By Maria Rowena M. Baltazar
A new protocol of discussion (POD) with the International Rice Research Institute (IRRI) has been signed by H.E. Chowna Mein, minister for Agriculture, Horticulture, and Animal Husbandry in the state of Arunachal Pradesh, India. Minister Mein led an eight-man delegation for a visit to IRRI headquarters in Los Baños, Philippines, on 31 August-1 September to obtain assistance in improving rice production in the state.
The group was met by IRRI Deputy Director General for Communication and Partnerships Bruce Tolentino and IRRI scientists Abdelbagi Ismail, Jagdish Ladha, Kshirod Jena, Roland Buresh, and Sudhir Yadav. The discussions resulted in prospects for which IRRI could provide assistance, such as facilitation for the development of a rice strategy for the state; provision of suitable stress-tolerant, high-yielding varieties for flood- and drought-affected areas; support for the development of an efficient seed system; facilitation of the collection, purification, and conservation of traditional varieties for improvement and future use in breeding; and training of scientists and others involved in the rice value chain. Furthermore, other areas for possible collaboration were identified such as harmonizing seed systems and policies and encouraging the involvement of the private sector.
Minister Mein’s visit included a tour of the different facilities in IRRI such as the STRASA and Ecological Intensification (EI) site and Green Super Rice (GSR) field experiments, the International Rice Genebank, the Training Center, and the Grain Quality and Nutrition Center.
Among Minister Mein’s entourage were Shri Hage Khoda, IAS, commissioner–agriculture; Shri A.K. Purkayastha, state consultant and agriculture advisor; Shri Dusa Lida, deputy director (PP) and SNO (NFSM); Shri T. D. Neckom, DAO(D) and State Oil Palm Officer; Shri Idar Nyori, ADO and Assistant State Oil Palm Officer; Shri Opang Moyong, Instructor (GTC), and District Nodal Officer, Pasighat; Shri R. Duchok, ADO (Hq); and Shri Techi taura, ADO (Hq).
The visit was an initiative of the Stress-Tolerant Rice for Africa and South Asia (STRASA) Project.