(LANKAPUVATH | COLOMBO) – This year, 400 million rupees have been allocated to cultivate 13,000 acres of paddy using the parachute technology.
The Ministry of Agriculture says that the attention is also focused on starting a program of providing nursery trays free of charge to all farmers.
Parachute method is a technique of tossing rice seedlings, uprooted from plastic trays containing a soil ball, in a projectile manner into the puddled field.
Seedling broadcasting technology of rice as a method of field establishment of paddy was invented in China and introduced to major irrigated areas in the country by the Rice Research Institute (RRI) at Batalagoda in 2005.
Agriculture Minister Mahinda Amaraweera says that even though the Parachute method, which is a very successful rice cultivation method in China, is currently being used in Sri Lanka, the farmers still do not have a proper understanding of that method.
Therefore, while addressing a discussion held at the Ministry of Agriculture last Friday (24), the Minister has instructed the Department of Agriculture to take all measures to popularize the parachute cultivation method.
It was emphasized here that in order to increase the yield of paddy cultivation in the country, new cultivation methods should be introduced.
By using the parachute method, the current yield of paddy per acre can be increased and the income of a farmer can be increased by Rs.35,000 per acre.
Also, the parachute method is a successful rice cultivation method in all respects due to reducing the amount spent on traditional rice cultivation, reducing the amount spent on fertilizers, reducing the cost of herbicides for weed control, and being able to get a high yield from an acre.
Parachute paddy cultivation requires about 350 paddy nursery trays per acre. In this discussion, the Minister mentioned that the government is focusing on providing parachute nursery trays to all farmers in the Maha season of this year to popularize the parachute system for the country’s paddy cultivation.
Also, the Department of Agricultural Development has allocated 400 million rupees for the expansion of parachute paddy cultivation this year. Arrangements have been made for paddy cultivation in 13,000 acres under this method. The Department of Agricultural Development has taken measures to provide nursery trays to farmers free of charge by using this money, and also to provide technical knowledge to farmers in this regard.
Also, the Minister instructed the officers in charge of the projects to provide Parachute Nursery Trays under the Agriculture Sector Modernization Project and the Small Scale Agri-Entrepreneurship Participation Project currently under the Ministry of Agriculture.