Tuesday, April 30, 2013

Paddy Cultivation in Sri Lanka (Part 2)

Paddy Cultivation in Sri Lanka...

The beginning of Paddy Cultivation in Sri Lanka, traces its root back to the proud history between 161 B.C. and 1017 A.D. Our ideal climatic conditions yielded a flourishing crop, which encouraged many Sri Lankans to make Paddy Cultivation their way of life. Thus it became a focal point of Sri Lankan lives, knitting a beautiful pattern including the society, culture and religious beliefs in the country.
The governing Royal minds of Sri Lanka saw the enriching importance of Rice Cultivation that provoked them to build tanks of extraordinary size and numbers to irrigate the mass scale rice production.
At Present much of the human and animal labor is replaced with technology, adding greater deal of efficiency towards the production process.

Process of Rice Cultivation:
Rice cultivation is not an easy task. It requires great deal of prudence and patience. To obtain that wholesome grain of seeds, the cultivators have to undergo a complex set of procedures. Following is a brief outline of how Rice is Cultivated in the Sri Lankan soil and brought to your deliciously prepared plate.

    • Selection of good seeds.
    • Preparation of Land.
    • Crop Establishment.
    • Irrigation and Management.
    • Nutrient Management.
    • Crop Health Management.
    • Harvesting.
    • Post-Harvest.
Selection of Good Seeds:

Selecting good seeds to harvest a healthy crop is very important. that's why cultivators go for pure seeds for their chosen rice variety, which are full and identical in size, free of weed seeds, and seed-borne diseases, insects and other matters. 
By using quality seeds;
    • It will minimize seeding attempts.
    • Produce a good quality crop.
    • Reduction in replanting.
    • Uniformity in plant size.
    • Resistance to pests and other diseases which would affect Paddy Cultivation.

Preparation of Land:

Land preparation refers to the procedure of arranging the cultivation area, in the best possible condition for rice cultivation, ensuring the land is level and hydrated matching to the needs and requirements of the rice seeds planted. Preparation is done via machinery or by water buffaloes.

Crop Establishment: 

Crop establishment refers to managing a series of steps that includes, seeding, seed germination, seedling emergence and its development up until its stage of maturity, with other factors such as soil, climatic, bio tic, machinery and management procedures.

Crop establishment can be done in two methods;
1. Transplanting 
This method is much favored across Asian countries, which also requires more labor and back-breaking effort. It is the process where selected seeds are planted on a seed bed, where the seeds are allowed to grow until they are mature enough to go to the field. After that, pre-germinated seedlings are manually transferred from the seed bed to the wet field.

2. Direct Seeding
It's the process where dry seeds or pre-germinated seeds and seedlings are spread throughout the cultivation area by hand or planted by machinery.

Irrigation and Management:

Cultivated paddy has a higher sensitivity towards water shortages. They are in need of a steady supply of water, and it tends to immediately react by developing symptoms of water stress when the supply is disturbed and drop below the required.
Therefore to ensure golden crop the cultivators should always maintain a sound water management systems ensuring sufficient amounts of water reaches every rice plant from its birth to the final stage of its life.

Nutrient Management:
Like every living being, plants also need varying nutritional factors at various stages of life. By maintaining the situation of a flooded rice field; farmers and cultivators have the ability to preserve soil organic matter as well as receive free nitrogen from natural sources. If the Nutrient Management halts by maintaining the above level, you will produce a crop of about 3 tons per hectare, without artificially applied nitrogen fertilizer.
If a higher yield is the target, more nutrients should be provided.

Crop Health Management:

Crop health management is essential. As the crop flourishes, it charm pests and diseases of various kinds to thrive in the crops' healthy grow. Before using pesticides and other artificial methods, it is best to prevent any negative conditions from continuing, which might attracts rodents, harmful insects, viruses, diseases, and weeds.
Another method that could be adopted is to create an anti-Eco-system for the pests and diseases, which would naturally disease the negative impacts from unwelcoming guests and situations to the minimal.

Harvesting refers to the best period to collect mature rice crop from the rice field. Rice crops usually mature within and around the period of 115-120 days after crop establishment. It can be done both manually and mechanically. Though manual harvesting is common across Asia, it is highly a labor intensive process which requires 40 to 80 man-hours per hectare. 


Post-harvest procedures are undergone depending on their immediate usage after harvesting. Preliminary stages that quickly follow harvesting stage are drying, storing, milling and final processing. Out of the above mentioned stages, drying is the most important factor as the storage capability is determined according to retained moisture levels. Delays in drying, partly drying or ineffective drying will reduce the quality and will lead to a greater loss of harvested crop. 


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