This study evaluates the effectiveness of Sahbhagi Dhan as a drought-tolerant rice variety in India. The study used a randomized controlled trial to evaluate Sahbhagi Dhan by providing Sahbhagi Dhan seeds to randomly selected farmers in treatment villages in either 2012 or 2013. The treatment farmers were subsequently interviewed by enumerators along with the same number of randomly selected control households in nearby villages. The 2012 randomized controlled trial involved 420 farmers; the study area was significantly expanded in 2013 to cover different drought conditions, and 1,270 farmers were added to the sample.
The findings in this project suggest targeting strategies for Sahbhagi Dhan. The main benefit of Sahbhagi Dhan appears to be its short growth duration. This helps farmers where they can produce crops after kharif. Thus, the variety should be promoted in areas where the potential for producing crops after kharif is high. This will help farmers become less vulnerable to drought and other shocks during kharif by diversifying income sources. Experiments in farmers’ fields are different from agronomic experiments on research stations. Although we do not observe its drought tolerance in this report, it can become tolerant under certain drought conditions. The drought tolerance of Sahbhagi Dhan continues to be monitored among farmers.