Since it started in 2014, more than 40 extension agents have participated in the season-long training on dry seeded rice (DSR) technology and have consequently reached almost two thousand farmers. The program is based on a format developed at the International Rice Research Institute (IRRI) where participants receive hands-on training on all aspects of crop production and management—from sowing to grain storage—during the entire growing season.
“MSSRF is now extending the training to farmers after its staff members attended the season-long training,” said G. Sudhakar, scientist at MSSRF, during the CSISA Tamil Nadu Hub Celebration Workshop on 15-16 September held in Thanjavur. According to Sudhakar, with the season-long training, farmers were able to harvest an average of 2.6 tons per acre, which according to him was a “good yield.”
“The training has been effective because it has sessions at key growth stages of rice farming and participants grow and monitor their crop during the program,” said Poornima Shankar, knowledge management and outreach specialist at IRRI. “They learn at the training and are able to implement near real-time changes in their management practice.”
Dry seeded rice using a seed drill compared with manual broadcasting is seen as an attractive option for rice farmers in the Tamil Nadu because they can save on labor for nursery preparation and maintenance, pulling out and transport of seedlings, and manual transplanting.
The season-long training course was conducted at KVK Needamangalam from 8 September 2014 to 25 February 2015. It was attended by staff members of MSSRF and officers of the Department of Agriculture in Tamil Nadu. The participants represented the 11 blocks of Tiruvarur District in Tamil Nadu.
Learn more about IRRI (www.irri.org) or follow us on the social media and networks (all links down the right column).