Biotech Updates

10 Million Farmers Plant Climate-smart Rice

June 18, 2014

About 10 million small, resource-poor rice farmers are now planting climate-smart rice varieties, which includes flood-tolerant varieties. Climate-smart rice varieties are made to especially thrive in environments affected by flooding, drought, cold temperatures, and soils that contain too much salt or iron. One of these varieties is Swarna-Sub 1, a flood-tolerant rice variety developed by scientists at the International Rice Research Institute (IRRI).

According to Mr. Trilochan Parida, a rice farmer in Odisha, India, Swarna-Sub1 changed his life. Flooding is a major problem of Parida every year. In 2008, he planted Swarna-Sub1 and saw his rice plants rise back to life after being under flood waters for two weeks.

More farmers are expected to overcome the impact of climate change in rice production. The Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation will fund the third phase of the IRRI-led Stress-Tolerant Rice for Africa and South Asia (STRASA) project with USD 32.77 million for five more years.