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Indigenous technical knowledge (ITKs) of Maharastra

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·    These traditional cultivars are cultivated in specific geographical area of the state, the transplanting and dibbling are the popular methods for cultivation, the use of fertilizers is very low.
·    The area under traditional varieties is meager but specific features like fine, scent and nutritional value.
·    These cultivars are cultivated for the local market home consumptions and religious occasions.
i) Rab  :
·    Rab is an age-old practice followed in the Konkan region in which farmers burn the piece of land where rice nursery is to be raised. It was found that 87.09 per cent farmers adopted the Rab preparation method for raising rice seedlings.
·    There was a variation in the material used for Rab due to ecological aspects, vegetation, availability of material and location of the fields. It was also found that the material like dry leaves, cow dung, dry grass, branches of trees, byre waste, etc. were used for Rab.
·    Rabbing is a practice which consists of burning cow-dung cakes, tree-lopping, leaves, grass etc. by making layers on the paddy seed-bed area.
·    Rabbing is a sort of partial sterilization of the soil.  It improves the physical structure of the soil and increases availability of nutrients in the soil.
·    The practice is, therefore beneficial in raising vigorous seedlings but it involves wastage of valuable organic matter, which can preferably be used in compost making. 
·    The system of rabbing is mostly confined to North Konkan and the Maval tract of Maharashtra State. 
·    Attempts have been made since 1905 to substitute this wasteful method by using manures, and chemical fertilizers.
·    In the opinion of 97.40 per cent farmers, the Rab helps control the weeds, while 74.61 and 73.10 per cent farmers opined that the Rab helps to better germination of seed and is helpful in getting healthy seedlings, respectively.  With regard to the effect of Rab on the crop, majority (94.92 per cent) of the respondents expresses that the yield per unit area increased due to the Rab preparation.
ii) Method of sowing/  Random transplanting  :
·    Rice crop is traditionally grown as a transplanted crop.
·    Farmers are transplanting rice at random without following specific spacing.  The opinion of farmers about line transplanting was not only expensive but time consuming.
·    Research was conducted in medium black soil to find out an alternative to this method.  The other methods used were drilling, dibbling and broadcasting of sprouted seed. It was observed that rice crop raised by transplanting method produced significantly higher grain yield over the remaining methods of cultivation. Now farmers are convinced about higher yield performance by following line transplanting.
iii) Deep transplanting:
Generally farmers are transplanting rice very deep hence that affects the tillering ability and ultimately total yield.
iv) Use of more number of seedlings per hills:
Farmers were using more than 5 seedlings/ hills, however 3-4 / hills are giving equal results
v) Ulkatni and Awatni  :
·    Ulkatni and Awatni are two local practices followed in Khar lands of Thane and Raigad districts. 
·    In Ulkatni the clods are turned upside down with the help of crobar in the months of April-May, while Awatni is a practice of putting the rice seedlings in the field alongwith the mud ball from the seedbed. It was observed that both the methods of preparatory tillage were effective.
·    instead of Ulkatni which was done manually, ploughing could be done after harvest of Kharif rice in reclaimed Khar lands.
·    Awatni was significantly superior to the regular practice of transplanting provided the population is maintained in case of Awatni.
·    Superficial planting in Awatni avoids contact of tender seedlings with the salty portion of soil and thus avoids mortality of seedlings.
o    Germplasm resources: The germplasm of local cultivars is maintained by the farmers and Rice Research Stations of that region.
o    Medicinal value: Mhadi, Bela, Walai having the medicinal and rich nutritional value.
 

File Courtesy: 
RARS-Karjat
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