Rice Knowledge Bank- Assam launched under World-bank funded APART

GUWAHATI : ‘Rice Knowledge Bank – Assam’, an agriculture web portal dedicated to enhancing knowledge on rice production techniques and technologies, best production practices and state agriculture facts, was launched in here on Thursday.

The portal has been constructed as part of the World Bank funded project- Assam Agri-business and Rural Transformation (APART). The informative portal is the result of efforts of Assam Rural Infrastructure and Agricultural Services Society (ARIAS, Autonomous body of Govt of Assam); Assam Agricultural University (AAU); with technical assistance from International Rice Research Institute (IRRI).

This website is a digital extension service providing practical knowledge solutions, especially for small-scale farmers in Assam.

Officially launching the rice knowledge portal (www.rkbassam.in) Dr. K.M. Buzarbarua, Vice Chancellor, AAU congratulated the APART team and other partners IRRI and ARIAS, while highlighting the need to convert this essential knowledge to different local languages for encouraging large scale adoption.

Inaugurating  a manual also at the same event -“Steps for successful rice production”, Dr.Rajesh Prasad, Principal Secretary and Agriculture Production Commissioner, Government of Assam, said extension intermediaries will play a key role to ensure this knowledge on rice production techniques and technologies, and best production practices reaches small and marginal farmers.

Dr. Nafees Meah, Regional Representative for IRRI- South Asia highlighted IRRI’s role in promoting agricultural technologies for advancing rice and rice-based agri food systems. He described IRRI’s role as  being pivotal for generating market linkages.

The Assam Rice Knowledge Bank (RKB-Assam) showcases rice production techniques, agricultural technologies and best farming practices based on the pool of knowledge from research findings, learning and media resources from AAU and IRRI. It serves to address the challenges for agricultural development by supporting fast and effective transfer of technologies and knowledge from the research laboratory to farmer’s fields. With IRRI’s and AAU’s combined expertise, RKB-Assam is set to be a single point access for information and learning on rice production, with a step-by-step guide for all production stages (pre-planting to post production management); information on rice varieties; decision tools, and agronomy guides.

“In the North East Regions (NER) of India, rice occupies nearly 85% of cropped area, and thus reliance on rice crop for boosting welfare in Assam is high. IRRI is glad the collaborative efforts of partners in the APART project, by way of the Rice Knowledge Bank- Assam portal will provide updated knowledge on production techniques, technologies and agronomy guides, and empower farmers with better decision-making, so yield gaps are reduced, leading to increase in farmer incomes and improved sustainability”, said Dr. Nafees Meah, Regional Representative for IRRI-South Asia.

More than 500,000 farming households are set to benefit from APART project, particularly youth and women-led enterprises. It is expected to supplement the state government’s initiatives, particularly the Chief Minister’s program Samagra Gramya Unnayan Yojna (CMSGUY), aimed at doubling farmers’ income in Assam by 2022

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