Production by individual farmers, who had taken to modern farming methods, exceeded 14 tonne a hectare, according to officials of the state agricultural department. The previous record was of 5.40 tonne a hectare.
The yield increase has been without any increase in cost of production. In most cases, the cost has been considerably reduced and the net return to farmers has been substantially high. Introduction of systems of rice intensification (SRI) and precision farming technologies along with the joint efforts of scientists of the Tamil Nadu Agriculture University (TNAU), officials of the state agriculture department and enterprising farmers brought about this revolution in the paddy fields, according to state agriculture secretary Surjit K Choudhry.
According to S Kosalaraman, commissioner, agriculture, the SRI technology had begun showing results in 2007 itself. In Dindugul district, a farmer harvested 14.27 tonne of paddy from a hectare. A farmer at Chinnasalem in Villupuram district produced 13.38 tonne. Some farmers in Tutucorin district harvested up to 10.4 tonne per hectare. Similar reports of high yields have been coming in from other districts also, he said.
All of them, identified through a random selection method, have employed SRI technology and were supported and guided by the scientists and field officers of the agriculture department.
More than 8,000 such field officers have been employed all over the state to assist farmers in adopting modern farming technologies for higher productivity and cost-reduction, he said.