India and Philippines Ink Deal on Agriculture.
NeFour agreements were signed between the India and Philippines, which covered areas of defence, agriculture, small and medium enterprises and tie-up between think-tanks.
Ministry of External Affairs’ Secretary (East) Preeti Saran said, “President Duterte and PM Modi had an excellent meeting. Duterte said he would like to have very good relations with India”.
Earlier in the day, Modi contributed two Indian rice seed varieties to the gene bank of the international rice research centre in the Philippines which he said is working towards mitigating global poverty and hunger by improving the cultivation of the key grain.
He also visited the International Rice Research Institute (IRRI) in Los Banos, an urban locality around 65 km from Manila — the capital of the Philippines — and interacted with several Indian scientists working there.
A number of scientists at IRRI briefed the PM on flood-tolerant rice varieties which can withstand 14-18 days of submergence and provide 1-3 tonnes more yield per hectare in flood-affected areas.
Modi said that, the flood-resistant rice varieties that can withstand 14-18 days of submergence would help farmers and enhance their income. Modi also tweeted, “Salinity tolerant rice varieties will help farmers where the soil is saline, for example Kutch. I also saw a drought tolerant rice variety that can help farmers in times of droughts,” Modi said he was also shown drones that could be used in the agriculture sector and help farmers.
A ‘rice field laboratory’ named after PM Modi was also inaugurated by him at the institute. He unveiled a plaque marking the inauguration of the Narendra Modi Resilient Rice Field Laboratory.