At the outset I welcome all the rice fraternity to IIRR website.
The total food grain production in the country reaching a new high of 295.67 million tonnes as per 3rd advance estimate for this year 2019-20. In this endeavor, the rice fraternity with their constant efforts and vision, in developing improved high yielding varieties, hybrids and cultivation practices for production well managed biotic stress practices , through field demonstrations and farm advisories followed by the effective planning and implementation of various schemes coupled with favourable monsoon resulting in rice production to a new level of 117.94 million tonnes.
A total of 78 varieties including 13 Hybrids (Central-28; State-50) for different ecologies have both central and state varietal release committee with 6 each from state releases West Bengal, Maharashtra and Uttar Pradesh shows the concerted efforts of the agricultural system instilling confidence of sustainable rice production in the coming years.
All India Co-ordinated Rice Improvement Program ( AICRP) largely co-ordinates multidisciplinary approach and contributes tremendously to the rice production in the country. In this endeavor, 2040 trials covering all the major disciplines were conducted by 44 funded and 98 voluntary centres representing all the rice growing situations/ecosystems and states.
Despite these achievements, we still need to produce an additional 1.5-2 million tonnes of rice every year to meet the target of 130 million tonnes by 2025. The future rice production needs strengthening the hybrid rice is being planned with vast scope for increased adoption of technology by the farming community in future.
Simultaneously, we need to concentrate on nutritional security in rice as we all know that it is the single major grain that is consumed across the country. Specific nutrients, such as zinc, iron and vitamin A through Consortia Research Platform (CRP) on Biofortification since 2014-15, at ICAR-IIRR has resulted not only in rice, but also crops like wheat, maize, sorghum and other millets in Significant progress. Bioavailability studies, In-vitro identified DRR Dhan 45 with 50% increased intestinal absorption of zinc and two maize genotypes with ß carotene (100g) meeting 70% of recommended dietary Allowance (RDA) are a few major achievements and are being carried forward.
The climate change overlaps biotic as well as abiotic stresses resulting lower rice productivity. Input use efficient rice cultivars, pest and disease tolerance cultivars with use of modern tools such as biotechnology, MAS, gene cloning, editing are underway at IIRR. Effective conservation practices for water and soil, use of natural enemies against pests, bio products are few interventions that have been showcased through field demonstrations. Also launched IIRR geo-portal at www.iirr-geoportal.in and mobile applications during the year and these are constantly upgraded by integrating with artificial intelligence and other advanced technologies. I am very happy to share with you all that there were more than 140 research papers published in high standard journals of repute. A copyright was obtained for Experimental AICRIP Database (http://www.aicrip-intranet.in ) which can be adopted for other crops also.
The progress on the research front has highlighted several future targets and also constraints, which need to be addressed. ICAR-IIRR has evolved a ten point strategy to overcome and achieve the targets envisaged in Vision 2050. Further the flagship schemes of ICAR and International collaborations and ICAR platforms such as CRP Biofortification, CRP-Agrobiodiversity, CRP-Molecular Breeding and CRP-Hybrid Technology have entered in their next phase. Sister institutions NRRI, IARI, CSSRI etc. and other SAUs are being roped to have a holistic approach to aid in achieving food and nutritional security along with climate resilient technologies.