Aerobic Rice Cultivation

By : Neha Dhyani

Updated : Sep 20, 2022, 10:51

Aerobic Rice Cultivation is a method of rice plantation that requires the usage of less water during irrigation. In this type of cultivation, rice is directly planted in aerobic soil without creating a puddle. Then supplementary irrigation and fertilizers are used to grow high-yielding rice crops. Traditionally, rice crops are grown in puddles with an abundance of water, but in Aerobic Rice Cultivation, very little water is used to grow the crop.

Aerobic Rice Cultivation can be done in upland areas where land is flat and deep soils which are capable of supplying water to the crop between rainfall. It is a method based on direct seeding, which is used to grow other crops such as beans, cabbage, spinach, and cauliflowers.

What is Aerobic Rice Cultivation?

Aerobic Rice Cultivation refers to a method of cultivating rice crops by using very little water, as compared to the traditional method. This type of rice cultivation uses the direct seeding method, in which the water level only needs to match the soil saturation level. Here are some details about aerobic rice plantation:

  • The plants can be rain-fed or irrigated fully or supplementarily.
  • In this type of rice cultivation, there should be a spacing of 20-25 centimeters between the seeds.
  • Weed control is necessary for Aerobic Rice Cultivation to be successful.

Step-by-Step Process of Aerobic Rice Cultivation

In India, Aerobic Rice Cultivation happens in the summer month of June and July, and the harvesting is done in November and December. This type of rice cultivation is primarily known for requiring less amount of water to grow the crops. Rice cultivation step by step process is shared below:


Details of Aerobic Rice Cultivation

Step 1

Land Preparation

Step 2

Direct Seeding

Step 3

Irrigation, Fertilization, and Weeding throughout the process

Step 4

Final Harvesting

Aerobic Rice Cultivation in India

Aerobic rice is grown as an upland crop in soil that's not inundated, puddled, or saturated. In contrast to traditional flooded fields, which are 'anaerobic,' aerobic rice cultivation happens on soil that is 'aerobic,' or with oxygen throughout the growing season.

In India, the Kharif season is the primary rice-growing season. Therefore, the sowing for aerobic cultivation of rice takes place in the summer months of June and July. The crops are harvested in the winter months of November and December.

A seed rate of 50 kg per hectare is recommended for aerobic rice cultivation. Seeds are planted 20 cm within rows and 15 cm inside rows at a depth of 3 to 5 cm. Here are a set of basic practices for this type of rice cultivation:

  • Direct seeding of treated seed in non-puddle and non-flooded fields
  • It can be rain-fed, fully irrigated, or supplementary irrigation.
  • Water must be kept at just soil saturation levels (aerobic, i.e., with oxygen)
  • Weed control that is both effective and timely is critical to the system's performance.
  • Use of best nutrient management techniques, including FYM, compost, vermicompost, etc.

Suitable Places for Aerobic Rice Cultivation in India

  • Upland and mid-upland locations with flat land
  • In undulating areas, upper slopes, or terraces
  • Deep soils capable of supplying water to the crop in between rain events/irrigation.
  • Look for fields that are adequately leveled and have good drainage.
  • Stay away from saline/alkaline and low-lying fields that have been flooded.

Importance of Aerobic Rice Cultivation

Aerobic Rice Cultivation is a modern rice production strategy with durable water soil and suited, high-yielding types that are sown directly dry. Aerobic rice is not watered like other upland cereal crops, making it appropriate for water-scarce settings. It can also withstand being flooded on a regular basis. Here are some other important factors about this type of rice plantation:

  • Aerobic rice cultivation does not require huge amounts of water and is not a labour-intensive process when compared to traditional methods.
  • Water shortage is expected to be severe by 2025, making management of the limited water for varied uses difficult.
  • Thus, Aerobic Rice Cultivation is a long-term sustainable rice production strategy that addresses water shortages and environmental concerns caused by global warm water.

The main goal of Aerobic Rice Cultivation is to improve farmers' current method of direct seeding rice in watered areas using native rice varieties. The creation of aerobic rice varieties, appropriate agro-techniques, and various management strategies are currently being studied.

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FAQs on Aerobic Rice Cultivation

Q1. What is Aerobic Rice Cultivation?

Aerobic Rice Cultivation is the practice of cultivating rice using the direct seed planting method. This method uses less water as compared to conventional plantation methods for rice crops. In Aerobic Rice Cultivation, the water level only needs to match the soil saturation level.

Q2. Where is Aerobic Rice Cultivation in India practiced?

Aerobic Rice Cultivation can be done in upland areas. In India, this type of rice cultivation is practiced in Tamil Nadu, Jharkhand, Chhattisgarh, sections of Bihar, Orissa, Karnataka, and eastern Uttar Pradesh.

Q3. What is the step-by-step process of Aerobic Rice Cultivation?

Aerobic Rice Cultivation step by step process consists of land preparation, sowing seeds, maintenance of the soil (weeding, fertilizing, irrigation), and final harvesting. The aerobic rice cultivation process is the same as regular rice cultivation, except that seeds are sown directly into the soil.

Q.4. What are the drawbacks of Aerobic Rice Cultivation?

In Aerobic Rice Cultivation, poorly maintained fields can result in crop failure. Weeds and a lack of micronutrient availability are harmful to aerobic rice crops. Therefore, it requires timely weeding and proper fertilization of the soil.