In what may come as a boon for paddy-dependent states like Odisha, scientists at the Central Rice Research Institute (CRRI), Cuttack are on the brink of coming out with a climate resilient variety of paddy that will singularly be capable of defying both flood and drought.
A senior scientist of CRRI said: “The CRRI has reached an advanced stage of developing a series of what it terms ‘Climate Smart’ variety of paddy with multi-trait gene packaging. These have progressed beyond lab-and-field stages and been tried out in the farm land across 10 centres in Odisha.” This is a major breakthrough as scientists have been able to agglomerate genes that are resilient to opposite extremes of climatic conditions as flood and drought to design a single paddy variety that would not only absorb the stress but also give high yield in such conditions, he added. CRRI director O N Singh said: “With the launching of the ‘Climate Smart’ paddy, farmers in areas facing extreme climatic conditions would be benefited a lot.
Around six varieties of ‘Climate Smart’ paddy have been nominated to the Centre and the field trials are on in several states, encompassing different climatic and land conditions. The first of the ‘Climate Smart’ series is likely to be released within two years.
Odisha recently tied up with International Rice Research Institute, Manila to promote climate-resilient varieties in rain-fed areas. An MoU has also been signed to develop high-yield, stress tolerant paddy to overcome impact of climate change. The partnership will also focus on formulating strategies for effective extension of technologies to field of the farmer at the farthest point.