52nd Annual Rice Research Group Meeting Inaugurated
The inaugural session of the 52nd Annual Rice Research Group Meeting was held in Dr M C Das Memorial Auditorium of Assam Agricultural University, Jorhat on 09.04.2017 under the auspicious presence of Shri Atul Bora, Hon’ble Agriculture Minister, Govt. of Assam, Dr. K.M.Bujarbaruah, Vice Chancellor, AAU, Jorhat, Dr. J.S. Solanki, ADG (FFC), ICAR, Dr. V. Ravindra Babu, Director, IIRR, Himanshu Pathak, Director, NRRI, Dr.Nafees Meah, IRRI-South Asian Representative and Dr G.N. Hazarika, Director of Research, AAU, Jorhat. About four hundred rice scientists from all over the country participated in the meeting.
Dr.K.M.Bujarbaruah, Vice Chancellor, AAU welcomed the delegates and briefed about the achievements of AAU, Jorhat. He underscored the importance of rice in agriculture scenario of the state and indicated the development of two submergence tolerance varieties in collaboration with IRRI. With the Assam Corridor Initiative, he suggested the trade opportunities of sticky rice, black rice and Joha rice. Finally, he emphasized for research and development for the technologies to cover value chain from land to mouth targeting the increased productivity.
Dr.V.Ravindra Babu, Director, ICAR-IIRR congratulated co-operators for organizing the various coordinated experiments in different states and timely submission of the data. He informed the house about the status of rainfall situation, pest and diseases scenario and varieties released through SVRC and CVRC. Dr. Babu requested the co-operators to rededicate themselves in conducting experiments as per the technical programme and timely supply of quality data. He pointed out the flagship programs of IIRR addressing yield, resource use efficiency, multiple resistances, pre breeding, grain quality, sustainability, soil health focusing on conservation, cultivation, consumption and commerce.
In his concluding remarks, he indicated the fruitful collaborations of IIRR, NRRI and IRRI for enhancing rice production and productivity. Shri Atul Bora, Hon’ble Minister for Agriculture, Assam appreciated the effort of AAU for organizing the AICRIP meeting in Assam for the first time. He has stressed upon the development of varieties for multiple stresses like drought, flood instead of varieties for a single stress, thus it could be ‘one solution for many problems’ and highlighted the development of two mega varieties ‘Ranjit-Sub1’ and ‘Bahadur-Sub1’ and called for the development of drought tolerant varieties. He concluded his message calling for commitment for technological innovations in the rice farming from the group to meet the national and international expectations and making rice cultivation as remunerative for farmers.
Dr I S Solanki, ADG (FFC), ICAR complimented the contribution of AICRIP in the country’s record food grain production of 270 million tons with contribution of ~109 million tons and impact of the largest AICRP group with 45 funding and 100 voluntary centers with 196 scientists. He mentioned about the major outbreaks of pests and diseases of rice in the last season and also impact of demonstrated technologies through FLDs. He called for focus on: redesigning of indica plant type with strong culm; more laboratories for quality analyses, nutrient use efficient genotypes, pre breeding efforts for introgressing desirable genes from wild species and local landraces, maximising water productivity by developing drought and heat tolerant varieties and integrated pest and disease management stressing for tolerance for stem borer and sheath blight.