Murmu favours eco friendly rice production system

Cuttack: President Droupadi Murmu underscored the need to reduce dependence on chemical fertilizers to keep soil healthy and expressed confidence that scientists are at work to devise eco-friendly rice production systems.

Inaugurating the 2nd Indian Rice Congress at ICAR-National Rice Research Institute, Cuttack on Saturday, Murmu said, the paddy crop in many parts of the world are facing severe water shortages due to climate change.

Droughts, floods and cyclones are now more frequent, making rice cultivation more vulnerable, she said adding even as rice has broken new ground, there are places where traditional varieties are facing challenges.

She asked the experts to find a middle path preserving and conserving traditional varieties on one hand and maintaining ecological balance on the other.

The President said rice is the cornerstone of food security in India and also a key factor for our economy.India though is the leading consumer and exporter of rice today, the situation was different when the nation became free.

In those days, the country, she said, was dependent on imports to meet food requirements, and often the nation lived what was called a ship-to-mouth existence.

Murmu said another challenge is to save the soil from excessive use of chemical fertilizers, which

are considered necessary for modern rice cultivation.

She said a large section of low-income groups depend on rice, which is often the only source of daily nutrition for them.

Therefore, delivering protein, vitamins and essential micronutrients through rice can help combat malnutrition.

She praised NRRI for the turnaround and said the institute has contributed immensely to India’s food security and also in improving farmers’ lives.

The President said she was happy to note that ICAR-NRRI has developed India’s first high protein rice, called CR Dhan 310 and NRRI has also released a high-zinc rice variety, called CR Dhan 315.

She said development of such bio-fortified varieties is an ideal example of science in the service of society and hoped that the scientific community would rise to the challenge to make efforts to support the increasing population amid a changing climate .


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