Volume 6, Issue 1, February Issue - 2018, Pages:253-257
|Authors: Nirmala Bandumula*, Gulshan Mahajan, R.Mahender Kumar|
|Abstract: The essence of agricultural development is to improve both individual farm household welfare and in the aggregate, achieve desirable economic and social impacts. Despite the availability of literature on the farm level impact of DSR, few studies have attempted to measure the aggregate effects of adoption of DSR at the state level. A survey was conducted during 2015, comprising 150 randomly selected farmers covering three major direct seeded rice districts viz., Sri Muktsar Sahib, Bathinda and Kapurthala of Punjab state of India to understand the farm level and aggregate economic impact of DSR in Punjab. The results showed that the adoption of DSR has reduced the cost of cultivation by about 29% on an average. At the aggregate level, potential benefits from the adoption of DSR are substantial. The survey results reveal that adoption of DSR has resulted in lowering cost of cultivation of rice by Rs. 14,615/- per hectare over the transplanting method. The aggregate monetary benefits in terms of savings in cost of cultivation by adoption of DSR to the adopter farmers in Punjab is estimated to the tune of Rs.730,750,000 for the year 2015. The findings confirm the positive impacts of DSR and the results support promoting DSR as a strategy to enhance profitability of farmers and also as a water saving technology in the face of depleting water resources for agriculture in general and rice in particular.|
|Full Text: 1 Introduction Rice is one of the most important food crops of India. It occupies highest area among all the crops grown in the country. Rice production accounted for 44.5 percent of total cereal production and 41 percent of total food grain production in 2014-15 (State of Indian Agriculture, 2015-16). The area during 1951-52 was 30 m ha and it has reached to 43 million hectare in 2016-17. The rice production has registered an appreciable increase from 21 MT in 1950-51 to over 100 MT, which is nearly 5 times over the production in 1950s. The production has set the highest record of 109 million tonnes in 2016-17 (2nd advance estimates, Government of India, 2017). Water scarcity is becoming a major concern for the productivity and sustainability of the rice cultivation. Transplanting is the most adopted method of rice establishment in India. The transplanted puddled rice (TPR), leads to higher losses of water through puddling, surface evaporation and percolation (Farooq et al., 2011). The traditional transplanting method of rice cultivation involving puddling of the soil, adversely affects the soil structure by disturbing the soil aggregates, reducing the soil permeability and creating hardpans at shallow depths (Sharma et al., 2003), all of which have adverse affect on the following crop (Tripathi et al., 2005). The water and labour scarcity is driving the farmers to shift from traditional transplanting method to Direct Seeded Rice (DSR). In Asia, due to depleting water resources and scarcity of labour, adoption of DSR is gaining momentum (Rakesh et al., 2017). In Direct Seeded Rice (DSR), seeds are sown before or immediately after pre-monsoon rain (Kakumanu et al., 2011). Transplanting method of rice cultivation involves three basic operations, namely, puddling (a process where soil is compacted to reduce water seepage), transplanting and maintaining standing water (Joshi et al., 2013). These three operations can be avoided with the adoption of DSR. Direct seeding is of two types (1) Wet-DSR, in which, on puddled soil, sprouted rice seeds are broadcast or sown in lines, and (2) Dry-DSR, in which, after dry tillage or zero tillage, dry rice seeds are drilled or broadcast on unpuddled soil. In India, Punjab State has been playing a leading role in the agricultural transformation of the country (Mahajan et al., 2015). A sustainable production of rice in Punjab is crucial for the food security of India. Currently, out of 20 million tube wells in the country, almost 1.3 million are in Punjab, contributing to fast-paced groundwater extraction and its depletion (Satvir & Vatta, 2015). Due to the depleting ground water resources, the irrigation expenditure for rice crop has increased significantly in the last decade (Sidhu & Vatta, 2006). Though puddled transplanted rice is the most popular system but whether under the emerging scenario of acute shortages of water and labor, it would maintain sustainability in future is highly uncertain (Mahajan et al., 2011a; Mahajan et al., 2011b). The essence of agricultural development is to improve both individual farm household welfare and in the aggregate, achieve desirable economic and social impacts (Menale et al., 2016). Despite the availability of literature on the farm level impact of DSR, few studies have attempted to measure the aggregate effects of adoption of DSR at the state level. An attempt has been made to measure both the farm level and aggregate economic impact of DSR in Punjab. Punjab has 5.03 million hectare geographical area, out of which 4.23 million hectare is under cultivation. About 75% of its population depends directly on agriculture. Rice was grown on an area of 2.9 million hectare with a production of 17.6 million tons during the year 2014-15 (Department of Agriculture, Government of Punjab, 2017). The State of Punjab has been classified into five agro-climatic zones on the basis of homogeneity, rainfall pattern, distribution, soil texture, cropping pattern. These zones are Sub-mountain undulating zone (I), Undulating plain zone (II), Central plain zone (III), Western plain zone (IV) and Western Zone (V). DSR is popular in Central Plain (III) and Western (V) Zones of Punjab. The main reason for adoption of DSR in these zones was that the agroecology is favorable for the cultivation of DSR. In Zone III, the water table is very deep (>25 m). This region, being an industrial centre of the state, has a shortage of labor and wages are high, which hinders the continued cultivation of Puddled Transplanted Rice (PTR). Therefore, DSR, which has proven benefits of reduced water and labour requirements and less risk of cracking of soil under limited water supply, in comparison with the PTR, is attracting farmers in this Zone. In Zone V, water scarcity is one of the reasons farmers are attracted toward DSR (Mahajan et al., 2013). Hence, Kapurthala distrtict of Central Plain Zone (III) and Sri Muktsar Sahib and Bathinda districts of Western (V) Zones of Punjab were selected for the study. In the scenario of fast paced depletion of ground water in Punjab and intensive cultivation of rice involving high amount of water use which may result in adverse effects on water table, there is an urgent need to shift from traditional transplanting method of rice cultivation to DSR, as DSR tends to reduce water consumption, labour requirement and helps to maintain the soil structure. In this backdrop, the present paper, therefore, attempts to examine the farm level and aggregate economic impact of Direct Seeded Rice in Punjab. 2 Materials and Methods |
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