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Principle 1: Rice Integrated Crop Management (ICM)
Rice growing should be seen as a complete production system and integrated management is essential as each single practice and output interacts with other practices and affects a range of outputs of management that ultimately combine to give the yield, grain quality and environmental sustainability.
Principle 2: Inputs, Outputs and Outcomes
Differentiating between practices and the results is very essential. Management inputs (the practices or what the farmer needs to do) are different from the management outputs (the results of these practices or what the farmer is trying to achieve); the management of inputs must achieve optimum level of outputs at all growth stages and management areas to achieve optimum yields and other outcomes such as reduced cost of cultivation.
Principle 3: Key Outputs
Identifying the most important factors in package of practices is essential. Some practices / outputs of practices are more important than others in managing the rice crop to achieve improved yield and other outcomes. These factors may vary from place to place.
Principle 4: Key Checks
Using the key outputs (such as optimum level of tillers) as targets of management practices and subsequently, as benchmarks for effectively evaluating and checking the outputs at every stage of crop growth.
Principle 5: Changing farmers’ practices
Change in farmers’ practices may not occur overnight. A farmer identifying good practices is a precursor to change. The strengths and weaknesses of each of the practices must be identified and recognized by the farmer before these can be changed; and yield, grain quality, and environmental outcomes can be improved.
Principle 6: Farmer group discussions
Encourage farmers to discuss about the contents of this book to facilitate collaborative learning with others. Create an environment where every farmer feels that these practices are not thrusted on him, rather these are the cafeteria of practices from which he can choose what is best for him.
Shaik N. Meera, R. Mahender Kumar, P. Muthuraman, L.V. Subba Rao and B.C. Viraktamath (2014). A Handbook of Package of Practices for Rice. Directorate of Rice Research, Book No. 80/2014. p.365.