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What procedure should be adopted in cultivation, production and processing of traditional varieties of organic rice?

Answer:

The procedure adopted in cultivation, production and processing of quality rice using organically produced traditional varieties of paddy is outlined below:

Cultivation

  • Seasonal cropping calendar or Farm almanac. There are two seasons – the – “Yala”, is from April to September in Srilanka.
  • Paddy varieties should be selected taking into consideration the soil condition and climate of the area.
  • Select unmixed high quality seed paddy with no damaged grains.
  • Consumer preference and market demand should be taken into account when selecting paddy varieties.

Land preparation

  • Minimum tillage should be practiced to conserve soil quality.
  • Organic inputs such as compost, paddy husk ash, and manures like bone manure, cattle manure, poultry manure, goat manure and green manure should be added.
  • Use water management techniques to facilitate initial weed control activities and ensure that the fertile top soil layer is not washed-off.
  • Sufficient time should be allowed between first and second tillage and leveling operation.

Cultivation practices

  • Maximum tillering, resistance to lodging, etc. should be selected.
  • To facilitate high rate of tillering, row seeding or transplanting should be practiced.
  • Use a seeder for raw seeding.
  • Different types of plant nursery systems can be used to raise planting materials, namely Dapog nursery, Nursery tray system, Highland nursery, Sri system etc..
  • Weeding should be done twice during the growing period. Use a row weeder for this purpose.
  • Minimum seed rate is recommended, if sowing is to be practiced.

Maintanence of growing crop

  • Chemical pesticides should not be used for pest control activities and use natural pest control measures viz: Margosa (Azadirachta Indica A. Juss), Daluk (Euphorbia Antquorm L) Cimamon (Cissampelos Paareira L) etc…
  • Growing of insect repellent plants such as Daspetiya (Calendula officinalis L)on the bunds of the paddy field.
  • Use water management practices and mechanical weeder to control weeds.
  • Excessive shade should be removed by trimming over hanging branches of the trees in the vicinity of the field to facilitate maximum sun light.
  • Maintain natural environment around the field.
  • Any off-varieties or wild varieties, if detected, should be removed immediately.
  • Organically produce liquid fertilizer, wormiculture technique, can be used to promote plant growth.
  • Growing crop should be checked regularly.

Harvesting and primary processing

  • Exact harvesting time of each traditional variety should be determined correctly using the farm almanac on a dry day.
  • Observe the panicle colour and flag leaf to decide on the harvesting date.
  • Use manual labour and small machinery for harvesting and threshing of paddy instead of Heavy machinery and equipments.
  • After manual harvesting leave it, before collecting, for a day to dry on the field itself.
  • Manual treading or small tractor may be used to thresh paddy. To avoid any contamination use gunny mats to cover the threshing floor.
  • Use traditional knowledge and observe threshing floor rituals during threshing of paddy.
  • Winnowing should be done to remove all impurities such as weed seeds, half filled grains, dust etc.
  • Cleaned paddy should be sun dried using a mat on the floor to avoid any contaminations.

Storage of paddy

  • Store only well dried clean paddy.
  • When purchasing paddy check for its quality standards such as:
  1. moisture content,
  2. impurities present,
  3. admixture of off varieties, unfilled and half filled grains present.
  • Use clean, insect free gunny bags or plastic bags to pack paddy.
  • Wash and dry all gunny bags or plastic bags before reusing it for packing paddy.
  • All paddy bags should be stacked variety wise on wooden pellets (dunnages) to prevent them from getting into direct contact with the naked floor.
  • Stack paddy leaving alley ways between stacks and walls to prevent rat damages. Trim all over-hanging branches of the trees in the vicinity of the paddy store.
  • Keep the doors and windows of the paddy store open on sunny days to facilitate proper aeration. Do not keep doors and windows open on rainy days.
  • Use traditional insect repellants to control insects infestations such as Margosa leaves (Azadirachtaindica A. Juss.), Lime leaves (Citrus aurantifolia), Nika (Kayea stylosa).
  • Do not use chemical insect repellents or insecticides to control insects.
  • Paddy stores should be fogged by burning Margosa leaves, Lime leaves etc to prevent insect infestations.
  • Whenever possible use traditional storage structures such as Wee Bissa, Wee Atuwa etc. to store paddy.
  • Regular inspections should be carried out to ascertain pest damages, roof leakages etc.
  • All Paddy bags must be very well accessible for checking or inspection, and when issuing, follow first come first out basis.
  • All information, statistics, accounts and any other records related to stored paddy should be maintained to facilitate proper management.
  • Use a Tag card system to identify paddy bags according to varieties, date of purchase etc.

Rice processing

  • Paddy should be milled only according to the requirements.
  • Use only small scale rice milling machinery to mill paddy as it would help to minimize variety mixing during processing operation.
  • Paddy stocks should not be kept in rice mill premises for a long time.
  • Processed rice should be packed.Allow milled rice to be cool before packing.
  • Different varieties of paddy should be milled separately to prevent any variety mixing.
  • Use correct gauge of polythene to pack rice.
  • Keep packeted rice in cardboard boxes.
  • Packeted rice should not be exposed to dew or strong sun light and keep them in a container to prevent insect infestations.
  • Rice milling should be planned according to the market requirements.
  • Rice should not be stored along with any chemical perfumes or oils.
  • Milled rice should be checked regularly for any pests such as weevils act…
  • Good rice should not be stored together with rice infested with insects.
  • Different varieties of paddy should be milled separately and store them separately to avoid any variety mixing.
  • Use small packaging materials to store rice.
  • Use plastic containers or cardboard boxes to store and transport packeted rice. Do not use gunny bags or plastic bags for these purposes.
  • Appropriate variety name should be clearly indicated on the packet.

For more information on rice cultivation in Sri Lanka:

  • Agricultural technologies used for rice.
  • Future of rice, Strategies to increase rice production and quality.
  • Climate variability and rice production in Sri Lanka.
Tags: Paddy Other Crops
 

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