The cultivation of indigenous Red Paddy varieties has been given priority in the coastal Karnataka. But, being tall with lodging problems, it does not respond to the fertilizer and provides lesser yields. Generally, the paddy varieties like MO4 and indigenous variety - Kajejaya have been cultivated in large area even with a weeklong flood situation resulting in less production.
The Mangalore Taluk of coastal Karnataka (Dakshina Kannada and Udupi) has 300 ha of paddy land inundating with the flood for long duration creating unfavorable situation for paddy cultivation and resulting in low production. Hence, the suitable paddy variety for low lying flood situation of the region is the need of the hour. To solve the problem, the Zonal Agricultural and Horticultural Research Station (ZAHRS), Brahmavar, Udupi District, Karnataka State released the flood-resistant Red Rice variety - Sahyadri Panchamukhi (under ICAR-All India Coordinated Research Project on Rice Project) during 2019.
The variety having high yielding potential with cultivation period of 130 to 135 days, can withstand the flood for 8 to 12 days with tolerance to blast disease, gall midge insect pest, biotic and abiotic stress. It also has high consumer preference due to better taste and aroma.
In multi-location trials organized by the ZAHRS, Brahmavar, the variety recorded 14% increase in yield and the trials organized by Karnataka State Agricultural Department recorded 26% increase in the yield compared to MO4 paddy variety.
The six capacity building programmes were organized at Delanthabettu Village benefiting 162 farmers and 1.50 quintals of truthful labeled paddy seed as critical input were provided to motivate the farmers for adopting the new variety. The seed production activity was initiated through demonstration programmes both at the KVK Farm and Farmers’ Plots covering an area of 5 acre areas under the Front Line Demonstration Programme of KVK, Dakshina Kannada, Mangalore. The Field Day organized at Delanthabettu Village and KVK Instructional Farm benefitted 97 farmers and 4 extension personnel.
Inspired by the variety, an Agri-preneur, Shri Dayanand from Delantha Bettu could produce 100 quintal of paddy seeds. Out of this, he sold 80 quintals to the farmers from the adjacent villages of Mangalore Taluk for horizontal spread of the variety and processed 20 quintals of paddy to rice as it possess good aroma with good consumer preference.
During the Kharif - 2019, the paddy seeds of 180 quintals were distributed to four farmers covering 500 acres area and during Kharif - 2020, the ZAHRS, Brahmavar distributed 250 quintals seeds to 11 farmers covering 1,000 acres area. Based on the demand, the KVK has planned to take-up the quality seed production activities at the village level covering more area and at the Instructional Farm during the year 2021-2022 to meet the farmers’ potential demand in the District.
(Source: Krishi Vigyan Kendra, Dakshina Kannada, Kankanady, Mangalore, Karnataka)