Monday 6 February 2012

Rice Seed Replacement: What is the Awareness Level of Farmers?


            What do you know about rice seed replacement? If this question is posed to our farmers, the inevitable and expected answer would be ‘we do not know’ and, if questioned; do you feel like need for purchase of seed materials from outside? The answer would be; no, we produce our own rice seed for next season.
           This is the awareness revel of our farmers, of course, it would be inappropriate to say or presume that they do not go for outside seed agency for seed material but the fact is; they go for seed materials to neighboring /fellow farmers when he/she exhaust the seed stock for next season but seed is purchased from the farmers of same group of awareness level.
            Similarly, when Government department supply seed materials either free or subsidized rate, farmers gets the pure or improved varieties of rice seed materials so is introduction of new variety/cultivation of pure breed/variety but later on same trends continues as far as production or procurement of certified rice seed is concerned.
       This is the general trends and condition of farmers in respect of rice seed replacement with pure and certified seed or new improved varieties of rice seed with old and existing rice variety in the state.
           The matter of the fact is; “Rice farmers (in most cases) of the state keep certain quantities of rice during the particular season with an objective to use in the next season. At best, they segregate the particular lot of harvested rice before thrashing and pull out the unwanted rice variety.
        The problem is; farmer grows different varieties which subsequently results in mixing up of undesired variety with desired variety in the next rice crop. In addition, contamination at field level is also not ruled and due to ratoon in the rice field”.

Problem with rice seed replacement

           The main problem out of many possible elements in the way is farmers’ awareness with the concept. Review of age old system and replacing of rice seed with pure and certified rice seed is still to find a prominent place in the mind of the farmers.
         Farmers do not know the benefit of using of pure rice seed or certified rice seed and its subsequent effect on total rice production in the unit area. 
          Farmers do not feel like need for replacing of rice seed material with pure rice seed due to various factors or reasons like farmers awareness and farmers’ unnecessary longing on old varieties and system etc.

Awareness Campaign:

           The first and foremost necessity to pursue the matter is creating awareness amongst the farmer. This has to be supported with real sight seeing in the exposure visit for showing the differential production after use of pure seed or certified rice seed instead of mixed up / contaminated of rice seed in the existing system.
             Here, the extension officials have lot to do in creating the awareness amongst the farming community of the state.
          ‘ Farmers awareness will have twin results one, increase in production and seed industry which is in its infancy stage will achieve in economic scale’.
    Agritangkol dated 06.02.2012 at 6.20 P.M

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