Current research and development activities with India

n Breeding better varieties—IRRI is developing new rice varieties for India that are tolerant of drought, flooding, salinity, and other stresses. n Exploring rice genes—IRRI is identifying rice genes that are responsible for agronomically useful traits, such as reproductive-stage drought tolerance to help breed improved rice varieties. n Improving grain quality—Under the International Network for Quality Rice, IRRI is helping Indian partners and industry players improve texture, amylose content, and other rice grain qualities. n Fine-tuning rice farming systems—IRRI aims to raise the productivity, profitability, and resilience of Indian rice farming systems while ensuring their environmental sustainability. IRRI works with Indian farmers on various crop management options such as resource-conserving technologies, direct seeding, mechanization, and postharvest to streamline production processes for both rainfed and irrigated systems. n Using socioeconomic data to reduce poverty—To better understand poverty dynamics, IRRI is collecting household, individual, and field data over the next 4 years in 42 Indian villages to help ensure the success of future poverty-reducing interventions. n Coping with climate change— Through the CGIAR Climate Change, Agriculture, and Food Security Research Program, diverse rice lines are being tested in three locations in India to establish a systematic high-temperature breeding program. Breeding lines tolerant of heat stress are being developed and tested. Genes associated with tolerance are being identified for use in breeding. This will build on knowledge obtained from household surveys undertaken with the Nand Educational Foundation for Rural Development (NEFORD) to study the consequences of extreme climate variability on men and women farmers in eastern Uttar Pradesh, India.

International Rice Research Institute (IRRI)
IRRI is a nonprofit, independent organization that, through rice research, aims to: n reduce poverty and hunger, n improve the health of rice farmers and consumers, and n ensure that rice production is environmentally sustainable. IRRI develops new rice varieties and rice crop management techniques that help rice farmers improve the yield and quality of their rice in an environmentally sustainable way. We work with our public and private sector partners in national agricultural research and extension systems in major rice-growing countries to do research, training, and knowledge transfer. Our social and economic research also informs governments to help them formulate policy to improve the equitable supply of rice.


Contact Dr. Jagadish K. Ladha Principal scientist and IRRI representative for India and Nepal Tel: +91 1125841292; +91 1125843802 IRRI headquarters (Philippines) +63 2 580 5600


RRI and India have been successfully collaborating for more than four decades. India has been actively involved in IRRI’s priority setting, strategic planning, scientific advising, and implementation of research across South Asia. The results of this collaboration have been outstanding and have set an example in international research collaboration. India began its partnership with IRRI through the Indian Council of Agricultural Research (ICAR) in 1967 when Indian scientists from ICAR’s two main rice research centers—the Central Rice Research Institute (CRRI) in Cuttack and the Directorate of Rice Research (DRR) in Hyderabad—began regularly visiting IRRI. In 1974, director generals M.S. Swaminathan and N.C. Brady of ICAR and IRRI, respectively, signed their first memorandum of understanding for cooperation in research and training. This paved the way for the two institutions to sign work plans every 4 years reviewing the progress of research and identifying opportunities and areas for collaboration. The synergy of the partnership resulted in advances in developing diseaseand insect-resistant varieties suited to various rice environments, developing and releasing hybrid rice varieties bred through government and private sector programs, streamlining rice production practices, and improving postharvest technologies for improved sustainability and productivity. Both institutions trained scientists, conducted socioeconomic research, and provided equitable access to information. From 2009, ICAR and IRRI worked together on major regional initiatives—the Stress-Tolerant Rice for Poor Farmers of Africa and South Asia (STRASA) and the Cereal Systems Initiative for South Asia (CSISA) projects. The IRRI-India partnership now involves around 250 institutions from all over the country. Under the Global Rice Science Partnership (GRiSP), the collaboration between India and IRRI expanded in scope and is further strengthened. Opportunities to increase the focus of the collaboration on upstream and innovative research have opened up, for instance, and will

catalyze the transfer of new technologies to farmers and other stakeholders in the rice value chain. A new regional rice breeding hub has also been established, in close collaboration with ICAR, the International Crops Research Institute for the SemiArid Tropics (ICRISAT), the Department of Agriculture and Cooperation (DAC), the Department of Biotechnology (DBT), and other public- and private-sector institutions to further enable the IRRI-India partnership to help rice-growing countries in South Asia and Africa in strengthening their rice programs. ICAR and IRRI, on behalf of and in consultation with various institutions in India, developed an exciting and forwardlooking research and development agenda for 2013 to 2016. Sixteen projects under this agenda represent major upstream research on crop genetic improvement, future intensive rice systems, and others. Eight new strategic projects have also been proposed as part of GRiSP, to be led by Indian research institutions and seeking additional funding from the government of India. IRRI’s work in India is supported by the contributions from the Indian Council of Agricultural Research (ICAR); State Agricultural Universities (SAUs); Department of Agriculture and Cooperation (DoAC) Government of India; State Agriculture Departments; Department of Biotechnology, Government of India; Asian Development Bank (ADB); Australian Centre for International Agricultural Research (ACIAR); Biotechnology and Biological Sciences Council of UK (BBSRC); Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation (BMGF); German Federal Ministry of Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ); C4 Consortium; Climate Change Agriculture and Food Security (CCAFS); CGIAR Challenge Program on Water and Food (CPWF); Department for International Development (DFID); European Commission (EC); Generation Challenge Program (GCP); International Crops Research Institute for the Semi-Arid Tropics (ICRISAT); International Initiative for Impact Evaluation, International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD); Ministry of Finance – Japan; Swiss Agency for Development and Cooperation (SDC); and the United States Agency for International Development (USAID).

Key achievements with India
n Conservation and exchange of rice germplasm. Institutions across India have deposited at IRRI duplicate samples of their rice collections. Nearly 16,400 types of rice at the International Rice Genebank are from India. Many of these have contributed to rice breeding programs, such as Pokkali for salinity tolerance, N22 for drought and heat tolerance, FR13A for submergence tolerance, and Oryza nivara for resistance to grassy stunt virus. n Delivery of new varieties, practices, and technologies. The success of the partnership between India and IRRI began with the introduction of the high-yielding rice variety IR8, dubbed miracle rice, which helped save India from a massive famine in the 1970s. This was only the beginning of a partnership that has led to more than 400 improved rice varieties that have resistance to pests and diseases, streamlined rice production practices, extensive information exchange with Indian scientists, and capacity building. n Breeding of stress-proof rice. India was the first country to get the submergence-tolerant trait bred into local mega-varieties, through collaborative programs with IRRI. Many single- and multiple-stress tolerant lines (flash flood, stagnant flood, drought, salinity, etc.) introduced by IRRI in India are now being evaluated or promoted nationally. These varieties are helping enhance and stabilize rice productivity under the ever-changing climate in the region. The first floodtolerant rice variety, Swarna-Sub1, was released in India in August 2009. It reached more than 1 million farmers during the wet season of 2011 and more than 3 million farmers during the wet season of 2012. SwarnaSub1 is estimated to have covered approximately 1 million hectares of rice land during the wet season of 2012, contributing an additional 1 million tons of paddy.

n Improved roll-out of hybrid rice. Hybrid rice research made a significant advance, thanks to partnership between India and IRRI. With IRRI’s support, India now ranks second only to China in the commercial production of hybrid rice. n Built capacity. Between 1965 and 2012, 276 Indian researchers participated in education and training programs at IRRI. Indian scholars who have undergone training and done research at IRRI include 110 PhDs, 16 MScs, 136 interns, 14 research fellows. More than 1,000 Indian scientists attended short-term courses run by IRRI.