Around 500 farmers, mostly women, attended the Field day on flood-tolerant Swarna-Sub1, seed production, mechanical transplanting, and direct-seeded rice in Resinga Village, Puri District in Odisha on 20 November.
During the field day, IRRI scientists from the Cereal System Initiatives for South Asia (CSISA) project and the Stress-Tolerant Rice for Africa and South Asia (STRASA) project, experts from India’s Department of Agriculture, and the Association of Seed Certification Office in the country shared various technologies and knowledge with the farmers.
The field day also featured a question and answer (Q and A) session between IRRI Director General Robert Zeigler and the farmers. The topics discussed during the Q and A included adoption of flood-tolerant Swarna-Sub1, improved farm practices, climate change, grain quality, and facilities for farmers to get the minimum support price. Some solutions to problems such as crop insurance, credit facilities, laser land levelling, use of hybrid rice, use of chemical fertilizers, herbicides, and pesticides, most preferable crop after rice were also examined.
Zeigler cited the important role of farmers in Odisha in attaining global food security. “Once eastern India becomes food secure, it is possible to achieve food security worldwide,” he said. “Odisha farmers will be known internationally for being one of the first farmers who beat the odds of growing rice in harsh environments—areas that are prone to flood, drought, and even salinity.”
In the near future, IRRI would come up with a rice variety that can tolerate both flood and drought to solve problems brought by unpredictability of weather patterns because of climate change, Zeigler added. The Institute will also be part of “bringing the Green Revolution in eastern India,” which is both a goal and a policy in the country, in the same way IRRI contributed to the Green Revolution in India.
The field day was organized by CSISA team of the IRRI hub Odisha in collaboration with India’s Department of Agriculture.