Varanasi (UP), Dec 29 (PTI) Prime Minister Narendra Modi Saturday dedicated the International Rice Research Institute’s South Asia Regional Centre (ISARC) campus to the nation in Varanasi.Also Read - PM Modi Invited to US 'Summit for Democracy', Likely to Participate: Sources

The centre will serve as a hub for rice research and training in South Asia. Also Read - World's Oldest Person, Francisca 'Lola' Susano, Dies at 124 in The Philippines

Later addressing a gathering, Modi said the institute will help farmers of the region to develop varieties of paddy which grow in minimum water and have low sugar content and high nutritional value. Also Read - India, Oman, Pakistan, And Japan Added to Philippines ‘Green List’ - Details Here

The centre is expected to play a major role in harnessing and sustaining rice production in the region, he said.

India’s association with the IRRI dates back to the 1960s, and Modi was the first Indian PM to visit IRRI headquarters in Manila, Philippines in November 2017, during which he discussed agricultural innovations and research advances in the rice sector.

During his brief visit to his Lok Sabha constituency, the prime minister inaugurated 15 projects worth more than Rs 180 crore.

On the day, Modi also went to Bada Lalpur area of the city to attend the ‘One District, One Product’ Regional Summit at Deendayal Hastakala Sankul where he interacted with weavers and artisans.

One District One Product scheme is aimed at enhancing the skills of local people and increasing the reach of the indigenous trades, crafts and products from small towns and districts in the state.

These include handicrafts, food processing, engineering goods, carpets, ready-made clothes, leather goods, etc., which not only earn foreign exchange but also provide employment to the people, the prime minister said.

The prime minister laid the foundation stone for 14 new development projects worth around Rs 98 crore.

This is published unedited from the PTI feed.