Thursday, June 2, 2016

Flood-tolerant BINA Dhan 11 impresses rice farmers in Odisha

by Vivek Kumar, Priyanka Anand, and Ashok Kumar

ODISHA, India—Rice farmers were impressed by the performance of BINA Dhan 11, a flood-tolerant variety, during their visit to a demonstration field in the Bhadrak District.

The more than 200 farmers from different blocks in Bhadrak participated in an event, Performance of BINA Dhan 11 under mechanical transplanting in Neulia Village, to observe the growth and characteristics of the variety that can survive prolonged flooding.

For the performance evaluation, BINA Dhan 11 and Lalat, a widely grown traditional variety, were grown in demonstration fields using mechanical transplanting. Samples were taken from two randomly selected places. In spite of frequent storms and rainfall, BINA Dhan 11 did not lodge while Lalat exhibited 90–100% lodging. The farmers noticed this big difference between the two varieties. In addition, the average yield of BINA Dhan 11 was 6.94 tons per hectare while Lalat was 6.15 tons per hectare.

“BINA Dhan 11 is a wonderful variety,” said Sanjay (in photo below), a young farmer from Sampoi Village in Bhadrak. He compared the variety to Bangur cement because it did not lodge at all. Farmers in Bhadrak and Balasore Districts have also similar reactions.

Held on 13 May, the event was organized by the Cereal Systems Initiative for South Asia (CSISA), Odisha for the farmers, and different stakeholders with support from the state’s Department of Agriculture (DoA) and the International Rice Research Institute (IRRI)-Stress-Tolerant Rice for Africa and South Asia project. Dr. Ashok Kumar and Vivek Kumar, IRRI scientists based in India, and the CSISA-Bhadrak team led the program, which included a mass crop harvesting, field visits, interaction with farmers, knowledge backstopping, and farm machine exhibit. The participants were briefed on the future scope of stress-tolerant rice varieties, direct-seeded rice, mechanical transplanting, laser land levelling, alternate wetting and drying technology, Rice Crop Manager, weed management, among other technologies.

Also at the performance trial for BINA Dhan 11 were Mr. M.P. Ratho, Dhamnagar District agriculture officer; Mr. Ganesh Majhi, assistant agriculture officer in Bhandaripokhari block; Mr. Manash Kumar, block training manager, Agricultural Training Management Agency; and other DoA extension workers and village agricultural workers. Staff from the Reliance Foundation, NGO partners, and service providers also participated in the event.

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