Paddy farmers in Uttar Pradesh set to get big boost; here’s why

By: and |
Published: June 23, 2016 6:05:53 AM

Uttar Pradesh, the country’s second largest rice producer, would soon have a South Asian regional centre of Manila-based International Rice Research Institute (IRRI).

rice price, price of rice, Rice at MSP, Kharif crops, Indian economy, kharif, Minimum support price, CCEAPaddy is grown in all the 72 districts of Uttar Pradesh with low to high acreage and the state’s contribution in India’s rice production stands at around 14%. The country’s annual production of rice is around 104 million tonne. (Reuters)

Uttar Pradesh, the country’s second largest rice producer, would soon have a South Asian regional centre of Manila-based International Rice Research Institute (IRRI).

Sources told FE that while the state government is expected to provide the land for setting up rice research facility, IRRI would invest in physical infrastructure such as labs and other facilities.

According to a communication from the state government to IRRI, the proposed research hub would go a long way in helping paddy farmers of not only Uttar Pradesh but also farmers around the country. Uttar Pradesh has as many as nine agro climatic zones suitable for paddy varietal research.

“This would not only provide ample scope for research and development of varieties suitable for varied areas and conditions but also benefit the entire South Asian region,” the letter by Pravir Kumar, agriculture promotion commissioner, Uttar Pradesh to Matthew Morell, director general, IRRI, has stated. Kumar has requested IRRI to depute a team to visit the state for exploring the feasibility for the establishment of IRRI’s South Asia hub.

Sources also said that a preliminary meeting to discuss the issue was held in Lucknow earlier this month between Umesh Singh, acting country representative, IRRI, Trilochan Mohapatra, director general, Indian Council for Agricultural Research (ICAR) and Alok Ranjan, UP chief secretary,

Singh of IRRI said that the IRRI administration has decided to decentralise its research activities which are currently localised at its head quarter located on the outskirt of Manila, the Philippines.

“During Morell’s visit to Lucknow in October last year, chief minister Akhilesh Yadav had requested him to set up an IRRI South Asia Regional Centre in UP,” Singh said.

Paddy is grown in all the 72 districts of Uttar Pradesh with low to high acreage and the state’s contribution in India’s rice production stands at around 14%. The country’s annual production of rice is around 104 million tonne.

Currently, three agriculture universities — Narendra Deva University of Agriculture & Technology, Faizabad, Chandra Shekhar Azad University of Agriculture & Technology, Kanpur and Sardar Vallabh Bhai Patel University of Agriculture & Technology, Meerut are involved in the rice research and development programme.

Under the National Initiative on Climate Resilient Agriculture (NICRA) programme, various ICAR affiliated institutes and state agricultural universities are engaged in developing climate resilient varieties and production technologies to address the possible negative impact of climate change on future rice production and thereby increasing the production and profitability of rice.

Cuttack-based National Rice Research Institute (NRRI), along with other national and international research institutes including IRRI, have developed climate resilient rice varieties tolerant to submergence (Swarna Sub-1), drought (Sahabaghi dhan), salinity (Luna Barial and Luna Sankhi) and high temperatures (Naveen). So far, NRRI has developed 115 rice varieties.

Recently, NRRI has developed ‘CR Dhan 310’ variety which has 10.5- 11% protein content in comparison to 6% in the most of the rice varieties. Besides, in the field trials the new variety has produced a yield of 5 tonne per hectare against usual 3-4 tonne in the conventional paddy varieties.

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