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Farmer’s Orientation and Rice Cafeteria Participatory Evaluation Conducted at IRRI-SARC

Two days program on farmer orientation training and Participatory Varietal Evaluation (PVE) of Rice Varietal Cafeteria was organized at International Rice Research Institute (IRRI), South Asia Regional Center (IRRI SARC) on 11thand 12thNovember.

KJ Contributor
Farmers Orientation

Two days program on farmer orientation training and Participatory Varietal Evaluation (PVE) of Rice Varietal Cafeteria was organized at International Rice Research Institute (IRRI), South Asia Regional Center (IRRI SARC) on 11thand 12thNovember.

Supported by Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation under AGGRi project, the programme witnessed the presence of several agricultural experts and administrators who enlightened the farmers on rice seed system, value chain, new varietal development and adoption, best rice cultivation practices. Progressive farmers and seed chain actors (eg. dealers, seed producers) from Varanasi and Chandauli districts attended the event. Krishi Vigyan Kendra Varanasi, Kaushambi from Uttar Pradesh and Banka, Jehanabad from Bihar were virtually connected along with farmers of those areas. In 2 days, a total of 60 farmers were connected through online and 75 farmers in person at IRRI, SARC. 

Rice varietal cafeteria (RVC) provides a space where farmers and other stakeholders interact, discuss, give feedback, learn, and decide on their varietal preferences and choices through participatory engagement and evaluation procedure.The RVC laid at ISARC showcased new, improved rice varieties of high potential challenged beside old, locally grown varieties. The trial included high-yielding, climate-resilient, nutrient-rich, traditional, aromatic rice varieties, which is being collected from 11 public research institute and Agricultural Universities across India engaged in rice research as NARES partner of IRRI.

Rice Cafeteria Participatory Evaluation
Rice Cafeteria Participatory Evaluation

The program was inaugurated by Dr. Sudhanshu Singh, Director, IRRI, SARC in the presence of Dr. Swati Nayak, Scientist, Lead Seed Systems South Asia, Dr. P.K. Singh, Professor, Banaras Hindu University (Plant Breeding), Dr. M.P. Yadav, Director, NSRTC; Dr. A.K. Singh, Deputy Director, Department of Agriculture; Ashwini Kumar, District Agriculture Officer, Varanasi. In the beginning all the eminent guests addressed and encouraged the participants with their noble and enriched experiences on rice status in India. Dr. Kuntal Das, Senior Specialist, Seed Systems India, planned and conducted the program at IRRI, SARC. Ashwani Kumar (IAS) Joint Secretary (Seeds) Government of India with his gracious presence addressed and encouraged the farmers followed by visit of Crop Cafeteria on 12th November. A detailed training to farmers was provided on quality seed production in both the days. Participants were also given relevant IRRI published knowledge brochures, booklets, flyers, pictorial guide on rice cultivation, crop protection and seed production.

Both the days, participants evaluated 36 rice varieties planted in 2 replications, which include primarily flood-tolerant (Swarna Sub 1, Ranjit Sub 1, Samba Mahsuri Sub 1, Bina 11), drought-tolerant (SahbhagiDhan, Bina Dhan 17, SabourArdhajal, Swarna Shreya, Swarna Shakti Dhan), Deepwater adaptation (CR 508), Biotic stress-tolerant (RP Bio 226) nutrient-rich/Bio-fortified (CGZR 2, Zinco Rice, DRR 49) and high yielding varieties (SabourSampanna, Rajendra Mahsuri, MTU 1224, BRRI 69, Swarna Samridhi, HUR 1309, SHIAT Dhan 4) along with local popular varieties (Sarju 52, Chintu, BPT 5204, Moti), etc.

During the field visit, the participatory selection process was followed where participants were divided into small groups of 15 members each and were led by experts to successfully evaluate the basic performance-dependent features of diverse rice varieties.

Through visual observations and physical examinations, stakeholders assessed various features of plants and gave ratings in 1-5 scale. All the scoring data will be consolidated to arrive at the overall preference ranking of each variety evaluated. This analysis will act as a decision support tool for seed system team to position, advance and scale new improved rice varieties in seed chain. The analysis will be further strengthened through data to be gathered through crop cuts which will provide rationalized decisions on fitment of a variety to specific geography. The farmers are happy and satisfied with this two day training program and will committed to apply these learning from IRRI in the coming days.  

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