Rice scientists should work on varieties with multiple resistances to pests, and diseases: ICAR
The rice scientists have been asked by ICAR Director-General Trilochan Mohapatra to work on varieties that have multiple resistances to pests and diseases.
He said it was past time for the country to focus on precision farming while speaking virtually at the 57th Annual Rice Research Group meeting on Monday.
Despite the Covid-19 pandemic in the last two years, Mohpatra, who is also the Secretary of the Department of Agricultural Research and Education (DARE), said that agriculture in general and the rice sector, in particular, had performed exceptionally well.
He suggested that technology should be evaluated in order to reduce cultivation costs while also ensuring environmental sustainability. ‘Multi-location trials can be used to validate potential microbial cultures in order to reduce fertilizer use and, as a result, rice cultivation costs.’ Rice scientists should be able to think outside of the box and go beyond the scope of their current research,’ he said.
According to R Meenakshi Sundaram, Director of the Indian Institute of Rice Research Institute (IIRR), the central varietal release committee released 27 high-yielding varieties and three hybrids last year.
T R Sharma, Deputy Director-General (Crop Sciences) of ICAR recalled how the mapping of the rice genome aided in the development of high-yielding rice varieties and hybrids. He explained, ‘Genes are incorporated to improve yield and manage biotic and abiotic stresses.’
He also emphasized the importance of national and international collaboration to address the problems that farmers face as a result of climate change and other natural disasters.
The three-day event is attended by approximately 400 delegates from India and abroad. The meeting would not only evaluate the work done the previous year but would also lay out a plan for the rice seasons of 2022-23.