Agriculture Ministry-IRRI sign deal for rice centre in Varanasi

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New Delhi, Aug 2 (IANS) The Union Agriculture Ministry on Tuesday signed a Memorandum of Association (MOA) with International Rice Research Institute (IRRI) in order to establish IRRI-South Asia Regional Centre (ISARC) in Varanasi.

Union Agriculture Minister Radha Mohan Singh said the international centre, based in the Philippines, will play a major role in harnessing and sustaining rice production in the eastern region and India’s food and nutritional security issues will also be addressed.

“It is expected to be a boon for food production and skill development in the eastern India and similar ecologies in other South Asian and African countries,” a release quoted him as saying.

“The rich biodiversity of India can be utilised to develop special rice varieties. This will help India to achieve higher per hectare yields and improved nutritional contents.”

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The Minister said the centre will support in adopting value chain based production system in the country.

“This will reduce wastage, add value and generate higher income for the farmers. The farmers in Eastern India will benefit in particular, besides those in South Asian and African countries,” he said.

He added that the centre will also undertake capacity-building exercises for stakeholders across the rice value chain.



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