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Agri College Awards : The Golden Jubilee Best AICRIP Centre Award-2015 goes to RARS, Titabar

During the 50th Rice Research Group Meeting held on April 11-15,2015 “The Golden Jubilee Best AICRIP Centre Award-2015” for outstanding contribution to AICRIP during the year 2014 was conferred to RARS, Titabar. Dr. N.T. Rafique, Principal Scientist, RARS, AAU, Titabar received the prestigious award from Dr.J.S.Sandhu, DDG(Crop Science), ICAR for outstanding contribution to AICRIP during the year 2014 in the discipline of Agronomy at the Indian Institute of Rice Research, Rajendra Nagar, Hyderabad.

Regional Agricultural Research Station (RARS), Titabar was established in 1923. The mandates of the station are

1. To generate technology packages through interdisciplinary research and disseminate them into farmers’ field.

2. To increase rice productivity and sustainability by undertaking applied, basic and location specific need based research of rice.

3. To collect, preserve, evaluate and utilize the genetic resources for rice improvement.

4. To produce quality seed of popular high yielding varieties for the farmers

The station has so far developed more than 40 rice varieties through its breeding programme. Most of the varieties have been widely adopted by the farmers of Assam. Variety Ranjit alone occupies more than 50 per cent cropped area in sali, while other varieties like Bahadur, Piyolee, Maniram and Kushal are also gaining popularity. Aghoni and Bhogali as glutinous rice, Keteki and Bakul as aromatic rice varieties and other short duration varieties like Luit, Kapilee, Disang, Dikhow and Kalong have earned a good name in Assam as well as Eastern region of India. Prafulla and Gitesh are suitable for delayed transplanting. Prafulla can be delayed up to 80 days, while Gitesh upto 60 days. Besides these varieties, the station has developed a number of ahu varieties viz., Lachit, Chilarai, and recently Mulagabhoru as transplanted ahu. Recently, four varieties viz., Dipholu, Chakrasali, Dhansiri and Manah are being recommended for water logged areas of Assam and a medium duration variety TTB-404(Shraboni), for double cropped areas where Sali rice is followed by rabi crops. The station also identified and recommended Swarna sub1, a submergence tolerant sali rice variety for flash flood affected areas. Keteki and Aghoni was also released in Orissa by CRRI, Cuttack.

Besides, development of varieties, the scientists standardizes the fertilizer requirement, spacing and other cultural practices for the varieties. Management practices have been developed to mitigate drought situation for direct seeded upland rice. The scientists are emphasizing on the development of Integrated Pest and Disease Management strategies so that pests and diseases could be managed without causing harm to the ecosystem. Long term effect of fertilizer application in the soil has been evaluated at the station and the results indicated that integration of organic sources of fertilizers with that of inorganic sources retain the soil health.

RARS, Titabar is presently taking care of the following research activities:

(i) To develop submergence tolerant varieties by introgression sub 1 gene in mega varieties like Ranjit and Bahadur

(ii) Development of high yielding varieties with new plant type.

(iii) to develop drought tolerant ahu as well as sali rice varieties.

(iv) To develop high yielding quality grained sali rice varieties

(v) conservation of rice germ plasm,

(vi)to develop high yielding aromatic rice resistant to hispa and blast. (vii) Management of soil fertility through integration of inorganic and INM components in rice–rice cropping sequence

(viii) site specific nutrient management study in farmers’ field. In addition, a number of network projects in different disciplines are being carried out viz.,
(1) AICRIP on rice,
(2) Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation Project for stress tolerant rice for poor farmers of Africa and South Asia ,
(3) Development of new plant type (NPT) varieties with higher yield and resistance to major pest and diseases (ICAR),

(iv)from QTL to variety –marker assisted breeding for a-biotic stress (IRRI-INDIA -DBT project),

(v)Multi location Evaluation of Rice Germ plasm (ICAR).

The station also produces a substantial quantity of quality seed for the farmers. Farmers from different districts of Assam as well as adjoining states have been procuring quality seeds in every season from RARS, Titabar. The station has produced more than 100 tons of quality seeds which were directly sold to the farmers of Assam and other organizations. During 2014-15 about 120 tons of quality seeds of popular varieties were produced and almost all the seeds are being procured by the farmers and different organizations.

Source: Assam Agriculture University
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