by Najam Waris Zaidi
NEW DELHI, India—The inception and planning workshop of the microbial component of a project that seeks to boost the productivity of drought-prone lowlands in South Asia was held at the Indian Agricultural Research Institute (IARI) on 28 June.
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The workshop focused on working with partners in developing and carrying out standard protocols and research activities in order to develop and evaluate suitable microbial formulations that will further enhance drought tolerance of rice varieties. The experiments were designed to understand the effect of various Trichoderma isolates on drought responses of rice.
The activity is a component of the project, Improved Crop Management and Strengthened Seed Supply System for Drought-prone Rainfed Lowlands in South Asia, funded by the European Commission-International Fund for Agricultural Development.
Six participants (photo) from state agricultural universities and institutes under the Indian Council of Agricultural Research attended the workshop. These included Dr. Rashmi Aggarwal, head, and Dr. Bishnu Maya, senior scientist, IARI's Plant Pathology Division; Dr. Arup Mukharjee, senior scientist, plant pathology, National Rice Research Institute (NRRI); Dr. Anil Kotasthane, professor, plant pathology and biotechnology, Indira Gandhi Krishi Vishwa Vidyalaya University; Dr. J.P. Singh, associate professor, agronomy, and Ms. Shyama Kumari, SRF, both from Rajendra Agricultural University.
The meeting was coordinated by Dr. Najam Waris Zaidi, project scientist at IRRI-India, and chaired by Dr. U.S. Singh, South Asia coordinator for the Stress-Tolerant Rice for Africa and South Asia project.