India

Agriculture minister urges Indian farmers to grow flood-tolerant rice

By RJ Whitehead

- Last updated on GMT

Agriculture minister urges Indian farmers to grow flood-tolerant rice
India’s agriculture minister Radha Mohan Singh has asked farmers from 15 states to grow flood-tolerant rice varieties including Swarna-Sub1.

Flood-tolerant rice can help bring a second green revolution to eastern India, Singh said at an event in Bihar last week.

“About 30% of India’s rice areas are flood prone,​” said Sudhanshu Singh, an agronomist at the International Rice Research Institute (IRRI), who works on rainfed lowland rice systems. 

Thus, varieties like Swarna-Sub1 can help increase farmers’ incomes by enabling them to grow rice in previously unproductive areas​.”

India’s government has implemented some large-scale programmes for the multiplication and distribution of seeds of Swarna-Sub1 and Sahbhagi dhan—which is tolerant to droughts. 

These include the National Food Security Mission and Bringing the Green Revolution in Eastern India projects. In Bihar, the former project has planted around 4,500 hectares of plots to demonstrate climate-smart rice over the last three years.

In Bihar, where the government has invested in large-scale seed production of flood- and drought-resistant rice varieties, a large quantity of Swarna-Sub1 and Sahbhagi dhan seeds were distributed last year. These are expected to produce more than 3,000 tonnes of flood-resistant rice this year.

"We will not rest until we succeed in ensuring the turnaround of the farm sector and see smiles on the faces of the farmers​," Singh said.

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