ICAR-Indian Institute of Rice Research, Rajendranagar
ICAR- Indian Institute of Rice Research coordinated 12,468 (twelve thousand four hundred and sixty-eight) demonstrations under the Scheduled Castes Sub Plan (SCSP), in collaboration with State Agricultural Universities (SAUs), Krishi Vigyan Kendras (KVKs), All India Coordinated Rice Improvement Project (AICRIP) centres and NGOs during the period 2019-2023. The quality paddy seed of improved varieties was provided to the beneficiary farmers. Among the improved rice varieties, the biofortified varieties play a crucial role in attaining nutrition security. Hence, the zinc biofortified rice variety, DRR Dhan 48 was demonstrated on the 300 farmer fields in Telangana and the economic impact of one hundred forty-two demonstrations was assessed with the ‘difference in difference’ approach. The results revealed that rice production under demonstration plots was more profitable with a higher benefit-to-cost ratio (B:C; 1.9) compared to the control plots (1.4). The independent two-sample t-test revealed that the productivity at the control plots was not statistically different from that of the demonstration’s plots (p = 0.112) before the project was implemented, however, with the intervention in the form of the demonstration of improved rice production technology, the productivity differed significantly (p = 0.000) for the control and the demonstration plots for the intervention year. The results of the difference in differences estimator revealed that there was a positive impact of demonstrations on the yield of the beneficiaries. The mean productivity of demonstration plots and control plots were 5.52 t/ha and 4.5 t/ha, respectively. The farmers had an additional yield advantage of 22.6 per cent over the control plots. Also, the results suggest the practical significance of the popularization of biofortified rice varieties for food and nutritional security.