Current research and development activities with India

• Breeding better varieties - IRRI is developing new rice varieties for India that are tolerant of drought, flooding, salinity, and other stresses. • Exploring rice genes - IRRI is identifying rice genes that are responsible for agronomically useful traits, such as reproductive stage drought tolerance to help breed improved rice varieties. • Improving grain quality - Under the International Network for Quality Rice, IRRI is helping Indian partners and industry players improve texture, amylose content, and other rice grain qualities. • Fine-tuning rice farming systems - IRRI aims to raise the productivity, profitability, and resilience of Indian rice farming systems while ensuring their environmental sustainability. IRRI works with Indian farmers on various crop management options such as resourceconserving technologies, direct seeding, mechanization, and postharvest to streamline production processes for both rainfed and irrigated systems. • Using socioeconomic data to reduce poverty - To better understand poverty dynamics, IRRI is collecting household, individual, and field data over the next four years in 42 Indian villages to help ensure the success of future povertyreducing interventions. • Coping with climate change - Through the CGIAR Climate Change, Agriculture, and Food Security Research Program, diverse rice lines are being tested in three locations in India to establish a systematic high-temperature breeding program. Breeding lines tolerant of heat stress are being developed and tested. Genes associated with tolerance are being identified for use in breeding. This will build on knowledge obtained from household surveys undertaken with the Nand Educational Foundation for Rural Development (NEFORD) to study the consequences of extreme climate variability on men and women farmers in eastern Uttar Pradesh, India.

International Rice Research Institute (IRRI)
IRRI is a nonprofit, independent organization that, through rice research, aims to: • reduce poverty and hunger • improve the health of rice farmers and consumers, and • ensure that rice production is environmentally sustainable. IRRI develops new rice varieties and rice crop management techniques that help rice farmers improve the yield and quality of their rice in an environmentally sustainable way. We work with our public and private sector partners in national agricultural research and extension systems in major rice-growing countries to do research, training, and knowledge transfer. Our social and economic research also informs governments to help them formulate policy to improve the equitable supply of rice.

India and IRRI

Dr. Jagadish K. Ladha Principal scientist and IRRI representative for India and Nepal Tel: +91 1125841292; +91 1125843802 IRRI headquarters (Philippines) +63 2 580 5600



RRI and India have been successfully collaborating for more than four decades. India has been actively involved in IRRI’s priority setting, strategic planning, scientific advising, and implementation of research across South Asia. The results of this collaboration have been outstanding and have set an example in international research collaboration. India began its partnership with IRRI through the Indian Council of Agricultural Research (ICAR) in 1967 when Indian scientists from ICAR’s two main rice research centers—the Central Rice Research Institute (CRRI) in Cuttack and the Directorate of Rice Research (DRR) in Hyderabad—began regularly visiting IRRI. In 1974, director generals M.S. Swaminathan and N.C. Brady of ICAR and IRRI, respectively, signed their first memorandum of understanding for cooperation in research and training. This paved the way for the two institutions to sign work plans every 4 years reviewing the progress of research and identifying opportunities and areas for collaboration. The synergy of the partnership resulted in advances in developing disease- and insect-resistant varieties suited to various

rice environments, developing and releasing hybrid rice varieties bred through government and private sector programs, streamlining rice production practices, and improving postharvest technologies for improved sustainability and productivity. Both institutions trained scientists, conducted socioeconomic research, and provided equitable access to information. From 2009 to 2012, ICAR and IRRI worked together on 37 research projects, including two major regional initiatives—the Stress-Tolerant Rice for Poor Farmers of Africa and South Asia (STRASA) and Cereal Systems Initiative for South Asia (CSISA) projects. IRRI’s work in India is supported by contributions from ICAR; DAC; state agricultural universities (SAUs); the Government of India and its Department of Biotechnology; state agriculture departments (MOA); Asian Development Bank (ADB); United States Agency for International Development (USAID); International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD); Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation (BMGF); Australian Centre for International Agricultural Research (ACIAR); Swiss Agency for Development and Cooperation (SDC); International Initiative for Impact Evaluation; SARMAP; German Federal Ministry of Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ); CGIAR Challenge Program on Water and Food (CPWF); CGIAR Climate Change, Agriculture, and Food Security Research Program (CCAFS); Generation Challenge Programme (GCP); Japan’s Ministry of Finance; the Biotechnology and Biological Sciences Research Council (BBSRC) of the UK; the Department for International Development (DFID); and the European Commission (EC).

Key achievements with India
• Conservation and exchange of rice germplasm. Institutions across India have deposited at IRRI duplicate samples of their rice collections. Nearly 16,400 types of rice at the International Rice Genebank are from India. Many of these have contributed to rice breeding programs, such as Pokkali for salinity tolerance, N22 for drought and heat tolerance, FR13A for submergence tolerance, and Oryza nivara for resistance to grassy stunt virus. • Delivery of new varieties, practices, and technologies. The success of the partnership between India and IRRI began with the introduction of the high-yielding rice variety IR8, dubbed miracle rice, which helped save India from a massive famine in the 1970s. This was only the beginning of a partnership that has led to more than 400 improved rice varieties that have resistance to pests and diseases, streamlined rice production practices, and extensive information exchange with Indian scientists and capacity building. • Breeding of stress-proof rice. India was the first country to get the submergence-tolerant trait bred into local mega-varieties, through collaborative programs with IRRI. Many single- and multiplestress-tolerant lines (flash flood, stagnant flood, drought, salinity, etc.) introduced by IRRI in India are now being evaluated or promoted nationally. These varieties are helping enhance and stabilize rice productivity under the ever-changing climate in the region. The first flood-tolerant rice variety, Swarna-Sub1, was released in India in August 2009. It reached more than 1 million farmers during the wet season of 2011 and more than 3 million farmers in during the wet season of 2012. Swarna-Sub1 is estimated to have covered approximately 1 million hectares of rice land during the wet season of 2012, contributing an additional 1 million tons of paddy. • Improved roll-out of hybrid rice. Hybrid rice research made a significant advance, thanks to partnership between India and IRRI. With IRRI’s support, India now ranks second only to China in the commercial production of hybrid rice. • Built capacity. Between 1965 and 2012, 276 Indian researchers participated in education and training programs at IRRI. Indian scholars who have undergone training and done research at IRRI includes 110 PhDs, 16 MScs, 136 interns, and 14 research fellows. More than 1,000 Indian scientists attended short-term courses run by IRRI.

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