||SOIL WORKING AND TECHNIQUES
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Description of the local variant of the technique
OPERATIONS FOR RICE CULTIVATION:
Field preparation: manuring and plowing
Plowing is done more than two times before sowing paddy. Weeding is done at least three to four times, one after 20-25 days of sowing followed by another weeding after one month and finally few days before harvesting.
For irrigated field, nursery is raised about 30-45 days before the transplantation. It is done by two methods: dry nursery and wet nursery.
Transplantation (Thakuli method)
The seedlings are tied in small bundles and carried to the field for transplantation. In this method, plants of 12-15 days are transplanted. The distance between plants to plant is about 30 cm.
The grain reaps in about 30-40 days after flowering. Water is drained off 2-3 weeks before harvesting to ensure the better yield. The entire plant is cut from the base with the help of sickle, and is spread over the ground for Sun drying. After complete drying these plants are piled at one place in bundled or loose, depending upon the farmer’s ease.
Threshing is done in the field. Two methods are popular for threshing: By beating the bulk of paddy on some hard thing like wood or stone after spreading tarpaulin over it or by feet. Threshing of paddy for seed and food is done separately.
After threshing the grain is separated by winnowing. It is done by throwing grains on the tarpaulin from about 5-6 feet height with the help of suppu (another implement made of local bamboo variety, used to separate the grains from dust). After cleaning, grains are carried to home where they are stored.
Grains or seeds are stored soon after threshing, cleaning and sun drying for at least 2 days. The seed for next year’s crop is stored separately in smaller storing devices locally called Dhakwali, Kwanda, Sajoli and Tomri.
Regular flooding of water in the irrigated field controls most of the common weeds, whereas in the rainfed fields, at least three to four weeding are done depending upon the season and weed population. Weeding is done manually and care is taken to uproot the weeds before the flowering stage to avoid further spreading of its seed.
Some plants and plant products are commonly used in Uttarakhand for pest control in paddy: Persian Liliac, Neem, Pongam, Aloe, Garlic, Basil, Vitex, Tobacco and Marigold. Rice apart from being a source of food is intimately related with all the religious, cultural and social functions of the life of hill people. It also provides feed for cattle, thereby, reducing pressure on grazing land and forests. Thus, rice helps to balance the delicate ecosystem of
Himalayas, where fodder scarcity is more acute. Rice is cultivated in hills of state in two distinct environments; terraces and valleys. The promising rice establishment method in terraces is direct-seeded (dry seed and dry soil), while valleys are transplanted (establishment of seedlings in nursery and subsequently transplanted in well puddled fields). Rice is the major cereal crop of kharif season accounting for more than 54 percent of the total area under cereals in the state. The annual rice production of the state is around 5.5 lakh tonnes from an area of about 2.80 lakh hectares. Half of this area is in the plains and half in the hills, but the total rice production of the hills is twice the total production of the hills. Rice is cultivated in all the 13 districts of the state, but maximum area (33%) is in district Udham Singh Nagar which produces about 48% of the total rice produced annually in the state. Districts Nainital, Hardwar and Dehradun occupy about 17.5 per cent area and contribute 22.2 per cent in the total production.The rice growing area in the state is about 2.8 lakh hectares and production is 5.7 lakh quintals. Half of this area is in the hills and half in the plains, but the total production in the plains is almost two and half times the production in the hills. The average productivity of the state is 20.39 q/ha. There is a wide gap between the productivity of hills (12.55 q/ha) and productivity of the plains (27.55 q/ha). Rice is used in almost all rituals in the state from the birth to the death. Sowing time is decided by the Hindu colander. Rice is also used to make several recipes including the most famous ‘Arsa’ kind of sweet made during the marriages or festivals. Sweet rice is made during the marriage parties.