Dry seeded rice
06, 2012: ASIAN rice growing systems are undergoing
changes in response to economic factors and
technological advancement in farming.
Dry seed rice cultivation on the mechanical lines is the
linkage of past practice with throughput technology,
becoming indispensable to address problems like
drudgery, high production cost, low quality, low crop
intensity and above all water and labour scarcity.
The sowing of dry seeds into dry or moist, non-puddled
soil has many advantages over traditional transplanting
and is a principal method of rice growing in many parts
of the world including Philippines, Vietnam, Thailand,
Korea, America, Japan and the sub-Saharan Africa.
In Pakistan traditional dry seeding in rice is reported
only in few acres across Punjab and a big space exist
for both research and extension wing of the agriculture
department for its standardisation, popularisation and
adaptation. With the recent developments in rice
production technology across the globe, there should be
flexibility in opting for the prevailing patterns and
latest trends to achieve self-sufficiency and resource
Dry seeded rice, a simple approach, is beneficial for
farmer. The foremost principal underlying this theory is
water saving, cost benefit ratio, efficient land
utilisation and better management practices. Water
situation in the country and its scarcity need not be
elaborated. In dry seeding of rice 30 per cent of water
can be saved by eliminating puddling and if
intermittent irrigation (alternate wetting and drying
concept), a new method of irrigation, is used additional
15-30 per cent of water can be saved and that can be a
DBeside, about 40 per cent of labour cost can be saved
by dry seeding method. Dry seeding also implies time
saving, quicker land preparation in effective manner,
and maximised yield.
Going ahead, if one more step is taken by clubbing the
dry seeding rice cultivation with mechanised farming, it
can reward the farmers more by generating the idea of
intensification, higher yield with low input, reduced
tillage and efficient utilisation of nutrients (proper
placement and time).
Mechanisation will lead the growers to resource use
efficiency and sustainable agriculture while muting the
voice of environmental pollution.
The biggest challenge to this practice is weed
manifestation. Various pre- and post-emergence chemicals
have been introduced to fix it. Besides this, research
is going worldwide over this system of cultivation for
best management practices under innovative ideas by
agronomists in regards to response of new breeding
lines, adaptation to different soils and climatic
conditions, and effective use of mechanisation concept.
Finally, this change in sowing pattern is expected to
have a big impact on Asian rice production efforts and
on the regionís economies. This is because one of the
main forces driving such changes has been shrinking
resources in the region, especially available land and
Pakistan should be a part of knowledge sharing and
applied research centers working round the world. This
way one can succeed in the achievement of mutually
agreed benefits such as serving humanity, coping food
security and fighting for the cause of hunger.
Effort in the direction of increasing output at the
least cost is more important as the world population is
going to increase to nine billion by 2050, which will
require more than doubling the current food production.
Asia grows 90 per cent of rice of the world which is
mostly consumed by its population.
Each hectare of rice-producing land at present is
providing food for 27 people. By 2050, because of growth
in population and increasing urbanisation, each hectare
will have to feed at least 43 people. This means that
yields must be enhanced by at least 50 per cent over the
next 40 years to prevent mass malnutrition among the 700
The writer is a PhD research scholar at The
International Rice Research Institute, Los Banos,
Courtesy: The DAWN