Rice: From Evolution to Revolution - (E)

The Indian agricultural sector is responsible for feeding over 130 crore citizens each year, but our country's production in most agricultural produce exceeds this target and over the years, India has become one of the largest exporters of food grain, vegetables, and fruits across the globe. One of the most important life-sustaining staples, as well as a daily favorite food item of not only India but for the entire world, is Rice and of the 500 million tons of rice produced globally - a 120 million-tonne or 24% is grown in India alone and while India is the 2 largest producer and consumer of Rice, we have the distinction of being the largest exporter of Rice in the world. And this has become possible due to the continuous endeavor of some of India's premier agricultural, scientific, and research institutions like the Indian Agricultural Research Institute or IARI which have been working to continuously develop new high-yielding varieties of rice which can grow in varied climatic and soil conditions. In this episode of Science for a self-reliant India we visit the campus of IARI-this research institution of excellence has played a pivotal role in helping India achieve food and nutritional security in fact IARI was at the heart of India's green revolution in the 60's-since then IARI has continued the legacy of developing several mega varieties of rice and other crops that produce handsome yields, provide higher income for farmers and add to India's export earnings. So in this episode, we take a close look at some of the new varieties of rice and how they are painstakingly developed by our Agricultural scientists for example among them are Basmati mega rice varieties like Pusa 1121 which has earned the distinction of the world longest cooked rice grain and others like the high yielding Pusa Basmati 1509 and 1718 which are now cultivated in nearly 1.8 million hectares- in fact, the importance of IARI can be gauged by our export figures - premium basmati rice grains earn the country about Rs 25000 crores annually while other IARI bred varieties contribute some 55 million tons of grain valued at about 80,000 crores -this and much more in our episode of Science for a Self Reliant India only on India science.

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