Farmers Reaping Benefits through New Technology
Farmers transplanting paddy saplings using SRI technology. Photo by: Oxfam
Nishma Basnet and Prakash Subedi, Nawalparasi
Shivaraj Thanet and his wife Lokmaya of Nawalparasi are very satisfied with the paddy production this year. “Earlier, the production of rice would suffice my family of eight members for about five months but after implementing the SRI system, we had rice for 8 months.” They participated in a training on SRI (System of Rice Intensification), organized by Oxfam, a new way of planting the paddy for better production.
SRI is a cost effective way to increase the productivity as it requires small amount of water and fewer saplings. It also produces less husk and bran while processing into rice. Unlike the traditional methods of planting a bunch of saplings together, single saplings are planted at a distance of at least 25 cm in the SRI method.
“We use less water to keep the soil moist after transplantation, compared to traditional methods in which the paddy fields are submerged in water. The weeds can also be removed frequently and easily using a weeding machine,” says Roone Singh Mahato, Junior Technical Assistant (JTA) of Kumarworti in Nawalparasi.
Oxfam has been encouraging farmers to adopt SRI since 2015. So far, 60 farmers have been trained and all of them have grown rice adopting the technology. Farmers like Shivaraj have been able to increase the paddy production by 45-50%. Shivaraj got the training in 2015 and planted paddy in 0.473 hectares of land.
Another SRI trained farmer, Sita Goudel from Kumarworti-7says, “I planted paddy using SRI techniques in 0.038 hectare land. The yield was almost double than what used to be in previous years. Moreover, the rice was very tasty. That is why, this year I have planted paddy in 0.22 hectare land.”
Training on SRI is under Oxfam’s Enterprise Development Programme (EDP) which supports cooperatives in Nawalparasi to run a rice mill. Under this programme, farmers from Jahada, Tilakpur and Kuwarworti village development committees have been provided the SRI training. In 2015 alone, 44 farmers were trained who planted paddy in 7.4 hectare land using the SRI system. They have reported double yield. In 2016, 22 farmers were trained and they adopted SRI in 2.53 hectare land; similar yield is expected this year as well.