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AcreNext Rice Farming by Corteva Agriscience

Hitul Awasthi
Hitul Awasthi

Coteva Agriscience 

Corteva Agriscience is a global agriculture company that provides farmers around the world with a complete range of agri-inputs like high-quality seeds, crop protection, and digital solutions. Recently, the company signed a multi-year global agreement with M2i, for research and development of pheromone based insect control solutions. Pheromones provide highly effective insect control by trapping or disrupting mating behaviours of the targeted pest. The target-specific approach provides a viable solution for integrated management against crop pests. Collaboration into the semiochemicals portfolio will provide novel solutions for controlling crop pests and extend plant-based insect control traits. 

COVID-19 impacts – 

With a tradition work towards farmer welfare, Corteva Agriscience always comes up with new and innovative initiatives to address farmer distress. Paddy is the second-highest produced grain in the world after maize. Being labour intensive and water demanding plant, it is well suited for regions having cheap labour and high rainfall. Decrease in per capita income amid slowed economy during COVID-19 will shift food habits from more expensive food items like meat, milk, vegetables and fruits to more affordable food like paddy.  

Paddy is one of the major food crops in India. The lockdown has created labor shortage and the problem of migration within the nation, which will further slow down transplanting, weeding, and other inter-cultural operations in fields. To manage high rice demand and future economic shocks, there is a need to revitalize paddy cultivation in the present season. 

Hybrid Rice  

On-farm incomes decide the economic status of farmer households. Many experts are of the view that the use of hybrid rice can boost rural incomes, stimulate private investment, and improve rice yields. Generally, more spikelets per panicle are produced in hybrid rice, as hybrids accumulate more dry matter during the vegetative phase. Hybridization results in hybrid vigor that increase the performance of a cultivated plant. But, the performance decline after first-generation seed (F1), thus compel farmers to buy new seeds in next season. 

AcreNext™ next-generation rice farming 

Understanding the plight of poor and distressed farmers in paddy growing areas of India, the Corteva Agriscience came up with a program to promote direct-seeded rice cultivation. “AcreNext program” aims to engage with farmers in Punjab and Haryana, so as to enhance their understanding and knowledge on the benefits of direct-seeded rice farming. 

The traditional cultivation method of paddy requires more water and labor resources. Understanding these constraints, the company aims to promote sustainable and resource-efficient techniques of paddy cultivation among farmers. 

Through AcreNext the company aims to promote integrated direct-seeded rice farming, meaning hybrid rice seed is planted directly into the rice main field. This will help rice farmers produce healthier rice crops that mature faster with increased yields while being less water and labor-intensive. The AcreNext program will impart hands-on training and is currently offered to rice farmers in Punjab and Haryana, and will soon be offered to farmers in other rice-growing regions. 

Dr. KV Subbarao, Managing Director, South Asia, said, “Corteva Agriscience is committed to helping farmers adopt sustainable agricultural practices. Direct seeded rice consumes less water and enables rice farming in control of the grower. Sowing with direct-seeded rice is easier and crop establishment is faster. Through our AcreNext program, we provide farmers with training in better farming practices and access to an integrated solution that delivers the right product for the right acreage that maximizes productivity and profitability.” 

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