Monday, 30 January 2017

Pakistan: agriculture extension officers trained to help famers improve rice production system and profitability

LAHORE, Pakistan— Around 90 agriculture extension officers, including 8 women, received training in modern rice production to help them train farmers in Punjab produce good quality paddy with fewer resources.

The training on resources-saving rice production technologies, provided by the International Rice Research Institute (IRRI) through Rice Component of the Agricultural Innovation Program (AIP) for Pakistan, included dry seeded rice (DSR) using drill and paddy drum seeder, alternate wetting and drying (AWD), and quality paddy production. The training was organized in collaboration with the Department of Agriculture, Government of Punjab on 19 January at the Agriculture House in Lahore.

IRRI, a primary partner of AIP, is popularizing various improved rice production technologies in different rice ecologies of the country on a large scale. These improved crop management practices reduce the cost of production through savings in labor, fuel, time, and water; produce uniform seed sowing and crop population; and ensure sustainability of rice production through improving soil health and environment. 

Rice is cultivated throughout Pakistan mainly using manual transplanting of rice seedlings. By using a drum seeder, farmers can reduce labor cost by 30% and have a more efficient seed rate of 25 kg/ha. Modern management options can lead to 20-25% water saving, 30% increase in grain yield, and 10% higher net returns compared to conventional puddle and transplanted rice crop.

In addition, small combine harvesters are being evaluated to minimize the harvest and postharvest losses and improve grain quality. The capacity of rice researchers and extension officers is also an important component of the activity.  

It is projected that more farmers will adopt new rice varieties along with improved crop production and post-harvest practices to ultimately improve the rice production system of the country and enhance the profitability of the farmers.

HRS Workplace Communications Article No. 2017-003

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