IRRI SARC hosts Maharashtra delegation to share best practices and innovations in farming

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Varanasi, 12 January 2020 – Hon’ble Shri Sunil Baburao Mendhe, Member of Parliament from Bhandara-Gondiya constituency in Maharashtra, led a delegation of state agriculture experts and rice farmers on a three-day visit to the IRRI South Asia Regional Centre (IRRI SARC) in Varanasi.

As a state-of-the-art research and development hub for Asia and Africa, IRRI SARC shares best practices and innovations in rice and rice-based agriculture to encourage similar practices and take advantage of IRRI SARC’s modern technologies.

In India, inter-state visits are of increasing significance for experiential learning and leveraging the expertise of R&D facilities catering to farmers in the country. The Indian government’s ambition of doubling farmers’ income by 2022 has made facilities like IRRI SARC crucial in achieving better farm outputs and more efficient use of resources.

Shri Mendhe’s delegation in particular will bring best practices and key innovations to Bhandara-Gondiya region in Maharashtra. Bhandara is a mixed economy composed of agriculture, industries, and forest resources as key contributors, but the district is also known for its large production of rice. Gondiya, meanwhile, is called ‘Rice City’ due to the district’s abundance of rice mills.

To provide the delegation with a better idea of how they can adapt and localize key innovations, IRRI SARC’s team of senior scientists shared ongoing R&D work through technical presentations and gave a detailed tour of the laboratories and demonstration crop fields. Key topics of discussion included R&D work being carried out for developing climate-resilient varieties of rice; training and educating key stakeholders; geospatial techniques for crop monitoring and management; efficient management practices for scarce resources; climate-resilient soil and water management in rice-based agri-food systems; and superior grain quality solutions.

Motivated by his observations during the visit, Shri Mendhe said that there is…

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