The International Rice Research Institute (IRRI), in collaboration with its implementing partner Assam Agricultural University, released digital tools and print materials to help increase rice productivity in Assam.
Rice Doctor, the webGIS portal, ten booklets, and three atlases on rice-based cropping systems are part of the efforts of the Assam Agribusiness and Rural Transformation (APART) project to benefit farmers, researchers, extension functionaries, academic persons, students, and policymakers.
The materials were launched on 15 September 2022 by the Honorable Minister of Agriculture of Assam Sri Atul Bora. Minister Bora acknowledged the importance of digital tools in the farm community and in bridging the information gap between research and on-farm practices.
Rice Doctor for Assam, available in English and Assamese for ease of use and wider dissemination for thousands of stakeholders, serves as a diagnostic tool and educational material for reducing production costs and improving the quality of rice crops. It is a one-stop source of information on 63 insect pests, crop diseases, plant nutrient deficiencies, soil toxicities, and other agronomy-related problems.
The webGIS portal provides an interactive map and statistical data that help visualize and compare rice areas during the kharif season, rice-fallow areas during the rabi season, cropping systems, cropping intensity, soil moisture availability in rice-fallow areas, and flood-inundated areas in Assam for 2018-21.
Additionally, the portal also features suitability maps for selected rice-based cropping systems based on optimum environmental parameters such as rainfall, temperature, soil type, drainage, slope, among others. The suitability maps also include potential areas for paddy-fish, paddy-potato, paddy-maize, paddy-mustard, paddy-summer pulses, and paddy-vegetables down to the village level.
The booklets highlight various technologies for sustainable intensification and diversification of rice-based cropping systems promoted under APART. The atlases of maps of Assam for 2018-19, 2019-20, and 2020-21were also released.
The launching was graced by IRRI Regional Representative for South Asia Nafees Meah, IRRI South Asia Regional Centre Director Sudhanshu Singh, and Assam Agricultural University Vice Chancelor Bidyut Deka and Director of Research Ashok Bhattacharyya.
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