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IRRI team up to promote direct-seeded rice in Asia

The International Rice Research Institute (IRRI) and BASF signed three agreements, paving the way for wider dissemination and adoption of direct-seeded rice (DSR) tools and technologies. Through this partnership, the two organizations will establish a multi-stakeholder DSR Consortium and further research on the use of non-genetically modified, herbicide-tolerant rice.

BASF will also become a founding member of a new multi-party research consortium led by IRRI on the mechanized and precise direct seeding of rice.

This and future partnerships will be coordinated by the new Rice Knowledge Center, which was inaugurated today at BASF’s Agricultural Research Station in Bay, Laguna, Philippines.

Under optimal conditions, direct seeding is considered a more efficient and cheaper method of growing rice than manual rice transplantation.

It requires less resources such as labor and water, and it emits less greenhouse gases compared with other rice growing methods.

Although direct seeding is widely practiced in the United States and South America, challenges such as higher yield losses due to weed infestation have limited its wide-scale adoption in Asia.

The new research consortium aims to develop robust mechanized dry- and wet-DSR systems, investigate solutions to manage weeds, and formulate agronomic practices suited for DSR farms in Asia.

Furthermore, the consortium will enable IRRI to develop DSR technologies and test rice varieties suitable to Asian environmental conditions.

Membership is open to the public and private sectors, research organizations, NGOs, and farmer groups.

The partnership will also advance research on non-genetically modified, herbicide-tolerant rice to safely control weed infestation in direct-seeded rice systems.
Once these varieties are introduced to the market, a third-party organization will assess their impact on rice productivity, profitability, and ecological sustainability.

The International Rice Research Institute is a nonprofit, autonomous, nonpolitical, international organization established in 1960 under international treaty, with a mission to reduce poverty and hunger through rice science, improve the health of rice farmers and consumers and ensure environmental sustainability through collaborative research, partnerships and strengthening of national agricultural research and extension systems.