Participatory rice variety evaluation programme conducted in Lakhimpur
A two day participatory rice variety evaluation programme was organized by Regional Agricultural Research Station (RARS)
LAKHIMPUR: A two day participatory rice variety evaluation programme was organized by Regional Agricultural Research Station (RARS), North Lakhimpur under Assam Agribusiness and Rural Transformation Project (APART) at the Crop Cafeteria of the Institution on Friday and Saturday. The programme on Friday started with a welcome address by RARS Chief Scientist Dr. Prabal Saikia. Project Scientist Dr. Dhiren Chowdhury discussed main objectives of the programme which was followed by a brief discussion on the selection and evaluation of rice varieties by International Rice Research Specialist Dr. R. Priyadarshi. Principal Scientist, Dr. T. C. Mahanta, Junior Scientist, Dr. Y. Das, Dr. N.K. Gogoi, Bibha Ozah, APART Project Scientist (AAU) Jutika Das, Abhilisha Mudoi, APART Project Associate Porismita Dutta and Research Technician Champak Saikia also took part in the programme.
Notably, Crop Cafeteria is a replicated trial of different (traditional, prevalent or newly introduced) rice varieties at a particular place to enable the stakeholders, farmers to select a suited rice variety of their preference in a particular region or agro-climatic zone. In the cafeteria, the rice varieties are raised in such a manner that all the varieties have synchronous flowering or matured at the same time. The synchronous maturity is achieved by staggered nursery sowing. Each variety was raised in multiple replications and put to uniform agronomic practices. 24 variety including Semi Deep Water Rice (SDWR), Deep Water Rice (DWR), Stress Tolerant Rice Variety (STRV), Local Popular Variety (LPV) and Premium Quality Rice (PQR) varieties with three replications of each variety making it to a total of 72 plots were established in the cafeteria field. The main focus of the programme was on-spot varietal evaluation by different stakeholders such as private seed growers, extension functionaries, farmers, farmer producer companies, rice millers, scientists, DoA-ATMA and other government officials. These varietal selections by the stakeholders were based on important yield parameters such as grain type, quality and other crop characteristics and it also focused on creating awareness about different STRVs and PQR varieties among different stakeholders for its faster adoption.
The programme included an evaluation of varieties by the farmers present. A total of 25 farmers from different locations were present in the programme. They were given four different colour tags for positive and negative voting to the male and female participants. The farmers voted based on the phenotypic characters which resulted in variety Panchanan amongst SDWRs, Bahadur Sub-1 amongst STRVs, CR Dhan 909 amongst PQRs and Numoli amongst High yielding Variety as the best varieties. The overall votes for CR Dhan 909 were recorded highest which is a semi dwarf variety with strong aroma, good cooking quality, no lodging problem and suitable for rice flakes and confectionery products. The variety is moderately resistant to major diseases and pest having a duration of 140-145 days with 4.5-5.5t/ha. All these characteristics led CR Dhan 909 to get the highest number of votes. The programme was appreciated by everyone present and was concluded by a vote of thanks by Porismita Dutta. The second day programme on Saturday continued with several scientists, extension functionaries participating in critical evaluation of the rice varieties.