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   Rice is an important agricultural crop of India occupying the largest area among all agricultural crops grown in the country. It provides for about 43% of calorie requirement for more than 70% of Indian population and is fundamental to food security of India . The state of Andhra Pradesh, popularly known as ‘rice bowl of south India' is one of the major rice producing states in the country contributing to about 16 to 18% towards rice production from an area of about 10% of the country's rice area. Rice crop is cultivated in all seven agro climatic zones of the state under varied physiographic, climatic and soil conditions. However, productivity levels of the crop are low, primarily due to bio-physical constraints such as erratic monsoon resulting in delayed and prolonged planting, natural calamities such as drought, cyclones /floods; soil health factors such as ill-drained fields, and cultivation in salt affected soils; and technological constraints such as lack of optimum plant population, improper water management, imbalanced use of fertilizers, ineffective weed control, severe incidence of pests/diseases and indiscriminate use of pesticides.

Selection of suitable rice varieties developed for specific farming situation, use of quality seed, seed treatment and adoption of improved management practices like optimum plant population per unit area, proper water management, identification and correction of nutrient deficiencies, integrated weed, nutrient and pest management, rodent control on community basis and minimization of post-harvest losses will aid in significantly improving the crop productivity.


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