Aglapali, ODISHA (10 November 2023) — The International Rice Research Institute (IRRI) Seed System and Product Management (SSPM), Balangir Department of Agriculture (DoA), and the Radha Krushna Pani Panchayat (RKPP) organized a Crop Cafeteria Field Day on 03-04 November 2023 in Aglapali, Balangir to improve rice production in the area.
The western central table land zone of Balangir in Odisha has low rice productivity primarily because of outdated rice varieties and inadequate agricultural practices. In response, the IRRI SSPM Team initiated the Odisha Integrated Irrigation Project for Climate Resilient Agriculture (OIIPCRA) in collaboration with the Department of Agriculture and the Department of Water Resources. OIIPCRA allows local farmers to observe and select rice varieties suitable for their environment.
With guidance from IRRI, the newly formed RKPP organized the Crop Cafeteria Field Day to showcase 20 different rice varieties with unique traits, including aroma (Rajendra Saraswati, Rajendra Kasturi, and CG Devbhog), high zinc content (DRR-48, DRR-49, CR-315, BRRI-84, and BRRI-100), low GI (Telangana Sona), climate-resilience (Tripura Hakchuk-2, NLR-3354, Uttar Samir, and Sabour Heera), and high yield (PR-126, BRRI-75, BRRI-69, and Swarna Samriddhi).
The SSPM Team and DoA officers oversaw the establishment of the cafeteria to ensure its proper implementation. Nutrient management and other essential practices were monitored throughout the crop's growth until maturity.
Local farmers, extension workers, and stakeholders in the seed system value chain participated in the evaluation of the new rice varieties. The group identified six rice varieties most suitable for the agro-ecology of Balangir. These varieties include Uttar Samir, PR-126, Tripura Hakuchuk-2, BRRI-69, CG Dev Bhog, and Sabour Heera.
The District Magistrate of Balangir, Shri Chanchal Rana, Chief District Agriculture Officer Subash Chandra Behera, Seed Certification Officer Mohit Kumar Rana, and Dr. Satmaya Satpathy, a KVK Scientist, joined the event to encourage the adoption of the improved rice varieties.
Mr. Rana highlighted the importance of prioritizing quality in rice production and encouraged farmers to diversify into other crops during the rabi season to enhance soil fertility and climate resilience.
In the upcoming seasons, IRRI will facilitate confirmatory trials of the selected rice varieties and work on a seed scaling initiative with channel partners in the seed system. This initiative aims to improve seed security for farmers in the region, thereby addressing issues of hunger, malnutrition, poverty, and sustainability in rice farming.
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