Prime Minister Narendra Modi today visited the global rice research centre in the Philippines and got a briefing from the scientists at the world famous institute which is working towards developing better quality of rice seeds to address issues relating to food scarcity.
A large number of Indian scientists are working in the International Rice Research Institute (IRRI) in Los Banos, an urban locality situated at a distance of around 65 kms from Manila, the capital of the Philippines.
A number of scientists at the IRRI briefed the prime minister on flood-tolerant rice varieties which they said can withstand 14-18 days of submergence and can provide 1-3 tonnes more yield per hectare in flood affected areas.
The Indian government is also setting up a regional centre of the IRRI in Varanasi, the Prime Ministers constituency, to develop high-yielding rice varieties.
The IRRI, which has offices in 17 countries, is known for its work in developing rice varieties that contributed to the Green Revolution in 1960s.
"The Varanasi Centre would help increase farmers' income by enhancing and supporting rice productivity, reducing cost of production, value addition, diversification and enhancement of farmers' skills", the Prime Minister's Office tweeted.
Spokesperson in the external affairs ministry Raveesh Kumar said, the IRRI has successfully collaborated with Indian Council for Agricultural Research to introduce drought- tolerant, flood-tolerant and salt-tolerant varieties of rice in India.
He said the IRRI and its partners have provided assistance to 2,00, 000 women farmers in Odisha which included providing capacity building programmes, and improved agriculture technology.
The IRRI centre in Varanasi will help in utilising the rich biodiversity of India to develop special rice varieties.
Modi arrived here yesterday on a three-day visit to attend the ASEAN-India and the East Asia summits.