Shillong: Meghalaya Government is tying up with the International Rice Research Institute (IRRI), Phillippines, for improving the productivity of rice and up-scaling the income of the rice-farmers in the state.

"We are finalising our decision for a partnership with the IRRI for partnering in adoption of scientific and latest method for increased productivity of rice which will also see an improvement in the income of the rice growers," Chief Minister Mukul Sangma said on Thursday, after his three day visit to the Philippines.

Sangma led a high level delegation from the state to the IRRI centre to finalise the tie-up on December 19.

IRRI Director General William Padolina briefed the delegation on the prospect of introducing new modern methods in increasing rice productivity in this north eastern state.

"Meghalaya and IRRI will conduct mapping of rice growing areas in the state with the objective of increasing rice productivity by four times, ideally under organic conditions," he said.

Further, he said, "the partnership will also see mapping of water resources in Meghalaya for promoting irrigation facilities both for highland and low land paddy cultivation which will help in identifying the appropriate variety for cultivation in the high land areas and a variety developed to withstand the effect of submergence in the low land flood areas."

The delegation also discussed a tie-up with IRRI to develop experts where officers of the state will be identified to deal with the subject.

(Agencies)