Rice Productivity Analysis in India
|Suggestions for Improving Rice Productivity|
India has the largest area under rice in the world. Rice is cultivated in 534 districts of the country. Out of which, 218 districts are having productivity more than the national average productivity of 1,947 kg/ha. Remaining 316 districts are having productivity below the national average. Thus, 41% of total Rice growing districts are above the national average productivity and remaining 59% districts are below the national average productivity. It is evident from the above data that major rice growing areas are below the national average productivity. It is, therefore, pertinent to make concerted efforts to increase the productivity of those districts having low and very low productivity in particular and over all productivity in general. In this chapter the following suggestions are made to increase the rice productivity in different rice growing eco-systems.
Adequate number of improved/high yielding varieties may be evolved for rainfed eco-system, which constitute nearly 60% of the cultivated rice area.
Rice area in Eastern region is 59% of total area but productivity is very poor. Hence, suitable technology and varieties may be developed for this region so that productivity could be increased.
Major research thrusts should be for ecologically handicapped rainfed areas to increase productivity. In fact, adoption/transfer of improved production technology seems to be on slow pace in rainfed areas, therefore, a special programme is needed to be launched in such areas to motivate the farmers to adopt improved technology.
In rainfed eco-system, farmers are using much less fertilizers per unit cropped area, hence a awareness is required to be created among the farming community about balance use of fertilizers to increase their productivity.
Improved technology is generally adopted for irrigated rice. Even in the predominantly irrigated parts of the country, full potential of high yielding varieties is not realized. There is bright prospects for tapping considerable portion of untapped remaining potential.
The productivity of rainfed eco-system comprising of uplands, shallow lowlands, semi deep water and deep water areas can be improved in two ways – (a) to improve the environment so as to exploit the presently available technology and (b) to manage the production package to suit the environment. The first option seems to be a very long range strategy is the best because it builds up agriculture by taking care of need based irrigation – drainage network all over the lowlands and efficient rainwater management systems for the uplands. Therefore, a programme may be initiated at Government level to improve the long neglected environment in phased manner, where abundance of water, fertile soil and conducive weather are available for rice cultivation. For effective management of production package to suit the environment, it is needed to make wide exposure/publicity of high yielding varieties suitable for rainfed uplands, shallow low lands and semi-deep water situations along with improved package of practices to the farmers through demonstration etc. so as to convince them about the advantages of improved technologies over traditional ones. It is also absolutely necessary to develop adequate infrastructure for production and distribution of good quality seeds on large scale.
All eastern states are having good ground water potential and they are utilizing hardly 5 to 35% of their potential. If infrastructure facilities are created for exploration/exploitation of their ground water potential for irrigation and its efficient utilization, this will help to increase the production and productivity of rice in eastern states.
Root development has been well recognized as an important factor for upland/dry condition crops. Therefore, deeper roots are desirable for upland rice because soil moisture increases with depth of the soil profile and a variety with deep roots can reach and use soil moisture at a greater depth resulting in high productivity.
Upland rice needs fertilization more than low land rice. In fact, nitrogen and phosphorus both play an important roles in its growth and yield. Phosphorus is more vital in upland rice culture than in lowland rice culture, because applied phosphorus in upland rice is less easily available under aerobic and acidic condition and partly because of high phosphorus fixation in upland soils. Therefore, utmost care should be taken while fertilizing upland rice fields. Correct dose and timely application of fertilizers always results in higher productivity.
Due to drought and erratic rainfall, rice cultivation in uplands is always found risky and uncertain. Varietal improvement still remains the major strategy for increasing productivity in upland areas. Therefore, scientists are required to take up this matter seriously so that the low productivity of upland rice can be improved to a greater extent.
A proper research programme is required to be carried out for improving physiological efficiency of the plant for better photosynthesis efficiency and translocation so as to reduce sterility under low light intensity, thereby increasing productivity.
Cultivation of hybrid rice is required to be popularized among the farmers in suitable areas so that production & productivity can be increased.
Productivity levels of rice relies largely on technology diffusion, as technological constraints are still in existence in many rice growing areas.
Extension of rice cultivation to heavy black soils and marginal lands at an alarming rate leads to degradation of soil/water and depletion of ground water resources. Besides, excessive pumping of ground water also deteriorate ground water quality considerably. Such adverse effect has been found in Punjab, Haryana & Karnataka. Therefore, such issues may be dealt judiciously and carefully in order to avoid soil and water degradation.
More number of cold tolerant high yielding varieties are required to be developed and popularized for different altitudes of hill regions.
Leguminous crops may be included in the cropping system in order to improve the soil fertility.
Saline, alkaline and acidic soils may be reclaimed by application of soil ameliorants.
Use of Bio-fertilizers such as Blue Green Algae, Azosprilleum, Azotobacter and Azolla may be encouraged among the farmers for supply of nitrogenous nutrient and their by reducing the cost of chemical nitrogenous fertilizers.
The line sowing in upland rice areas through suitable seeding devices is required to be made popularized for desired plant population. This will facilitate to control weeds and also to carry out intercultural operations.
To encourage the Integrated Pest Management approach for effective control of pests and diseases by emphasizing the need based application of pesticides.
Strong extension network for effective transfer of latest technologies, improvement of credit and market facilities and crop insurance are required for rained lowland ecology.
Sustainability from both ecological and economic point of view is important aspects for increasing rice productivity in different eco-systems.
Existing development activities are appeared to be inadequate for dissemination of advance/improved production technology among the farmers to increase productivity of rice in different rice growing regions of the country. Therefore developmental activities are required to be strengthened suitably achieving sustainable growth in rice productivity and production.