Biotech Updates

Indian Farmers Exhibit Fast Adoption of Flood Tolerant Rice

September 16, 2010

Approximately 12 million hectares of flood-prone areas in India are currently planted with flood-tolerant rice varieties at unexpected fast rates. This is due to swift multiplication of seeds, targeted dissemination, and linking of partners. These flood-tolerant rice varieties were developed and field-tested by the International Rice Research Institute (IRRI).

"Even before the seeds are released, different research institutions are already multiplying these seeds. Immediately after release, we encourage state governments, as they distribute the seeds to other channels for large-scale multiplication, to also disseminate the seeds directly to farmers in target areas. Farmers need not wait for 2–3 years for mass distribution," explained Dr. Umesh Singh, senior scientist at IRRI.

One of the rice varieties they are using is the Swarna-Sub1 line, the first submergence-tolerant, high yielding rice, released in India in August 2009. It incorporates the SUB1 gene into the Indian mega-variety Swarna, making it endure up to 17 days of flood and still exhibiting the favorable characteristics of the original variety Swarna.

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