The 3rd ARRW International Symposium on the topic “Frontiers of Rice Research for Improving Productivity, Profitability and Climate Resilience” was inaugurated by Padma Bhusan Prof. V.L. Chopra, Former Secretary, DARE and DG, ICAR on 6th February, 2018 at ICAR-National Rice Research Institute, Cuttack, Odisha. The four-day long Symposium is being organized by ICAR-NRRI, Cuttack and Association of Rice Research Workers (ARRW) in association with other national and international organizations like, ICAR, New Delhi; NAAS, New Delhi; IRRI, Philippines and ICAR- IIRR, Hyderabad during February 6-9, 2018. Gracing the inaugural function as the Chief Guest, Prof. Chopra mentioned that the global demand of milled rice will cross 550 million ton by 2030. He recalled that over 40% of the total rice growing areas in India are rainfed, which are severely affected by the vagaries of climate like drought, submergence and flood. In addition, farmers also face several challenges like labour shortage, rising cost of cultivation, emergence of new pests & diseases, deteriorated soil health, and changing food habit of consumers. He emphasized that solutions to majority of these problems could be resolved by advanced biotechnological interventions in rice research like multiple gene pyramiding, whole genome sequencing and pollen magneto facture. He advised that scientists, especially biotechnologists, must test their laboratory inventions in farmers’ fields for solving their multitude problems.
Guest of Honour of the function Dr. Trilochan Mohapatra, Secretary, DARE and DG, ICAR said, ‘this is the occasion to celebrate Rice for serving humanity, alleviating hunger, malnutrition and poverty from the world’. He reiterated and advised the participants to work hard to achieve the target set by Honourable Prime Minister of India to Double the Farmers’ Income of by 2022. He also advocated working more in fields rather than in labs. Later, he delivered the plenary lecture on the topic “Indian Agriculture: A Perspective”
Dr. Himanshu Pathak, Director of Institute and Convener of the event briefed about the objectives and expected outputs of Symposium and highlighted the significant achievements and crop management techniques of the institute particularly the recently released nutrient rich high protein rice varieties (CR Dhan-310 & CR Dhan 311 with over 10.2% grain protein content, which are 1st of its kind in the world), climate resilient and climate smart varieties, and other biotic and abiotic tolerant varieties, riceXpert mobile app, and the contributions of the institute in bring green revolution in India during late 1960s etc. He also stated various issues and challenges faced by rice sector and the thrust areas of rice research of the country.
While delivering the presidential address, Prof. S.R. Das, President of the ARRW emphasized on collection, conservation and utilization of rich genetic resources of India in rice breeding programmes by scientists to evolve new varieties capable of addressing farmers’ problems and consumers’ demands.
During the Symposium, there will be parallel technical sessions on six Thematic areas, Panel discussions, Invited lead lectures, Plenary lectures and Poster presentation sessions on different areas of rice research and development across the globe from 6-8 February, 2018. One special national workshop on “Bringing Green Revolution to Eastern India (BGREI)” was organized on the inaugural day and two more special workshops, namely “Food and Nutritional Security in India - Issues and Challenges” and “AICRP Meeting on Rice” will be organized on 7th Feb, 2018 as side events of the Symposium. An Agricultural Exhibition has also been organized showcasing technologies of over twenty research institutes, universities, KVKs, state line departments and agro-industries. The guests released the Symposium Logo, Extended Summary, Souvenir and two books on the occasion. Special ICT tools have been used for live web steaming of the Symposium deliberations and online interactive discussions by delegates from across the globe through Slido App.
The programme is being attended by over 400 delegates from India and aboard including China, Philippines, Australia and Vietnam etc. At the outset of the inaugural function, Dr. Himanshu Pathak, Director of NRRI and Convener welcomed the guests and dignitaries and at the end, Dr. B.B. Panda, Organizing Secretary of the symposium offered the vote of thanks.