Radha Mohan Singh inaugurates Central Genomics and Quality Laboratory at ICAR

Cuttack:  Union Minister of Agriculture and Farmers’ Welfare Radha Mohan Singh today inaugurated Central Genomics and Quality Laboratory facility at ICAR – National Rice Research Institute (NRRI) in Cuttack.

He said the Laboratory will help farmers in analyzing the quality of soil, water and produce. The Institute has released two high-protein and two climate-smart varieties, and is working on developing & popularizing super-yielding varieties and agro-technologies.

Under Mera Gaon Mera Gaurav, at ICAR-NRRI, Cuttack, 21 multi-disciplinary teams covering 30,000 farm families from 105 villages is providing training, visits, advisory services to farmers.

“The state-of-the-art genomics laboratory, which will help the farmers in analyzing the quality of soil, water and produce, will accelerate the development of new varieties of rice and help farmers in realising better price,” Union Minister of Agriculture and Farmers’ Welfare Radha Mohan Singh said that at the inauguration of Central Genomics and Quality Laboratory facility at ICAR- National Rice Research Institute (NRRI) in Cuttack (Odisha).

A Kisan Mela, which witnessed overwhelming participation from farmers including women farmers, was also organized.

While inaugurating the laboratory facility in the presence of Dharmendra Pradhan, Union Minister of Petroleum and Natural Gas, Singh expressed immense pride in completing the facility in a record time of less than three years. This laboratory complex, he said has Environmental Soil

Science Laboratory, Soil quality laboratory, Grain quality laboratory, Food proximate laboratory, Molecular Biochemistry Laboratory, Nutrition and sensory laboratory, Genomic Selection laboratory, Marker assisted selection laboratory, QTL mapping laboratory, Bioinformatics and SNP genotyping laboratory.

The Minister praised the NRRI for its stellar role in the development of agriculture not only in Eastern region but also at the national front. Since its inception in 1946, the Institute contributed immensely in country’s Green Revolution and steered groundbreaking research in development of high-yield rice varieties thereby helping achieve self-sufficiency in rice production.

“For ensuring nutritional security, for the first time in the world, the Institute recently released two high-protein rice varieties (CR Dhan 310, CR Dhan 311) and two climate-smart varieties (CR Dhan 801 and CR Dhan 802), which are tolerant to both submergence and drought and few biotic stresses to face the challenges of climate change,” the Minister said.

The Institute is working on developing and popularizing super-yielding varieties and agro-technologies for higher productivity, profitability, climate resilience and sustainability of rice farming,he added.

Recounting the achievements of the institute, the Minister said that till date, the Institute has developed 132 high yielding rice varieties for different agro ecologies, many of which are very popular among the farmers of different states.

“About 13% of the rice varieties released in the country have been released by NRRI. Out of 43 million hectare of rice area, NRRI varieties cover about 8 million hectare i.e. 18% of rice area of the country during 2017-18. Annual production of rice with NRRI varieties in the country is 27.8 million tons and Rs 48,643 crore gross returns i.e. 13% of India’s gross return from rice is generated with NRRI varieties,” he added.

He said that the NRRI is the nodal agency for planning, implementation and monitoring of Bringing Green Revolution in Eastern India (BGREI) programme which is being implemented in 118 districts of seven Eastern states. With its implementation, more than 25% of yield increase has been recorded in the states of Assam, Bihar and Chhatisgarh, whereas 12-15% yield increase has been reported in Odisha, West Bengal, Jharkhand and Eastern UP.

The Minister congratulated the NRRI for developing Mobile App ‘riceXpert’ which is helping in providing information to farmers in real time besides facilitating the flow of information from scientist to farmers.

Under Mera Gaon Mera Gaurav initiative, the Minister said that at ICAR-NRRI, Cuttack twenty one (21) multi-disciplinary teams incorporating four scientists each and twenty one clusters of villages covering 8 districts of Odisha (Cuttack, Dhenkanal, Jagatsinghpur, Jajpur, Kendrapada, Khurda, Nayagarh & Puri) have been selected covering about 30,000 farm families from 105 villages. Support is being provided through training, village meeting, and literature in local language, exposure visits, focus-group discussions and mobile advisory services. About 300 visits have been made by different teams during last 3 years and 167 demonstrations conducted apart from 245 trainings / meetings for the beneficiary households.

He concluded by enumerating the various policy and programmes that are being implemented by the Modi government for sustainable growth in agriculture and welfare of farmers like PM-KISAN (assured income support of Rs 6000 per year to small and marginal farmers), Pradhan Mantri Krishi SinchaiYojana, Paramparagat Krishi Vikas Yojana (for promoting organic farming), Soil Health Card scheme (for farmers to improve productivity by using appropriate inputs), Pradhan Mantri Fasal Bima Yojana, e-NAM etc.

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