News Details|OdishaRay

Reliance Foundation empowering farmers with innovative paddy varieties & digital training

Bhubaneswar (21/06/2024): Reliance Foundation has taken multiple steps to give a major boost to agriculture.
As a part of its commitment for transforming agriculture, it has been empowering farmers with innovative paddy varieties and digital training. Bidyadhar Khamari, aged 35, from Badapali village, and Saurav Pradhan, aged 27, from Dumalpali village, are renowned as successful farmers in Bhatli block of Bargarh district.
Despite their interest in reading, they could only complete up to matriculation due to financial constraints.
Both the farmers have been cultivating crops for over 15 years, solely relying on their agricultural income to support their families.
In recent years, they faced significant challenges in cultivation and experienced very low yields due to outdated paddy varieties susceptible to insect pests.
Additionally, the unavailability of suitable drought-tolerant paddy varieties led them to leave the rainfed uplands fallow. In May 2022, Reliance Foundation visited their village and introduced information service initiatives, launching the digital farm school program in 2023.
Throughout the Kharif 2023 growing season, Reliance Foundation conducted numerous farmer training programs at the digital farm school, covering topics such as paddy seed selection, soil testing, nursery management, nutrient management, crop protection, harvesting, and storage.
In collaboration with the International Rice Research Institute (IRRI), Reliance Foundation supplied the farmers with new paddy seeds of the DRR-49 and Sampada variety, providing Bidyadhar Khamari with 20 kg DRR-49 and Saurav Pradhan with Sampada seed 10 kg.
These are short-duration paddy varieties developed for drought-prone areas, with a growing period of 110-115 days.
This variety has unique features such as heat tolerance under artificially elevated temperatures (5-8°C) at the reproductive stage and resistance to blast, with moderate resistance to neck blast, sheath rot, sheath blight, and brown spot. Cultivating this new paddy variety resolved many of their issues, resulting in unexpectedly higher yields of 20-22 quintals per acre.
They observed negligible symptoms of diseases and pests like BPH, sheath rot, sheath blight, and brown spot.
The farmers actively participated in Reliance's audio conference programs, field-based programs, and pest diagnostic camps, where they sought advice on managing BPH and sheath blight in their fields.
They also made toll-free calls to 18004198800 to consult with agricultural experts regarding pest and disease problems in paddy.
Bidyadhar Khamari harvested 17 quintals of paddy (DRR 49) from a 80-decimal plot, in which he kept 5 quintal for his own consumption, while 11.50 quintal has been sold in village society at Rs 23575.00 and rest 50 kg seed will be used for seed multiplication and has plans to cultivate this kharif Season in his 2 acres of land.
Similarly, Saurav Pradhan harvested 13 quintals paddy (Sampada) from a 50-decimal plot.
A total of 12 quintal has been sold in village society at a cost of Rs 24600.00 and the rest 1 quintal seed will be used for seed multiplication and planning to cultivate this kharif Season in his 5 acres of land.
So, both of them have plans to scale-up seed production of this variety.
These 7 acres of produced seed will be sufficient for approximately 1000+ acres (direct sown method), which is sufficient for both of their farmer villages.
Expected yield per average acre yield: 2625 kg per acre, 18 Kgs of seed sufficient for direct seeded rice total 7 acres production 18,375 kg. In their comments, the farmers have expressed their gratitude, stating, "We appreciate the Reliance Digital Farm School program as it helped us a lot in cultivating land that would have otherwise remained fallow due to the lack of irrigation facilities and suitable drought-tolerant varieties.
The new variety was excellent, with negligible disease and pests, yielding higher returns, enabling us to earn more this season.
We are thankful for the tremendous work done by the scientists, employees, and Reliance Foundation members on our behalf.
We expect frequent access to such services and facilities in future.".