Direct seeding of rice

• Due to a shortage of laborers in Punjab and Haryana, farmers are now being encouraged to adopt the ‘direct seeding of rice’ (DSR) in place of conventional transplanting.

Normal transplanting of paddy:

• In transplanting, farmers prepare nurseries where the paddy seeds are first sown and raised into young plants.

• These seedlings are then uprooted and replanted 25-35 days later in the main field. The nursery seedbed is 5-10% of the area to be transplanted.

Direct seeding of Rice (DSR):

• In DSR, there is no nursery preparation or transplantation. The seeds are instead directly drilled into the field by a tractor-powered machine.

• The Punjab Agricultural University (PAU) in Ludhiana has developed a ‘Lucky Seed Drill’ that can both sow seeds and simultaneously spray herbicides to control weeds.

• In DSR, water is replaced by real chemical herbicides. Farmers have to only level their land and give one pre-sowing irrigation or rain. It also saves water by not requiring flooding of fields.

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Mains Paper 3: Economy

Prelims level: Direct seeding of rice

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