Tuesday, September 18, 2012

India: 6th hybrid rice meet held in Hyderabad

IRRI DG Robert Zeigler, addressing
hybrid rice stakeholders
in Hyderabad, India.
The 6th International Hybrid Rice Symposium was held last week (10-12 September) in Hyderabad, India, gathering scientists and policymakers from around the world to discuss developments and issues on hybrid rice.

Addressing about 450 delegates from 32 countries were China's Yuan Longping, the "Father of Hybrid Rice;" Robert Zeigler, director general of IRRI; S. Ayyappan, director general, Indian Council of Agricultural Research (ICAR), and secretary for agricultural research and education; and Ashish Bahuguna, secretary for agriculture and cooperation.

The Symposium was opened by K. Laxminarayana, agriculture minister of Andhra Pradesh, who called upon the scientists, farmers, and political leaders present to "come forward to meet the challenges in rice production" and adopt the latest technologies to enhance productivity.

Prof. Yuan, who is also director general of the China National Hybrid Rice R&D Centre, talked about the significant role that hybrid rice has in sustaining food security in developing countries such as China and India.

Dr. Zeigler expressed concern regarding prevailing drought conditions in Asia and other parts of the world, and the need to develop new varieties of hybrid rice that require less water.

Mr. Bahuguna, said that there are still many issues to address related to India's food requirement inspite of the advantages of hybrid technology.

Dr. Ayyappan, said the symposium will be the "guiding force" in crafting plans for further development of hybrid rice technology. He also elaborated on capacity building programs and new initiatives.

The International Hybrid Rice Symposia are held once every four years in various parts of the rice-growing world to provide a venue for all stakeholders of hybrid rice to come together and discuss research, seed production, and development issues. 

This year's event was jointly organized by IRRI and ICAR and its constituent organization, the Directorate of Rice Research in Hyderabad.

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