Biotech Updates

Malaysia Launches Two New Varieties of Rice

July 16, 2010

Padi angin (a weedy rice with easy and spontaneous grain shattering characteristics) is a serious problem to rice farmers in Malaysia which can cause losses of up to 74 percent each season. The infestation of padi angin can now be controlled by planting MR 220CL1 and MR 220CL2, two new varieties launched recently by the Minister for Agriculture and Agro-based Industry, Datuk Seri Noh Omar.

Both varieties were developed by breeding local varieties, MR 200 and MR 219 with an American rice variety. Research on these varieties has been ongoing since 2003 through a collaborative effort of Malaysian Agricultural Research & Development Institute (MARDI) and BASF. The varieties are resistant to imidazolinone. Malaysia will be the first to plant these varieties in Asia Pacific and it is expected to be widely cultivated throughout the country in the next three years. Extensive field trials were conducted which showed good results. The seeds will be commercially produced by Federal Land Consolidation and Rehabilitation Authority (FELCRA).

Email Mahaletchumy Arujanan at for more news on Malaysian crop biotech developments.