The Hybrid Rice Development Consortium (HRDC) held a field day in the IRRI South Asia Regional Center (ISARC), Varanasi last 18 October 2019. It was attended by 35 participants from 16 private seed companies engaged in hybrid rice such as Bioseed, Ankur Seeds, Corteva, Bayer, GMS Agritech, Metahelix, JK Agri, Advanta, Delta Agrigenetics, TriMurti Plant Sciences, Indo American Hybrid Seeds, Nu Genes, Kaveri Seeds, Savannah Seeds, Mahyco, and Kalash Seeds. Ten IRRI hybrids were demonstrated and evaluated by the participants by giving phenotypic scores based on their overall crop stand. Among these, three hybrids were given high scores compared to the checks.
The participants expressed their satisfaction in the overall performance of the hybrids. It was suggested that multi-location trials of these hybrids should be conducted in Kurukshetra, Faizabad, and Raipur to test them at their market and maturity segments. Savannah Seeds, JK Agri, and Advanta came forward and showed interest in hosting the trials, and also other companies were interested to test the seed reproducibility of these hybrids in 2020.
As many companies show interest to test the IRRI hybrids, this increases their potential for commercialization and become more available to smallholder farmers, not only in India but also in many rice-producing countries in South and Southeast Asia. The massive spreading and adaptation of hybrid rice would help IRRI’s mission to achieve food security in countries that depend on rice.