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Hybrid Paddy Seeds: Corteva Agriscience Slowly Making Inroads into Bihar & Jharkhand; Providing Training to Women Farmers

Leading agricompany Corteva Agriscience is slowly making inroads to push its hybrid paddy seeds and other products in Bihar and Jharkhand, where it has trained about 90,000 women pravaktas or village leaders on growing hybrids alongside with agronomic practices and post-transplantation care.

Pritam Kashyap

Corteva Agriscience, a global agriculture company is slowly making inroads to push its hybrid paddy seeds as well as other products in Bihar & Jharkhand, where it has trained over 90,000 women pravaktas or village leaders on growing hybrids along with agronomic practices and post-transplantation care. 

These rural women of Bihar & Jharkhand are growing inbred rice and self-pollinated home-grown rice, during a traditional way and now they’re trained to grow hybrid seeds even by using the Direct Seed Rice (DSR) technique. 

They have even become ambassadors of early adopters of the new technology and advocating the same in their villages to possess a multiplier effect, thereby creating demand and marketplace for hybrid seeds and crop protection products. 

Corteva Agriscience Marketing Director, South Asia, Aruna Rachakonda said, “These woman farmers, after the training, have sown hybrid paddy seeds in about 10,000 acres within the current Kharif season of 2020-21.” 

There has been about a 15-20 percent rise within the acreage under hybrid paddy from the previous Kharif season when the company first rolled out the training program. 

“We worked on two hybrid paddy seeds 27P37 and 27P31 in these two states i.e. Bihar and Jharkhand and received a better response," she said adding that Corteva had launched hybrid paddy seed 27P37 four years ago, while the other one seven years ago in India. 

The second technological intervention was introducing them to the Direct Seed Rice (DSR) technique with hybrid seeds which is Corteva's technology.  

The DSR technology has three main components i.e. transplanting hybrids, weed management and sowing service.  

Further, she said that about 20 per cent of 90,000 women farmers have now been trained in DSR technology, which the company is promoting during a structured and sustainable format. 

"In India, we are promoting with a mechanical sowing machine, which is a tractor mounted and also specify how many seeds required for an acreage that is the training we give. If you train 100 farmers, 40 of them will not get it right within the first instance. It’s quite a strenuous and structured training," she explained. 

In Bihar and Jharkhand, women farmers are being trained separately for three years. The company conducts similar training programmes in other paddy-growing belts of India i.e. Uttar Pradesh, Madhya Pradesh, Punjab and Haryana where both man & woman farmers are being trained. 

“There is a lot of cultural change that we need to bring back to the farmers' mind. It does not happen with a blink of an eye. In one season, you’ll not find transformation,” Rachakonda said. 

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