CIAT scientists develop new generations of high-yielding rice that are well adapted to the diverse environments of Latin America and the Caribbean. Through continued improvement of these varieties and advanced crop management, CIAT and our partners are helping build the competitive strength of the region’s rice sector and securing its role in meeting increased global demand for this, the world’s number one staple crop.
What we do: Sustainably intensifying rice production in Latin America
CIAT scientists develop new generations of high-yielding rice that are well adapted to the diverse environments of Latin America and the Caribbean for the benefit of rice farmers and consumers. We conduct research and training to improve irrigated rice for better grain quality and higher yield, resistance to pests and diseases, tolerance of environmental stresses, and less farm input requirement.
Through continued improvement of these varieties and advanced crop management, CIAT and our partners are helping build the competitive strength of the region’s rice sector and securing its role in meeting increased global demand.
Through the Latin American Fund for Irrigated Rice (FLAR), CIAT contributes to a regional, public-private platform for collaboration on rice research. FLAR is a public-private partnership which aims to improve the competitiveness and sustainability of rice production. The Fund encompasses 36 partners in 17 countries.
We develop improved rice varieties that are:
- Higher yielding
- Drought tolerance
- Improved water- and nutrient-use efficiency
- Nutritionally improved (increased zinc)
- Resistant to pests and diseases
- Well suited to market demands
How we do it: Leveraging biotechnology tools
Rice improvement at CIAT makes extensive use of various biotechnology approaches. Center scientists have developed several genomic tools for gene discovery as well as methods of marker-assisted selection (MAS) for resistance to hoja blanca virus, rice blast, and the rice planthopper and tolerance to cold temperatures. In connection with that work, Center researchers employ DNA fingerprinting methods for variety identification as well as for genetic and phenotypic characterization of pathogen populations.
In addition, CIAT employs advanced genotyping and phenotyping techniques to study the transgenesis of rice lines for resistance to hoja blanca virus and sheath blight, drought tolerance, and water- and nutrient-use efficiency. With the use of a transformation platform established for the development of genetically modified rice, several combinations of genes and promoters are being tested in controlled environments and in the field for drought tolerance and nitrogen-use efficiency.
Nearly 60% of all the improved rice varieties released in LAC are believed to contain germplasm developed by CIAT.
According to studies (conducted in the late 1990s), these varieties have generated aggregated benefits worth US$860 million for the period 1967–1995.
Rice consumers are the main beneficiaries, receiving almost 60% of all the gains generated by adoption of improved varieties.
Visualize CIAT and FLAR varieties released in Latin American and the Caribbean between 1971 and 2015
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