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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!

Introduction

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Introduction

India is the home to rice, being on the periphery of the Centre of origin, domestication and subspecific differentiation of the Asian cultivar species Oryza sativa and remaining the worlds’ largest rice growing and second largest rice producing and consuming country. Housing all the diverse rice ecologies it is one of the richests in rice genetic diversity. Paradoxically, it remained for long the home for the largest number of under-nourished. The chronically food deficit country is no more so. In the last 40 years, science-driven technological advances and growth oriented developmental initiatives enabled the country achieve sustained self- sufficiency in its need of rice and sizeable surplus to emerge as one of the major rice exporting countries. The kind of transformation the country witnessed in food and rice scenario is unparalleled in the contemporary history of global agriculture. Despite such an enviable growth, the balance sheet is not of one we can feel proud of. Over one fifths of its population still remains half-fed and the maximum of it live in the traditional rice growing eastern region. The question now staring in the face is even if the present level of nutrient supply could be sustained in the wake of fast limiting favourable growth factors of the 1970s and 1980s. Keeping in view the foregoing developments in the rice-food scenario of the post-independent India an effort has been made to revisit the achievements and their socio-economic impact and suggest a research road-map for sustained self-sufficiency in rice, which is crucial for the country to become food secure.

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Prof. E A Siddiq
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