You are here:   Home/ Development News/ Science & Technology

Int'l Rice Research Institute releases 44 new rice varieties in 2013

Xinhua, February 20, 2014 Adjust font size:

Philippine-based International Rice Research Institute (IRRI) and its partners released 44 new and improved rice varieties last year to help Asian and African countries prop up their rice output despite declining resources.

IRRI said in a statement released on Thursday that rice varieties resilient to climate change were among those released last year. These include nine salt-tolerant varieties in the Philippines, three flood-tolerant varieties in South Asia, and six in sub-Saharan Africa.

The research institute said resilience to climate change is a " big thrust" of its work in improving rice varieties that will help farmers produce more rice with the same, or declining, amount of resources.

"These improved rice varieties are considered public goods. Hence, our partners are free to release these for farmers' use or for more breeding work to suit local needs in their countries," said Eero Nissila, head of IRRI's breeding division.

Last year, a total of 21 new and improved rice varieties were released in the Philippines, six in Bangladesh, five in Myanmar, three in Nigeria, two in Tanzania, two in India, and one each in Cambodia, Vietnam, Indonesia, Mozambique, and Rwanda.

Since its establishment in 1960, the Philippine-based research institute said it has released 1,000 improved rice varieties across 78 countries.

One of these is IR8, which was introduced more than 50 years ago and was later dubbed as "miracle rice." IRRI said IR8 served as a key driver of the "Green Revolution" and prevented famine in rice-eating Asian countries.

Bookmark and Share

Related News & Photos