Sunday, September 22, 2013

Seed Treatment Campaign

Seed treatment campaign was conducted in many places in Karaikal. I conducted at two villages - Subrayaburam and Thennangudy. It was an awareness creation programme. As the agriculture season is picking up, it was a low cost technology which helps the crop to gain resistance to root borne diseases and facilitates Organic farming.

Seed treatment is similar to immunization programme for children. Like we have an injection within 5 days of child birth is this seed treatment. Giving the immunization at the earliest stage of life. If the farmer has missed the seed treatment, he can broadcast the bio-control agent in nursery field. It is like an injection at 45th day. If the farmer plans his transplanting he can go for seedling root dipping. Its like an injection at 65th day. If the farmer has already transplanted he can very well broadcast in the field twice or thrice, its like polio vaccination for children under 5 years old every year. We know the importance of immunization to children and now it is time to treat our agricultural crops also as children and give maximum care that too in organic way. This will help us to have a better future and make the Earth a better place to live through ORGANIC AGRICULTURE.

Seed treatment is a process of application of chemicals or protectants (with fungicidal, insecticidal, bactericidal or nematocidal properties) to seeds that prevent the carriage of insect or pathogens in or on the seeds. In the campaign various benefits and importance of seed treatment with Pseudomonas fluorescens was detailed. It helps in effective control Blast, Bacterial leaf blight, sheath blight of paddy. It paves way for organic rice production.

Pseudomonas fluorescens is a common Gram-negative, rod-shaped bacterium. It belongs to the Pseudomonas genus; 16S rRNA analysis has placed P. fluorescens in the P. fluorescens group within the genus, to which it lends its name.

The method demonstration conducted was “Seed Treatment of Paddy seeds with Pseudomonas fluorescens using seed treating drum”. Five kilo paddy seed was placed in the seed treating drum. As the rate of Pseudomonas to be used for treatment are 10 gms per kilo of Paddy seeds. 50 gms of Pseudomonas was added to the seeds in the drum. The drum was closed and rotated 5 times in clockwise and anticlockwise directions each. The treated seeds were collected in a vessel. Such treated seeds can be used for soaking the seeds for enhancing germination. When the Pseudomonas treated seeds are soaked, while germination the rupture created when plumule and radicle emerges acts as an entry point for the bacteria to enter the seed and the full system gets the inoculum.

The other methods taught in the seed treatment campaign were
  1. Using rice gruel: Pseudomonas was added (at the rate of 10 gms / kg of paddy seeds) to the cooled rice gruel. It was mixed uniformly and then it was mixed with the seeds. The treated seeds should be shade dried and can be used for soaking to facilitate germination.
  1. Using Water: Pseudomonas was added (at the rate of 10 gms / kg of paddy seeds) in 1 litre of water. It was mixed uniformly and then it was mixed with the seeds. The treated seeds should be shade dried and can be used for soaking to facilitate germination.
  1. In soaking pit / pond / tank: Pseudomonas was added (at the rate of 10 gms / kg of paddy seeds) in the water available in soaking pit / pond / tank. The gunny bags containing seeds should be soaked in Pseudomonas treated water for more than 12 hours. Then remove the seed bags and cover them with dark tarpaulin sheet to facilitate germination. The Pseudomonas would enter the entire system of the plant from the initial stage itself. Then the remaining treated water used for the soaking should be added to the nursery itself. 
For those farmers who have taken up sowing either in nursery of direct sowing, the other ways of using Pseudomonas were detailed.

Seedling root dipping: Apply 2.5kg of Pseudomonas to the water stagnated in an area of 25 sq.m. The seedlings after pulling out from the nursery should be placed in stagnated water containing the bacteria. A minimum period of 30 minutes is necessary for soaking the roots and prolonged soaking will enhance the efficiency.

Soil application: Apply the product @ 2.5kg/ha mixed with 50 Kgs of well decomposed farmyard manure (FYM) or sand at 30 days after transplanting.

Foliar application: Spray the product @ 0.2% concentration (1Kg/ha) commencing from 45 days after transplanting at 10 days interval for 3 times depending on the disease intensity. If there is no disease incidence, a single spray is sufficient.

Living a Dignified Life

It is an another version of This article is written to show the story from his daughter's side.

Hemalatha, aged 31 lives with her only daughter and Father in the back yard of her Brother’s home in Surakudy Village of Karaikal District of Union Territory of Puducherry (earlier it was called as Pondicherry). She is too brilliant to read from the facial expressions and body language. She can neither hear nor speak, but that is not her only trouble, a widow from her early 20’s, Hemalatha is also a single mother at the prime of her youth. To overcome all these challenges Hemalatha decided to invest most of her time with her Father’s cattle. He is also a dependant on his only son. Hemalatha, her daughter and her father live in a hut behind his son’s house. In the backyard, daughter and father grow vegetables and fodder to live a dignified life. 

Hemalatha is very much restricted to her house as she is involved in the household chores only and not exposed to the open world. Fodder in her life is also an interesting story as it created an opportunity. Sinnappa Pillai is an agricultural worker who is also having few cattle in his home with which he is earning his living. Hemalatha’s father is a member of Agricultural Technology Management Agency (ATMA) group. As a part of a training program 100 fodder slips were provided to all the fifteen member participants of the group. Hemalatha’s family grew the fodder slip according to the instructions provided and it multiplied into thousands providing fodder slips to many without any cost as they got the initial slips free from a Government scheme.

Fodder is a grass variety whose leaves are fed to cattle which are more advantages than other forms of feed as it is natural and rich in moisture, nutrition and fiber content. It is reproduced through rooted slips (actually the bottom portion of the stem). Once the grass matures, the grass gives a lot of tillers that is becomes very bushy - even if it was planted as a single slip, it would become a bush of around 25 tillers. Fodder multiplied from one hundred to thousands because of the hard work of the daughter and father. She toiled with her father not wasting time and space in the backyard. Each additional tiller from the fodder found a place in some space in the backyard in an aesthetic way. A tiller is a stem produced by the grass plants, and refers to all shoots that grow after the initial parent shoot grows from a seed. Tillers emerge from each node at the base of the fodder. Tillers are usually segmented in the internodes area with one or two buds emerging from it. Such pieces of the fodder slips are used for vegetative propagation.

The parental care to the cattle and stall feeding the fodder helped her cattle to yield more milk than ever before. The quality of their milk was improved and made the neighbors to demand Hemalatha’s milk more than others! Often she sells the excess milk to the milk vendor, helping her family to live a dignified life. A hard worker runs in toes from early morning to late night. She gets up before sunrise, completes the household chores, prepares her daughter to school, takes care of the cattle, milks the cows and delivers to neighboring households to earn a Dignified Life. Though she lives behind her brother’s house she is economically independent and manages all the expenses of her life with meager income. An example of self-confidence and self respect, Hemalatha is an inspiration!