BHUBANESWAR:The State Government on Saturday signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) with International Rice Research Institute (IRRI) to promote high yielding, stress tolerant and climate resilient paddy in view of the frequent natural calamities leading to huge crop loss.
“As per the provisions of the MoU, we will provide better flood and drought resistant seeds, manage post-harvest activities, increase capacity building of farmers and other technical know-how,” said Deputy Director General (Research) Matther Morell.
The MoU was signed by Morell on behalf of IRRI and Director, Agriculture and Food Production, PK Meherda in presence of Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik and Agriculture Minister Pradip Maharathy.
The pact was inked after a team, led by Morell, visited several areas under paddy cultivation in the State and interacted with the farmers. “The farmers told us to ensure high yielding and climate resistant seeds. The farmers of the State are positive to adopting new technology in farming,” he said.
The collaborative effort aims at development of appropriate management practice of both rain-fed and irrigated system resulting in improved rice-based cropping system to ensure food and nutritional security and profit to farmers.
Stating that State’s paddy production came down to 1,821 kg per hectare (ha) due to cyclone Phailin and subsequent flood in 2013-14, Principal Secretary in the Agriculture Department Rajesh Verma said the State harvested 2,360 kg per ha of paddy in 2014-15.
The State suffers a huge crop loss due to calamities, he said and added that the MoU will remain in force for five years.