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Letter of Invitation (SRI National Symposium 2007)

11th July 2007

Dear Mr. / Mrs. / Dr.

Indeed it is my pleasure to extend an invitation, on behalf of the Government of Tripura and the Organisers, for the 2nd National Symposium on “System of Rice Intensification (SRI) in India – Progress and Prospects” to be held at Agartala from 3rd - 5th October, 2007. The symposium is being organized by the Government of Tripura, the Directorate of Rice Research (DRR), Hyderabad, Central Rice Research Institute (CRRI), Cuttack, Directorate of Rice Development (DRD), Patna, Acharya NG Ranga Agricultural University (ANGRAU), Hyderabad, National Bank for Agriculture and Rural Development (NABARD), Mumbai and World Wide Fund for Nature (WWF) – ICRISAT Project, Hyderabad. Enclosed brochure provides more information.

1. Of late, SRI method is attracting attention of Rice Farmers, Researches and Policy makers alike as it helps us in reducing the water consumption, seed, fertilizers etc., and at the same time enhances the Rice productivity in the range of 30-50% vis-à-vis traditional method of cultivation. Presently SRI is adopted in almost 17 states in the country and the remaining states are also evincing interest.

2. Incidentally the Govt. of India recently constituted a National Food Security Mission to focus on enhancing Rice productivity in 20 million ha of area by 2011- 12, thereby, increasing Rice production in the country by 11 million tons more. But growing water scarcity as well as stagnation in the Rice yields compelling us to scout for alternate strategy, which could lead to more Rice productivity with less input.

3. In the above back drop the forthcoming national symposium is not only timely but also aims at providing a platform for sharing the knowledge, experience in adoption of SRI including extension methodologies, farmer /scientist/ innovations, lessons, policy implications and related issues amongst the stakeholders.

4. I would, therefore, request you to take out some time for participating in the above symposium to enable yourselves to interact with SRI researchers, promoters, practicing farmers, policy makers & critics in the interest of promoting better water use efficiency methods in irrigated and rainfed agriculture. This could also address directly or indirectly the mitigation of poverty, increases food and nutritional security including environmental conservation in the Country.

We look forward to seeing you at Agartala in ‘SRI Symposium-2007’.

Dr. Biksham Gujja
Policy Adviser
WWF-International (WWF)
Gland, Switzerland
Special Project Scientist
ICRISAT, Patancheru - 502 324
Andhra Pradesh, INDIA Tel: +91 40 3071 3764
Fax: +91 40 3071 3074/3075