GUWAHATI, April 24 - Innovator Uddhav Bharali has developed a new seedling technique to make rice cultivation less labour intensive and cost-effective.
Bharali, who has named this technique ‘Encapsulated Seedling Growing Process,’ told this newspaper today that the conventional labour and cost-intensive sowing, weeding etc., exercises of paddy cultivation are eliminated by his process. This process involves some simple devices to prepare the seedlings.
The devices, called nursery pockets, could be prepared easily by anyone with the help of iron fabricators. These nursery pockets will hold hundreds of soil lumps. The cost of an iron nursery pocket device is around Rs 100.
Explaining, Bharali said that to ‘sow’ the seeds, one needs to use a lump of semi-solid soil mixed with cow dung and shape it as a capsule. One person can prepare at least 1,000 such capsules in a day, sitting in one’s home.
However, it should be ensured that only one seed is thrust into an individual capsule to a depth of one centimeter. A capsule should be of the size of one inch by one and half an inch respectively in its diameter and height. There is no need of using any polythene in preparing the capsules.
Since the seedlings are in the capsules seated in the nursery pockets, it is easier to carry them to the tilling field and then one is to throw them on the prepared tilling ground when the seedlings are seven to fourteen-day-old. The seedlings should simply be dropped on the prepared ground and there is no need of any transplanting device for the purpose.
To transplant the seedlings, one, however, needs to abide by the SRI (System of Rice intensification), which calls for transplanting the seedlings at a depth of half an inch of the prepared ground and only one seedling should be transplanted at a time.
The gap between two seedlings should be ten inches and the roots of the seedlings should not be in ‘J’ or ‘U’ shape and the parent seeds should be there in the capsules to provide nutrition to the seedlings for 21 days, Bharali said, adding, this procedure should be followed to get a yield of at least 33 mounds of rice per bigha.
Already the process has been demonstrated before the agricultural scientists. Moreover, the project is sponsored by the Assam Agricultural University, Bharali said.