Thursday, 12 January 2012

TNAU Celebrates Centenary year for Paddy Breeding Station

In the colonial India, when the infamous Bengal famine resulted in the heavy loss of human life, the rulers decided to initiate research on Agriculture and the first agricultural research Institute was started in PUSA, presently at Bihar. The Institute had initiated research primarily on wheat and rice.

Considering the significance of rice as the staple food of the majority of the population, the government implemented research programme exclusively to work on rice by appointing a British Government Economic Botanist, Mr. R. Parnell in 1912 at Paddy Breeding Station at Coimbatore. This officially launched the government sponsored exclusive rice research in India. This centre was later amalgamated with Tamil Nadu Agricultural University, Coimbatore.

Paddy breeding station is completing 100 years after inception in 1912 which in true sense means 100 years of rice research in India. To commemorate the centenary year in a fitting manner, TNAU is organizing  an International symposium on  “100 years of Rice Science and Looking Beyond” during January 9-12, 2012 at Tamil Nadu Agricultural University, Coimbatore, Tamil Nadu, India. 

TNAU to celebrate 100 years of paddy breeding in January

COIMBATORE: The Tamil Nadu Agriculture University (TNAU) has proposed to celebrate the 100 years of paddy breeding from January 9-12.
Vice chancellor P Murugesa Boopathi said when Bengal famine resulted in a heavy loss of human life, British rulers decided to initiate research in agriculture. Government economic botanist R Parnell was posted at Coimbatore in 1912 to carry out research on rice and thus Paddy Breeding Station came into existence as the first rice research centre of the country.
K Thiyagarajan, director, centre for plant breeding and genetics, TNAU said that the paddy breeding station is world renowned due to its valuable records on rice heritage and germplasm characterization that was maintained by Parnell, Iliffe, and the first Indian rice specialist, Padmashri K Ramiah and others.
The first official rice variety GEB 24 released in 1921 has served as the starting breeding material for all the IRRI (International Rice Research Institute, Philippines) varieties in the name of "Kitchili samba". It is noteworthy to mention that GEB 24 is one of the first fine grain rice varieties in the country.
Director also added that some landmark varieties of rice were developed through genetic purification from this station which triggered the growth of rice production in the state. Subsequently, crossing was followed among the landraces and then with semi-dwarf donors from IRRI which paved the way for the phenomenal increase in rice production in Tamil Nadu, which stood at 15.29 lakh tonnes with a productivity of 805 kg per hectare during 1920, increased steadily to the current level of 71 lakh tonnes with the productivity of 3.7 tonnes per hectare, despite the marked decrease in the total rice area. Currently, rice scientists are gearing up to meet the future challenges of doubling the rice production in Tamil Nadu.
Dr S Robin, Professor and Head, Dept. of Rice, TNAU indicated that as part of the Centenary celebrations, an International Symposium on "100 years of Rice Research and looking Beyond" will be held from January 9-12. Around 500 scientists from India and abroad will participate in the symposium. Scientists from IRRI, Philippines, Australia, Netherlands, and China have consented to participate in the symposium. A rice expo will also be held during the symposium.
Courtesy: TNAU website and Times of India 

Note: Meanwhile farmers have celebrated the centenary year 1911-2011 for SRI method of paddy cultivation in Tamil nadu on Dece 23rd 2011 at Thiruvarur organized by NABARD . ஒற்றைநெல் சாகுபடியின் 100'றாண்டு விழாவை கொண்டாடிய விவசாயிகள் (Farmers Celebrate Centenary year for SRI paddy ) 

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