Researchers have identified the rice varieties with the best yield performance for both Aman (wet) and Boro (dry) season after rigorous on-farm trials to compare different varieties. Once disseminated for cultivation, these varieties are expected to help increase rice farmers’ yield and profit.
The findings of the research were disseminated in a workshop jointly organised by the Bangladesh Rice Research Institute (BRRI) and the International Rice Research Institute (IRRI) on 21 April 2022, in Gazipur, said a press release.
Bangladesh is currently the third-largest producer of rice in the world and rice cultivation in the country is divided into three seasons - Aus, Aman, and Boro.
Researchers found that rice varieties called BRRI dhan88, BRRI dhan96 and BRRI dhan92 are the best yield performers of the Boro season. For the T Aman season, the IR13F441 line and BRRI dhan79 can perform well in a flash flood-prone environment. Additionally, BRRI dhan93, BRRI dhan94, and BRRI dhan95 are highly preferable in the northern part of Bangladesh as an alternative to the Indian rice variety Swarna. BRRI dhan87 had the best yield performance all over the country.
These rice varieties were identified after researchers conducted several Head to Head Adaptive Trials (HHATs) for three years in different locations across the country.
They conducted HHATs to investigate the performance of newly released varieties compared to popular old mega varieties through generating sufficient quantitative data. During these trials, newly-developed varieties, benchmark varieties, and farmer-grown varieties are planted together in one plot to compare their performance closely.
The research also identifies promising varieties and how they adapt in the various target environments. During these trials, researchers collect feedback about the varieties from farmers and extension personnel. These trials also generate curiosity, knowledge, and demand for new and better-performing varieties through the demonstrated impacts in the field.
The findings also showed that BRRI dhan28 gave the lowest yield, having the highest pest incidence which should be replaced immediately. Meanwhile, BRRI dhan29 produced a competitive yield along with BRRI dhan89, however, it was infected by neck blast disease in some locations.
The findings of the BRRI part were presented by Md Humayun Kabir chief scientific officer and head adaptive research division (ARD) at BRRI and Swati Nayak, IRRI scientist and South Asia lead (seed system and product management), presented the results of the trials from their end.
Md Shahjahan Kabir, director general of Bangladesh Rice Research Institute (BRRI), joined the event as its chief guest with Mohammad Khalequzzaman, director research of BRRI, in the chair. Md Abu Bakr Siddique, director (administration and common service) of BRRI, and Mohammad Rafiqul Islam, project lead of IRRI were present as special guests.
“Such on-farm trials allow us to know how the previous varieties are performing compared to the newer ones. Currently, rice varieties are being developed keeping in mind the regions where they are grown. Our study shows if the newer varieties are up to the mark or whether it needs further development for the betterment of the farmers and the country,” said Swati Nayak.
“Developing better rice varieties that are more adaptive to specific environments is important in ensuring that we can increase the production of rice in the country. The next step is making these varieties accessible to farmers across the country to help improve their yield and profit, helping them gain better livelihood,” said Md Shahjahan Kabir, director general of BRRI.