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A study on SRI Technology in Cauvery Delta Region on Tamil Nadu.

SRI Technology in Cauvery Delta Region

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Ghadei, Dr. Kalyan
Department of Extension Education, Institute of Agricultural science, BHU. Varanasi
SRI Technology, Delta Region, Cauvery Delta
SRI Technology in Cauvery Delta Region

Rice is life to a majority of people in Asia. The cultivation of rice represents both a way of life and a means to livelihood in rural India. Enormous progress has been made since World War II in improving the productivity and profitability of Indica rice. The System of Rice Intensification, or SRI for short, is a fascinating case of rural innovation that has been developed outside the formal rice research establishment both in India and the rest of the world.SRI as an innovation comes at an opportune time as we must reconsider strategic directions for agriculture in our new century. By raising dramatically the productivity of land and water, so that more output can be produced with less of these inputs, SRI relaxes these fundamental constraints. Also, given recent and expected increases in energy costs, it is going to be difficult to sustain many so-called ‘modern’ technologies. The System of Rice Intensification, or SRI, is a system that has evolved over the last few decades of the 20th century and offers a radical departure in the way of growing more rice with fewer inputs. It was developed in Madagascar by Fr. Henri De Laulanié, a French priest with a background in agriculture and passion for rural development, whose keen observation of deviant practice and continued experimentation led to SRI emerging over a decade with six principles of growing rice that were different, often radically, from conventional rice cultivation techniques. In Tamil Nadu, SRI appears to have begun in Erode around 1999-2000. Some printed material on SRI was given by Mr. Nammalvar, a well-known organic agriculture activist and a leading person of the LEISA (Low External Input Sustainable Agriculture) network, to Mr. RamaswamySelvam, the current President of All India Association of Organic Farmers. Mr. Selvam tried out SRI in August of that year.5 While this was in 1.10 acres of land, Mr. Selvam could have tried out SRI one year earlier, in 1999, on a much smaller scale, on 5 cents of land. In 2001, 40 more farmers tried SRI, after interaction with RamaswamySelvam. There were mixed results, due to water shortage and ‘because the farmers used tractors to pulverise the land’.6 Due to water scarcity and drought, the experimentation with, and spread of SRI outside the governmental system did not pick up in the following year. SRI in India is a continually evolving and dynamic system with new actors entering the system in every agricultural season. An important feature of SRI in India is that it has no uniform characteristic nor any single agency or organisation driving it. It has been carried out by both government agencies and civil society with a varying combination of collaboration amongst them in the regions. The work in Tamil Nadu is concentrated in the Cauvery basin where the state government has decided to cover 25% of cropped area through SRI. SRI is a method of increasing the yield of rice. It is possible to adopt the SRI method to other crops and vegetables for getting higher production and productivity. Efforts are being taken to popularize SRI by international agencies, government and non-government agencies. Keeping the above facts in mind, a research study entitled “A study on SRI technology in Cauvery delta region of Tamil Nadu” was formulated with the following objectives; The specific objectives of the study are; To study the socio economic profile of the farmers adopting SRI technology. To assess the knowledge of the farmers on SRI technology. To determine the extent of adoption of SRI technology. To find out the relationship between selected independent and dependent variables. To assess the Impact of SRI technology. To find out the constraints as perceived by the farmers for adoption of SRI technology. To elicit suggestion to obviate the constraints faced by the farmers in adopting SRI technology. This study was taken up in Cauvery Delta Zone of Tamil Nadu selected purposively. Cauvery Delta Zone of Tamil Nadu consists of seven districts. Out of this seven Thanjavur, Tiruvarur and Nagapattinam district were selected purposively.Out of twenty four taluk, Twotaluka from each district were selected randomly.Five villages from each taluk were selected randomly.Ten respondents from each village were selected through random sampling. Total respondents selected were three hundred in number. Knowledge level on SRI and Extent of adoption of the recommended packages of practices of SRI by the farmers in SRI and Impact of SRI technology were chosen as the three independent variables.Ex-post-facto research design was followed in this study. The primary data was taken from the SRI farmers by personal interview with the help of pre-tested interview schedule covering all aspects of the investigation. To convert the data into meaningful findings, statistical tools such as; Arithmetic Mean (X ̅), Standard Deviation (σ), Frequency, Percentage, Mean Scores, Correlation (r) were applied. The summary of the findings were presented as follows; SOCIO-ECONOMIC PROFILE OF THE RESPONDENTS The profile of SRI farmers revealed that majority of the respondents were middle aged, educated up to college, medium level of Farming experience, medium level of land holding, medium level of social participation, attended at least one Training. Scientific orientation, Management orientation, Economic motivation, Extension contact, Achievement motivation, Innovativeness, Mass media exposure and Risk orientation were found in medium level. KNOWLEDGE OF THE FARMERS ON SRI TECHNOLOGY Majority of the respondents had medium level of knowledge followed by low and higher level. An overwhelming majority of respondents had knowledge about the weed management practices, nursery preparation, irrigation management, nutrient management and main field preparation.   EXTENT OF ADOPTION OF SRI TECHNOLOGY More than half of the respondents had medium level of adoption in the cultivation of paddy under SRI method, an overwhelming majority of respondents were adopted the weed management practices, irrigation management, main field preparation, nursery preparation and nutrient management practices. ASSOCIATIONS OF INDEPENDENT VARIABLES OF THE SRI FARMERS WITH THEIR KNOWLEDGE LEVEL The variables viz., Age, Educational status, Training undergone, , Social participation, Extension contact, Economic motivation, Innovativeness and Mass media exposure showed a positive and significant association with knowledge and farming experience ,land holding, scientific orientation, management orientation, achievement motivation and risk orientation showed Non-significant relationship with knowledge level. Land holding showed negative relationship with knowledge. ASSOCIATIONS OF INDEPENDENT VARIABLES OF THE SRI FARMERS WITH THEIR ADOPTION In adoption except Age and farming experience Educational status, Training undergone, Social participation, Extension contact, Economic motivation, Innovativeness and Mass media exposure showed a positive and significant association with adoption. The variables age, farming experience in adoption had shown negative relationship with adoption. The variables Land Holding, Social Participation, Extension Contact, Scientific Orientation, Management Orientation, Mass Media Exposure, and Risk Orientation showed Non-significant relationship with adoption. THE IMPACT OF SRI TECHNOLOGY AMONG THE FARMERS SRI increased yield by cost of cultivation by 22.71 per cent, increased net income by 81.97 per cent and gross income by 37.45 per cent. SRI created medium level of environmental and social impact among the farmers.   THE CONSTRAINTS FACED BY THE FARMERS IN ADOPTING SRI TECHNOLOGY Among the all the constraints in SRI the field leveling was a major problem in many areas. Operation of conoweeder caused severe shoulder pain to farmers.SRI demands more personal attention and constant involvement by farmers. Some farmers were not getting enough irrigation water due to tail end areas. Transplanting young, single and one seedling was felt little bit difficult among the farmers. Nursery management was a felt difficult due to small seedlings. Drainage problem felt in low lying areas. Availability organic manure was a problem. Usage conoweeder was felt difficult after full establishment weeds.Unsuitability of weeder for some soils maintaining spacing was felt difficult among the farmers. Unavailability of labour , higher wage rate and lack of skill among the labour were the constraints farmers felt in SRI cultivation. SUGGESTIONS TO OBVIATE THE CONSTRAINTS FACED BY THE FARMERS IN ADOPTING SRI TECHNOLOGY Suggestions given by the farmers to obviate the constraints faced by the farmers were training to farmers and labours would help to maximize the resource use efficiency. Provision of inputs and subsidies would help keep the farmers in enthusiasm. Coming to mechanization, it has to be low cost and easily operational. CONCLUSION The study has shown positive impact of SRI technology in terms of reduction in cost of cultivation and increased yields per unit area for the rice cultivators in the study area and created good impact in terms economic, social and environmentally. SRI appears to be a significant alternative for raising paddy yields and managing paddy-based farming in resource scarce regions. SRI farmers need less seed, thereby reducing input cost. The total cost is less with SRI and thus it is likely to find acceptance among poor farmers.The constraints for adoption of SRI technology were indicated as labour scarcity and higher weed menace. If these constraints are addressed through improvised technologies and proactive policies it will pave way for wider adoption of SRI system among the farming community. Keywords: SRI, Cauvery delta region, Knowledge level on SRI, Extent of adoption, Constraints in SRI, Impact of SRI, Adoption of SRI Technology


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