Even as farmers complained of failure of hybrid paddy crops this kharif due to poor quality seeds, the State Government claimed that the hybrid paddy yield will be normal. “Reports received from the field said hybrid paddy crops have been affected in some patches which will be limited to hardly 50 hectares. This is mostly due to delay in cultivation and improper manure,” sources in the Agriculture Department said.
The department has taken up demonstration of hybrid paddy cultivation on about 23,000 hectares of land having assured irrigation. While about 20,000 acres were cultivated under Rashtriya Krishi Vikas Yojana (RKVY), the remaining 3,000 acres cultivated under the National Food Security Mission (NFSM).
A few farmers of Sonepur district have complained that their crops had failed due to supply of poor quality seeds.
Dismissing the allegation, a senior officer of the department said good quality of seeds - Ajay and Rajalaxmi - developed by Central Rice Research Institute (CRRI), Cuttack, and KRH-2 from Karnataka were provided to the farmers. The three verities were well accepted by the farmers.
Quoting field reports, the officer said the crops were affected in areas where farmers failed to use second dose of urea. Crop condition, however, improved after the application of second dose. Besides, the crops facing boron (a kind of micro-nutrient) deficiency became normal after its application.
Cultivation of hybrid varieties of paddy is new to the farmers. The time schedule for application of chemical fertilisers and other micro nutrients is not followed by farmers. Paddy yield was low, the officer said.
Many farmers are purchasing hybrid seeds of other varieties from open market which are not certified and there is no guarantee on these seeds.
While the Agriculture Department claims a yield of 80 to 90 quintals hybrid paddy per hectare, a recent study conducted by an independent agency in Kalahandi district said the maximum yield was 30 quintal per acre.
The study stated that cultivation of hybrid varieties of paddy is not very popular among farmers having low land holding because of higher input cost. Hybrid seeds cost four times more than the normal variety certified seeds like Swarna.