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Evaluating the Suitability of System of Rice Intensification Practices for Enhancing Rice and Water Productivity in Semi-Arid Environment, Tamil Nadu, India

, V. Geethalakshmi, S. P. Ramanathan, A. Senthil, Balajikannan

Abstract: In the world of rapid change in climate, irregular rainfall pattern tends to pose serious impact on water availability for agriculture. Rice is one of the important food crops to get affected by the low water availability because of its high water requirement. Various techniques were used in the past to mitigate low water availability and increase productivity but most techniques will improve one aspect at the expense of the other. System of Rice Intensification (SRI) is being tried by many countries with several modifications based on their priorities, with the aim of enhancing productivity besides reducing the water demand for rice cultivation. It is essential to have more insight into the individual and compounding effect of multiple components of SRI on yield, and water productivity of rice for identifying the potential and suitable SRI practices. Investigating the influence of different practices of SRI viz., planting of young and single seedlings per hill in wider spacing, water saving irrigation like Alternate Wetting and Drying (AWD), and weed control using cono-weeders on rice using the data obtained from the field experiment carried out during 2021 in Tamil Nadu Agricultural University, Coimbatore, India. Water productivity of rice plants under SRI were compared with conventional practices. The results revealed that plants grown with complete SRI practices had increased water productivity by 0.25 kg grain/m3 of water which is almost twice that of conventional cultivation system. The yield obtained in SRI treatments was higher about 39% than conventional treatments. The total water savings were 20 % higher in AWD treatments than continuous flooding treatments.
Keywords: India / Tamil Nadu / treatments / water productivity of rice / water savings / Rice Intensification / AWD

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