Director’s Message

Director’s Message

Welcome to the New Website developed for the ICAR-National Rice Research Institute, Cuttack, Odisha, India

Rice, the world’s most important food crop, is the staple food for about half of the humankind on the planet. Rice fields cover around 160 million hectares in a wide range of climatic conditions spanning from 44oN in North Korea to 35oS in Australia. It is cultivated from 6 feet below sea level in Kerala, India to 2700 feet above sea level in the Himalayas. The crop occupies a significant position in the livelihood, culture and heritage of many Asian countries.

People of India have been cultivating rice for about last 7000 years. It is the staple food for more than two thirds of the Indian population. Prior to 1950, rice cultivation was mostly monsoon dependent with traditional technologies. Major abiotic stresses like drought and flood were often occurring due to deficit or excess rainfall. These abiotic stresses caused widespread crop failures, starvation deaths and even famines including the Great Orissa Famine (Na’ AnkaDurbhiksha) of 1866 with death toll of about 10 lakhs of people and the Great Bengal Famine of 1943 with a death toll of about 20 lakhs of people. At the backdrop of this famine, the Government of India decided to establish a Central Institute for Rice Research, now named as National Rice Research Institute, on April 23, 1946, at Bidyadharpur, Cuttack, Odisha with an experimental farm-land of 60 hectares provided by the Government of Odisha. Dr. K Ramiah, an eminent rice breeder, was its founder Director. Subsequently, in 1966, the administrative control of the Institute was transferred to the Indian Council of Agricultural Research. Present land-holding is 117 hactares for research and other amenities.

ICAR-National Rice Research Institute in Cuttack (formerly Central Rice Research Institute), an ISO 9001: 2015 certified institute, has two research stations, one at Hazaribag, Jharkhand for rice research on rainfed upland ecologies and the other at Gerua, Assam for rice research on flood prone rainfed lowland ecologies. The third research station is going to be established at Naira, Andhra Pradesh to address the issues of coastal rice areas. Two Krishi Vigyan Kendras (KVKs), located at Santhapur, Cuttack, Odisha and Jainagar, Koderma, Jharkhand also function with NRRI.

The Institute has developed 133 high-yielding rice varieties, and several crop production & protection technologies and farm implements. Varieties released by this premier Institute are being cultivated covering 18-20% rice area of the country. The Institute produces 120 tons of high quality rice seeds to cater country’s 26% seed demand. These have contributed significantly in increasign rice production of the country from 20 million tons in 1950 to presently 112 million tons. The country is now annually exporting about 10 million tons of rice, earning a sizeable amount of foreign exchange.

Among all the cereals, rice is one of the most important staple foods, but it is generally low in grain protein content (6-7%) causing serious nutritional problem. The Institute has developed, for the first time in the world, two high protein rice varieties CR Dhan 310 and CR Dhan 311 with an average protein content of more than 10% in milled rice. To address the merging challenges of climate change, it has developed two climate-smart varieties CR Dhan 801 and CR Dhan 802, again for the first time with resilience to drought and flood and biotic stresses.

The Institute has deposited more than 35,600 accessions in the National Gene Bank as long-term storage and more than 20,000 accessions preserved as medium-term storage in NRRI-Gene Bank. It has developed microbial formulations for enhancing nitrogen and phosphorus use efficiency; calibrated and validated simulation models for optimizing crop management; identified options for eco-friendly and economic use rice residues; fabricated more than 30 equipments for small and marginal farmers; optimized and demonstrated integrated farming system models and developed technologies and strategies for climate change adaptation and mitigation. More than 1,25,000 genotypes were screened to find out novel sources of resistance against rice pests. It has identified resistant genotypes against bacterial leaf blight and brown plant hopper. It developed integrated pest management technologies and identified plant essential oils as eco-friendly alternatives for pesticides and phosphine fumigant against stored grain pest. It has developed and promoted various models for commercial rice-fish integrated farming system.

The Institute has initiated programmes such as Self–Sufficient Sustainable Seed System for Rice (4S4R) system; Farmer’s Farm Innovation Resources Science and Technology (Farmer’s FIRST); MeraGaonMeraGaurav (MGMG) and Front Line Demonstration (FLD) to enrich and update farmers with advances in rice science to improve their livelihood. During the last five years it has reached out to 144 villages; benefitted more than 2,7000 farm families; established 5 Farmers’ Producer Companies; signed MoU with more than 50 companies; reached more than 60000 stakeholders with agro-advisory services; and developed riceXpert App, which is available in English, Hindi and Odia with the provision of voice recording and response system for promotion of rice technologies.

The Institute has state-of-the-art laboratory and equipment facilities to carry out cutting edge research on rice. It has Root Scanlyzer for studying root morphology such as length, area and volume, topology, architecture and colour analysis under very high resolution; Nitrogen auto-analyzer to determine N and carbon in soils and plants; Chlorophyll Fluorescence Imaging System to measure health of plants; Ultra High performance Liquid Chromatography to analyse amino acid profile and flavonoids; Gas Chromatograph to measure greenhouse gases; Atomic absorption Spectrophotometer and Inductive Coupled Plasma-Optical Emission Spectrometer to assess metals and metalloids in soil, plant and water; PCR/Thermal cycler enables to copy any specific region of DNA or desired gene; RT-PCR for gene expression profiling; Biolog for identification of environmental microorganisms through metabolic fingerprints; Nano-Spectrometer for quantifying DNA, RNA and protein contents; Denaturing Gradient Gel Electrophoresis for assessing bacterial genetic diversity in the natural environment; Fluorescence Microscope and Stereo Zoom Microscope.

The Institute recently has established an advanced Genomics and Quality Laboratory; constructed new buildings for social science research, administrative building for KrishiVigyan Kendra at Santhapur and an auditorium.

The Institute regularly publishes Newsletters, Technical bulletins, Policy papers, Vision documents and Books.

This Institute on partnership mode collaborates with many ICAR institutes, Universities, deemed to be universities and Institutes abroad. It constantly endeavors to upgrade laboratory facilities, field research avenues and liaison with farmers to provide new, validated technologies for adoption and enhancing farmers’ income.

The Institute offers research and training opportunities in various disciplines of rice sciences. The programme of HRD in NRRI includes MSc/MTech/Equivalent Degree, PhD degree and training. Besides, there is an excellent opportunity for PG and PhD students to avail the fellowships from NRRI as IRRI is providing 25 scholarships to NRRI in a collaborative project mode. The regional station at Hazaribag also caters to such regional needs of guiding PhD students and summer trainings of MSc students. During last 5 years it has trained 5000 persons on rice-based technologies and agri-entrepreneurship and guided 120 MSc and 30 PhD students. Additionally, NRRI attracted rice researchers from developing countries like, Nigeria, Tanzania and Niger to undertake training as post doc or visiting fellows.

In recognition of the outstanding contributions in the field of agricultural research and extension, several awards including Sardar Patel Outstanding ICAR Institution Award (2008) and ICAR-Best Annual Report Award (2016-17) were bestowed upon the Institute.

Currently, the rice sector is encountered with a plethora of emerging challenges such as low productivity and low income; declining partial factor productivity; degraded natural resource base; threats of climate change; growing labor and energy shortage and eco-friendly management of rice straw. NRRI is progressing at an accelerated pace in respect of infra-structure development as well as innovative rice research to address these challenges keeping in view the farmers welfare. The Institute is working on to develop super-yielding (more than 10 t ha-1) varieties, C4 rice and agro-technologies for higher productivity, profitability, climate resilience and sustainability of rice farming.

In the age of internet technology, information sharing and transparency is an absolute necessity. Keeping this in mind this institute developed a new website, which is an informative window for the farmers, students, academicians, researchers, policy makers and collaborators.

I am extremely grateful to the Heads of the Divisions, Website Committee Members, In-charge ARIS, contributors and other staff for their involvement and help in developing this new website.

I hope the website will serve the purpose and every one will enjoy reading the updated and improved contents. We look forward to the feedbacks, so we can continuously improve this along the way.

With warm regards.

ICAR-NRRI, Cuttack