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National Seminar on “Promotion of Direct Seeded Rice (DSR): Prospects and Challenges during COVID-19” organized

12th June 2021, Ludhiana

Indian Council of Agricultural Research (ICAR) organized a National Seminar on “Promotion of Direct Seeded Rice (DSR): Prospects and Challenges during COVID-19” on 12-13 June 2021 in virtual mode. The seminar aimed at developing a road map for promotion of DSR for sustainable use and management of natural resources (soil, water and environment) critical for food, nutrition and environmental security.

Dr. T. Mohapatra, Secretary DARE and DG ICAR, also the Chief Guest of the seminar, briefed the house about achievements of agriculture sector during COVID-19 pandemic. He emphasized the role of DSR in facing challenges posed by climate change. He talked about global scenario of DSR and its benefits, while highlighting the success of DSR during 2020 amidst labour scarcity due to national lockdown. He underlined certain researchable issues such as urgent need of DSR suited varieties, herbicide tolerance and resistance, etc. He urged the participants of the seminar to devise a holistic strategy to popularize this resource conservation technology.

Dr. A. K. Singh, DDG (Agricultural Extension), ICAR, New Delhi emphasized the importance of rice in general and DSR in particular in meeting increasing food demand with limited natural resources. He highlighted the technical, research related, extension related and social constrains in the wide spread adoption of DSR in India. While talking about the pathway to promote DSR, he emphasized targeting of technology while taking all stakeholders into consideration. Finally, he urged all the participants to join hands and visualize pandemic restrictions as an opportunity to popularize DSR in vast tract.

Dr. S. K. Chaudhari, DDG (NRM), ICAR, New Delhi expressed his special interest in resource conserving technologies like DSR and happiness to witness such seminars being organized involving all the stakeholders. He explained scientific background of what direct seeding of rice does to soil and water movement. He also pointed out faulty policies like free electricity to farms as reason for poor adoption of DSR. He emphasized on taking into account the farmers’ perspective while formulating the strategy for promotion of DSR. He hoped that a holistic plan will be developed to address all critical points of spread of the technology in significantly large area.

Dr. Rajbir Singh, Director, ICAR-ATARI, Ludhiana and organizing secretary of the seminar gave an account of steps already taken by the institute and KVKs of Zone-I in promoting DSR. He presented the formal vote of thanks.

More than 2000 researchers, scientists, state government officials, manufacturers, students and progressive farmers participated in this two day seminar. The seminar witnessed 35 leading researchers working on DSR sharing their views as panelists in five well designed technical sessions.