Farmers fear less yield from new seeds
By Express News Service | Published: 02nd September 2013 10:57 AM |
Farmers in Khaira block of Balasore district apprehend poor harvest this kharif season. Their paddy plants have developed unusual growth and attained panicle initiation stage much before due time. Usually, the vegetative phase of paddy crop begins with germination and ends with panicle initiation.
Farmers had sown seeds of Ciherang Sub-1 variety with a hope that they would get double the quantity they usually get from traditional variety. Their hopes were shattered when the crop reached panicle initiation staged just within a month of planting. The Ciherang Sub-1 paddy variety, which is supposed to be harvested in 125 days, has been developed by the International Rice Research Institute (IRRI). The seed was provided to the farmers of Dungura panchayat by Forward and Balasore Service Society (BSS), two local NGOs, free of cost.
Harekrushna Behera, a farmer, said the NGO authorities had provided them the seeds and technical know-how since the ploughing stage. They had assured the farmers that this variety would give bumper yield in 125 days. Accordingly, farmers went ahead with sowing the seed and planting the saplings.
The plants, however, started attaining the panicle initiation and pre-flowering stage within 30 days of plantation of the saplings.
This variety of paddy plants should attains panicle initiation stage 60 to 70 days after plantation and start flowering after 90 days.
“It is unusual of plants to attain panicles in just 30 days. We do not know how much yield we would get this time,” said Kamalakanta Behera, another farmer, adding that they spent thousands of rupees in labour and fertiliser. Authorities of the NGO, who visited the agricultural fields after receiving the complaint, however, blamed the farmers for the unusual development in the plants. Chief of Forward, Jajna Barah Mohanty, said farmers who had planted the paddy saplings after 20 days of sowing the seeds had no complaint.
Not only Ciherang Sub-1 paddy variety, other varieties of paddy would also give the same result if they are planted 40 to 45 days after sowing of seeds, he said, adding that the matter has been discussed with officials of the IRRI at New Delhi who have assured to compensate the farmers in case of loss.