IRRI Director General Jean Balié met with Honorable Chief Minister of Uttar Pradesh, Shri, Yogi Adityanath on 22 April in Lucknow, to secure the strong and continued support from the State Government of Uttar Pradesh to the IRRI South Asia Regional Center (ISARC) for sustained rice research partnerships.
Dr. Balié expressed his sincere gratitude to the Chief Minister for the constant support being provided to IRRI for enhancing the research and development activities in the state. He drew special attention to the identification and development of quality, nutritious, and climate-resilient rice varieties being carried out by ISARC. He also updated Chief Minister Adityanath on future plans of IRRI such as the establishment of an incubation center for promoting agribusiness opportunities and addressing the challenges in rice-based systems of the state. Dr. Balié sought the support of the state government as ISARC takes bigger steps to transform agriculture into an engine of growth for Uttar Pradesh and India.
To accomplish these goals in South Asia, IRRI, through its state-of-art research facilities in ISARC, engages on collaborative work with researchers from all of South Asia and the national system on varietal development/breeding, strengthening seed system, improving aspects of grain quality, increasing efficiency of the rice value chain, and upgrading seed-to-seed management practices, ultimately building the capacity of research institutions.
Applauding the work of IRRI and ISARC in the state, Chief Minister Adityanath offered full support of the state government through a collaborative manner towards the shared goals of uplifting farmers' welfare.
He also congratulated IRRI for the MoU signing with four agriculture universities in the state. Referring to the agroecological zones of Uttar Pradesh favoring the scopes of research, Chief Minister Adityanath urged more such collaborations with state universities and agricultural institutes to promote knowledge sharing and capacity building.
Presenting his vision of developing Uttar Pradesh as a leader in rice cultivation, he welcomed support from IRRI to help the state make achieve massive productivity gains by developing more sustainable practices and varieties better suited to the agroecology and climatic challenges of the state. Chief MinisterAdityanath also advised doing more research on natural and organic farming practices. He gifted the IRRI delegation with mementos promoting “One District, One Product”.
Also, present during the visit and meeting were Shri. Surya Pratap Shahi, Minister, Agricultural Education and Research, Uttar Pradesh Dr.Devesh Chaturvedi, Additional Chief Secretary, Agriculture, Agricultural Education and Research, Agricultural Marketing, International Agricultural Trade and Export Promotion, Government of UP. Dr. Jean Balié, who was on his official visit to India was accompanied by Dr.Ajay Kohli, DDG-R, IRRI, Mr. A.J. Poncin, Chief of Staff, IRRI, and Dr. Sudhanshu Singh, Director, ISARC.