National Rice Working Group Meeting held

National Rice Research Program (NRRP) conducted 2 day National Rice Working Group Meeting at Hardinath, Dhanusha with main objective of setting the national priority in rice research and development through out the country on 21 and 22 Aswin, 2078.

National Rice Working Group Meeting started with inauguration of program by Chief Guest, Mr. Ram Bahadur KC, Director, Crop and Horticulture and other invitee guests. Senior Scientist, Dev Nidhi Tiwari welcomed and emphasized the objective of program to all the participants from different stakeholders such as Nepal Agricultural Research Council (NARC) stations, Ministry of Agriculture and Livestock Development (MoALD), Seed Quality Control Centre (SQCC), Ministry of Land Management, Agriculture and Cooperatives (MoLMAC) Province no. 2, Centre for Crop Development and Agro Bio-diversity Conservation (CCDABC), Agriculture Knowledge Centre (AKC), Dhanusha, Agriculture and Forestry University (AFU), Institute of Agriculture and Animal Science (IAAS), International Rice Research Institute (IRRI), Seed companies and farmers.

The program was scheduled for 2 days and on first day, presentations were done by all the rice stakeholders form different organizations. NARC stations, SQCC, MoLMAC, Province No. 2, AFU, IAAS and Private seed companies. Each organization presented their progress, problems and associated activities related to rice research and development. Furthermore, one day first, 3 groups were formulated, namely, Rice Breeding and Seed production, Rice management (Agronomy, Soil, Plant Pathology and Entomology) and Rice Cross Cutting (Socioeconomics, Agri-machinery and Extension) to prioritize short term, medium term and long-term strategies in rice research and development.

Similarly, on second day field visit was organized at the NRRP to observe various experimental trials and seed production conducted by the program. Then after presentations were done by the team leader of the formulated groups and mentioned their short term, medium term and long term strategies for rice research and development. Rice breeding and seed production group mainly emphasized on strengthening hybrid rice development program and special focus on the fine and aromatic rice research to replace the import of fine and aromatic rice. Similarly, rice management group mainly stressed to focus research on plastic tray seedling raising techniques, management of micro nutrient deficiencies, residue management (straw), weed survey across cropping system and agro-ecology, management technologies of rice insect’s pest and disease with special focus on brown plant hopper, rice stem borer and false smut, improving nutrient use efficiency and rice based cropping system rather than rice only. Likewise, cross cutting group gave stress on the use of machinery to decrease cost of production, varietal development based on farmers demand, upgrading milling recovery through use of high thrust mill, developing scientific minimum support price and coordination among various rice stakeholders.

Speaking at the concluding ceremony of the workshop, Mr. Benu Prasai, Chief, Seed Quality Control Centre, said that we should focus on quality rather than quantity of varietal development to replace the import situation of rice seed and rice grain. Similarly, he advised to demonstrate newly released and promising genotypes in large plot. Dr. Krishna Kumar Mishra, Director, Finance, NARC, emphasized on developing hybrid rice technology for achieving self sufficiency. Further he mentioned that strong monitoring at various growth stages of rice is necessary for evaluating the rice genotypes to develop superior variety. The chief guest, Mr. Ram Bahadur KC, Director, Crop and Horticulture, Nepal Agricultural Research Council pinpointed to use local landraces while developing new rice varieties. Similarly, he appreciated the new initiative of NRRP on biofortified rice research which could be solution to the issue of nutritional deficiency. Moreover, he advocated to make fertilizer recommendation for micronutrients. Likewise, NRRP should focus on breeder and foundation seed production of demanded rice varieties rather than focusing large number of varieties. Finally, he mentioned NRRP to focus on system-based rice research and work towards making strong coordination among the various stakeholders of rice. The program was chaired by coordinator of the National Rice Research Program, Mr. Bhanu Bhakta Pokharel. During his concluding remarks coordinator mentioned that the recent activities undertaken by NRRP to popularize the recently released and promising genotypes among the farmers by providing seed kits to 24 local levels of terai and inner terai in collaboration with CCDABC and IRRI. He further suggested the policy makers to make distinct demarcation among the agricultural and residential area to save rice growing areas of terai. Furthermore, he emphasized the importance of hybrid rice technology development and its importance to deal with import substitution of rice from India mainly. Finally, he gave vote of thanks to participants and assured everyone that future planning of rice research would be emphasized based on the recommendation made by team of experts during the meeting.