FAO offers Sri Lankan farmers training on sustainable paddy cultivation-Xinhua

FAO offers Sri Lankan farmers training on sustainable paddy cultivation

Source: Xinhua

Editor: huaxia

2023-11-20 18:10:15

COLOMBO, Nov. 20 (Xinhua) -- The Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO), along with the Department of Agriculture and the Mahaweli Authority of Sri Lanka, has recently launched a farmer field schools program to train smallholder paddy farmers on sustainable approaches to paddy cultivation.

According to a statement from the UN agency on Monday, 6,000 Sri Lankan farmers from the four key rice-growing Ampara, Badulla, Hambantota and Polonnaruwa districts in the South Asian country will be trained by agriculture extension officers on applying the integrated plant nutrient management (IPNM) approach in their paddy cultivation to promote the efficient use of fertilizers, water and other inputs.

The FAO believes that by adopting IPNM and more efficient use of chemical fertilizers, smallholder paddy farmers can reduce costs and improve productivity, leading to better profitability and resilience to future shocks.

It said many paddy farmers in Sri Lanka rely on traditional cultivation methods, often exceeding the recommended amounts of fertilizers without a full understanding of the respective soil nutrient requirements of their fields.

To address these challenges, the farmer field school program will facilitate soil testing and efficient fertilizer use through IPNM practices, emphasizing soil management, compost, and biochar production.

The program will also focus on implementing good agronomic practices including using high-quality seeds, proper land preparation, the parachute method for seed broadcasting, efficient water management, and effective weed, pest, and disease management.