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Paira Cropping System


A unique conservation agricultural practice, Paira cropping system has dwindled in recent years due to climate change.


GS III: Agriculture

Paira Cropping System: An Overview

Geographical Distribution and Practice:


  • The Paira cropping system is predominantly practiced in several states including Bihar, Eastern Uttar Pradesh, West Bengal, Chhattisgarh, and Odisha.

Cropping Technique:

  • Paira cropping represents a relay method of sowing, wherein seeds of lentil, lathyrus, urdbean, or mungbean are broadcasted into the standing rice crop approximately two weeks prior to its harvest.

Agronomic Features:

  • Unlike conventional cropping systems, the Paira method restricts agronomic interventions such as tillage, weeding, irrigation, and fertilizer application.
  • The productivity of the pulses in this system is significantly influenced by the rice variety cultivated.
Advantages of Paira Cropping System:

Optimal Resource Utilization:

  • The Paira cropping system capitalizes on the available soil moisture during the rice harvest, preventing its rapid loss.

Enhanced Yield:

  • Empirical studies have indicated that Paira cropping yields a higher lentil output compared to traditional cultivation methods involving tillage post rice harvest.

Sustainable Crop Intensification:

  • Paira cropping exemplifies an efficient approach to sustainable agricultural intensification, facilitating enhanced land productivity while conserving resources.

Relay Cropping Method: A General Overview


  • Relay cropping is a form of multiple cropping wherein a secondary crop is sown into a standing primary crop well before the primary crop’s harvest.
  • Resource Optimization: Relay cropping addresses challenges related to inefficient resource utilization, enabling optimal use of land, water, and nutrients.
  • Sowing Time and Fertilizer Management: This method mitigates conflicts arising from conflicting sowing times and facilitates synchronized fertilizer application.
  • Soil Health: Relay cropping aids in soil conservation and minimizes degradation, ensuring sustained agricultural productivity.

-Source: Down To Earth


June 2024