Thursday, August 3, 2023

ISARC holds training for farmers to make rice production in India environmentally sustainable

The IRRI South Asia Regional Centre (ISARC) organised a two-day training session for farmers on greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions, water-use efficiency, and soil health measurements in rice-based systems to make rice cultivation sustainable and increase yields and profitability of farmers.

The training, held on 10-11 June 2023 at Varanasi and Azamgarh in Uttar Pradesh, was organised as part of the public-private partnership project between IRRI and  Bayer Crop Science. It provided 20 farmers from six different rice-growing states in India with the knowledge and skills on GHG emissions, water-use efficiency and soil health measurement focusing on agricultural GHG emissions, their effects, and ways of reducing them.

The activity covered theoretical and on-field sessions discussing advanced techniques of soil sample collection, water flow measurement, alternate wetting and drying (AWD) pipe installation and water depth measurements, installation of closed gas chambers, practical demonstration of gas (carbon dioxide, nitrous oxide, and methane) collection from the closed gas chambers, and best practices of gas analysis through gas chromatography. The on-field training in Azamgarh demonstrated the practical applications of the techniques.

The sessions were facilitated by Dr Ajay Kumar Mishra, a scientist at ISARC, Dr Munmun Rai, a consultant at  IRRI; and representatives from Bayers.

Dr Sheetal Sharma, a soil scientist at IRRI’s, Sustainable Impact Platform, discussed the objective of the project and the significance of a two-day hands-on training program on GHG, water and soil measurements. She also introduced the national partners (Banaras Hindu University, Varanasi, Uttar Pradesh; Bihar Agriculture University, Sabour, Bihar; CSIR-Intitute of Minerals and materials technology, Bhubaneswar, Odisha; University of Agriculture Sciences Raichur, Karnataka; Tamil Nadu Agriculture University, Coimbatore, Tamil Nadu), who will contribute and coordinate GHG measurements in their respective institutes.

Pandit Purandare, the specialist at Bayer’s Stakeholder Affair and Chaitanya Krishna Arimili, Corporate social responsibility, Business platform- Strategic Projects from Bayer. They highlighted the significance of public-private partnerships for achieving sustainable development goals through appropriate climate actions.

With more impetus being given to making agriculture increasingly environmentally sustainable, the farmers appreciated and welcomed such technologies.


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