Friday, February 17, 2017

New 6-year ICAR-IRRI work plan promotes “exciting and forward-looking” collaborative research between IRRI and India

(L-R) C. Roul, ICAR secretary and DARE additional secretary; T. Mohapatra, ICAR director general and DARE secretary; Matthew Morell, IRRI director general; and J.S. Sandhu, ICAR deputy director general for crop science.

NEW DELHI, India – A new work plan was signed this month between the Indian Council of Agricultural Research (ICAR) and the International Rice Research Institute (IRRI), outlining an “exciting and forward-looking” research and development partnership that will enhance India’s rice sector.

India remains a top producer and consumer of rice globally, and is now among the world’s top rice exporters. Its harvesting area is the largest in the world, but large swathes of it are increasingly affected by climate change.

The collaborative work plan for 2017-2022 includes new projects that seek solutions for better managing environmental resources, climate change, and sustainability of rice production to meet future demand. These will involve upstream research on crop genetic improvement and intensive rice-based systems.

There is also a new focus on nutrition, gender equality, and creating attractive opportunities in the rice sector for the youth.

The work plan includes four ongoing projects on sustainable farming, improving extension systems, mechanization, and the development of a future rice strategy for India.

ICAR and IRRI have been working together since 1967—a partnership that has seen numerous improved rice varieties for India and made a huge contribution to capacity building.  About 1,600 Indian nationals have done research and undergone training at IRRI. (Learn more about the India-IRRI partnership.)

The ICAR-IRRI collaborative work plan for 2017-2022 was signed by T. Mohapatra, director general of ICAR and secretary of India’s Department of Agricultural Research and Education; and IRRI Director General Matthew Morell.

(Contributed by IRRI India/Nafees Meah and Vijaya Kumar Marthi)

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