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Prof EA Siddiq
  • One of the eminent scholars of our time, Padma Shri Prof. Siddiq writes for RKMP on "Rice Research in India" covering various aspects. This comprehensive paper covers different facets of rice research carried out in India since Independence. While going through this paper, we hope that you will experience the transformation that the country has seen in last five decades.
  • Welcome to the journey of Indian rice research!

Conclusion

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Conclusion

           Excessively magnifying the shrinking pace of the favourable growth factors of the early decades of the Green revolution era and citing rapidly declining trend of production-productivity growth since early 1990s and no appreciable reduction in population growth, some apprehend that the country would be pushed back to the era of chronic food/rice deficiency in a few decades from now necessitating import of food grains in large volumes. The apprehension cannot be dismissed completely as baseless. Such a scenario would be inevitable, if we fail to identify and tap still under and unexploited opportunities, capture and take advantage of rapidly unfolding technological advances in the era of new biosciences and the planners and law makers of the country remain mute to the needs of developmental and policy support to translate such opportunities into sustainable production growth. Given the technological and developmental opportunities discussed above coupled with progrowth and profarmer policies of the government, there is no reason whatsoever to be skeptical about the capability of the nation to feed its people by and beyond 2050. To be specific about this optimism, our additional requirement of 20-25 million tonnes by 2020 can be met easily by narrowing the wide yield gap in the irrigated and rainfed shallow lowland ecologies giving priority to districts of medium low and low productivity. Even by bringing the actual yield closer to achievable yield by 30-40% and expanding and intensifying boro rice cultivation, the country can go beyond the targeted production. The estimated additional production of another 20 million tonnes by 2030 is achievable through, extensive adoption of hybrid rice technology and intensification of cropping by 10-15 percent over and above the existing level of 135% giving emphasis to rice based cropping systems in mainly irrigated ecologies and rice based farming systems like rice-fish in the rainfed shallow lowland and semideep water ecologies of eastern India by extensively replicating the CRRI developed and successfully demonstrated models. The demand of 180-190 million tonnes projected for 2050, though quite challenging a task can also be met by extensive adoption of by then available high yielding varieties and hybrids ideally suited to all the rainfed ecologies and introduction of designer varieties of highest yield potential combining traits that would make rice farming ecologically and economically sustainable. It is largely through achievement of the time bound demand projections of rice, the country would be in a position to sustain the current level of sufficiency in its rice and food grain needs as well as emerge and remain food secure.

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Prof E.A.Siddiq
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