Rice researchers have identified highly adaptable advanced genetic lines for ecosystems in Bangladesh

Rice researchers have identified advanced breeding lines adapted to various types of environments that could help develop new lines and varieties that are highly adapted to local ecosystems in Bangladesh to help farmers increase productivity and, therefore, strengthen the country’s food security.

The results of the trials were presented at the AGGRi Network 2022 Annual Trials Progress Meeting on May 10 in Dhaka, according to a press release issued by the Bangladesh office of the International Rice Research Institute (Irri ).

Agricultural materials were tested for short, medium and late maturity as well as stress tolerance (against cold, salinity and submersion or flooding).

They have been tested to select the superior breeding lines in different environments in Bangladesh through field trials under the supervision of Irri Bangladesh office and NARes partners.

The results were part of various field tests conducted on Aman in 2021 by researchers from Irri Bangladesh in collaboration with Bangladesh Rice Research Institute (BRRI), Bangladesh Nuclear Agriculture Institute ( Bina) and Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman Agricultural University (BSMRAU).

The experiments were conducted in seven districts including Gazipur, Rajshahi, Rangpur, Kushtia, Cumilla, Satkhira and Barisal.

During these tests, the researchers studied various materials in the short, medium and long term and identified whether they are adapted to drought and salinity, or if they are tolerant to flooding, the press release adds.

The trial results are valuable to Irri and NARes partners such as BRRI, Bina, public universities and private entities, as they could help enrich their rice breeding research and development and formulate the how they develop new varieties.

BRRI Managing Director Md Shahjahan Kabir and Bina Managing Director Mirza Mofazzal Islam were present at the meeting as chief and special guest respectively. Humnath Bhandari, Irri representative for Bangladesh, chaired the event.

A wide range of participants attended the meeting, including breeders and molecular breeders from Irri Headquarters, Manila and Irri Bangladesh; scientists from BRRI and Bina, professors from BSMRAU, Khulna University, Sylhet Agricultural University and scientists from five private partner companies such as Aftab Bahumukhi Farms Limited, Ispahani Agro Limited, Lal Teer Seed Limited , Metal Agro Limited and Supreme Seed Company Limited.

“Taken together, the improvements in product focus, selection accuracy, selection intensity and cycle time, driven by the effective application of new genotyping, phenotyping and decision aids, have the potential to increase the current rate of genetic gain in staple food crops produced by farmers in the developing world from a current rate that is likely well below 1% per year ( and in many cases not significantly different from zero) to at least 2%,” said Mirza Mofazzal Islam.

“By doing so, farmers will be better protected against rapid climate change and better able to adapt to production systems that commercialize quickly,” he added.

“We have a lot of challenges in the future to maintain food security; BRRI needs massive reform in both human resource development and physical facilities. It is expected that the contribution and collaboration of the IRRI will continue to upgrade the research capacity of BRRI, especially in the area of ​​advanced technologies such as genomics, phenomics, proteomics, bioinformatics, genome editing, rapid selection, l automation, digitalization, mechanization and infrastructure development,” said Md Shahjahan Kabir, Director General of BRRI.