Tamil Nadu farmers to benefit from Norway project

CHENNAI: Farmers in the delta regions of the Krishna and Cauvery rivers will soon benefit from a project that aims at reducing water consumption in paddy cultivation by 25% without compromising on the quality or quantum of yield.

IIT-Delhi is working on a proposal to collaborate with Bioforsk, the Norwegian Institute for Agricultural and Environmental Research. Other partners in the project include the city-based MS Swaminathan Research Foundation (MSSRF) and the International Water management Institute in Colombo.

“We will employ dry and wet systems of paddy cultivation alternately, and try out a system of rice intensification without compromising on the yield,” said Udaya Sekhar Nagothu, India head of Bioforsk.

The first phase of the project, on an outlay of 5,00,000 Norwegian kroners (one kroner is Rs 7.8), began in November 2009. “The main proposal will be submitted in July to the Norwegian embassy in Delhi since the project is funded by the Norwegian ministry of foreign affairs,” said Lars Peder Brekk, minister for agriculture and food, Norway. “The project will take off in November,” he added.

This is not the first time that Bioforsk and IIT-Delhi have collaborated. Last March, the two began a study on the impact of climate change on the Godavari basins. However, the ongoing project focussing on select areas of the Krishna and Cauvery river basins is a much bigger project. “We will look at the various components and validate the types of cultivation,” said Nagothu.

“Biosforsk has undertaken studies with the Tamil Nadu Agricultural University. We are also working with professor AK Gosain of the Civil Engineering department, IIT-Delhi,” said Brekk.

From TOI

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