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Has tech fatigue hit rice research??

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 Hyderabad, Aug. 20: 

Has technology fatigue hit rice research in India? Are we failing in producing varieties that can win hearts of farmers and people?

The experience of the last two decades shows that we have failed in delivering the blockbuster rice varieties, said a senior agricultural scientist .

While the country produced some 1,000 varieties in the last few decades, only handful of varieties that were developed before 1995 dominate the scene, Dr Aldas Janaiah, Head (Agri Business Management) of Acharya N G Ranga Agricultural University, said. “About 30 varieties cover two-thirds of paddy area in the country. Five varieties developed by ANGRAU cover 15-20 per cent of the area. The impact of varieties developed after 1995 is very less,” he said, wondering whether it was a sign of technology fatigue.

He was addressing the day-long CII conference on the role of technology in sustainable agriculture here on Tuesday.

The country grew paddy on 44 million hectares, or 22 per cent of the cropped area.

Janaiah said that drip irrigation in paddy would become a reality in years to come. ANGRAU Vice-Chancellor A. Padma Raju said that there was a 95 per cent dependence on chemical fertilisers and increased usage of the same had harmed the soil’s nutrient quotient.

There was a need to increase the usage of bio fertilizers such as zinc soluble bacteria and phosphorous soluble bacteria.

Bayer Crop Science Country Head Satish Patil, who represented ABLE-AG (Association of Biotechnology-Led Enterprises-Agriculture Group), said the world would need to double food production by 2030 to meet the demand.

India would have to double the production by 2020.

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