According to a recent report, it has been indicated that the rice farmers in Pakistan’s Punjab province are cultivating rice through the direct sowing method to cope with water shortages. Under this method, rice seed is sown directly into the moist soil and does not require continuous submergence. While in the conventional rice cultivation method, rice seedlings are first cultivated in nurseries for several weeks before transferring into flooded fields.
In this context, the farmers informed the benefits to the reporters that this method requires less labor and less irrigation. This method also requires only 75% of the water as it requires more in the traditional farming. In addition, the plants also mature 15-20 days earlier. As per sources, about 30 farmers in the province have adopted this method and are quite satisfied. It was informed by the farmers that this method was learnt by them under a four-year agricultural innovation programme launched by the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID) and the International Rice Research Institute (IRRI) in 2013.
Furthermore, it was narrated that the other features of this direct sowing is that there is an increase in 25% boost in production/harvests under ideal conditions on the test plots, as quoted by Iftikhar Ahmed, the Chairman of the Pakistan Agricultural Research Council (PARC).