Indian government and the International Rice Research Institute strengthens partnership to ensure food and nutrition security in South Asian region
NEW DELHI, India (12 July 2022) – The government of India, through the Department of Agriculture and Farmers Welfare (DA&FW), and the International Rice Research Institute (IRRI) signed an Agreement for the commencement of Phase II Activities of the IRRI South Asia Regional Centre (IRRI SARC) to scale up the existing partnership for food and nutrition security in South Asian region.
Mr. Manoj Ahuja the Secretary of the Department of Agriculture and Farmers Welfare (DA&FW), Government of India and Dr. Jean Balié, the Director General of the International Rice Research Institute signed the Agreement today in New Delhi, India in the presence of Union Minister of Agriculture and Farmers Welfare Shri Narendra Singh Tomar and Sh. Ashwani Kumar, Joint Secretary (Seeds & GC).
The Phase II activities follow the long-time cooperation between the Indian government and IRRI. In 2017, the Union Cabinet chaired by Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi approved the establishment of ISARC at the campus of the National Seed Research and Training Center (NSRTC) in Varanasi.
For the past five years, the Center has played a major role in harnessing and sustaining food production in the region as it has been delivering research for development services for members of the private and public sectors through its state-of-the-art laboratory facilities for grain quality, crop production and nutritional quality. ISARC has also enabled knowledge transfer through short courses on rice-based agrifood systems.
In December 2021, the Prime Minister of India, Shri Narendra Modi inaugurated IRRI SARC’S new Speed Breeding Facility (SpeedBreed), to expedite the plant growth cycle of crops and enable advancing rice plants for five generations per year against only one to two under normal conditions. This plays a crucial role in transferring important traits (e.g., low GI, biotic and abiotic stresses) to popular Indian…