Centre to seek states help to popularise hybrid rice tech

New Delhi: The Centre would seek states` cooperation for raising rice cultivation area, particularly in the eastern states, and raising its productivity in the coming season by popularising hybrid rice technology and promoting early maturing varieties.

This would be the focus of a two-day national conference to be organised by the Union Agriculture ministry here on April 6-7, an official statement said today.

The conference that will be attended by representatives of the Centre, state governments and farm experts, aims at designing strategies to maximise paddy production in the coming kharif season.

Eastern plains have high ground water table and thus assured irrigation, it said, adding high yielding varieties are known to respond well to fertilisers in irrigated lands.

In the last two years, rice hybrids are being promoted vigorously under the National Food Security Mission (NSFM) and has resulted in significant improvement in rice productivity in districts covered under NFSM.

Another very effective intervention would be to promote early maturing rice varieties in the rainfed areas of the eastern and north-eastern region, it said.

This would enable farmers to harvest rice early and plant short-duration oilseed and pulse crops immediately after that.

For enhancing production of millets such as jowar and bajra the focus is likely to be on promotion of quality seeds as well as following better agronomic practices.