New rice varieties that could withstand in the toughest conditions are now in the pipeline through the Green Super Rice (GSR) Project.
GSRs are multi-trait cultivars that produce higher and stable yield using lesser inputs. The multi-trait varieties are resistant to abiotic stresses such as drought, salinity, alkalinity, iron toxicity, among others.
Under the High Yielding Technology Adoption (HYTA) program of DA, the potential of GSRs was introduced to farmers through a massive adaptability trials conducted by the Regional Field Offices of DA nationwide. In the course of program implementation, favorable outcome was generated highlighting the specific performance of the GSRs under varied conditions.
Ms. Thelma Padolina, one of the implementers of the Food Staples Sufficiency Program’s Accelerating the development and adoption of Next-Generation rice varieties for major ecosystem in the Philippines (NextGen) project, said that three GSR materials were formally approved as commercial varieties in saline-prone and upland areas.
These varieties are NSIC 2014 Rc 390 or Salinas 19 (IR83140-B-28-B), NSIC 2014 Rc 392 or Salinas 20 (IR84675-58-4-1-B-B) and NSIC 2014 Rc 29 or Katihan 4 (IR83140-B-36-B).
“These new varieties will be brought to the target areas through the Participatory Variety selection (PVS) trials for better adoption,” Padolina said.
She also added that as the project is a third component of the NextGen project, accessibility of the GSR’s germplasm will be sustained. The GSR varieties’ accreditation as commercial varieties with assured seed availability is also formalized.
The GSR Project or the “Green Super Rice for resource poor farmers of Africa and Asia” is a collaborative research project of the International Rice Research Institute (IRRI), and the Chinese Academy of Agricultural Sciences, Institute of Crop Sciences. It is supported by the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation that aims to increase the income of resources-limited rice producers through the development and wide-adoption of GSR varieties and corresponding crop management technology.