Thai researchers are developing a variety of rice that can survive floods and resist certain pests.
In 2022, flooding in Thailand impacted more than 75% of the country’s provinces causing massive losses for its agricultural sector.
Thailand is one of the world’s top rice exporters and the new study could help contribute to global food security.
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More on flood-tolerant rice:
As floodwaters recede, farmers’ hopes emerge in Bangladesh
IRRI, through the Stress-Tolerant Rice for Africa and South Asia project, works closely with the national government in developing and promoting the use of rice varieties that can withstand environmental pressures, such as flooding, faced by millions of poor farmers. Developed by IRRI in conjunction with its national partners such as the Bangladesh Rice Research Institute, these varieties include BRRI dhan51, a variety that can survive under floodwater for up to two weeks while most rice plants die in a matter of days.
Scuba rice goes against the flow of woes in flood-prone eastern India
The challenge to double the income of smallholder farmers by 2022 requires a comprehensive strategy that includes stabilizing and enhancing crop production under adverse environmental conditions. Flood, drought, and salinity are among the major constraints to crop production, especially in rainfed areas of eastern India.
Holding back flood, sweat, and tears
Swarna-Sub1—also called “scuba rice” because of its ability to survive underwater for up to two weeks—has been a dramatic success story in the flood-prone areas of South Asia. While yield levels of other varieties are drastically reduced by flooding, Swarna-Sub1 is able to produce up to 6 tons per hectare.