Rice bred to perform well in the toughest conditions where the poorest farmers grow rice is a step away from reaching farmers thanks to a major project led by the Chinese Academy of Agricultural Sciences and the International Rice Research Institute (IRRI).
Green Super Rice is actually a mix of more than 250 different potential rice varieties and hybrids variously adapted to difficult growing conditions such as drought and low inputs, including no pesticide and less fertilizer, and with rapid establishment rates to out-compete weeds, thus reducing the need for herbicides. More types of Green Super Rice that combine many of these traits are in the pipeline.
As reported in the latest issue of Rice Today, Green Super Rice is already in the hands of national agricultural agencies in key rice-growing countries for testing and development.
Green Super Rice is an example of what is needed as part of a “Greener Revolution,” which is called for by rice scientists around the world and is one of the driving concepts behind the Global Rice Science Partnership (GRiSP) – a plan to improve international partnerships in rice research, its delivery, and impact that would also ensure that rice is grown in an environmentally sustainable way.