Guwahati, Mar 18: The Manila-based International Rice Research Institute (IRRI) has agreed to provide technological support to Assam farmers for popularising water-resistant paddy varieties.
A delegation from IRRI recently visited the state’s flood-prone crop land and observed that Assam could easily become a rice-surplus state by reducing flood-induced crop damage and also contribute significantly to the nation’s food security, an official release said here today.
IRRI’s Director General, Robert Zeigler and other members of the delegation had a discussion with the state’s Agriculture Minister Nilamani Sen Deka and emphasised on local trials in agro-climatic zones for introducing and ensuring variety adaptability.
Zeigler stressed the need for “phase-wise strategic improvement of capacity building” so that stakeholders, especially the farming community, could have their own decision making power.
The IRRI developed Swarna SUB-1 variety of paddy has already been cultivated after the state procured two tonnes of seeds.
Submergence-tolerant paddy varieties assume importance here in view of the recurring damages caused to crops by floods.
Of the state’s net crop area of 28.11 lakh hectares, 4.93 lakh hectares happen to be chronically flood-prone.
Rice production in the state, spread over an area of 24.88 lakh hectares, during 2012-13 stood at 52.33 MT.
Courtesy : http://www.thehindubusinessline.com/news/states/irri-to-provide-technolo...
The Philippines-based International Rice Research Institute (IRRI) is developing a new variety of rice, "3-in-1"climate tolerant rice, which can tolerate flooding, a prolonged dry season, and saltiness near coastal areas, according to local sources.
According to the IRRI, the new variety will be a climate-resilient variety and help mitigate climate change and sustain agricultural productivity in rice-producing countries. The IRRI first developed the “2-in-1” variety, which could tolerate flooding and drought situations.
Flood resistant variety "IR 64 Sub1" was derived from an Indian rice variety. Scientists isolated the SUB 1A gene and identified the genetic code that controls submergence tolerance. The SUB 1A gene activates when the plant is submerged, making it dormant and conserving energy until the floodwater recedes. The "IR 64 Sub1" can tolerate flooding for 14 days and still can produce an average yield of 6.4 tons per hectare.
The drought-tolerant variety "Sahod ulan" was derived from the Indian variety "Sahbhagi Dhan" and the Nepal variety "Sookha Dhan". The IRRI scientists identified quantitative trait loci (QTLs) genes which give the drought-tolerance and improve yield. These are activated in popular varieties like IR64 to produce better yields even in drought conditions.
Now the IRRI is in its last stage of developing the "3-in-1" variety. It is developing seeds that have genes that can sustain climatic changes and yet provide good yields. IRRI's Deputy Director General says IRRI is working closely with the Philippines Department of Agriculture and the Philippine Rice Research Institute (Philrice) to help the government attain its rice self-sufficiency target. The IRRI promises technology support to the Philippines to accelerate high-yielding varieties, he adds.
Courtesy : http://oryza.com/news/research-development/irri-developing-%E2%80%983-1%...
NEW DELHI: Scientists have discovered a wonder gene that could dramatically increase yields of rice, the International Rice Research Institute (IRRI) said Tuesday. Rice is the world's most widely consumed staples with global production in 2012-13 estimated at a record 490 million tonnes.
"Our work showed that SPIKE is indeed one of the major genes responsible for the yield increase that breeders have spent so many years searching for," IRRI genetic transformation laboratory chief Inez Slamet-Loedin said in a statement.
IRRI spokeswoman Gladys Ebron said the transfer did not involve genetical modification of the crop, a controversial issue in food production. "It's just conventional breeding," she added.
Preliminary tests show that yields can rise by 13-36 percent when infused with the so-called SPIKE gene, the Philippines-based institute said. Although the gene was first discovered in the 'japonica' variety of rice, tests are underway to introduce it in the modern long-grain "indica" rice varieties, the world's most widely grown types of rice.
Tropical japonica rice is mainly grown in East Asia and accounts for just 10 percent of global rice production. The rest is 'indica' variety. India, the world's second largest producer of rice after China mostly cultivates the indica variety.
"We discovered the gene, SPIKE, in an Indonesian tropical japonica rice variety," announced rice breeder Dr. Nobuya Kobayashi of the National Agriculture and Food Research Organization-Institute of Crop Science in Japan. Dr. Kobayashi is a former IRRI scientist seconded from the Japan International Research Center for Agricultural Sciences (JIRCAS).
Testing of new rice varieties infused with the gene is under way across several developing countries in Asia, said rice breeder Tsutomu Ishimaru, head of the IRRI-led SPIKE breeding programme.
"We believe that these will contribute to food security in these areas once the new varieties are released," Ishimaru said.
There is no definite timetable for when the rice containing the SPIKE gene will be distributed to farmers, according Ebron.
To keep rice prices stable and affordable at about $300 a tonne, the institute estimates production needs to increase by 8-10 million tonnes every year. Asia accounts for about 90 percent of global rice production, it added.
Courtesy : http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/home/science/Wonder-rice-gene-discove...
Burundi has turned its rice research capacity up a notch to improve food security in Eastern and Southern Africa by establishing a regional rice research and development hub with the International Rice Research Institute (IRRI).
IRRI's Eastern and Southern Africa Regional Office, opened on 30 October 2013.
In his speech at the official opening of the new Robert S. Zeigler building that will house IRRI’s Eastern and Southern Africa Regional Office, First Vice-President of Burundi His Excellency Bernard Busokoza stated that the government strongly supports further collaboration between IRRI and Burundi to improve the region’s rice production and support the fight against food insecurity.
First Vice-President Busokoza said that the Government of Burundi and IRRI share the same vision: to provide sustainable methods of growing rice to improve the well-being of rice producers and consumers, to reduce poverty and preserve the environment.
The new regional office will focus on developing and testing new rice varieties matched to the different rice production ecologies across Eastern and Southern Africa. To support IRRI’s activities, First Vice-President Busokoza also announced that the government has granted IRRI use of a 10 hectare plot of land at Gihanga for its rice research.
Key government, IRRI, and AfricaRice officials attended the inauguration of the regional office that was held on 30 October 2013, as part of the IRRI Board of Trustees meeting in Bujumbura, Burundi.
The new building was named after IRRI’s current director general, Dr. Robert S. Zeigler.
“This is truly an honor for me,” said Dr. Zeigler, during the unveiling of the building plaque.
Zeigler was recognized for his many years of work in development agriculture as a scientist and research leader in Africa, Latin America, Asia and the United States. He also served as a technical adviser in the maize program at Burundi’s Institute of Agronomic Sciences in the 1980s and was instrumental in the arranging the first IRRI-Burundi Memorandum of Understanding that was signed in 2008.
“I’m very optimistic that this new regional hub will substantially contribute to the development of the rice sector in Eastern and Southern Africa, and build our collaboration with our partners in Burundi and the greater region,” Zeigler added.
Interim director general of AfricaRice Dr. Adama Traoré also attended and highlighted the importance of Asia-Africa knowledge exchange that has been made possible by the CGIAR Research Program on Rice, known as the Global Rice Science Partnership.
DG with BOT chair First VP Minister of Agriculture and Livestock
The Philippines-based International Rice Research Institute (IRRI) will conduct a live online debate on Genetically Modified rice (Golden Rice) on November 5, 2013.
The “Let’s talk GM rice” program will be a part of the 7th International Rice Genetics Symposium (RG7) which will be held in Manila during 5 - 8 November, 2013. “Everyone is welcome to please join the live stream of "Let's talk GM rice" that will commence at 12 noon (Manila time, +8GMT). Questions from online participants will be encouraged via #ricegenetics7 and to @RiceResearch on twitter,” IRRI says.
Leading experts in rice genetics are expected to meet at the RG7 symposium which aims to discuss the importance of rice genetics and how it can help develop stress-tolerant rice and improve food security in the world. “Rice is an incredibly special crop providing more than half of the planet with food every day,” said Dr. Eero Nissilä, head of IRRI’s Plant Breeding, Genetics, and Biotechnology Division and convenor of RG7.
Courtesy : http://oryza.com/news/rice-news/irri-conduct-live-online-discussion-gm-r...
The International Rice Research Institute (IRRI) will hold the 11th conference of the International Society for Plant Anaerobiosis (ISPA) on 6–11 October 2013 in Los Baños, Philippines to help improve research on flood-tolerant rice varieties.
According to IRRI, over 100 scientists from across the world are expected to share their work about how plants survive without oxygen during floods at the ISPA conference next week. IRRI scientist says that it is known that the SUB1 gene helps rice plants detects low availability of oxygen during floods and helps the plants adapt suitably.
Floods affect rice production in almost all rice growing countries because rice cultivation requires more water than other crops and is mostly planted during the rainy season. Moreover, rice cultivation is popular in the Delta regions of rice growing countries due to the presence of fertile soil and abundant water, but such regions are also prone to regular floods.
IRRI says that the discovery of the SUB1 gene has helped introduce rice cultivation in vast rice-growing regions in India, Bangladesh, and other countries which are submerged during rainy season. Over 1.7 million hectares of flood-prone land in India is now planted with submergence-tolerant rice due to the development of flood-tolerant rice varieties and more research could help reduce losses and increase global rice production significantly.
The ISPA conference is open to all, including scientists, university professors, students, and postgraduate fellows.
Courtesy : http://oryza.com/news/rice-news/irri-holds-international-conference-floo...
Courtesy : Sakshi News Paper, Date: 20.9.2013,West Godavari District
Courtesy: Sakshi News Paper,Date 19.9.2013, West Godavari District.
Courtesy : Eenadu News Paper, September 19th 2013,West Godavari District
The Myanmar government and the International Rice Research Institute (IRRI) have signed a new memorandum of understanding this week to help implement the 'Myanmar Rice Sector Development Strategy and Program' which aims to boost rice production and improve other aspects of the rice sector in Myanmar.
Myanmar was the top rice exporter in the 1960’s and is trying to become a prominent rice exporter once again to strengthen its economy. According to Myanmar officials, Myanmar’s Irrawaddy Delta is larger than Vietnam’s Mekong Delta and has the potential to boost Myanmar’s rice production and exports significantly.
In a conference held by Myanmar’s Ministry of Agriculture and Irrigation (MoAI) and IRRI this week, the MoAI minister said Myanmar requires rice varieties that can tolerate salinity, floods, drought, and low temperatures. There is also a need to increase the use of quality seeds, expand the use of modern agricultural techniques, reduce postharvest losses, establish access to local and international markets, and increase the capabilities of its rice scientists, the minister added.
Collaboration between IRRI and Myanmar dates back to 1976. Since then, joint efforts have resulted in the development of 77 high-yielding rice varieties, including many that are currently grown by farmers for the domestic market and some that are grown for export, according to IRRI.
Courtesy : http://oryza.com/content/irri-help-myanmar-boost-rice-production-exports
The International Rice Research Institute (IRRI) is inviting computer programmers and hardware engineers to participate in Bigas2 Hack 2013, which will be held at IRRI headquarters in Los Banos, Laguna, Philippines from August 31, 2013 to September 1, 2013. The hackathon aims to help develop innovative computer applications and devices for rice farmers and rice research.
Computer programmers, software or hardware developers, interface designers, and others in the IT industry can participate in Bigas2 Hack in teams comprising 2 to 4 people. Interested individuals can join existing teams as well.
Developers will have the opportunity to learn new programming techniques, network with other geeks,, and also take home prizes, which include smartphones, gift certificates and outsourcing membership subscription for the winning teams. All participants will also have access to cloud-based operating systems to develop their apps and other freebies.
Last year, a team from the Philippines won the Most Innovative award for the development of Envilog, a portable device that can take actual readings of temperature, humidity, rainfall, wind direction, and barometric pressure in the rice field. IRRI chief information officer says, “Aspiring IT professionals who want to help keep our food safe, affordable, and produced in an environmentally sound way in a world with a changing climate need to put Bigas2 Hack on their calendars.”
Courtesy : http://oryza.com/content/irri-invites-computer-geeks-develop-programs-de...
Rice varieties that can adapt to climate changes are being studied and bred at the International Rice Research Institute in Los Banos, Laguna.
IRRI is crossbreeding tolerant varieties such as the Salinas that can grow on saline seawater; the Sahod Ulan, a type suitable for rain-fed farms; and the flood-resistant variety Submarino.
A type of flood-tolerant rice variety that can withstand flood before flowering. Kim Luces
Crossbreeding of Salinas and Submarino is underway, said Dr. Glenn Gregorio, senior scientist and rice breeder at the IRRI, adding that the result of the combination is a variety that is both capable of withstanding saline water and rain water.
A variant that is both drought and flood tolerant has also been recently developed, he added.
“We call it dual tolerance. Pinagko-combine na namin yun kasi yung mga farmer, sinasabi nila, nagkakaroon sila ng drought tapos after that, babahain naman sila,” he said.
Ways to develop rice varieties of triple tolerance – saline, submergence, and drought – are being tested in IRRI’s laboratories.
Another is a variant nicknamed spice rice, for its ability to withstand heat, salty water, and a very dry weather.
The changing weather patterns brought about by climate change cause a variety of unfortunate scenarios that all lead to low yield. Thus, a rice variety that is tolerant to only one kind of scenario is not enough.
Not genetically manipulated
These rice varieties are products of crossbreeding, [not by genetic manipulation], said Gregorio. “Parang pinag-aasawa namin yung [mga magkaibang variety ng] palay.”
There are rice varieties that are naturally flood-resistant, saline water-tolerant, and drought-resistant. But naturally, these varieties produce low yield.
Scientists crossbreed these varieties to high-yielding rice varieties.
With the new technology being used for crossbreeding, scientists can produce a new varieties in three to four years.
What takes longer is the field testing that takes about four to five years. This is to make sure the new crops are both high yielding and are safe for consumers and farmers, Gregorio said.
Salt-and submergence-tolerant rice is in its second year of field testing in the Philippines, India, Bangladesh, Vietnam, and Thailand, among other countries.
Submergence-and drought-tolerant rice has only recently been developed and will be field-tested soon. “[Nasa IRRI] pa lang. Ngayon, ilalabas na,” Gregorio said.
“Ang 3-in-1 [tolerant varieties] hinihilot pa,” he said. “Wala pa sa field. Nasa laboratory pa siya. Inaayos pa namin.”
Meanwhile, seeds of Salinas, Sahod Ulan, Submarino and other singly-tolerant varieties are available in PhilRice, IRRI, the Department of Agriculture, the Bureau of Plant Industry, and several local government units, either for sale or for free distribution.
IRRI gives one to two kilos of hybrid seed varieties to farmers who would like to try planting them.
IRRI’s Rice Germplasm Bank that stores more than 100,000 varieties of rice can give around five to 10 grams of traditional varieties such as Milagrosa, and Azucena to farmers as well.
New Delhi: Rice exports from India, the world’s second-largest grower, are poised to slump from a record as supplies from Vietnam, Myanmar and Pakistan widen a global glut, according to the International Rice Research Institute (IRRI).
“Shipments including the aromatic basmati variety may decline 32% to 7 million tons this year from 10.25 million tonne in 2012,” said Samarendu Mohanty, a senior economist with the Philippines-based organization.
This compares with 9 million tonne estimated by the Foreign Agricultural Service of the U.S. Department of Agriculture.
Corn and wheat prices have fallen in Chicago this year, while rice is little changed as farmers in the U.S. increase production after the worst drought since the 1930s wilted crops last year.
Goldman Sachs Group Inc. is bearish on agriculture this year because of prospects for higher output in the Americas and rising reserves, the bank said in a report May 14.
“There’s a lot of surplus globally and this is a buyer’s market at present and this will continue until the end of this year,” Mohanty said in a phone interview.
Thailand will be selling aggressively at low prices to reduce its stockpile and capture some of India’s markets of cheap quality rice in Africa and the Middle East.
Production of rice, the staple for half the world, will climb 2.1% to 497.7 million tons in 2013, while world inventories are forecast at 171.8 million tons as supply beats consumption, says the United Nations’ Food & Agriculture Organization.
Thailand may ship 8.5 million tons to 9 million tons, while Vietnam is set to sell 7 million tons this year, Mohanty said. Thailand exported 6.95 million tons and Vietnam sold 7.72 million tons in 2012, according to the Foreign Agricultural Service.
Any decline in shipments from India will be met by supplies from Vietnam, Pakistan, Myanmar and Cambodia and is unlikely to boost global prices, said Concepcion Calpe, the secretary of the FAO’s inter-governmental rice group.
The Thai government will have to sell the rice it owns at a loss, which may bring world prices down, she said in an e- mail on Wednesday. Only if there is a major production shortfall somewhere in the world, could this be avoided.
Stockpiles in Thailand jumped after Prime Minister Yingluck Shinawatra’s government started buying grain from farmers in 2011, fulfilling an election pledge to boost rural incomes. Milled rice reserves in Thailand may jump 29% to 16.3 million tons in 2013, according to the Rome-based FAO.
The free-on-board price of 25 percent broken rice in Vietnam, an Asian benchmark, has fallen to $361 a ton in April from $373 in January, while the rate in India climbed to $418 from $398, according to FAO. Exporters in Pakistan offered rice at $378 in April, FAO data show.
Rough-rice futures on the Chicago Board of Trade traded 0.3% lower at $15.180 per 100 pounds at 12:05 p.m. in Mumbai on Thursday.
Rice prices in India rose after the government increased the minimum price at which state agencies buy the grain from farmers, Mohanty said.
The Commission for Agricultural Costs and Prices, which advises the government, recommended that prices of common paddy be raised to a record Rs 1,310 per 100 kilograms (220 pounds) for the 2013-2014 season.
“Rice offered by Vietnam and Myanmar is very much cheaper than India,” said Prem Garg, managing director of Shri Lal Mahal Ltd, a New Delhi-based exporter.” Our prices are higher due to the minimum support price assured by the government to the farmers.”
Courtesy : http://www.livemint.com/Politics/36ESrlf5LL7Uyk6uQ9S2XM/India-rice-sales...
Fertilisers and Crop Protection products manufacturer Coromandel International Limited has signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with International Rice Research Institute (IRRI) for cooperation in promoting and disseminating improved rice research technology in the country.
The technology would help improve all aspects of rice cultivation, including seed quality, nutrient and crop management, farm machinery, water management and post-harvest processing. IRRI, an independent and not-for-profit international organisation, was working with rice producing countries across Asia helping them in reducing poverty and improving livelihoods of farmers and consumers.
The partnership with IRRI would help Coromandel in bringing in the state of the art rice production technology and best practices to rice farmers through its extensive network. The MoU, Coromandel said in a release, was in line with the company’s mission to enhance prosperity of farmers through quality solutions and sustainable values for all stakeholders.
“The partnership will facilitate introduction of world-class rice production technology for improving yield and quality”, Coromandel MD Kapil Mehan said.
Courtesy : http://www.thehindu.com/todays-paper/tp-national/coromandel-irri-in-pact...
The development of super salt-tolerant rice will help reclaim millions of hectares of coastal and salt-affected land across the world, thereby boosting global rice production significantly in future, according to the Philippines-based International Rice Research Institute (IRRI).
Salinity affects a very large part of rice area across the world and is a worsening problem due to rising sea-levels caused by climate change. According to Stress-Tolerant Rice in Africa and South Asia (STRASA), total rice land affected by salinity and other problems in Asia is estimated at around 20 million hectares. Moreover, agricultural land use in salinity affected lands is poor, which is one of the reasons associated with poverty and food insecurity in such areas across the world.
The breakthrough in super salt-tolerant rice research by IRRI scientist Dr. Kshirod Jena will help address these issues and also increase global rice production by tens of millions of tons. The research is based on the superior salt-tolerant property of Oryza coarctata, a wild rice species found in Bangladesh, but also a species that is very difficult to cross with cultivated species Oryza sativa.
After years of research, Dr. Jena said last week that a single baby plant had survived from 34,000 crosses. The baby plant will now be backcrossed to produce cultivated rice in a few years, added Dr. Jena. The new rice will be like normal rice but with the salt tolerance of the wild rice species, which is almost double that of other rice. Moreover, the new rice variety won’t contain high salt levels. Dr. Jena told Oryza, "When our breeding work is finished, the super salt-tolerant rice will not taste any different to other rice. What's special about this new rice is that it can expel salt it takes from the soil into the air through salt glands it has on its leaves - the salt does not accumulate in the grain - so the grain won't have higher levels of salt."
The research is good news for both farmers and people living along the coastlines across the world. IRRI says, “Because of its [new rice variety’s] exceptional tolerance to salinity, it could mean farmers will be able to reclaim much salt-affected land ensuring they can produce rice, so that they have more to eat and sell - hopefully reducing rural poverty among rice farmers and consumers.” The new rice variety is expected to be suitable for a range of salt-affected land in countries across Asia and Africa, said IRRI.
Courtesy : http://oryza.com/content/super-salt-tolerant-rice-will-help-reclaim-mill...
A SINGLE rice plant born of two very different kinds of rice is spawning a new generation of the staple that has double the salinity tolerance of other rice types, the International Rice Research Institute (IRRI) announced on Tuesday.
“This [rice plant] will make saline-stricken rice farms in coastal areas usable to farmers,” lead scientist Dr. Kshirod Jena of IRRI said in a statement dated on Monday.
“These farmlands are usually abandoned by coastal farmers because the encroaching seawater has rendered the soil useless. That means livelihood lost for these communities,” he added.
According to the scientist, the new rice variety, unlike regular ones, can expel the salt it takes from the soil into the air through the salt glands it has on its leaves.
The new rice was bred by successfully crossing (mating) the exotic wild rice species Oryza coarctata with rice variety IR56 of the cultivated rice species O. sativa.
IRRI said what is extra special about the breakthrough is that O. coarctata is extremely difficult to cross with cultivated rice varieties. The location of O. coarctata in the rice genome sequence is at the other end of the spectrum from that of rice varieties such as IR56.
“When we cross two types of rice with genomes so far off from each other in the genome sequence, the resulting embryo tends to abort itself,” Jena said. “We’ve been trying to backcross these types of interspecific hybrids since the mid-1990s, but we have never been successful, until now.”
The reason scientists did not give up on crossing the two types of rice was because O. coarctata is a special type of rice that grows in brackish, salty water, making it highly resistant to saltiness in the soil.
According to Jena, O. coarctata can tolerate a higher salinity concentration similar to that of seawater, whereas current salinity-tolerant rice varieties can cope with only half that concentration. However, O. coarctata is unsuitable for the production of edible rice.
The first sign of good news came when, out of 34,000 crosses made, three embryos were successfully “rescued.” Of these three, only one germinated to produce a single plant.
“We treated this single plant survivor like a baby,” Jena said.
The surviving plant was then placed in a liquid nutrient solution to ensure its survival. Once the plant was strong enough, it was grown in the field, where Jena and his team used it to backcross with IR56. Backcrossing ensures that the resulting progeny will contain all traits of IR56, and take only the desired O. coarctata trait, which is its salt tolerance.
Jena’s team at IRRI is perfecting their new doubly salt-tolerant rice and will test it widely to ensure it meets all the needs of farmers and consumers. They hope to have the new variety available for farmers to grow within four to five years.
Courtesy : http://www.businessmirror.com.ph/index.php/business/agri-commodities/121...
The International Rice Research Institute (IRRI) in the Philippines is working on a project to tweak the photosynthetic system in rice plants so that they can require less water and produce more yields than the ones with conventional photosynthetic system.
Conventional photosynthesis in most plants is based on a process known as the C3 carbon-fixation mechanism. IRRI scientists say that changing it to a C4 carbon-fixation mechanism could help trigger the second Green Revolution in the world. IRRI says that “calculations show that the cost-benefit ratio of C4 rice is likely to be of the same order as the ‘dwarf-cultivars’ produced in the first Green Revolution bringing benefits to hundreds of millions of people in the poorer parts of the world. Inserting the C4 photosynthetic pathway into rice should increase rice yield by 50%, double water-use efficiency, and use less fertilizer to achieve those improvements.”
In the future, to combat effects brought on by climate change, rice varieties will have to be more nutritious, and consume less water and nitrogen. This can happen only if the efficiency of photosynthetic system is increased, which is possible by developing a C4 rice plant, says the IRRI, which has been working on the project since 2008.
Courtesy : http://irri.org/index.php?option=com_k2&view=item&id=11746:irri-tweaking...