JHENIDAH, Dec 18: Growing Boro paddy seedlings in plastic trays on the rooftop of concrete buildings and on domestic yards are becoming popular with many farmers in Shailkupa upazila of the district as the system saves them half of the time needed in traditional method.
Around 20 farmers across the upazila have prepared Boro paddy seedbeds at plastic trays this season.
College teacher Khabir Uddin of Taminagar area under Shailkupa municipality has made Boro seedbed at 150 plastic trays on the rooftop of the fifth floor of his house. This season Khabir has got 12 bighas of land wherein he would cultivate Boro paddy.
He has made this seedbed to grow paddy plants to be used on the land. So, 12 kgs of paddy seed has been put the trays on 700 square feet space of the house roof.
According to the advice of Sub-Assistant Agriculture Officer (SAAO) Tuhin, Kabir Uddin has made the seedbed in at tray method.
Among others, Mitul Hossain of Gusaidanga and Robiul of Vatbaria village have prepared Boro seedbeds at 160 and 150 trays respectively.
Saplings usually require 40-45 days to get ready to be transplanted if they are grown in the traditional seedbeds in the field.
However, paddy saplings at plastic trays take only 20-25 days to be old enough to be transplanted.
Farmers here have been using this technology for the last three years.
Tuhin said life span of SL8 paddy is 140-145 days. However, paddy plants take a fixed period of 60 days from PI stage to the end.
The seedlings grown at tray system get 20-25 days more to extract nutrients from the soil, resulting in matured and healthier plants to provide better yields when harvested.
Growing sapling in this way saves both cost and time. Girls and women of the household can take care of the saplings at their leisure time. Watering them in the morning, at noon and in the evening will do.
These saplings can be transplanted easily by a rice transplantor that saves a lot of time and money. However, farmers can also transplant them manually.
Farmers here in the upazila are being benefitted because of transplanting paddy seedlings by machines.
The government is giving 50 per cent subsidy on buying any rice transplantor.
After all, if this system can be disseminated among the farmers, good results can be achieved. We will be more benefitted, Tuhin opined.
Upazila agriculture officer, Shailkupa, Sanjoy Kumar Kundu said one needs to spread half an inch thick soil on the trays and slight before paddy seeds are sprinkled on it. Within 20 days the saplings grow 5-6 inches high and ready to be transplanted.
Field level officers of department of agriculture extension are disseminating the new technology among the farmers in the upazila.
In Aus season a lot of farmers prepare paddy seedbeds in Shailkupa. In Aman season seedbeds can be prepared at tray system as well, Sanjoy Kumar added.
Farmers here demanded that the government should take necessary projects to boost the technology among them.
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