A team of senior scientists from IRRI India and the Philippines participated in the event where over 300 scientists from the Indian Council of Agricultural Research (ICAR) institutes, state agricultural universities and state departments of agriculture in India deliberated on the progress and challenges in 2018-19 in rice production. Future research opportunities of collaborations and the road map to address national priorities in the rice sector for India and South Asia were a highlight of the meeting.
Welcoming delegates to the three-day event, in the spirit of continued excellence in rice research, Dr. Himanshu Pathak, Director, ICAR-NRRI highlighted the role of the AICRIP, “Since 1960 AICRIP has been serving farming communities in India and the impact is visible. Rice production was 20 million tons in 1950-51 and it is 115 million tons in 2018-19, with exports of 10 million tons every year” he said.
Chairing the session on IRRI-ICAR Collaborative Programs, Dr. Arvind Kumar, Director for IRRI South Asia Regional Centre (IRRI-SARC) and IRRI-India Representative, presented the developments made in India and South Asia specific projects in 2018-19. He elaborated on the use of global rice array in developing climate-smart varieties, the progress being made in the development of C4 rice, nutritious rice with the low glycemic index, rice suited to direct seeding and technologies associated with climate resilience.
ISARC is IRRI’s regional center for excellence in rice research, inaugurated by Hon’ble Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi in 2018; a state-of-the-art research facility with the Centre of Excellence in Rice Value Addition (CERVA), Broader program for research and partnership, IRRI Education and similar facilities furthering rice research for the country and beyond. ISARC is also working on a Broader Program for Research and Partnership (BPRP); IRRI research and education (IREP); Promoting south-south cooperation and networking to support and capacitate the NARES.
Encouraging young scientists to play a key role in optimizing cutting-edge technologies, Dr. Dinesh Kumar, Assistant Director General, Food & Fibre Crops, ICAR said “The tremendous efforts made by scientists associated with AICRIP to increase production and productivity of rice is remarkable.”
ICAR-IIRR, a premier institute for rice research in the country, through AICRIP coordinates the multidisciplinary and multi-location testing of varietal improvement, crop protection and management technologies across diverse ecosystems for increasing and stabilizing rice production in India by identifying the best genotypes and management practices for rice.
IRRI works closely with ICAR institutes and state agricultural universities to promote strategic research in the field of germplasm development and deployment, crop and nutrient management and value addition using advanced genomic and ICT tools and capacity building of scientists and institutions.