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Pawar calls for task force to promote hybrid rice

Kolkata, July 10 (IANS) Agriculture Minister Sharad Pawar Saturday called for a national task force to promote hybrid rice.

‘The proposed task force would finalise the strategies for hybrid rice promotion, with special emphasis on PPP (public-private partnership) mode of seed production, procurement and marketing in consultation with the states and other stakeholders,’ Pawar said at a press conference here after a two-day consultative meet on agriculture in the eastern region.

He said more research would be required to evolve better varieties of hybrid rice. ‘I believe we can learn from the Chinese experience and promote hybrid rice in a mission mode in the region,’ he said.

Citing the Chinese success story of producing hybrid rice, he said the country produces 6.6 tonnes of rice per hectare whereas in India, the productivity is 3.3 tonnes per hectare.

‘To make agricultural growth effective, we have to emphasise on hybrid seeds and see that they are available at reasonable rates,’ Pawar said.

A team led by Minister of State for Agriculture K.V. Thomas has already visited China to collect information on hybrid rice.

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