Food & Agri

Drought-resistant crop varieties need of the hour   

Thursday, Feb 2, 2017,18:32 IST By anju A A A

Thiruvananthapuram | With many parts of the country, including Kerala, under a drought spell, applied research to develop water-efficient and high-yielding crop varieties is the need of the hour, said M Radhakrishna Pillai, Director, RGCB.
“Increased carbon dioxide and fossil fuel emissions have contributed to global warming, translating into below normal levels of rivers, lakes and groundwater and droughts even in otherwise wet areas,” Pillai said while participating at the EMBO conference on plant biology in India here.
Jointly organised by the Rajiv Gandhi Centre for Biotechnology (RGCB) and the European Molecular Biology Organisation (EMBO), the conference titled ‘Micro and Metabolic Regulators in Plants’ focused on understanding and exploring how cutting-edge technology can be leveraged for larger public good.
“Molecular genetics, which is being discussed in this conference in great detail, will help us strengthen our knowledge base in this area and help prepare our country to be self-sufficient in food crops,” Pillai added.
Referring to the organic hybrid rice variety ‘Ezhome-4’ develop by scientists of Kerala Agricultural University that can withstand salinity, Pillai asked the scientists, to come up with alternatives to beat emerging and possible challenges of the future.
The Rajiv Gandhi Centre for Biotechnology is one among the top specialised R&D institutions in India.

The EMBO, backed by the European Union, leads biotechnology research in Europe.
More than 30 renowned scientists from all over the world are participating in the conference that will end on February four, a release said here.