By: Ram Baran Yadaw
22 August 2014
In Nepal, the present rice production is not sufficient to meet demand as 30% of the total rice area is prone to drought. To augment rice production, Nepal researchers are developing selected breeding lines developed from crosses of drought-tolerant donors with high-yielding varieties from IRRI. The research goal is to identify superior genotypes through CURE project under direct seeding in upland conditions. Hand-in-hand with farmers, scientists are conducting participatory varietal selection trials in CURE project sites to identify superior varieties for direct seeding and transplanting in upland conditions.
In these trials, the genotype IR83377-B-B-93-3 performed well in the upland. This genotype produced 3.5-4.2 t/ha under seeding in rainfed lowland condition. This variety could be one option for farmers in upland areas. Field days and exposure visits were organized for preference ranking. Most participants said that they would grow this genotype in the coming year.
The genotype was selected from among 13 other entries that also have a good combination of agronomic characteristics under the PVS trials, transplanting method, at Patu, Mahottari District in 2013. A total of 38 farmers (20 males and 18 females) together with three NARC scientists, participated in the preference analysis event.
The selection of IR83377-B-B-93-3, as the most most recent identified farmers' most preferred variety or genotype is just one of the achievements under the NRRP, in partnership with CURE. A total of 96 promising rice varieties were tested to identify high-yielding with best quality for upland and paddy in CURE project sites in 2009-2014. Among these: IR877077-446-B-B-B, IR83383-B-B-129, and IR83383-B-B-108-3 rice varieties were found most promising for rainfed upland and lowland conditions.
The Variety Release Committee has completed the review of supporting materials and have agreed to release this variety, IR877077-446-B-B-B of IR64 isogenic lines with the name of Sukha-dhan4.
To continue building the momentum, the CURE partner-scientists have also scheduled future field days and exposure visits in 2014, especially timed during heading stage to make the farmers see the actual performance of this genotype. At the moment, market demand for seeds of this genotype from farmers has increased.
Ram Baran Yadaw is a senior scientist and rice breeder at National Rice Research Programme (NRRP), in Hardinath, Dhanusha NARC, Nepal.