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Sep 14, 2010

India - Farmers Rapidly Adopting Flood Tolerant Rice

Indian farmer with Swarna Sub 1A
Flood Tolerant Rice
photo courtesy of IRRI
On 14 September 2010, the International Rice Research Institute (IRRI) issued a press release on the rapid adoption of flood tolerant “scuba rice” in India. Indian farmers have planted approximately 12 million hectares of rice in flood-prone areas in India. They are rapidly adopting the new seeds thanks in part to “faster seed multiplication, targeted dissemination, and linking of partners.”

According to Dr. Umesh Singh, senior scientist at IRRI, his organization has been assisting “government agencies and private seed companies to multiply and distribute seeds to farmers at a faster pace.” IRRI has a 50 year history of collaborating with the government of India and was one of the organizations originally involved in the First Green Revolution that began in India in the 1970s.

Swarna-Sub 1 flood tolerant “scuba rice” has been gene modified to incorporate the SUB1 gene into the well known and popular Indian Swarna rice variety. It can withstand flooding up to 17 days. This variety is also high yielding, producing an estimated one ton per hectare under flood conditions.

 Swarna-Sub 1’s gene modification is a result of traditional hybridization and genetic knowledge of precise gene-engineering. It does not required GM regulatory approval.

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About Margaret

CEO and Curator (The Food Museum) | Managing Director and Chief Editor (GR2 Global LLC) | Educator (UCLA PhD) | Researching and writing on global food issues, nutrition and health, sustainability, history (preservation), conservation (natural resources), and design.
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