14th April 2018, Hyderabad
The 53rd Annual Rice Research Group Meeting was inaugurated at ICAR-Indian Institute of Rice Research, Hyderabad today.
Dr. V. Praveen Rao, Vice Chancellor, PJTSAU and the Chief Guest, said though rice is the only crop consumed in a large scale and in spite of productivity increase over the years, much more improvement is required. Scientists should be sensitive to the social changes, urbanisation, wage increase, water level drop in rice growing regions and reorient their research goals accordingly. Less water, less land, less labour technologies are essential. Doubling of farmers income by 2022 require characterisation and mapping of resources and recommendation to the farmers. Genetic and agronomic interventions, mechanisation, climate change adaptation, mitigation and trade-offs in these technologies are to be considered. Profitability of rice and diversification, niche markets for organic and speciality rices, conversion of C3 rice to C4 through technologies like genome editing, rice genetic engineering, estimated assessment of water balance component of different rice ecosystems are to be addressed in future. Small holders are to be grouped as functional aggregates to increase the farm income. Value addition policies, use of ICT tools with profile of all the varieties are required. Research is to be linked to extension through e agriculture and digitization involving scientists, stakeholders and policy makers.
Dr. A. K. Singh, DDG (Crop Science & Horticulture Science), ICAR in his remarks complimented the AICRIP as the oldest coordinated programme and contributed much to the country’s food production and a lot more to be done in the coming years to meet the farmers demands and new challenges. He pointed out that time has arrived for diversification and motivated rice scientists to do more efforts to make farmers life better. Tackling the needs of farmers through market realization, climate resilient technologies, crop competiveness and doubling the farmer’s income are the major priorities. The technologies developed should be economically viable and socially acceptable. He asked to gather past successful experiences to realize these goals. He assured that ICAR is committed to support the activities and institutional innovations towards achieving the goals.
Dr. I.S. Solanki, ADG (FFC). ICAR in his remarks mentioned that even about 1200 varieties have been released through AICRIP, there is a need to address the new challenges due of climate change, requirement of production technologies, more number of resistant varieties for biotic and abiotic stress with more emphasis to extension. He pointed out that it is not only important to develop varieties /technologies but, it should reach the ultimate beneficiaries i.e. farmers. He suggested that breeders also should take responsibility of popularizing their varieties. Research priorities should essentially focus on site specific varieties, input use efficiency, water use efficiency and farmer friendly production technologies. AICRIP has to go a long way to meet the challenges due to climate change and address the drudgeries faced by the farmers.
Dr. Himanshu Pathak, Director NRRI appreciated the contribution of AICRIP in India and the varieties released for increased protein, zinc and micronutrients along with 1200 high yielding varieties. He emphasised that the achievements of rice research should be reflected in rice farmers lives as 50% of Indian farmers are rice farmers with a low percentage of GDP. He stressed upon the need for identification of a few objectives and goals, for the coming years with targets of more than 10 t/ha production in rice. Stable varieties with high productivity in bad climate years with at least 4 t/ha, should be achieved He also emphasized to find ways for mitigation of methane emission in a mission mode programme to reach the farmers. Collaboration of national, international and university system to achieve these goals are the need of the hour. Re-organising the AICRIP programme is required for site specific research and efficient mobilisation of resources.
Earlier, Dr. S.R Voleti, Director, IIRR delivered welcome address.
(Source: ICAR-Indian Institute of Rice Research, Hyderabad)