A high level meeting on “Enhancing rice productivity in stress prone areas of Nepal” was jointly organized by Seed Quality Control Centre (SQCC)/Ministry of Agriculture Development (MoAD), Nepal Agricultural Research Council (NARC) and International Rice Research Institute (IRRI) in NARC on 27March 2014. The objective of the meeting was to develop strategies for the promotion of new climate resilient rice varieties in drought and submergence areas of Nepal.
Dr. Tek B. Gurung, Officiating Executive Director (ED), NARC chaired the session. A total of 55 high level government officials representing MoAD, SQCC, Department of Agriculture (DoA), NARC, and donars such as International Finance Cooperation (IFC), Agriculture Food Security Project (AFSP) funded by World Bank, Farmers’ SEED project funded by International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD), High Value Agriculture Project of IFAD, as well as National Seed Company (NSC), Seed Entrepreneur Association of Nepal (SEAN), private seed companies/cooperatives and Journalists were present in the meeting. Dr. Uma S. Singh and Dr. Bhaba P. Tripathi represented IRRI in the meeting.
Director, Crops and Horticulture Research, NARC, Dr. Yagya P. Giri welcomed the Guests and participants and delivered the objectives of the Meeting. Dr. Uma S. Singh delivered STRASA-An example of successful technology dissemination in stress prone areas of South Asia. Two papers, mainly focusing on seed and inputs subsidies and seed policy were presented by two high level officials of MoAD. The system of dissemination of rice varieties followed by DoA in Nepal was presented by Department of Agriculture. The scenario of seed production and distribution by NSC was delivered by Managing Director, Mr.Nanu Jha. Two Senior Rice Breeders from National Rice Research Programme (NRRP), NARC provided the characteristics of stress tolerance rice varieties particularly drought and submergence and their available seeds for the coming rice growing season. Development of seed-net for disseminating stress tolerant rice varieties was presented by Dr. Devendra Gauchan, Chief, Socio-economic Division, NARC. Senior Rice Scientist, Bhola M.S. Basnet highlighted on the role of IRRI and NARC in developing rice technologies and contribution of rice in national economy. Private Seed company/Seed Producers’ Groups raised the issues that they have been producing the seed of stress tolerant rice varieties and government should make necessary arrangements for seed quality control and marketing of seed.
Speaking from the chair of Chief Guest, Mr. Jaya Mukunda Khanal, and Secretary of MoAD emphasized that different rice technologies are available for different rice environments of Nepal and advised Department of Agriculture and Regional Directors from different regions to extend these rice technologies in the farmers’ fields, which will enhance the food security of the country. He also indicated that government of Nepal have been providing subsidies for seeds and fertilizers and will give priority for the newly released rice varieties in future. He appreciated the IRRI’s contribution in Nepal for many years.
In the closing remark, Dr. Tek Gurung, Chairperson of the meeting highlighted that such meetings will help to disseminate climate resilient rice varieties and technologies in the farmers’ fields. He also emphasized that agriculture research and extension of Nepal should work together to show impacts of the technologies in the farmers’ fields. At the end, Dr. Bhaba P. Tripathi, IRRI-Nepal Office provided vote of thanks to distinguished guests and participants.