Success Stories

Mechanization in Paddy

Background

Paddy is one of the major crops of Kanyakumari District. It occupies more than 12,000 ha during both Kanni poo(Kharif) and Kumba poo (Rabi) seasons of the year. The farmers were following conventional methods of paddy cultivation. The conventional method leads to high investment cost, labour with low productivity. FLDs and trainings on SRI were conducted since 2008 to increase the productivity with low input cost and without affecting the ecosystem. It resulted in yield increase (10-40%), and savings of water (25 to 30%) and nitrogen (25kg/ha). At present, SRI technology is being adopted in 50-60% area of this district. But, the farmers are facing labour scarcity for paddy cultivation and timely operations. It ultimately delayed the farm operations and skipping of adoption of technologies which results in low productivity in paddy. Due to labour constraints, paddy area of the district is decreasing year by year.

Interventions

Process

KVK, Kanyakumari had initiated the programme on mechanization in paddy cultivation in the district. The mechanical transplanter and drum seeder have been demonstrated through front line demonstrations since 2007-08. Subsequently, cono weeder, power weeder and combined harvesting was demonstrated in SRI paddy cultivation. During 2012-13, complete mechanization in paddy cultivation was demonstrated through front line demonstration in Thovalai and Agastheeswaram blocks.

Details of Technology

Tray nursery preparation (Plastic trays 60 cm x 30 cm with seed rate of 20kg/ha), mechanical paddy transplanting (walk behind and drive type), power weeding (TNAU model two row weeder) and mechanical harvesting using combined harvester.

Impact

Horizontal Spread

The mechanization was initiated during 2007 and subsequently, cono weeder, power weeder and combined harvesting were demonstrated in SRI. Farmers were well trained for cono weeding and combined harvesting of paddy. Mechanization spread to 40-60% area of the district. The complete mechanization in paddy cultivation was demonstrated through FLD in Kanyakumari district during Kharif and Rabi, 2012-13. Farmers are satisfied and expressed that mechanization in paddy registered low labour requirement (41 man working days in complete mechanization and 139 man working days in conventional method), highly profitable (net profit of Rs. 40,400/- with BCR of 2.25.) and easy to adopt all the technologies viz., transplanting, weeding and harvesting in time. With this impact, during Rabi season, farmers adopted mechanical paddy transplanting around 500-600 ha. Two progressive farmers purchased paddy transplanter through subsidy. Four cooperative societies and FIG purchased paddy transplanters. Ten farmer groups purchased paddy power weeder through Tamil Nadu government subsidy scheme. In Kanyakumari district around 75-85% of the paddy was harvested through combined harvester during Rabi, 2012-13.

Economic Gain

The mechanization in paddy cultivation resulted in the saving of 44 working man days with a net profit of Rs. 42900/- and BCR of 2.31.

Employment Generation

Two entrepreneurs were developed on mechanical transplanting and three on harvesting. These entrepreneurs are engaging youth for the operations. They are charging Rs. 2800/- for one acre transplanting and Rs. 1400/- for one acre mechanical harvesting using combined harvester. Each youth is being paid Rs. 750 1000 per day as wage.