It is a privilege for me to be appointed as the Director of this Crop institute bestowed with the responsibility of coordinating the world’s largest network on Rice research with 45 funded centres and around 100 voluntary centres, involving more than 300 rice scientists, besides the responsibility pursuing lead research related to Irrigated rice ecosystem.
Rice is the staple food for more than two thirds of Indian population contributing to 40 % to the total food grain production thereby, occupying a pivotal role in the food and livelihood security of the people. In terms of area rice crop is grown in about 43 million hectares (m ha) in the country, which is the largest acreage in the world. The last sixty years have seen a paradigm shift from subsistence agriculture to technology driven intensive farming which has taken the country from the days of food deficit to an era of self-sufficiency. In spite of the pandemic conditions prevailing since one year we could produce a record 118.87 million tonnes of rice during 2019-20 and around 120 million tonnes of rice is expected during 2020-21.