Rice farmers were on Wednesday last exposed to a session held in Region Two which emphasised a six-point system of farming to garner a higher production yield.
According to a release from the Government Information Agency (GINA), the session was the first of five planned for this year and was organised through a collaborative effort between the Guyana Rice Development Board (GRDB) and the Ministry of Agriculture. Extension Manager of the GRDB Kuldip Ragnauth said that the aim of the sessions was to interact and exchange views in relation to the rice industry.
The farmers were encouraged to use the six-point technique, which involves the date of sowing, density of plants, and treatment of seeds, weed control, fertilization and water management. They were afforded a visit to a demonstration plot, set up through a collaborative effort between the GRDB, the Rice Producers Association and the Fund for Latin America Irrigated Rice (FLAR). The plot demonstrates the use of the six-point technique for the planting and harvesting of rice and adoption of this technique can result in higher yields. According to GINA, Region Two has 12 demonstration farms, out of a total of 32 countrywide.
According to the release, Ragnauth pointed out the varying periods during which farmers could sew. He explained that where density of plants is concerned, they can be easily exposed to diseases if an adequate density of plant population per unit is not utilized. He said if this is adopted it would result in healthy, strong plants and ultimately higher yields.
He elaborated that seed treatment would aid in the alleviation of weed control and it would also aid the seeds during minor floods. He said the GRDB is looking to other options where the use of ‘resin’ is concerned in order to cut costs. One such option is the use of a product known as ‘Flip’, which may be utilised for the next crop.
The extension manager also advised farmers to apply fertilizer to dry soils, since dry soils often retain Urea and he also noted that water management is important in maximizing rice yields. He said it was also necessary for weed control and the prevention of nitrogen loss. He also mentioned that there were two new rice lines which are capable of producing some 50 bags of grain per acre.
According to the release, the GRDB is also involved in a programme of analyzing soil samples. The release said that soil tests were conducted on Wednesday and when analyzed, the 40 samples showed that they were lacking in Boron, an element which is essential in rice cultivation.
Meanwhile, Leroy Small, Chief Scientist of the Burma Rice Research Station, also agreed that the six-point technique was essential to rice cultivation. According to the release, he said that the six-point system is a stable approach to rice production and he encouraged the farmers to utilize the farming technique.
Additionally the farmers visited a farm where two new varieties were used and Small explained that the varieties had been developed through two components including aid provided by FLAR in obtaining the materials and making the hybrids. The release also stated that some 300 lines were produced by FLAR and the component in the field was as a result of the FLAR hybridization programme.
The session was attended by participants from Regions Two, Three, Four, Five and Six.