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Rice

Overview

Crop Rice Oryza Center of origin: CAF, EAS, SAS, SEA, WAF

There is perhaps no crop on earth more important than rice. From the irrigated terraces of Asia and the extensive mechanized operations of the Americas to the rain fed deltas of Africa, rice is the world’s most important staple food.

Half of the world’s population – 3.5 billion people – consume on average 70 kg of rice a year. Rice supplies half of the world with 80% of their dietary intake.

The genus Oryza contains about 23 species. Two species have been domesticated: Oryza sativa native to Asia and Oryza glaberrima native to Africa. Oryza sativa has evolved into three separate races: Indica, Japonica and Javanica. The races are further broken down into varieties of tremendous variation estimated at more than 100,000 distinct types.

Rice can grow in diverse soils and climates, ranging from saline to alkaline or acidic soils and from hot, humid tropical rainforests to mangrove swamps to arid deserts. Some Himalayan varieties flourish at more than 2600 metres above sea level, while others, such as those grown in the Mekong Delta, can grow under 2 metres of water in the lowlands. Rice is often grown as paddy, meaning that it is grown in standing water, although some types are grown in semi-arid conditions. 80% of the world’s rice growers are subsistence farmers who grow rice as their major food safety net.

Conserving forever in genebanks

Filter by genebanks

IRRI

Number of varieties available to the public
94.2% 120,131
Data available in genesys
85.5% 109,113
Safety duplicated
91.2% 116,294

AfricaRice

Number of varieties available to the public
82% 16,371
Data available in genesys
98.3% 19,621
Safety duplicated
40.3% 8,046

Breakdown of genebanks conserving Rice

  • IRRI 127,577 / 86.5%
  • AfricaRice 19,954 / 13.5%

The Crop Trust has supported 21 projects for Rice

  1. Burkina Faso: The Institut National de I’Environment et de la Recherche Agronomique (INERA) carried out agromorphological characterisation of Burkina Faso rice germplasm in lowland rainfed and irrigated conditions. The project characterized 332 rice accessions for 13 agro-mophological traits and further evaluated the agronomic performance of 140 accessions in lowland and irrigated cropping systems with the aim of establishing a core collection of characterized germplasm and making it available to breeders for use in developing varieties adapted to local conditions and acceptable to farmers. A total of 10 accessions were found to perform well in both cropping system with a yield ranging from 3.1 – 4.6 tons/ha.
  2. Burkina Faso: The Crop Trust supported the Institut national de l’environnement et de la recherche agronomique (INERA) to regenerate and characterize 197 rice accessions with the objective of rescuing threatened diversity and enhancing use of the crops. 68 accessions are safety duplicated in Africa Rice.
  3. Democratic People’s Republic of Korea: The Pyongyang Crop Genetic Resources Institute (PCGRI) of the Academy of Agricultural Science received support to regenerate and characterize 3,512 rice accessions with the objective of rescuing threatened diversity and enhancing use of the crops. 3,300 accessions are safety duplicated in IRRI and a further 2400 in the Svalbard Global Seed Vault
  4. Guinea: The Institut de recherche agronomique de Guinée (IRAG) received support from the Crop Trust to regenerate and characterize 400 rice accessions with the objective of rescuing threatened diversity and enhancing use of the crop. 320 are safety duplicated in Africa Rice.
  5. India: The Crop Trust supported Punjab Agricultural University to evaluate 350 wild rice accessions for iron deficiency under aerobic conditions and also agronomic and physiological traits suited for high water use efficiency with the aim being to identify sources of genes for traits to be incorporated into breeding programs for developing adapted deep water rice varieties for increased yield.
  6. Indonesia: The Crop Trust supported the Indonesian Center for Agricultural Biotechnology and Genetic Resources Research and Development (ICABIOGRAD) to regenerate, characterize and safety duplicate 900 rice accessions with the objective of rescuing threatened diversity and enhancing use of the crops.
  7. Lao People’s Democratic Republic: The Rice and Cash Crop Research Centre (R&CCR) received support from the Crop Trust to regenerate, characterize and safety duplicate 228 accessions with the objective of rescuing threatened diversity and enhancing use of the crops.
  8. Madagascar: The Crop Trust supported National Center for Applied Research on Rural Development (FOFIFA/CENRADERU) to regenerate and characterize 2,421 rice accessions with the objective of rescuing threatened diversity and enhancing use of the crop. 2227 accessions are safety duplicated in the International Rice Research Institute (IRRI)
  9. Malaysia: The Crop Trust provided support for the School of Environment and Natural Resource Sciences, Faculty of Science and Technology, Universiti Kebangsaan, which collaborated with partners in Malaysia, Bangladesh, India and the International Rice Research Institute (IRRI) to introgress selected traits for drought tolerance and efficient water use into popular local improved rice varieties.
  10. Malaysia: The Crop Trust supported the Malaysian Agricultural Research and Development Institute (MARDI) to regenerate, characterize and safety duplicate 1,000 rice accessions with the objective of rescuing threatened diversity and enhancing use of the crops.
  11. Mali: The Crop Trust supported the Institut d’economie rurale (IER) to regenerate, characterize and safety duplicate 97 rice accessions with the objective of rescuing threatened diversity and enhancing use of the crops.
  12. Myanmar: The Crop Trust supported the Department of Agricultural Research (DAR), Myanmar to regenerate, characterize and safety duplicate 655 rice accessions with the objective of rescuing threatened diversity and enhancing use of the crops.
  13. Nepal: The Crop Trust supported the Agricultural Botany Division (ABD) and the Nepal Agriculture Research Country (NARC) to evaluate rice for flash flood tolerance, blast and bacterial leaf blight resistance with the objective of identifying potential sources of genes and making them available to breeders for use in breeding resistant rice varieties in Nepal. 69 accessions were identified as potential sources of resistance to blast and bacterial leaf blight.
  14. Nepal: The Crop Trust supported the Agricultural Botany Division to regenerate and characterize 824 rice accessions with the objective of rescuing threatened diversity and enhancing use of the crops. 496 accessions are safety duplicated in IRRI.
  15. Pakistan: The Crop Trust provided support for the Institute of Agricultural Biotechnology and Genetic Resources, Pakistan Agricultural Research Council (PARC) to regenerate and characterize 1320 rice accessions with the objective of rescuing threatened diversity and enhancing use of the crops. 367 accessions are safety duplicated in IRRI and 867 in Svalbard Global Seed Vault.
  16. Philippines: The Crop Trust supported the International Rice Research Institute (IRRI) in its coordination of the International Network for Genetic Evaluation of Rice (INGER), which evaluated 455 accessions of rice for heat tolerance for the benefit of breeders who are developing varieties to address the challenges of climate change. 23 accessions were selected as potential sources of genes for heat tolerance
  17. Philippines: The International Rice Research Institute (IRRI) receives an in-perpetuity grant from the Crop Trust for the long-term conservation of the collection of rice it manages on behalf of the international community.
  18. Philippines: The Crop Trust supported the National Plant Genetic Resources Laboratory (NPGRL) at the University of the Philippines Los Banos to regenerate, characterize and safety duplicate 479 rice accessions with the objective of rescuing threatened diversity and enhancing use of the crops.
  19. Philippines: The Philippines Rice Research Institute developed a recurrent selection scheme for rice and used this to produce inbred lines with enhanced yield to produce elite germplasm that is made available to breeders for use in developing varieties with enhanced yield.
  20. Vietnam: The Field Crops Research Institute (FCRI) received support from the Crop Trust to evaluate 200 rice accessions for tolerance to drought, salinity, pests and diseases, as well as analyzing grain quality characteristics. All germplasm identified as potential sources of resistance and tolerant genes were made available for distribution for use in breeding.
  21. Vietnam: The Vietnamese Agricultural Sciences Institute received support from the Crop Trust to regenerate and characterize 1872 rice accessions with the objective of rescuing threatened diversity and enhancing use of the crops. 2000 accessions are safety duplicated in the International Rice Research Institute (IRRI).