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Plans to double paddy yield

The potential for doubling paddy yield in the next few years with the use of improved high yielding paddy varieties coupled with advanced production and protection technologies was stressed by Agriculture Minister Hemakumara Nanayakkara at the opening ceremony of the new Rice Technology Training Centre at the Rice Research and Development Institute, Bathalagoda on January 26.


An award was presented recently to Dr. R.A. Dobermann, the Deputy Director General of the International Rice Research Institute of Philippines, by Agriculture Minister Hemakumara Nanayakkara for the cooperation extended in rice breeding activities in Sri Lanka. Dr. Nimal Dissanayaka, the Director of the Rice Research and Development Institute of Bathalagoda, also participated in this occasion.

Minister Nanayakkara stated that the present Rice Research and Development Institute at Bathalagoda was started as a rice breeding station in 1952.

It has not only been upgraded as the premier rice research institute of the country, but presently recognized internationally due to its excellent performance in rice breeding during the past several years.

This institute has not only bred rice varieties adaptable to different agro-ecological regions of this country, but it has also been successful in developing rice technologies that enable enhancement of yield.

These varieties have been introduced to the farmers who have adopted them with an acceptance level of over 95 per cent. These advances in varietal development and dissemination among rice farmers have enabled the nation achieve targets for self-sufficiency in this staple cereal.

It is in regard that the above training centre has been established for the dissemination of appropriate technologies among farmers.

The potential yield of the new high yielding rice varieties under experimental conditions range from 8-10 metric tons per hectare. However, the farmers have not been able to achieve this yield due to various constraints at field level and the national yield remains at 4.2 metric tons per hectare.

A wide yield gap exists and it is necessary to bridge this yield gap early. Therefore, this training centre could be used to overcome these constraints by training farmers, extension workers as well as the researchers in technology dissemination.

Wayamba Province Governor R. Balalle, Deputy Agrarian Services Minister Siripala Gamlath, Ranjith Wijethilaka, Secretary of the Ministry of Agricultural Development and Agrarian Services and Dr. C. Kudagamage, Director General, Department of Agriculture also participated.

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