ADB, International Rice Research Institute Collaborate on Climate-Resilient Rice
25 September 2013: The Asian Development Bank (ADB) has announced it is collaborating with the International Rice Research Institute (IRRI) to develop climate-resilient rice, as part of efforts to boost productivity in water-scarce and drought-prone areas. A first technical assistance project resulted in a yield increase of up to 30% with reduced water use.
According to ADB, about 38% of the world's land area suffers from drought, and recent climate change estimates predict more intense and frequent periods of water shortage. ADB is working with IRRI to provide technical assistance to Bangladesh, India, Nepal, Cambodia and the Lao People's Democratic Republic to support large-scale seed multiplication, and development of climate-resilient water-saving rice varieties.
ADB indicates that new generations of aerobic rice varieties produce higher yield than current varieties using less water, and provide farmers with the added benefits of being a labor-saving technology and producing rice with high nutritional value. ADB highlights the need to work on crop diversification, reducing post-harvest losses, and addressing the effects of salinity.