Aerobic rice cultivation to save water

ANI | Updated: Sep 27, 2017 15:10 IST

Mandya (Karnataka) [India], Sept 27 (ANI-NewsVoir): This kharif season, due to monsoon deficit in Karnataka, the government had recommended farmers to not go for Paddy cultivation.

Renowned agriculture scientist Dr. H. E Shashidhar, has developed Aerobic Rice variety and farming practice that doesn't require nursery, transplantation, puddling or standing water for Paddy cultivation. Aerobic Rice variety ARB6 was released while he was at UAS-GKVK and has shown excellent results.

Dr. Shashidhar is an agriculture scientist of international repute with decades of field and academic experience. A graduate from the UAS (University of Agriculture Sciences, Bangalore), he earned his Post-Doctoral Research scroll from Texas Tech University, USA and also served as Director of Research at Barwale Foundation, Hyderabad. His research work has covered lesser water consumption and development of exclusive variety of rice with an Intellectual Property tag, endorsed by NBPGR.

Dr. Shashidhar has several awards and citations to his credit and these include Best Rice Worker, Gold medal conferred by the Rotary Club of Bangalore South, Certificate of Merit from Rockefeller Foundation, USA and one more from DBT, New Delhi for Securing Funding. He has organised as well as participated in scores of conferences and symposia both at home and abroad, and presented highly informative papers.

Keeping in view the aspects of good seedling vigour, responsive to high input and toleration of flooding, the Manila-based International Rice Research Institute (IRRI) and also the National Rice Research Institute (NRRI) (formerly Central Rice Research Institute) located at Cuttack in India have endorsed the aerobic rice cultivation systems.

Dr. Shashidhar's work on Aerobic Rice development has heralded a farmer-friendly technology to produce high yields of paddy with better grain quality, and grain yields per unit land area and time, with 50 percent less consumption of water besides 70 percent less of nitrogen inputs with the Aerobic Rice cultivation practices. These techniques are being relayed from the lab to farm after extensive field trials.

Based on lab and field trials, following prominent features of direct seeded, Aerobic Rice has been observed:

•Good Quality of Paddy (Rice and Fodder)

•Over 50 percent reduction in water usage

•70-85 percent reduction in fertilizer and pesticides because no runoff due to excess water

•Reduction in cultivation cost because no nursery, no transplantation, no need to pump too much water

•Less water helps reduce incidence of pests and diseases

•Massive reduction in greenhouse gas emissions

In a recently concluded event on September 23, 2017 at H. Kodihalli in Mandya, Dr. H E Shashidhar educated farmers and relevant stakeholders on aspects pertaining to Aerobic farming. He is currently touring farms in Mandya and Hassan districts to continue his endeavor. (ANI-NewsVoir)

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