Mains Practice Question


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Explore the practice of planting rice seeds directly in the field (DSR), examining both its potential advantages and limitations


Direct Seeding of Rice (DSR) involves planting rice seeds directly into the field rather than transplanting seedlings from a nursery. This method is also known as the ‘tar-wattar’ technique.


How DSR Works

Traditionally, rice farmers start by sowing seeds in nurseries. After 25–35 days, these seedlings are transplanted into the main, flooded field. Although this method is labor-intensive and water-demanding, it generally results in higher yields and healthier crops.

In DSR, seeds are sown directly into the field approximately 20-30 days before they would traditionally be transplanted. The field is first irrigated and leveled with a laser before using a seed drill or fortunate seeder for planting. Seed preparation is crucial, with seeds soaked in a fungicide solution for eight hours and then dried for half a day before planting.

The first irrigation occurs 21 days post-sowing, followed by 14-17 more irrigation cycles at intervals of 7-10 days, depending on soil type and monsoon conditions. The final irrigation happens 10 days before harvesting, with the overall process requiring around 25-27 irrigations.

Benefits of DSR

  • Water Conservation: DSR can reduce water usage by 15% to 20%, whereas the traditional method requires 3,600 to 4,125 liters of water per kilogram of rice.
  • Labor Reduction: It requires less labor compared to traditional methods.
  • Faster Maturation: DSR crops mature 7 to 10 days sooner, allowing farmers more time to manage paddy straw.
  • Cost Efficiency: Lower production costs.
  • Environmental Impact: Better soil conditions for subsequent crops and reduced methane emissions.

Challenges of DSR

  • Weed Management: Weeds pose a significant challenge in DSR as they compete with rice seedlings more aggressively than in traditional methods.
  • Greenhouse Gas Emissions: Although DSR reduces methane emissions, it can increase nitrous oxide emissions due to aerobic soil conditions.
  • Nutrient Deficiencies: Micronutrient deficiencies are more prevalent in DSR.


Achieving comparable yields with DSR is possible through several cultural strategies, such as selecting suitable cultivars, timing the sowing process appropriately, using the correct seeding rates, and managing weeds and water effectively. Encouraging farmers to adopt DSR can be facilitated by developing better short-duration and high-yielding varieties, as well as improving nutrient management and weed control strategies


Other Points to Consider

Subsidies in DSR

Importance of soil for DSR




Previous Year Questions

1.What is Integrated Farming System? How is it helpful to small and marginal farmers in India? (2022)

2.What are the major factors responsible for making the rice-wheat system a success? In spite of this success how has this system become bane in India? (2020)

20-Jun 2024