GUWAHATI, Aug 24 - �Our farmers must get support and motivation to adopt latest technologies to increase agricultural production. We need to change the attitude of the farmers by giving them access to modern innovations in paddy cultivation to capture the world market,� said Chief Minister Sarbananda Sonowal today in a discussion held with Matthew Morell, Director General of International Rice Research Institute (IRRI), Manila, when the latter called on him at his office at the Janata Bhawan here.
Morell spoke about the stress-tolerant rice varieties like Swarna and Ranjit, which were developed with technologies of IRRI. These two rice varieties are very suitable for the natural conditions of Assam.
Sonowal urged Morell to extend all help in popularising these varieties among the farmers in the flood-prone areas of the State. The farmers in such areas would be hugely benefited by these rice varieties which can stay underwater for as long as 15 days, he added.
The Director General also apprised the Chief Minister of the plans of setting up a Regional Centre of IRRI in Guwahati, and Sonowal called for expediting the process. The opening of the Regional Centre would inspire confidence among the State farmers as they would get exposure to latest innovations in rice cultivation, and the youths of the State can also be motivated to take up farming in a big way, he said.
The Chief Minister was apprised that a Rice Knowledge Bank would also be set up in the State, which would translate all data related to rice farming in the Assamese for the help of the State�s farmers.
Sonowal requested the IRRI Director General to help increase the production of Assam�s famous Joha rice and market it properly globally.
He also sought the IRRI�s support in popularising the indigenous varieties of sticky rice like Bora chaul, and other varieties in the international market so that Assam�s farmers can get a good price for their produce.