LOW-COST, direct dry rice cultivation technology has been developed that will not only save nearly 35pc of irrigation water but also reduce the cost and enhance rice production by25pc.
Developed at the Plant Sciences division of the National Agricultural Research Centre in Islamabad, the new technology will enable growers to timely sow and therefore harvest their rice crop 20 to 25 days earlier. This will create a cycle of punctual planting of subsequent crops due to an early harvest.
Paddy nurseries will not be required any more under the new technology.
Whereas the traditional paddy system requires fields with standing water, the DDSR cultivation system requires fieldwith `wattar` (wet) conditions.
The new technology will also enable farmers to drill seeding and ensure an optimum plant population with less labour and reduced costs. Growers using the new technology can save fuel or energy by up to 30pc.
An interesting feature of this technology is that it will eliminate `puddling` creating fine seedbeds for the wheat crop in the rabi season and improve wheat yields by almost 50pc.
While the old system produces green-house gases, the DDSR system will ensure an environmentally friendly paddy crop.
In Pakistan, there is immense pressure on natural resources due to rapid groundwater depletion, watersheds degradation, desertification, deforestation and rangelands deterioration.