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Rice is one of the major food crops of India in terms of area, production and consumer preference. India is the second largest producer and consumers of rice in the world with substantial share in the global rice production that hovering in the range of 19.5 to 24.5 per cent. India earns a foreign exchange of more than Rs. 7000 crores and tops the list of rice export in the world (2012) with a figure of 10.3 million tonnes followed by Vietnam (7.7 million tonnes) and Thailand (7 million tonnes).
However, in spite of having several breakthroughs in rice production technologies and rice development programmes, some major rice growing areas are still lagging behind due to several constraints associated with rice production; amongst which existing rice information sharing mechanism is found to be prominent. Realising the need for evolving strategies to improve the production and productivity of rice through capacity building, seven-day training programme was organized under the NAIP-I funded project “Development and Maintenance of Rice Knowledge Management Portal”(RKMP) from 28th November to 04th December, 2013 at ICAR Sikkim Centre with the aim to train the professionals working in the field of rice about the recent developments in rice production technologies. Thirty five participants from across the country comprising of professionals from KVKs, ICAR institutes, CAUs and SAUs participated in this training programme. They were exposed to various rice production technologies through open interaction with scientists and field visits.
The Chief Guest during the Valediction (4th December, 2013) Shri P. T. Bhutia, Principal Director cum Secretary, FS&AD Department, Govt. of Sikkim expressed his concern over the negative impact of green revolution and emphasized upon the need for “evergreen revolution” the term coined by Prof. M. S. Swaminathan and also called upon the trainees to utilize the knowledge and benefits gained from this training for the welfare of farming community. Attending the programme the Guest of Honour Dr. M. C. Diwakar, Director, DRD, Patna, stressed upon the need to go for high yielding/ hybrid varieties in rice in order to achieve the goals of Nutritional Security Mission and reduce the hunger and malnutrion in the country. Dr. R. K. Avasthe, Joint Director, ICAR Sikkim Centre, in his deliberation highlighted the role of ICAR in technology development and voiced his will to extend full support and cooperation to Govt. of Sikkim for the improvement of agriculture and allied sectors in the state. He also said that we, the agricultural professionals are seriously concerned for feeding the people of India and urged the participants to carry forward the technologies gained from this training to the farmers of their region. Dr.A. K. Mohanty, Prog. Coordinator, KVK, East Sikkim and Co-PI, NAIP-RKMP gave a brief introduction about the RKMP Project and also highlighted the significance of organising such capacity building programmes. Earlier, Shri, Chandan Kapoor, Scientist (Plant Breeding) welcomed the gatherings and at the end, Dr. R. Gopi, Scientist, (Plant Pathology) proposed the vote of thanks.