Salt-tolerant rice bred at IRRI



MANILA, Philippines—Scientists have successfully bred a rice variety that is salt-tolerant, which could enable farmers to reclaim coastal areas rendered useless by sea water, a Philippine-based institute said Tuesday.

Scientists at the International Rice Research Institute (IRRI) near Manila are in the process of perfecting the salt-tolerant rice before field-testing it widely, the agency said.

“They hope to have the new variety available to farmers to grow within 4-5 years,” IRRI said in a statement.

The new variety was bred by crossing an exotic wild rice species found in brackish water with one cultivated at the institute.

The result is a “new rice line that can expel salt it takes from the soil into the air through salt glands it has on its leaves,” the statement said.

“This will make saline-stricken rice farms in coastal areas usable to farmers,” said lead scientist Kshirod Jena.

“These farmlands are usually abandoned by coastal farmers because the encroaching seawater has rendered the soil useless.”

Rice is considered one of three major domesticated crops that feed the world, along with wheat and corn, and scientists have been continuously looking to develop new varieties to increase production.

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  • kayanatwo


    nobody asked me, but…this could be one of the best research developed by IRRI in recent years. hopefully this new breed of salt-tolerant rice would make the country like “ours” food sufficient someday.

  • Beersheva

    May palay na, may asin pa!

    • Fulpol

      tapos, ang fertilizer ay soy sauce at may vetsin.. ayos.. isama na rin yung nadikdik na bawang at sibuyas, pati na rin itlog..

      • AntiAko

        nahahalata na ang hilig mo sa itlog ha….hehe

  • juan_luisjr

    great news and this is a big help for our country. More power and congratulations to the scientists !

  • koolkid_inthehouse

    thumbs up

  • Billy Reyes

    There is a slight problem when it comes to Variety of Rice we produce in the Philippines.
    IRRI should be revive again back as it use to be. We are one of the biggest rice exporter those days.
    But I think the bigger problem is farming is not very profitable livelihood in the Philippines. Our farmers in the Philippines are the most poorest in our society today, they don’t own their farms & most of their harvest will go for renting the landlord.
    The price of our rice could not compete with the cheap smuggle rice etc., this are problems that no matter what kind of rice we discover but if we don’t fix the problems our Agricultural Industries would never succeed.

    • Fulpol

      IRRI don’t cater Philippine rice production only.. it is international… it so happened, the research facility is located in Los Banos, Laguna, Philippines…

      • Billy Reyes

        IRRI was created in 1960 with the big support of the Philippine Government” TO IMPROVE THE WELL BEING OF A POOR RICE FARMERS” that means if you don’t create better playing fields for the farmers to actually earn descent money to improve their life the organization will be useless after all.

      • Mij Onaerual

        Well we have the local version of IRRI which is Philippine Rice Research Institute (PhilRice) located at Science City of Muñoz, Nueva Ecija. If I’am not mistaken they are exchanging technologies to improve technology in rice industries. So far this institution are trying to promote organic farming, using of new variety of rice for greater yield, research etc. So far there are efforts from the govt to increase the production. And if my memories are correct a data from PhilRice stated that we can produce more rice compare to Vietnam and Thailand its just they have a bigger farming area compare to us.

  • AntiAko

    This is really good news! Congratulations should be in order to the faceless scientists.

  • Pogi=”No To Political Dynasty”

    Magaling talaga ang Pinoy kung tungkol sa siyensiya. Pero ang makikinabang ay ang mga dayuhan dahil mahina ang gobyerno natin. No. 1 beneficiary ulit ay ang Thailand, Malaysia, Indonesia, China at iba pa. Tsk tsk kawawang Juan de la Cruz.

    • Ciriaco

      Actually, this is not the government’s fault. Just ask some NGOs that campaign against the use of “genetically” modified rice. They hate everything that comes out of IRRI. And they intentionally mis-inform farmers about the good and “harm” (emphasis on harm!”) that these new varieties “will” bring to their land and the environment at large.

      • Kilabot ng mga Balahibo

        nga no.

        genetically modified’s good and bad effect.

        Well, the people will just have to take this new rice grain variety with a GRAIN OF SALT.

      • $5699914

        Tama ka.
        Madalas, kapag genetically modified ay inaayawan na agad ng mga magsasaka dahil na rin sa kampanya ng mga ibang NGO na saliwa ang pag-iisip.

  • Ako_Hiking

    Ok…so question — will this help feed the poor in the Philippines? There is this salt-tolerant rice and we hear of rice spoiling and even rice being smuggled into the Philippine but yet many Filipino still remain malnourished and starving.

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