On August 2, 2017, Union Agriculture Ministry signed a memorandum of association (MoA) for setting up a regional centre of the International Rice Research Institute (IRRI) in Varanasi, Uttar Pradesh to develop high- yielding rice varieties.
Details about MoA to set up IRRI’s regional centre in Varanasi:
The MoA was signed between Agriculture Secretary Shobhana K Patnaik and IRRI Director General Matthew Morell.
- IRRI’s South Asia Regional Centrewill be set up at the campus of National Seed Research and Training Centre (NSRTC) in Varanasi.
- The proposed centre will operate under the governance of IRRI Board of Trustees, who will appoint an IRRI staff member as Director.
- The Centre would have modern and sophisticated laboratory with the capacity to determine quality and status of heavy metals in grain and straw.
- It will undertake capacity-building exercises for stakeholders across the rice value chain.
- The centre is expected to be a boon for food production and skill development in the region.
- Union Agriculture Minister Radha Mohan Singhhas said that the rich biodiversity of India can be utilised to develop special rice varieties. This will help India achieve higher per hectare yields and improved nutritional content.
About International Rice Research Institute (IRRI):
The International Rice Research Institute(IRRI) is an international agricultural research and training organization.
- Headquarters of IRRI is located in Philippines.
- It was formed in year 1960 with an aim to reduce poverty and hunger, improve the health of rice farmers and consumers, and ensure environmental sustainability of rice farming.
- IRRI has offices in 17 countries and is known for its work in developing rice varieties that contributed to the green revolution in 1960s.
- Matthew Morell is the current Director General of IRRI.