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ISARC presents climate-smart initiatives for improving the livelihoods and climate resilience of farmers in South Asia

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01 December 2023, New Delhi: Top officials of the International Rice Research Institute South Asia Regional Centre (ISARC) represented IRRI at the XXII Biennial National Symposium on Climate Smart Agronomy for Resilient Production Systems and Livelihood Security.

ISARC Director Sudhanshu Singh called attention to the major challenges confronting rice production on account of extreme climatic variabilities.

“Challenges such as climate change, drought, submergence, salinity, and conventional crop establishment methods with sub-optimal management practices affect the productivity of rice crops and succeeding rabi crops rice-based system,”  Dr. Singh said.   “Rainfed ecologies, particularly in South and Southeast Asia, face significant vulnerabilities that adversely impact agri-food production systems and farmers’ livelihoods.”

He highlighted how IRRI is making agronomic innovations and interventions holistically to enhance smallholder livelihoods and climate resilience in stress-prone environments.

“Scientists at IRRI are constantly working on developing advanced rice breeding lines and tailored agronomic practices to adapt to climate change,” said Dr. Singh. “Based in Varanasi, ISARC has the advanced SpeedBreed Facility for faster development of climate-resilient varieties.”

Panneerselvam Peramaiyan, head of the  Centre of Excellence in Sustainable Agriculture at ISARC,  emphasized the contribution of mechanization to higher productivity, profitability, and resilience of rice-based systems through timely planting of rice and succeeding crops. He also stressed that mechanization and remote sensing-based suitability mapping brings more rice-fallow areas under pulse cultivation in the fragile ecologies of eastern India.

“Mechanization also addresses the issues of labor and water shortage, rising production costs, and methane emissions,” added Dr. Peramaiyan, who was honored with the Best Oral Presentation Award at the symposium for his talk titled Mechanized crop establishment methods for improving rice-based systems productivity in Eastern India.

The symposium was organized by the Indian Society of Agronomy in collaboration with the Indian Council of Agricultural Research (ICAR) in New Delhi, and ICAR-Central Coastal Agricultural Research Institute in Goa.

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