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Indian Agrifair presents rice farmers with latest technologies for boosting productivity

posted Mar 15, 2016, 2:47 AM by Rowena Baltazar ‎(IRRI)‎   [ updated Mar 15, 2016, 2:49 AM ]

By Mayank Sharma, Amit Mishra and Sheetal Sharma


BIHAR, India—Stress-tolerant rice varieties, high quality seed production, and post-harvest techniques were showcased at a farmers’ fair attended by thousands of farmers, scientists, and extension workers from the different districts of the state.

The kisan mela (farmers’ fair), organized by the Bihar Agricultural University (BAU), highlighted the achievements of the university and honoured innovative farmers from different districts of the state. This year’s theme was Soil Health Management and Sustainable Agriculture.

The International Rice Research Institute (IRRI) hosted an exhibit booth at the fair to promote the technologies developed by the Stress-Tolerant Rice for Africa and South Asia (STRASA) project and the Cereal Systems Initiative for South Asia.

The STRASA team publicize newly released drought-tolerant rice varieties (DRR 42, DRR 44, and Bina Dhan 11) to farmers and extension workers.  The team also explored the possibility of partnerships with other stakeholders especially in the speedy dissemination of stress-tolerant rice varieties to different stress-prone areas of the state. 

Also on display were technologies and products developed by the Improved Rice-based Rainfed Agricultural Systems such as the manual transplanter, the community mat nursery, and performance charts of stress-tolerant rice varieties.

The Crop Manager for Rice-based Systems (CMRS), a recently developed technology especially for the Bihar region, was also demonstrated. CMRS aims to increase farmer's net income and sustain the productivity of rice-based cropping systems. During the demo period, hundreds of fertilizer recommendations were generated with detailed discussion with the concerned farmers.

Additionally, various literatures on the management of stress tolerant varieties, seed production, and post-harvest techniques were distributed to participating extension workers and farmers.

The IRRI booth was one of the most popular exhibits and won the second place for Best booth. The IRRI team included Dr. Amit Mishra, Mr. Mayank Sharma, Mr. Sarvesh Shukla, and Mr. Bhanu Pratap Bhadauria, all based in India.

The kisan mela, held at BAU from 4 to 7 March, was inaugurated by the Honorable Chief Minister of Bihar, Nitish Kumar.