BANGKOK: APSA’s Special Interest Group on Hybrid Rice will meet at the upcoming Asian Seed Congress to discuss the latest developments in research and market challenges.

Rice is the most important staple food crop for more than half of world’s population. In the Asian region particularly, the increased demand for rice has exceeded the production in many nations.

The breakthrough in hybrid rice technology has increased farmers’ yields by more than 20 percent and has significantly raised the yield ceilings. Labor intensiveness of hybrid seed production (30% more labor) has created rural employment opportunities.

Further, hybrid rice has revealed better heterosis in unfavorable soil and climatic conditions, as compared to favorable irrigated rice conditions. In the four decades of its development, hybrid rice is recognized as the most viable option to increase rice production and productivity especially under declining resources and valuable inputs.

Dr. Jauhar Ali

Dr. Jauhar Ali, Hybrid Rice Breeder from International Rice Research Institute, Philippines, will address the various reasons for the low adoption of this technology, important for food security of rice consuming countries in the region.

In spite of extensive research and promotion, its adoption outside China, the country of its origin, where it covers more than half of the rice production area, its spread has been very limited (average around 5%).

Dr. Ali would discuss how the market requirements of South and Southeast Asia could make the newly designed hybrids to be successfully adopted and more profitable for the rice farmers. He will explain how the heterotic rice hybrids must meet the needs of the market for grain quality along with insect pest and disease resistance and detail the efforts underway to develop heterotic rice hybrids with multiple stress tolerance (abiotic and biotic) and amenable to direct seeded hybrids. Dr. Ali would also discuss new technologies aimed at reducing the hybrid seed costs and to primarily reach resource poor farmers to adopt the hybrid rice on a wide-scale.

Dr. Jauhar Ali’s presentation will be followed by a ‘Round Table’ on ‘Hybrid Rice Seed Production’. The Panelists for this Round Table, to be moderated by Dr. Jauhar Ali, will be Dr. Frisco Malabanan (Chair of APSA SIG on Hybrid Rice & Senior Technical & Promotion Consultant, SL Agritech Corporation, Philippines); Mr. Vaibhav Kashikar (Co – Chair of APSA SIG on Hybrid Rice & Executive Director, Ankur Seeds, India); Mr. Santosh Attavar (Managing Director, Indo American Hybrid Seeds, India) and Mr. Jiang Sanqiao (General Manager, Winall Hitech Seed Co., China)

The session will convene 8.30-10am on November 16 at the Marriott Marquis Queen’s Park. Attendance is exclusive to Asian Seed Congress delegates and special invitees only.

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