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

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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: http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/city/goa/Govt-gears-up-for-kharif-cro... (June 18, 2014)

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