UTTAR PRADESH, India (21 April 2023) – The International Rice Research Institute (IRRI) signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with agricultural state universities and colleges (SUCs) namely, the Acharya Narendra Dev University of Agriculture and Technology, Kumarganj, Ayodhya, Banda University of Agriculture and Technology (BAUT), Banda, Chandrashekhar Azad University of Agriculture and Technology, and Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel University of Agriculture and Technology (SVPAUT) in Lucknow, Uttar Pradesh.
The focus areas of IRRI’s partnership with these SUCs will focus on enhancing collaboration in germplasm characterization, improvement, outscaling, crop and natural resource management, employing digital tools; accelerated exchange of scientists, students, and capacity building on value chain and market exploration and other socio-economic research and knowledge sharing activities. Further, this partnership aims to develop and transform the expertise and skills of young researchers to fit the current and future needs of research and development programs toward shaping rice-based agri-food systems in Uttar Pradesh.
The Governments of Uttar Pradesh and India signified strong support for IRRI’s plan to achieve high yield while reducing the environmental footprint of rice production toward ensuring food and nutritional security. IRRI also shared plans of increasing the productivity of rice-based food systems through more needs-based skills development programs and the development of rice-based value-added products.
Mr. Surya Pratap Shahi, Honorable Minister of Agriculture, Agricultural Education and Research for Uttar Pradesh appreciated IRRI’s efforts in the field of research and development for rice-based agri-food systems. He lauded some of the work being done by IRRI through the IRRI South Asia Regional Centre (ISARC) in Varanasi such as Direct Seeded Rice (DSR), the development and propagation of climate-resistant (flood and drought-resistant) varieties, drone technology for the development of traditional varieties and landraces of paddy like Kalanamak and Jeerabattis, along with the production of high-quality food-products, and how successes in these areas can be furthered by these partnerships.
Congratulating IRRI and the SUCs, Dr. Devesh Chaturvedi, Additional Chief Secretary of Agriculture, Agricultural Education and Research, Agricultural Marketing, International Agricultural Trade and Export Promotion of the Government of Uttar Pradesh said, “Such collaborations are a big step toward our shared goals of increasing farmers’ income and productivity. I applaud the work being done by IRRI for rice-based agri-food systems in the region,” adding that Uttar Pradesh is the second-largest producer of rice and has tremendous export potential.
For IRRI’s part, IRRI Director General Dr. Jean Balié expressed his gratitude to the Central and State Governments for their continued trust and support. Dr. Balié also stressed the important contributions of the four SUCs to the realization of the goals set out in the agreements.
Present in the signing were Shri. Surya Pratap Shahi, Honorable Minister, Agriculture, Agricultural Education and Research, Uttar Pradesh, Dr. Devesh Chaturvedi, Additional Chief Secretary, Agriculture, Agricultural Education and Research, Agricultural Marketing, International Agricultural Trade and Export Promotion, Government of Uttar Pradesh, IRRI Director General Dr. Jean Balié, IRRI DDG-Research Dr. Ajay Kohli, IRRI Chief of Staff AJ Poncin, UPCAR Director General Dr. Sanjay Singh, ANADUAT Ayodhya and CSAUAT Kanpur Vice Chancellor Dr. Bijendra Singh, BAUT Banda Registrar Dr. Surendra Singh, SVPUAT Director of Experiment Station in Meerut Dr. Anil Sirohi, IRRI South Asia Regional Centre Director Dr. Sudhanshu Singh, along with other dignitaries were also present.