Ladies and Gentlemen, Good Morning! On behalf of the organizer of today’s dialogue-Bangladesh Rice Foundation and Bangladesh Seed Association, and my behalf, it’s my pleasure to extend a cheerful welcome to you all! We are deeply honored to welcome you. Your presence, particularly presence of our Chief guest, Secretary of Agriculture,Mr.Md.Nasiruzzaman,Special Guest, Chairman Bangladesh Seed Association,Mr.Md.Anis Ud Dowla, Chairman BARC,Dr.Md.Ekramul Kabir, Chairman, BRF,Prof.A.M.Muzzam Husain, leaders of public and private sectors, distinguished presenters and learned discussants-Dr.Z.Karim, Former Secreatary,Dr.Shahjahan Kabir , DG.BRRI and Mr. Srinivasa Kumar Karavadi,MD, Byer Crop Science, makes us very happy. I’m sure that great things are going to happen here to day since there is a gathering of great minds. Rice has played a central role in human nutrition and culture for the past 10,000 years and it feeds over half of the global population. In Bangladesh Rice is considered as life. In the past half century, rice yields have undergone two major leaps because of the development and widespread adoption of semi-dwarf cultivars in 1960s and hybrid varieties in the 70’s. Hybrid rice takes advantage of the phenomenon of hybrid vigor--known as heterosis--to achieve yields 15-20% higher than nonhybrid (inbred) varieties. In 2000, super hybrid rice was developed by China. After revelation of map-based sequence of the rice genome by the IRGSP (International Rice Genome Sequencing Project), Green super rice-Temasek Rice was developed by Temasek Life Science Laboratory in Singapore in 2016.This represents new rice varieties having green traits- requiring less pesticide, fertilizer and irrigation water but also producing higher yield and grain quality. Each1kg packet sells for between $6.95 and $7.45. However, today our dialogue will focus on hybrid rice only. Longping Yuan, the father of the hybrid rice, thinks, replacing half of the rice-growing areas in the world with hybrid rice with a 2 t/ha yield advantage could feed 400-500 million more people each year and Bangladesh can also do that. Although from a chronic food deficit country, we are now almost self-sufficient in rice. Thanks to the collaborative effort of our rice scientists, extension agents, farmers, seed producers, government policy makers and support from IRRI and other international organizations. But sudden spike in food price in 2017 due to natural calamities didn’t cool down fully and this may jeopardize our goal to attain zero hunger and end poverty within next 12 years. But the good news is, we are replacing old and introducing new varieties, changing focus from Boro on Aaman and Aus crops, and adopting smart agriculture. During the Global climate summit held in San Francisco on September 2018, Climate and Clean Air Coalition (CCAC) conferred the Innovation in Behavioral Change award to the Northwest Focal Area Network (FAN) of Bangladesh for it’s effort in reducing methane emissions in rice production. Today we have invited two distinguished speakers to present two papers having the same title- “Hybrid rice-Harnessing untapped potentials” and several scientists and seed experts to be our panelist. Ladies and Gentleman, I welcome you all again to for joining this important national dialogue on Rice.