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Direct-seeding method gains currency in India’s paddy-growing regions

GS Paper 3

 Syllabus: Agriculture

 

Source: Hindu Business Line

 Context: There is a growing trend of farmers in rice-growing states of India adopting the direct-seeding method for paddy cultivation.

 

Reasons: With delays in rainfall and labour shortages, this method allows farmers to sow seeds without waiting for rain or spending time in nurseries.

 

What is Direct Seeded Rice (DSR)?

DSR, also known as the ‘broadcasting seed technique,’ is a method in which seeds are directly drilled into the fields. There is no nursery preparation or transplantation involved in this method.

 

Technique:

In this technique, farmers level the land, provide one pre-sowing irrigation, and then sow the rice seeds directly into the field instead of transplanting seedlings.

 

Advantages of DSR over Traditional Agriculture:

AdvantagesDirect Seeding Method (DSR)Traditional Agriculture
Water ConservationDirect-seeding method reduces water requirement by about 15%.Relies heavily on flood irrigation, leading to water wastage
Labour EfficiencyRequires fewer labourers for nursery preparation and transplantationRequires a significant workforce for nursery and transplanting
Time SavingsEliminates the need for nursery preparation and transplanting timeRequires time for nursery preparation and transplanting
Yield PotentialCan result in higher yields due to improved crop managementYield may vary based on crop management and environmental factors
Soil HealthHelps prevent the development of hard crust beneath the plough layerPuddling can lead to soil compaction and reduced soil health
Crop Residue ManagementAllows for better management of crop residueCrop residue management can be challenging in traditional methods

 

Limitations of DSR: 

  • Weed Management Challenges: DSR often requires multiple sprays of weedicides to control weed growth. In comparison, flood irrigation in the traditional method acts as a natural weedicide.
  • Vulnerability to Climate Extremes: DSR may be more susceptible to extreme weather conditions, such as high temperatures and deficient rainfall.
  • Crop Residue Management: Unlike traditional agriculture, where rice straw is removed after harvest, DSR leaves the crop residue in the field.
  • Variability in Yield: The success of DSR can vary depending on factors like farmer expertise, soil type, and environmental conditions.
  • Initial Learning Curve: Transitioning from traditional agriculture to DSR may require farmers to acquire new knowledge and skills.
  • The seed requirement for DSR is also higher than transplanting.
  •  Land levelling is compulsory in DSR, therefore, increasing the cost.

 

Insta Links:

Direct seeding of rice

 

Mains Link: 

Discuss the significance of Direct Seeding of Rice (DSR) (250 Words)

 

Prelims Links:

What is/are the advantage/advantages of zero tillage in agriculture? ( UPSC 2020)

  1. Sowing of wheat is possible without burning the residue of the previous crops.
  2. Without the need for a nursery of rice saplings, direct planting of paddy seeds in the wet soil is possible.
  3. Carbon sequestration in the soil is possible.

 

Select the correct answer using the code given below:

(a) 1 and 2 only
(b) 2 and 3 only
(c) 3 only
(d) 1, 2 and 3

 

Ans: D