Tuesday, August 20, 2013

West Bengal: Stress-tolerant rice seed production strengthened

A workshop that sought to sustain awareness and strengthen seed production of stress-tolerant rice varieties (STRVs) was held at the Indian Chamber of Commerce in Kolkata, West Bengal, India, on 2 August 2013.

The workshop was organized by the Stress-Tolerant Rice for Africa and South Asia, or STRASA, project and the IRRI-National Food Security Mission (NFSM), in close association with the West Bengal Agriculture Department and the West Bengal Seed Association (WBSA).

The workshop had 60 participants, composed of deputy directors from all districts where demonstrations are being carried out and representatives from small private seed companies who have major shares in the paddy seed market in West Bengal and adjoining states.

STRASA’s Manzoor Hussain Dar discussed a seed delivery strategy that aims to actively promote small-scale farmers’ access to quality seed of stress-tolerant varieties. He further outlined a work plan to overcome key bottlenecks in the production and delivery of STRVs.

S.K Bardhan Roy, senior rice breeder and key collaborator of STRASA, explained how different varieties with tolerance to single or multiple stresses are being multiplied and evaluated in West Bengal, highlighting the performance of these varieties in drought-, flood-, and salinity-prone areas of the state.

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