Interventions

Hybrid seeds Innovating development of the poorest district of India

On an average the district sells about 600-650 tonnes of hybrid paddy seeds in one season.
Hybrid seeds Innovating development of the poorest district of India

India’s different parts and districts always have something unique or different to supply. Every belt is rich in fertility and adds value to the production.But to a contrary these places are rural which covers more than 68 percent of India and still have a basic lifestyle and are known to be backward /poorest place of the Country.

Among them there is a small district in Odisha, Nabarangpur which is known to be the poorest district but a platform to have the huge supply of multinational and large domestic seed companies.On an average it has sold about 600-650 tonnes of hybrid paddy seeds in this season.

“Traditional/local varieties account for barely a tenth of the district’s total paddy area today. The balance 90 per cent is under open-pollinated high-yielding varieties (HYV) developed by public sector institutions and privately-bred hybrids. Within the 90 per cent, there could be a roughly 60:40 split between HYVs and hybrids,” says Sushil Haldar, Deputy Director of Agriculture, Nabarangpur.

Companies like CropScience, Syngenta, DuPont-Pioneer, Tata-Metahelix, US Agriseeds and Shriram Bioseeda and many more have invested in the seed circulation in these places.

The people of these district majorly share an Adivasi polulation. This Adivasi grower has, in the current season, planted Pooja paddy in three acres and the Dhaanya DRH-748 hybrid in the remaining two acres. Higher yield apart, farmers also cite lower labour requirement as a major advantage with hybrid paddy.

“Since the seed rate is six kg per acre, you can have a plant-to-plant distance of 10 inches and it takes only 10 labourers to transplant one acre in a day. In the case of varieties, you need to plant 20 kg, which means a spacing of just four inches between plants which requires four times the labour,” says Praful Kumar Nayak, who has a 25 acre farm in Badambada village of Kosagumuda block.

“It costs Rs 1,600 to plant six kg of hybrid paddy seeds, compared to Rs 320 for 20 kg of MTU-1001. But this is compensated by higher yields and lower labour requirement. I plant MTU-1001 only because it is more disease-resistant,” he says.

Whatever might be the driving factors, one thing is clear: Nabarangpur’s farmers have taken to hybrid technology as much, if not more, than their counterparts in ostensibly richer and less backward parts of India.  

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