8th October 2013, New Delhi
The two-day (8-9 October, 2013) ‘Rice Future Forum 2013’, an international conference was inaugurated here today.
In the inaugural session, Mr. Tobias Marchand, Head, Region Asia Pacific, Bayer Crop Science said, “The backbone of rice farming in Asia is small holder farmers. If we want to improve their livelihood and the economic situation at large, we need to focus on rice. In this context, we believe that helping farmers to sustainably increase their yield is of utmost importance.”
In his speech, Dr. J.S. Sandhu, Agriculture Commissioner, Department of Agriculture & Cooperation, Ministry of Agriculture, Government of India welcomed the dignitaries and delegates participating in the programme and informed the gathering about the policies of Government of India for farmers’ interests like minimum support price for different crops, subsidy on seeds and fertilizers etc.
In his special address, Dr. B.C. Viraktmath, Project Director, Directorate of Rice Research, Hyderabad said that due to small holdings and lack of proper irrigation system, India is getting an average yield of only 3 ton/ha. He emphasized upon the dry rice production by micro irrigation to get better production in rainfed areas. He discussed about the reuse of hybrid seed and new plant type breeding for widening of genetic resource of rice.
Dr. H.S. Gupta, Director, Indian Agricultural Research Institute (IARI), New Delhi and Dr. T. Mohapatra, Director, Central Rice Research Institute, Cuttack were also present on the occasion.
Senior government officials, policy makers, research institutions, academia, media, farmers and farmer associations from across the region are participating in the event. The event also featured prominent speakers from companies and associations such as the Ministry of Agriculture, Government of India, the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation and the Deutsche Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit (GIZ). Directorate of Knowledge Management in Agriculture (DKMA), ICAR showcased knowledge and information products of ICAR.
More than 200 key stakeholders and delegates from rice producing countries across Asia Pacific region are participating in this event. Rice Future Forum 2013 is being organized by Bayer CropScience in collaboration with Indian Council of Agricultural Research (ICAR) and International Rice Research Institute (IRRI), Philippines.
(Source: NAIP Mass Media Project, DKMA, ICAR)