By Tara Chand Dhoundiyal and Showkat Waza
CUTTACK, India--IRRI, in collaboration with the National Rice Research Institute (NRRI), conducted training of trainers on “Quality Rice Seed Production, Storage, and Postharvest Management” in Cuttack (Odisha) from 28 September to 1 October 2016. The training was specifically designed for extension workers, NGO representatives, and seed growers in local Odiya language. It consisted of classroom lectures and hands-on practice in the field covering seed production, maintenance breeding, integrated nutrient management, pest and disease management, and seed processing, packaging, and storage. The training was conducted in two batches to ensure the participation of a larger number of partner institutions covering all of Odisha.
The training aimed to address the various constraints faced during quality rice seed production and improve the capacity of extension and agricultural development officers, NGO staff, seed growers, dealers, and farmers to strengthen the seed system and increase rice productivity in the state. A total of 95 participants attended the training, representing the State Department of Agriculture at the district and block level, seed companies, seed dealers, and NGOs.
The training was inaugurated by the director of NRRI, Dr. Himanshu Pathak. In his inaugural address, he applauded IRRI’s role in establishing a genuine platform of public-private partnership linking the various stakeholders involved in agricultural development, including research and extension organizations, policy institutions, public-private seed companies, NGOs/community-based organizations, self-help groups, and farmers. Importantly, this platform will be bringing in farmers and national and international organizations together to enhance the knowledge base and generate awareness among stakeholders on new and potential technologies. In addition, this platform focuses on farmers and is market driven. This is envisaged to ensure the availability of and accessibility to quality seed, a major input to increase rice productivity as well as promote skill and entrepreneurship development among the farmers. To deliver the potential benefits of these new technologies to larger numbers of the farming community, a strong communication mechanism will be needed with which all the stakeholders can be actively involved in exchanging ideas and experiences, he added.
Dr. O.N. Singh, head of the Crop Improvement Division (NRRI), emphasized the importance of seed as a basic input for high and sustainable crop yield. He stressed that seed is not a lone ingredient; rather, it is a constituent assembly of numerous technologies around pest-disease resistance, mineral composition, and stress tolerance, etc., thereby remaining as the most important component in overall crop production.
Dr. R.K. Sahu, senior scientist and nodal officer for seed, NRRI, was the chief training coordinator for this collaborative program. He conducted the training in both the classroom and field through interactive and participatory sessions moderated in the local language to reach out to each and every participant. He skillfully dealt with various issues and probable solutions for quality seed production in rice.
Dr. Manzoor Hussain Dar, IRRI, presented an overview and the objectives of the training and shared his experiences on the performance and potential of stress-tolerant rice varieties in South Asia with the participants.
On behalf of the participants, Mr. K. Mohanty, Mr. Vijay Kumar Jena, and Ms. Bhanu Priya shared feedback on the training. All appreciated the joint efforts of IRRI and NRRI in conducting this important training in Odisha.
The training program concluded with the distribution of certificates to the participants by the director of NRRI and a vote of thanks delivered by Mr. T.C. Dhoundiyal.
Recommendations: Based on feedback from the participants, IRRI and NRRI teams discussed the training module and decided to broaden the scope of the training to make it more field intensive in the future. Both teams agreed to develop a detailed work plan for the next year’s training. (See also similar story in Rice Today Online)
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