Odisha signs MoU with IRRI to promote climate resilient paddy

Bhubaneswar: With the state incurring huge crop loss due to frequent natural calamities like flood, cyclone and drought, Odisha govenrment on Saturday signed a MoU with International Rice Research Institute (IRRI) to promote new high yielding stress tolerant and climate resilient paddy.

“As per the provision 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,” Matther Morell, deputy Director General (research), who signed MoU with the state government on behalf of IRRI in the presence of chief minister Naveen Patnaik, said.

The IRRI signed the MoU after a team led by Morell visited several paddy cultivation area in the state and interacted with the farmers.

“The farmers told us to ensure high yielding and climate resistant seeds. The farmers here are positive to adopt new technology in agriculture,” Morell said.

The MoU envisages to promote the development of cooperation in the field of research, development, training, improvement of production technology of rice and extension.

The collaborative effort aims at promoting new high yielding, stress tolerant and climate resilient rice varities, development of appropriate management practice of both rainfed and irrigated system resulting in improved rice based cropping system to ensure food and nutritional security and profit to farmers..

Stating that Odisha’s paddy production came down to 1821 kg per hectare due to cyclone Phailin and subsequent flood in 2013-14, agriculture secretary Rajesh Verma said the state harvested 2360 kg per hectare of paddy in 2014-15 despite a flood. This indicated that the state suffers a huge grain loss due to calamities, Verma pointed out.

The MoU will remain in force for a period of five years and may further be renewed upon mutual consent of both parties, Verma said.