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Coimbatore, Dec 13 (PTI) To commemorate the completion of 100 years of rice research at the Paddy Breeding Station here, Tamil Nadu Agricultural University (TNAU) will conduct an international symposium from January 9 to 12, 2012, here. About 500 scientists from India and abroad will participate in the symposium on '100 Years of Rice Research Looking Beyond'.
When the colonial British rulers decided to initiate research on agriculture following the infamous Bengal famine, a Government Economist Botanist, R Parnell was posted at Coimbatore to carry out research on rice in 1912. Thus the Paddy Research Station came into existence as the first rice research centre in India, which will complete 100 years in 2012,
TNAU vice-chancellor, Dr Murugesa Bhoopathi said. Dr K Thiyagarajan, Director, Centre for Plant Breeding and Genetics, TNAU, said landmark varieties of rice were developed from the station through genetic purification, which had triggered the growth of rice production in Tamil Nadu. Rice production in Tamil Nadu, which stood at 15.2 lakh tonnes with a productivity of 805 kg per hectare in 1920, increased steadily to the current level of 71 lakh tonnes with the productivity of 3.7 tonnes per hectare, despite the marked decrease in the total rice area, he said. A rice expo would also be held during the symporium, Thiyagarajan said.