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Srikakulam: Facing water scarcity, paddy farmers go for direct sowing

A paddy field
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A paddy field at Kottapeta village in Etcherla mandal in Srikakulam district where the direct sowing method has been adopted

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Farmers in Srikakulam district are resorting to direct sowing method this year to cultivate paddy crop during current kharif season

Srikakulam: Farmers in Srikakulam district are resorting to direct sowing method this year to cultivate paddy crop during current kharif season.

Main reason for adopting direct sowing method is to overcome scarcity of water in the wake of deficit rainfall in the district. Every year paddy is being cultivated in an extent 6.50 lakh acres across the district during kharif season and the paddy is the prime crop in the district.

Due to deficit rainfall during the current season, water is not sufficiently available for the kharif paddy crop. As a result, paddy crop cultivation works started one month behind the schedule this year.

Normally transplantation mode is adopted for paddy cultivation as paddy saplings are grown at nurseries and the same saplings will be transplanted. For this method, more water is required. In view of shortage of rainfall and irrigation water, the farmers during this year have resorted to direct sowing method. Paddy cultivation is being started in 5 lakh acres during the current kharif season out of the total extent of paddy cultivation 6.5 lakh acres.

Water is not sufficiently available in Vamsadhara reservoir, Gotta barrage Thotapalli barrage and reservoir project, Madduvalasa reservoir, Narayanapuram anicut and other minor projects.

Major rivers which are prime water resources for the Srikakulam district like Vamsadhara, Nagavali, Mahendrathanaya and Bahuda are originated in Odisha and having catchment area in the State. Even in Odisha also this year 25 per cent deficit rainfall is reported so far and as a result water levels in the rivers are normal. In Srikakulam district also 30 per cent deficit rainfall was reported till July 31 this year against normal rainfall.

"Direct sowing of paddy is also a scientific method and farmers can save time, overcome water scarcity and some money under this method," Joint Director for Agriculture (JD-A), K Sridhar explained. "This year water is not sufficient for transplantation mode of cultivation so we adopted direct sowing method," Ch Lakshunnaidu, a farmer of Gorinta village in Ponduru mandal said.

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