The right rice in the right place: Systematic exchange and farmer-based evaluation of rice germplasm for salt-affected areas Chapter uri icon


  • Traditional approaches for introducing improved rice varieties to farmers have demonstrated signifi cant impact in favourable ecosystems in Asia, but with limited success in unfavourable ecosystems, as in saltaffected areas. Developing rice varieties with wider adaptation and broader tolerance of prevailing stresses is more viable for these areas, where abiotic stresses are particularly variable and complex, and growing conditions are too risky to persuade farmers to invest in inputs. The Challenge Program on Water and Foodsupported project (Project No 7) emphasizes the development and deployment of high-yielding, salt-tolerant rice varieties for coastal saline (Bangladesh, Vietnam and India), inland saline (Egypt and Iran) and sodic soils (India), where rice-based farming systems are being practised. Mostly, a superior performance of genotypes under experimental conditions does not guarantee their acceptance by farmers, and occasionally farmers reject genotypes that yield well if they do not satisfy their quality preferences. In view of this, a participatory varietal selection (PVS) approach, in which farmers participate in varietal screening and adaptation testing, was followed to accelerate the adoption of salt-tolerant varieties. The International Network for Genetic Evaluation of Rice (INGER), a global germplasm-testing platform coordinated by IRRI, is being used for the exchange of germplasm through the International Rice Soil Stress Tolerance Observational Nursery (IRSSTON). Promising lines were selected through PVS trials and some were released or nominated for release as varieties. Participating farmers increased their paddy yield from < 2 t/ha to > 3.5 t/ha, which encouraged neighbouring farmers to adopt these new varieties. Recently, BRRI dhan 47 was released as the fi rst salttolerant variety for the boro (dry) season in the coast of Bangladesh. Progress has been made in reclaiming inland saline and sodic soils at Lucknow and Faizabad in India and CSR30, an aromatic fi ne-grain, salt tolerant variety, has recently become popular among farmers, besides other varieties. Proper management options for these salt-tolerant, high-yielding varieties have been developed and validated simultaneously in PVS trials. Introducing PVS has increased the adoption rate and helped to solicit systematic feedback from farmers, which has been a major guiding force in devising breeding strategies and in developing customized breeding materials. © CAB International 2010.

author list (cited authors)

  • Singh, R. K., Redoña, E., Gregorio, G. B., Salam, M. A., Islam, M. R., Singh, D. P., ... Lang, N. T
  • Singh, R. K., Redoña, E., Gregorio, G. B., Salam, M. A., Islam, M. R., Singh, D. P., ... Lang, N. T.

complete list of authors

  • Singh, RK||Redoña, E||Gregorio, GB||Salam, MA||Islam, MR||Singh, DP||Sen, P||Saha, S||Mahata, KR||Sharma, SG||Pandey, MP||Sajise, AG||Mendoza, RD||Toledo, MC||Dante, A||Ismail, AM||Paris, TR||Haefele, SM||Thomson, MJ||Zolvinski, S||Singh, YP||Nayak, AK||Singh, RB||Mishra, VK||Sharma, DK||Gautam, RK||Ram, PC||Singh, PN||Verma, OP||Singh, A||Lang, NT

Book Title

  • Tropical Deltas and Coastal Zones: Food Production, Communities and Environment at the Land-Water Interface

publication date

  • June 2010