet was all that was required to save the standing crop and avoid the possible clashes.
Endorsing his views Ramareddy said extending Karnataka’s quota will help farmers of both the districts to reap good yield.
Purushotamgouda urged the minister and elected representatives of Ballari to take up the cause of the farmers with the Tungabhadra Board and ensure that farmers interest is protected by extending the release of water to Ballari taluk by ten days.
Courtesy :

More rice from less water

 With water becoming an important cost, and with climate change and soil degradation, the System of Rice Intensification offers disadvantaged farming households better opportunities

A truant monsoon is in the offing, with El Niño weather patterns expected to bring about drier conditions. India has the world’s largest area devoted to rice, a very water-intensive crop. This is a good time for giving impetus to “more crop per drop” practices, now that the rice-growing kharif season is upon us.
The System of Rice Intensification (SRI) has demonstrated in several States the ability to save water while raising yields in a cost-effective manner. About 60 per cent of the country’s rice area is irrigated, accounting for 75 per cent of production, but also by guzzling disproportionately large volumes of water. A subnormal monsoon accentuates the problem of water scarcity, keeping in view that India supports 16 per cent of the global population with just four per cent of the world’s freshwater resources.
The SRI is in step with the goal of enhanced food production keeping water availability in mind. With enhanced industrial and domestic demands, the demand for water is increasing and the agriculture sector is expected to adapt to a water discipline without letting up on the demand for increased agricultural produce. For small and marginal farmers, SRI can be a game changer because of reduced input requirement. The SRI method involves only reorganising the way in which available resources are managed. It was in Madagascar, some 30 years ago, that the SRI technique was developed by a Jesuit priest, Henri de Laulanie. In India, it was first tried out in Tamil Nadu in 2000-01, following which several States have demonstrated higher rice production using less water. SRI has shown an ability to raise rice yields to about eight tonnes per hectare (the current national average is 2.1 tons) without requiring new varieties, and with significantly reduced fertilizers and agrochemicals, while using only about half the water in business-as-usual irrigated rice. With the use of best practices, SRI yields of about 15-20 tonnes per hectare have been achieved.


As pressures mount to ensure that every drop of water counts, SRI is seen today as “climate-smart agriculture.” Benefits of SRI include lower costs, improvement in soil health, and the capacity to withstand biotic (pest and disease) and abiotic (climatic) pressures. From being an obscure rice cultivation method of Madagascar, SRI has now grown into a global trend defying the scepticism of the scientific establishment and the resistance of conventional agronomists and rice breeders. Much of the impetus for SRI has come from innovative farmers, civil society, a few universities and academics, and some government professionals.
It is estimated that there are now over five million farmers using SRI worldwide. In the 50 plus countries in which the benefits of SRI have already been demonstrated, there has been a 30-50 per cent decrease in water use compared to growing the same varieties on similar soil under flooded conditions. The spirit of SRI — “more from less” — is best expressed by the pithy slogan on a billboard in Tripura: Beej kam, saar kam, jal kam, aushadh kam, kharcha kam, phalan bishi, aay bishi (lesser inputs in seed, fertilizer, water, pesticides, costs, with increased output and incomes).
SRI, referred to as the new “green grassroots revolution,” is not dependent on purchased inputs, but on certain ideas and changes in practice that can be explained and justified in scientific terms. It is an assemblage of good agronomic practices which might vary across different agro-ecological and cropping system conditions, but earmarked to benefit farmers through higher yields and lower cultivation costs. Under SRI, farmers transplant young, single seedlings, spacing them widely in a grid pattern, while keeping soil moist and fertile, but not flooded. Soil aeration is ensured by regular weeding both manually and by specially designed Cono Weeders. Compost and other sources of organic nutrients are preferred over fertilizers to enrich soil biota.
Professor Norman Uphoff of Cornell University, who is credited with spreading the word about Laulanie’s work, sees the principles of SRI as being quite different to the first Green Revolution of the mid-1960s, which focused on improving yields through breeding new traits, using agrochemicals to enhance soil nutrients and providing assured irrigation. That resulted in adverse ecological effects. In the 21st Century, with water becoming an important cost and constraint, with soil degradation and shrinking land resources and climate change adverse impacts, SRI offers millions of disadvantaged farming households better opportunities. There are no patents, royalties or licensing fees — only the farmer benefits from SRI.

Across States

SRI started early in Tamil Nadu. With scientific and extension support from Tamil Nadu State University, the area under SRI management has now reached about half of the State’s rice area. In Tripura, from just 44 farmers using the methods in 2002, the number has increased to about 3,50,000 on 1,00,000 hectares, nearing half of that State’s rice area. Bihar started it with only a few hundred farmers, in 2007; four years later, the area under SRI was reported to be about 10 per cent of the State’s rice area, with a target area of 40 per cent set for 2013-14.
Some SRI results have made headlines. Two years ago, Sumant Kumar from Nalanda in Bihar set a record by claiming a harvest of 22.4 tonnes of rice per hectare. S. Sethumadhavan from Alanganallur in Tamil Nadu reported a yield of nearly 24 tonnes per hectare. While both these claims were verified by the State governments, they have been challenged by agricultural scientists who dismiss them as beyond the biological maximum. A woman farmer, T. Amalarani of Vasudevanallur, who harvested 18 tonnes per hectare, was awarded the “Krishi Karman Award” by the President in January this year. The votaries of SRI tend to play down these super-yields as statistical “outliers,” on the premise that it is the averages which are more significant than the extremes.


SRI is generally considered to be labour-intensive, one of the constraints to its rapid adoption. This characteristic has prompted possibilities of linking it with the Mahatma Gandhi National Rural Employment Guarantee Act. Labour is required for more weeding, on-farm water control, and organic fertilizer application. Under the Employment Guarantee Act, works can be taken up on private farms of small and marginal farmers. SRI methods have also been used in crops like wheat, sugarcane, millets, potato and rapeseed-mustard, with similar benefits as for rice. These are referred to as the System of Crop Intensification (SCI). Wider adoption of SRI/SCI techniques will have implications for institutional arrangements such as canal and tube well irrigation system management, markets for inputs and agricultural commodities.
Despite its success in several States, there is no Central official site where the all-India impact of SRI may be found. If SRI is such a winning technique, it would appear that the national agriculture research and education and extension establishments would eagerly embrace it and begin to quantify and document its benefits. Adequate resources would be set aside for it. Its dissemination would be a priority with the Central and State governments. But that has not happened.
Although SRI is no longer a voice in the wilderness, the pristine science and research establishments still continue to hold out. Meanwhile, a dedicated band of innovative farmers, grassroots non-governmental organisations, development professionals, committed academics and researchers valiantly labour on — waiting for the walls of Jericho to finally collapse at the nagging of their persistent trumpet.
The rice-growing season is here. The disposition of the rain gods is speculative. Inter-State water wars are getting fiercer. An SRI movement is stirring and beginning to win some battles. Public policy and research must lead from the front in this area and not merely react. The time is ripe to champion the SRI cause.

By Rita Sharma  a former Secretary to Government of India and the National Advisory Council



Illinois study may improve rice productivity

Transnational rice study on photosynthesis could improve international food security 
University of Illinois researchers established the university's first rice paddy to test rice performance in Illinois and at Kyoto University in Japan. The two plots, which were planted on the same date, should reveal clues about what factors help the plants more efficiently convert the sun’s energy into food, known as photosynthetic performance.
This experiment is part of the Realizing Increased Photosynthetic Efficiency (RIPE) project, a five-year effort funded by a $25 million grant from the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation to substantially improve the productivity of worldwide staple food crops.

Kyoto University visiting professor and study lead Yu Tanaka plants rice varieties in a paddy on the South Farms at Illinois
“Rice is the number one source of calories for humans, worldwide, and increasingly we are not producing enough,” said RIPE Director Stephen Long, Endowed Professor of Plant Biology and Crop Sciences, who leads RIPE at the Institute for Genomic Biology. “This paddy is one of the first steps of a multinational attempt to achieve new innovations in improving rice production. Rice improvement is a major interest of the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, which is funding a major effort to improve crop photosynthesis at the university.”
The experimental paddy, located on the South Farms at Illinois, is being used to provide a northerly limit in trials of some new rice genetic materials that are also being tested in warmer climates, including the plot at Kyoto University. 
While rice is not a crop we associate with Central Illinois, it is grown not so far away in Southeast Missouri. It is also grown extensively in places such as Northern Italy and Northern Japan, where summer climates are similar to that of Illinois, Long said.
The Illinois rice plot contains several varieties of rice, including wild varieties and mutant lines, which have different photosynthetic characteristics that may increase yields under various conditions.
“When we consider actual production, or the crops’ physiological responses and performance, it is really important that we grow the rice in the fields,” said Yu Tanaka, a visiting professor from Kyoto University who is leading the study at Illinois. “Without this feasibility experiment, we wouldn’t have a chance to grow the rice in a natural environment in Illinois, which would limit the RIPE project.”
Tanaka and his graduate student Yu Iwahashi conducted preliminary research in growth chambers that revealed that some of these mutants have a lower transpiration rate (a process that is akin to people sweating), which improves the crops’ drought tolerance.
“When rice is grown in a paddy field, there is definitely no shortage of water,” Tanaka said. “But in many parts of the world, rice is grown on upland fields. For those regions, drought tolerance would be critical. We are expecting to see these lines better conserve water throughout this summer.”
Tanaka is visiting Illinois to take part in progressive photosynthetic research with Long, where he has access to state-of-the-art laboratories, space to research transgenic ecology, and equipment that can more accurately detect photosynthetic performance.
“I was impressed by Steve Long's progress to achieve increased crop production through photosynthesis,” Tanaka said. “If we can combine the strong points of my work with transpiration physiology and Steve’s work with biochemical pathways—we can achieve better progress through this photosynthetic study.”
The RIPE project is also built upon a foundation of collaboration, bringing together world leaders in photosynthetic research from Australian National University, Rothamsted Research, University of Essex, Chinese Academy of Sciences-Max Planck Institute, Louisiana State University, University of California, Berkeley, and United States Department of Agriculture Agricultural Research Service.
Written By: 

 Claire Sturgeon. 

Photo by Haley Ahlers.

குறுவையில் 3.30 லட்சம் டன் நெல் உற்பத்தி பாதிக்கும் அபாயம்: போதிய மழையின்மையால் கவலை

தஞ்சாவூர் : மேட்டூர் அணையில் குறைவான தண்ணீரே இருப்பதால், டெல்டா மாவட்டங்களில், குறுவை சாகுபடி யில், 3.30 லட்சம் டன் நெல் உற்பத்தி பாதிக்கும் அபாயம் உருவாகி உள்ளது.
1.15 லட்சம் ஹெக்டேரில்...
தமிழக நெல் தேவையில், 52 சதவீதத்தை உற்பத்தி செய்யும் பகுதியாக, டெல்டா மாவட்டங்கள் உள்ளன. மேட்டூர் அணை, ஜூன் 12ல், திறக்கப்பட்டு, தொடர்ந்து போதுமான அளவுக்கு நீர் வரத்து இருந்தால், தஞ்சாவூர், நாகை, திருவாரூர் மாவட்டங்களை உள்ளடக்கிய டெல்டா பகுதியில், குறுவை சாகுபடி, 1.15 லட்சம் ஹெக்டேரில் மேற்கொள்ளப்படும். இல்லையெனில், பம்ப்செட் வசதியுள்ள விவசாயிகள், 65 ஆயிரம் ஹெக்டேரில் சாகுபடி மேற்கொள்வர்.கடந்த, 2012ல், தண்ணீர் பற்றாக்குறையால், மேட்டூர் அணை செப்டம்பரில் திறக்கப் பட்டது. இதனால், 51 ஆயிரம் ஹெக்டேரில் மட்டுமே குறுவை சாகுபடி செய்யப்பட்டது. 2013ல், மேட்டூர் அணை, ஆகஸ்ட் 2ல் திறக்கப்பட்டதால், 69,471 ஹெக்டேரில் மட்டுமே, குறுவை சாகுபடி மேற்கொள்ளப்பட்டது.

நடப்பாண்டில், மேட்டூர் அணையில், 44.02 அடி நீர் மட்டுமே உள்ளதால், ஜூன், 12ம் தேதி, அணையில் இருந்து தண்ணீர் திறக்கப்படவில்லை. எனவே, பம்ப்செட் வசதியுள்ள, 60 ஆயிரம் ஹெக்டேரில் மட்டுமே, குறுவை சாகுபடி துவங்கி உள்ளது. இந்த பிரச்னையால், இந்த ஆண்டும், குறுவை சாகுபடியில் பாதிப்பு ஏற்படும் அபாயம் ஏற்பட்டுள்ளது.

வேளாண் வல்லுனர் குழுவை சேர்ந்த, ஓய்வு பெற்ற உதவி இயக்குனர் கலைவாணன் கூறியதாவது:
இயல்பை விட, குறைவாகவே தென்மேற்கு பருவமழை பெய்யும் என, வானிலை ஆய்வு மையம் கூறுகிறது. பருவமழை பெய்து, அணையில் நீர்மட்டம் உயர்ந்தாலும் கூட, ஆகஸ்ட் இரண்டாவது வாரத்தில் அணை திறந்தால் தான் பயனுள்ளதாக இருக்கும்.

ஆற்று பாசனம்
சமீபத்தில் பெய்த மழையை பயன்படுத்தி, பம்ப்செட் வசதிஉள்ள விவசாயிகள் மட்டுமே, நிலத்தை உழும் பணிகளை செய்து வருகின்றனர். மேட்டூரில் தண்ணீர் திறக்கப்படாததால், காவிரி ஆற்று பாசனத்தை மட்டும் நம்பியுள்ள, 55 ஆயிரம் ஹெக்டேரில், குறுவை சாகுபடி நடக்க வாய்ப்பில்லை. இதனால், ௩.௩௦ லட்சம் டன் நெல் உற்பத்தி பாதிக்கப்படும் நிலை உள்ளது.இவ்வாறு, அவர் கூறினார். 

தஞ்சாவூர் மாவட்ட காவிரி விவசாயிகள் பாதுகாப்பு சங்கம் பொருளாளர் சுவாமிமலை விமல்நாதன் கூறியதாவது:
37.4 டி.எம்.சி., நீர்: திருச்சி முக்கொம்பு முதல், தஞ்சாவூர் அணைக்கரை வரை, காவிரி ஆற்று பகுதியில் தடுப்பணை கிடையாது. மேலும், 36 கிளை ஆறு, வாய்க்கால், பிரிவு வாய்க்கால், ஏரி, குளம் ஆகியவை துார்வராமல் கிடக்கின்றன. கடந்த ஆகஸ்ட்டில், மேட்டூரில் திறந்து விடப்பட்ட, 37.4 டி.எம்.சி., தண்ணீர், வீணாக கடலில் கலந்தது. இந்த நீரை பயன்படுத்தி, 1.50 லட்சம் ஏக்கரில் சாகுபடி செய்திருக்க முடியும். உபரி நீரை, சேமித்து வைக்க முடியாத பரிதாப நிலையில் உள்ளோம்.இவ்வாறு, அவர் கூறினார்.




Goa Govt gears up for kharif crop, more land under SRI

Gearing up for the kharif paddy crop this monsoon, the agriculture department is trying to raise the area under SRI (system of rice intensification) in Goa to an unprecedented 1,000 hectares in the uplands, agriculture director P Tufani said.

Last year, the area under SRI in Goa was hardly 150 hectares. But for the rabi paddy crop, the agriculture department took special efforts to raise awareness about the advantages of SRI among Goan farmers. Those efforts are bound to yield fruit now, Tufani said.

In the 'Atal Gram' (model village) of Netravali, the department had a crop cutting competition of SRI plots in the last rabi season. The yield ranged from 6.5 tonnes per hectare to about 12 tonnes per hectare.

"Considering that the conventional method gives yields of about four tonnes per hectare, we can expect 1.5 times more paddy production in SRI," Tufani said.

But overall, the agriculture department hopes to cover about 30,000 hectares under paddy cultivation this kharif season. Last year, it was 28,830 hectares.

The three government-licensed agencies for the supply of seeds have sold almost 353 tonnes of paddy seed so far. The agencies are Goa Bhagayatdar, which has 18 outlets, Krishi Bazaar, Mapusa and Pernem taluka society, which has about 10 outlets. Most of the seed sold is of the Jyoti and Jaya variety and the agencies are prepared to procure more seeds depending on demand.

Besides, the agriculture department procured 13 tonnes of Karjat-3 paddy seed and sold it through its zonal agricultural offices. The department also procured other varieties of paddy seeds in small quantities. These varieties include Aishwarya, Kunjukunju Varna, Kanchana, Prathyasa, Samyuktha, Vaisakh, Naveen, Sonshalu and Warangalshalu.

Tufani said small quantities of these seeds have been supplied to the department's farms at Margao, Ela (Old Goa) and Mapusa and also to progressive farmers across Goa. The department will conduct multi-locational trails on these varieties of seeds which have been procured from Kerala agricultural university and the regional agricultural research station at Pattambi, Kerala.

The agriculture department has arranged for the availability of fertilizers through various agencies including private dealers.

Source: (June 18, 2014)

To know more about SRI click here


Indigenous Kaipad Rice Gets Geographical Indications Tag

 THRISSUR: Kaipad rice, a variety of rice cultivated by a unique integrated organic farming method in northern parts of the state, has been registered in the Geographical Indications Registry (GIR) of the Government of India, under the Geographical Identification of Goods (Registration and Protection) Act, 1999.

Kaipad method of farming is practised in the saline-prone coastal wetland rice production tracts in Ezhome panchayat of Kannur district and on the banks of Korapuzha, Chaliyar, Kallayipuzha and Poonoor in Kozhikode and Kasargod districts.

Members of the Malabar Kaipad Farmers’ Society of Kannur and the Centre for IP Protection in Kerala Agricultural University (KAU) received the registration certificate from the GIR, Chennai, the other day, said C R Elsy, Convenor, Kerala Agriculture University Intellectual Property Rights (IPR) Cell.

The GI tag would help the farmers gain more commercial benefits as it would improve the market prospects of the rice variety, she said.Congratulating the scientists at CoA, Padannakkad, and the Centre for IP Protection under the University for their efforts in obtaining the GI tag for native varieties, KAU Vice-Chancellor P Rajendran said the national-level recognition would enhance the fame, authenticity and marketability of Kaipad rice.  The GI tag is granted to goods to identify them as originating or manufactured in the territory of a region or locality where a given quality, reputation or other characteristics of those goods are essentially attributable to its geographical origin.

The Kaipad farming system, in which single-crop of rice cultivation is followed by aquaculture in organically rich coastal brackish water marshes, is similar to the ‘pokkali’ farming method, said Elsy. 

This farming method is carried out in a natural way, relying upon the monsoon and sea tides.

Paddy cultivation is followed by traditional fish farming in these tracts, during the high saline phase (November to April). No chemical agents are used in either rice, fish, or shrimp farming. The tidal flows make the fields highly fertile through a symbiotic relationship between rice crop and other crops like prawn, shrimp and fish.Kaipad rice is red in colour and it is non-sticky and tasty. The volume expansion of cooked rice ranges from 3.2-3.5 mm. It is richer in iron content than ‘Njavara’, the rice variety with medicinal qualities. Calcium content in Kaipad rice is also on a par with that of ‘Njavara’.

Fat content in this variety is less than the popularly consumed ‘Jyothy’ variety.

Earlier, produces like Njavara, Pokkali, and Wayanad rice varieties of Jeerakasala and Gandhakasala, Palakkadan Matta rice, Central Travancore Jaggery, Vazhakkulam pineapple, Aranmula metal mirror, Payyanoor pavitra ring, screw pine craft, Kuthampully sarees and Kasargod sarees had found place in the GI registry.
Curtesy: The New Indian Express


Punjab India Farmers Can Transplant Non-basmati Rice From June 10

After much delay, the government of Punjab, a rice-rich state in northern India, has finally directed the agriculture department to allow farmers to sow non-basmati variety of paddy from June 10. Punjab is among the top rice producing states of India. The state governments in India are responsible for providing water for the farms if there are no monsoons and provide for electricity for the farm pumps. The state’s decisions on such matters do have a telling on rice production, its time of harvest and other such factors.   The state government had earlier decided to allow transplant of paddy from June 15, but could not issue a notification as it was bound by the Model Code of Conduct which was in existence till May 20 as the country went to polls. But after the farmers of state conveyed to the government the problems the rice crop would face because of late sowing, the government agreed to the sowing of non-basmati seed from Tuesday.   Rice transplanting involves planting the seed in one place and transplanting the seedlings after they have grown a little to another place. This practice yields richer harvests and prevents weeding. - See more at:


3 new rice varieties in market

 CUTTACK: Scientists of Central Rice Research Institute (CRRI), the premier rice research centre, have developed three new high-yielding varieties of rice. The new paddy seeds, CR Dhan 205, CR Dhan 306 and CRR 451, were recently identified by central variety identification committee under the ministry of agriculture for release.

Sources said the new varieties were field tested for over three years in different parts of the country and under various climatic conditions. With this, the centre claims to have developed 110 varieties of rice since its inception in 1946. It will be celebrating its 68th foundation day on April 23.

"The committee gave its approval for release of the three new varieties last week. These have been developed keeping in mind the changing climatic conditions and requirements of different states," said CRRI director Trilochan Mohapatra.

The CR Dhan 205 is suitable for Tamil Nadu, Madhya Pradesh, Odisha and Gujarat, which have serious irrigation problem. It can grow under water-deficiency conditions and yield 5.3 to 5.8 tonne a hectare. However, the output can go up to 8 tonne a hectare under favourable conditions. The variety takes only 110 days to mature and can endure strong winds.

"It requires 70% less water than traditional varieties and produces a bumper harvest. It is best suited for rain-fed Balangir and Kalahandi districts in our state," said principal scientist of CRRI S K Pradhan.

Similarly, CR Dhan 306 is suitable for irrigated areas and has been recommended for Madhya Pradesh, Bihar and Puducherry. It is a superior quality of Lalat rice variety. It matures in 125 days and yields 6 tonne a hectare.

The CRR 451 matures in flat 95 days and is best suited for Jharkhand and Chhattisgarh. The long slender grain variety will ensure better profits to farmers. The rice variety is resistant to leaf blast disease and also tolerant to drought-like situation. On an average, it yields 3.5 to 4 tonne a hectare. (Curtesy: Times of India)


Ample stocks hold rice steady

Karnal, March 27:  The rice market is likely to rule without much change on account of steady demand and ample stocks for the next few days, said trade experts.

With not much trading taking place in the market, prices of almost all the varieties remained unchanged on Thursday.

Amit Chandna, proprietor of Hanuman Rice Trading Company, told Business Line that following steady domestic demand and easy availability of stocks, retail and bulk buyers are placing orders based on their requirement. Traders expect the market to continue to rule around current levels for the next few days and may witness some alteration in the first week of April, he added.

In the physical market, after witnessing an uptrend earlier this week, aromatic and non-basmati varieties remained unaltered.

Pusa-1121 (steam) sold at ₹8,900-9,000 , while Pusa-1121 (sela) quoted at ₹7,900 . Pure Basmati (raw) quoted at ₹12,200. Duplicate basmati (steam) sold at ₹7,000. Pusa-1121 (second wand) was at ₹7,100, Tibar at ₹6,150 while Dubar at ₹5,000 a quintal.

In the non-basmati section, Sharbati (steam) sold at ₹4,850 while Sharbati (ela) quoted at ₹4,300 . Permal (raw) sold at ₹2,330, Permal (sela) at ₹2,350, PR-11 (sela) sold at ₹2,700 while PR-11 (raw) at ₹2,600 . PR14 (steam) sold at ₹2,950 a quintal.

Courtesy :


MSP fixed for rabi paddy

Nalgonda:  Joint Collector M.Hari Jawaharlal has declared Minimum Support Price (MSP) for rabi paddy here on Friday, fixing Rs 1,345 for a quintal of ‘A’ grade rice and Rs 1,310 for ordinary quality. Releasing the posters of paddy MSP, the Joint Collector asked officials to put them up in villages to spread awareness among farmers to help them sell their produce at procurement centres of government organisations.



Charmo takes a toll on paddy in Bicholim, Sattari

KERI: Rice blast fungus locally known as charmo has damaged paddy crop in many areas of Bicholim and Sattari talukas.

Though the zonal agriculture officers at Bicholim, Sattari and Sakhali have taken needful steps, information about the disease was not provided in time.

Magnaporthe grisea, also known as rice blast fungus, rice rotten neck or rice seedling blight is a plant-pathogenic fungus that seriously affects rice.

Initial symptoms are white to gray-green lesions or spots with darker borders produced on all parts of the shoot, while older lesions are elliptical or spindle-shaped and whitish to gray with necrotic borders. It also affects reproduction by causing the host to produce fewer seeds.

Navalo Zore from Vantichemol of Ghoteli in Sattari told TOI, "Our crops are affected badly by charmo. My family and I have worked hard but rice blast fungus would drastically reduce the yield and cause heavy losses. We are landless and our investment this year has proved futile."

Kishor Bhave, the zonal agricultural officer of Sattari, said, "As soon as our officials received information, we made sincere efforts to providing tricyclozole chemical free of cost to the affected farmers. In some cases, tricyclozole has helped farmers to get rid of the affects of charmo."

Shashikant Malik from Kudne said, "This year farmers with more than 5ha are worried that our hardwork will not yield much fruit as the paddy is affected by blast fungus."

Dasharath Morajkar, social activist from Pelavade-Ravan in Sattari, said, "Since the losses will not be compensated under the Shetkari Aadhaar Nidhi Scheme initiated by the government of Goa, farmers are under further stress."



Controlling blast infestation in rice

Blast infestation in rice has been reported from many places of Andhra Pradesh State. In Telangana, Andhra and Rayalaseema zones, the disease has been reported to an extent of 10-20 per cent during this season.

There are broadly three types of blast. The first is called as leaf blast. Infested crop leaves exhibit spindle shaped spots with brown margin and grey dots.

This type has been prevalent in Warangal, Karimnagar, Khammam, Krishna, East Godavari, West Godavari, Nellore, Srikakulum and other districts of Andhra Pradesh for the last few weeks.

Node blast

The second type is node blast. Caused by a fungus, the symptoms are crop turning black in colour and panicles breaking easily.

The third type is called neck blast. This starts during panicle emergence initiation of the crop period. The neck region is blackened and shrivelled. Grain set in ears is completely or partially inhibited.

Out of the three, neck blast is more severe and results in yield losses to a great extent.

Favourable environmental factors such as prolonged dry periods, cool nights, low night temperature, high relative humidity, cloudy, drizzling weather and high nitrogen supply increase all the three disease incidences.


Healthy disease free seeds alone should be used for sowing.

Use disease resistant or tolerant rice cultivars

Seed treatment with tricyclozole 75 WP at 2.0 g or carbendazim at 1.0g per kg seed as wet seed treatment or carbendazim at 3.0 g per kg as dry seed treatment.

Seeds should not be collected from infested fields.

Remove weeds and collateral hosts from field and bunds. Balanced fertillizer application is a must.

At the time of harvesting, infested plants should be removed and destroyed.

Field bunds and irrigation channels should be kept clean. Avoid excess application of nitrogenous fertilizers.

Spraying of fungicides like tricyclozole 75 WP at 0.6 g or isoprothiolane 40EC at 1.5 ml or kasugamycin 3 L at 2.5 ml will be more effective.

Courtesy :


Market gasping with heavy paddy arrivals

Several tractors carrying paddy bags were seen lined up on both sides of the road in front of the regulated market in Ammoor near Ranipet on Tuesday.

The main gate of the market was closed due to the piling up of bags in the open space inside the market, due to lack of storage space.

The Ammoor regulated market which normally handles about 3500 bags daily has been facing excessively heavy arrivals in the last four days owing to surplus paddy production in the Sholinghur, Arakkonam, Ponnai, Katpadi and Kaveripakkam areas of Vellore district as well as Tiruttani in the neighbouring Tiruvallur district.

About 15,000 paddy bags have piled up inside the market in the last one week. Owing to lack of storage space, the authorities of the regulated market have been closing the main gate for the last four days, forcing the tractors carrying the paddy bags to be parked on both sides of the road.


When asked about the problem, B. Kumaran, superintendent of the regulated market said that for the last one week, a board had been displayed outside the market, appealing to the farmers not to bring their produce till April 2 in view of the excessive stocks piling up inside the market.

C. Gopinathan, Secretary, Vellore District Market Committee said that the farmers were also being informed orally during the reading of the prices and disbursement of cash daily about the piling of the stocks and advised to bring stocks after April 2 when the situation would ease.

Besides lack of space, another problem was the difficulty in traders obtaining funds from banks to pay the farmers on account of the financial year end restrictions on outflow of funds. On Mondays and Fridays, the market could take an additional 50 bags, and the situation would return to normality within 10 days, he said.

Storage capacity

The Secretary said that while the regulated market in Ammoor has five sheds each of 500 metric tonnes (MT) capacity for storage, at any given time, only 350 MT could be stored in each shed in order to provide space for movement.

The government has issued an order even before the announcement of the Lok Sabha election schedule for the construction of four additional sheds in the Ammoor market, each of 500 MT capacity. Tenders would be floated for construction of the same after elections , he said.



Rice seen ruling at current levels

Karnal, March 24:  After witnessing a downtrend last week, prices of Pusa-1121 and Sharbati varieties improved by ₹50-150 a quintal while all the other aromatic and non-basmati rice varieties ruled flat on lukewarm trading.

Amit Chandna, proprietor of Hanuman Rice Trading Company, told Business Line that fresh trade enquiries mainly pushed Pusa-1121 and Sharbati varieties marginally up.

Market has been ruling in a tight range since the beginning of March and prices may continue to rule around current levels with marginal fluctuation even in the next few days.

In the physical market, Pusa-1121 (steam) improved by ₹150 and sold at ₹8,900-9,000, while Pusa-1121 (sela) went up by ₹100 and quoted at ₹7,900. Pure Basmati (Raw) quoted at ₹12,200. Duplicate basmati (steam) sold at ₹7,000. Pusa-1121 (second wand) was at ₹7,100, Tibar at ₹6,150 while Dubar at ₹5,000 a quintal.

In the non-basmati section, prices of Sharbati (Steam) increased by ₹50 and sold at ₹4,850 while Sharbati (sela) quoted at ₹4,300. Permal (raw) sold at ₹2,330, Permal (sela) at ₹2,350, PR-11 (sela) sold at ₹2,700 while PR-11 (Raw) at ₹2,600. PR14 (steam) sold at ₹2,950 a quintal.

Courtesy :


Water scarcity affects paddy cultivation

When they set out to revitalise a fallow piece of land, hardly did they expect the problem of water scarcity to put a spanner in their works. A group of students, part of the National Service Scheme (NSS) unit at the Sree Chitra Thirunal College of Engineering, Pappanamcode, who have taken up cultivation in 30 cents of land near their college, are now facing a water crisis owing to a blocked canal, part of the Neyyar irrigation project.

The students started cultivation on a part of the Koliyakkode paddy fields, stretching to 7 hectares, last December. They took up the entire work of preparing the field, which has been lying uncultivated for the past two years, and sowing. But since February, they have been facing a severe shortage of water. They have been depending on a garbage-filled waterbody and wells in nearby houses for watering the crop. But now with water level in the wells reducing rapidly, the students are doubtful whether they can harvest the crop as expected in April.
Students of the NSS unit of Sree Chithra Thirunal Engineering College, Pappanamcode, watering the paddy fields which they cultivate.
They say that the main reason for the stoppage of paddy cultivation here was the clogging of the Neyyar irrigation project canal a few years ago with garbage. At present the water reaches only till Nemom and due to two major blocks at the Vellayani studio and the Vidhyadhiraja Homoeo College, the water does not reach till Pappanamcode.

In what is seen as an after effect of the clogging of the canal, as many as 11 ponds in the Nemom area have almost dried up in the past few years. Though an amount of Rs.14 lakh was allocated to clean up the clogged canal, the contractor who took up the work left it half way through. Re-tendering processes has also not happened.

The students fear that the continuing water scarcity will result in the entire paddy field going back to the fallow state, which might pave the way for real estate lobbies to fill it up.

Courtesy :


Spike in yields unlikely to leave Kerala paddy farmers richer

It’s a surprisingly big paddy harvest for Kerala farmers this season. But with the procurement price stymied by the state government's price ceiling, it doesn’t necessarily mean good news for the farmers.

With Kerala itself needing 7,500 tonne of rice per day and production in the state sub-optimal, the government, through its grocery arm Supplyco, procures the crop at R19 per kg. At open prices, the farmer gets only R15 per kg. In the current season, Supplyco has procured as much as 70,000 tonne. The R19/kg procurement price for paddy is reportedly the highest in the country.

The catch, however, is that Supplyco's ceiling for procurement at R19 per kg is 5.5 tonne per hectare. In Palakkad, which has 83,000 hectares under paddy cultivation, many farmers have reported yields as high as 9.1 tonne per hectare.

“This means the farmer may not be able to get the best price offered only for part of his harvest,” a senior official at the state agriculture ministry told FE.

The state has about 300,000 rice growers, mostly small and marginal farmers with average land holding below 0.4 hectare. "Theoretically, the state government could amend the norms, but the ongoing general elections would be the perfect excuse. Even otherwise, the farmer has to run from pillar to post to get the procurement dues,” says M Suresh Kumar, a farmer.

Although the average paddy yield in Kerala is only 2.7 tonne per hectare, Palakkad, with 12 dams exclusively for irrigating rice fields, logs as much as 5 tonne per hectare. But the current harvest yield, expected to average 9 tonne per hectare, has been unheard of.

“What was almost miraculous is that the yield surged when the mercury climbed in November, December and January," says Leelakumari, a senior farm official.

Kuttanad, the other paddy granary of Kerala, is also reporting above-normal yields this season, with some farmers reporting 7.5 tonne per hectare.

"A new variety of paddy, Uma, developed by Kerala Agricultural University (KAU), was used extensively both in Palakkad and Kuttanad. In Palakkad, the shift to machine planting could also have improved the harvest," say the officials.

Courtesy :


IRRI to provide technological support to Assam farmers

Guwahati, Mar 18:  The Manila-based International Rice Research Institute (IRRI) has agreed to provide technological support to Assam farmers for popularising water-resistant paddy varieties.

A delegation from IRRI recently visited the state’s flood-prone crop land and observed that Assam could easily become a rice-surplus state by reducing flood-induced crop damage and also contribute significantly to the nation’s food security, an official release said here today.

IRRI’s Director General, Robert Zeigler and other members of the delegation had a discussion with the state’s Agriculture Minister Nilamani Sen Deka and emphasised on local trials in agro-climatic zones for introducing and ensuring variety adaptability.

Zeigler stressed the need for “phase-wise strategic improvement of capacity building” so that stakeholders, especially the farming community, could have their own decision making power.

The IRRI developed Swarna SUB-1 variety of paddy has already been cultivated after the state procured two tonnes of seeds.

Submergence-tolerant paddy varieties assume importance here in view of the recurring damages caused to crops by floods.

Of the state’s net crop area of 28.11 lakh hectares, 4.93 lakh hectares happen to be chronically flood-prone.

Rice production in the state, spread over an area of 24.88 lakh hectares, during 2012-13 stood at 52.33 MT.

Courtesy :


India Northeastern State Assam Rice Farmers Achieve Higher Yields with Flood Tolerant Varieties

Rice farmers in the northeast Indian state of Assam have achieved yields of up to 3 - 4 tons per hectare using the Swarna Submergence-1 (SS-1) submergence-resistant paddy Seeds, which are an updated version of India's popular flood tolerant hybrid rice variety 'Swarna'.

The average rice yield in Assam stands at around 1.93 tons per hectare, while the national average during is around 3.5 tons per hectare. However, floods often destroy the entire rice crop in flood-prone regions of Assam.

The Assam Agriculture Department (AAD) began experimenting with the SS-1 seeds by distributing around 17,000 kilograms of seeds to farmers in the state's flood-prone districts during the June - July cultivation season in 2012. The state managed to produce 5.2 million tons of rice during FY 2012-13 (April – March) and farmers were impressed with this flood-tolerant variety. With increased output, the AAD has expanded the SS-1 variety usage to 40,000 hectares of land mostly in flood-affected areas. With the SS-1 seeds, the AAD expects to produce about 6.1 million tons in the FY 2013-14.

SS-1 seeds were developed by the Philippines-based International Rice Research Institute (IRRI) in collaboration with the Indian Council of Agricultural Research (ICAR) in 2009. Scientists modified the 'Swarna' variety by introducing gene Sub1 (for submergence) that helps plants survive under water up to two weeks, yet give higher yields. The seeds have been tried in coastal districts of India's southern states Andhra Pradesh and Odisha, which are mainly rained lands and are prone to floods.

Scientists say the yield advantage of SS-1 variety increases as flood severity worsens and can increase the yield up to 66% even after 13 days of flooding. The SS-1 seeds can yield up to 3 - 3.5 tons per hectare when submerged for 13-15 days and up to 6 tons per hectare in normal conditions.

Courtesy :

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