Activities in Sri Lanka

Baseline survey

A baseline survey was conducted in Kalingaela Village and 26 farmers were interviewed to obtain their socio­economic information. Majority of farmers in Kalingaela are between 40 and 55 years old and their major source of income is farming. Rice is grown two seasons per year, and the average farm size is 0.81 hectare. Cultural practices adopted do not largely vary from farmer to farmer.

In Paranthan, 22 farmers were interviewed. The farming practices in Paranthan were found to be rather different from those of Kalingaela. The size of farm holdings varies between 2 hectares and 15 hectares.

Dry seeding

Farmers at both project sites practice sowing by hand, which has several disadvantages. To improve crop establishment,demonstration sites of row dry seeding by machine were established. Four multicrop dry seeders, two for each district, were imported from India and used to establish rice fields in each district. In Kilinochchi, 17 plots were established by using the multicrop seeder in two villages. Two seed rates (50 and 70 kilograms/hectare) at row spacing of either 15 or 20 centimeters were used. Establishment in most of the plots was good and there is a high potential to popularize the seeder.

Site-specific nutrient management

Nutrient emission plots were established at two field sites, Kalingaela and Yaya 13 tract in Jayanthipura Village in Polonnaruwa. Six emission plots in Kalingaela and four emission plots in Jayanthipura (another village in Polonnaruwa) were established.

Alternate wetting and drying

Their irrigation system does not have the facility to irrigate each plot separately (water is taken from plot to plot), and irrigation water is issued on rotation (farmers have to irrigate when water is available in the canal). Therefore, is it difficult to impose proper alternate wetting and drying (AWD) at the study sites. However, as water is issued on rotation, a situation similar to AWD is automatically imposed at certain stages of the crop when the length of the rotation period is extended. Field water tubes were installed in 15 plots to monitor water levels in rice fields covering all drainage aspects of the tract in Kalingaela. Field water tubes were also installed in five plots in Kilinochchi and water levels are being measured.